Hawai‘i Herald Columnist
“Okinawa is such a beautiful place, not just the ocean and scenery and culture, but the people. I’ve been treated well and taken care of by many people here in what has become ‘My Hawai‘i.’” — Colin Sewake
VISITING AUNTY FUKUE
Location: 3-36-2 Iso, Urasoe-shi, Nov. 22, 2017
On my way to work, I stopped by Takayesu Soba, located behind Urasoe General Hospital in the Iso area of Urasoe City. A while back, I told you the story of how a few of us, myself included, helped Takayesu Soba owner Fukue Takayesu find the grave of her late husband’s grandfather in Hilo. He was the second son in his family. His remains, as well as those of one of his brothers — the fourth son — are interred in Hawai’i.
In September of last year, Fukue — and her two younger sisters planned a trip to Hilo to ohakamairi (grave visitation), although they had no idea where the ohaka (grave) was located nor if any of her husband’s relatives were alive and living anywhere in Hawai‘i. Okinawa Hawaii Kyoukai president Choko Takayama asked me to come with him on a visit to Fukue-san and to listen to the details of her late husband’s family.
We visited the soba shop and then moved next door to Fukue-san’s house, where she discussed the family details. She also showed us some old black and white photos of the family. One key photo showed the ohaka with a view of Hilo Bay in the background. My father is from Kohala and my uncle and cousins live in Hilo, so I’m familiar with those parts of the island and figured that the ohaka was probably located just north of Hilo. Fukue-san and her sisters were leaving for Hawai‘i in a week. It was already Saturday and they were leaving on Friday, so I had less than a week to figure out where the ohaka was located.
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Colin Sewake is a keiki o ka ‘äina from Wahiawä, O‘ahu, who was assigned to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa in December 1994 to fulfill his U.S. Air Force ROTC commitment. He met his future wife, Keiko, within a month and decided to make Okinawa his permanent home. Colin retired from the Air Force and, recently from the Air Force Reserves. He now works as a customer service representative for Hotel Sun Palace Kyuyokan in Naha. Colin and Keiko have two teenaged children and make their home in Yomitan.