Eight Sumie Society of Hawaii students were presented certificates of achievement by their longtime instructor, Sachie Saigusa-Sensei, at the group’s annual gathering. The lunchtime event at Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room marked the conclusion of the society’s 12th annual exhibition of student works at Honolulu Hale, which ran from late April through early May. The Rev. Satoshi Tomioka of the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin delivered the luncheon invocation.
Society president Fujiko Motobu noted that four city administrations have hosted the exhibition at Honolulu Hale. She said the Sumie Society is grateful to the city for providing a venue to display their ink paintings.
At age 87, Saigusa-Sensei still travels by city bus to teach her classes at Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin, Makua Alii Senior Center, Moiliili Community Center and at Leilehua High School. There is also a Sumie Society group in Hilo.
Saigusa-Sensei thanked everyone for attending the exhibit and luncheon and congratulated the students receiving certificates of achievement. “Whether skillful or not, still try hard,” she encouraged them in Japanese. “Just be happy doing sumie,” she told them.
Certificates of achievement were presented to Helen Abe (Instructor II), the highest level; Kikue Tagami (Instructor I); Musue Kinoshita (Instructor); Stephanie Pang (Advanced); and David Higa, Patricia Takemoto, Twilla Castellucci and Takayo Inatsuka (Beginner).
Saigusa-Sensei reminded everyone that whether they are young or elderly, they have only one life to live. “Only when you clear your mind, you can create beautiful art,” she said.
The exhibition and luncheon were organized by the Hawaii Betsuin students and chaired by Lillian Kadomoto and Hisako Koga.