Happy Camper for Monday, September 10, 2018

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Rev. Kohtoku Hirao of the Waimea Shingon Mission offers prayers not only to the Hawaii Nikkei Legacy exhibit, but to people in Japan affected by the recent typhoons and earthquake in Hokkaido.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Allison Arakawa of Honolulu greets the Rev. Yoshiko Shimabukuro, 106, Friday during the opening of the Hawaii Nikkei Legacy exhibit at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Art Umezu, right, explains as Pearl Shimizu, center, helps Melissa McFerrin-Warrack with a happi coat the Kauai Japanese Cultural Society presented her for Kukui Grove Center’s help with the Hawaii Nikkei Legacy exhibit.

Melissa McFerrin-Warrack forgot her sweater Friday and was ready to get another one before Pearl Shimizu and Art Umezu presented her with a happi (not happy) coat so she could attend bon dance and participate during the opening ceremonies for the Hawaii Nikkei Legacy exhibit.

The Rev. Yoshiko Shimabukuro was presented a lei just because she is 106 years old, and attended the opening ceremonies, where Allison Arakawa of Honolulu rendered “Hole Hole Bushi,” a song composed in honor of women who worked the pineapple and cane fields.

Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano said Shimabukuro was one of a few, if not the only, Buddhist priest in Hawaii following World War II, and Dimples and her husband enjoyed one of the first weddings officiated by her (James Yamamoto said the reverend even remembered him).

Byrnes Yamashita said “Nikkei” means “out of Japan,” and there is great interest by native Japanese on the experiences of Nikkei, not only in Hawaii, but in the United States, and even internationally in places like Brazil. The exhibit has been on tour for about a year throughout Japan, and Kauai is the first stop in Hawaii before the exhibit moves to the Big Island, Maui and Oahu. The interest by the Japanese people serves as a bridge between those who live in Japan and those who live elsewhere.

The exhibit is free and available for viewing at Kukui Grove Center through Sept. 23. A full listing of exhibit open days can be found at www.kukuigrovecenter.com.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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