Japan-style Mokihana Festival set for March

Kaua’i Mokihana Festival organizers and performers are scheduled to travel to Tokyo in early March for the first Japan/Kaua’i Mokihana Festival.

The event is set for March 1-3 in Tokyo.

Event founder Nathan Kalama said in a prepared statement: “The Hawaiian culture is very respected and appreciated in Japan. It’s a logical move for our festival to expand to the East.

Kalama said the week-long annual Kaua’i Mokihana Festival draws a sizable number of Japanese visitors over the past eight years. He said he’s made ten trips to Japan and has found widespread interest in Hawaiian culture in the Asian nation.

The Japan-Kaua’i event took two years of planning and mutual visits between the local Kaua’i Mokihana Festival organization and Taiko-Maru, a non-profit group run by Masami Miyato. Miyato approached KMF organizers to seek permission to use the name of the festival for an annual fundraiser that aims at raising support for leukemia and bone cancer research.

The Tokyo event will include lectures in Hawaiian protocol and hula, a hula competition, a ho’ike and hula workshops.

A dozen Hawaiian culture experts associated with KMF plan to attend and support the event. Four hula judges from Kaua’i are scheduled to help with judging, as well as conducting workshops.

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