Preparing to celebrate her 101st Christmas is Masei Higa, originally from Okinawa but now living in the long-term-care unit on the second floor of Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
The unit is now owned and operated by officials of Garden Isle Healthcare.
Like all those Japan natives who reach centenarian status, she was recently honored with gifts and a certificate signed by Junichiro Koizumi, Japan’s prime minister.
“It’s a big thing in Japan,” explained Roy Higa of his mother’s recent honoring by the Consul-General of Japan representatives.
Masei Higa, formerly of Koloa, was recently presented a certificate in honor of “Achieving the wonderfully long life of one hundred years.”
The presentation was done by Consuls General Hiroyuki Yoshida and Yoshitaka Yamada, and Assistant Motoyo Koyata, on behalf of Koizumi.
The consuls general and assistant work out of the Honolulu office of the Consulate General of Japan.
Celebrating “Respect for the Aged Day,” the presentation of a commemorative gift and certificate was done at the Garden Isle Healthcare, Wilcox Memorial Hospital, where Masei Higa is a resident.
Masei Higa, born on June 10, 1904, in Okinawa, Japan, is now 101 years old, and, according to son Roy Higa, is looking forward to a few more years.
Masei Higa, widowed for 63 years, has five surviving sons and a daughter, after having lost a son and daughter earlier.
Roy Higa, who was on hand for the celebration with his wife Dolores, and grandson Malakai Montgomery, said all of Masei Higa’s other children live off-island.
Roy Higa lives in Lihu‘e.
Masei Higa’s sons include Pete Riosuke Higa, Richard Yoshio Higa, Thomas T. Higa, Roy Higa, and George Higa. Her daughter is Jean Anbe.
The ceremony at the hospital was arranged by Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano of the Kauai United Japanese Society, who was also present, along with Wayne Miyata, who did the photographer’s honors.
- Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or email@example.com.