Centenarian celebration

Matsue Fukushima, one of four children, was born in Wahiawa and met her husband at a dance after he came over from Kona to plant plum trees at the CCC Camp in Kokee.

He later went out to serve in the 100th Battalion during World War II, and shortly after coming home, married in 1945.

“I waited for him,” she said. “When he left, he said if he didn’t come home, I should go out and get married. But I waited for him.”

Fukushima, born on April 13, 1914, was one of three centenarians honored by a visit from Consul Kenji Endo, representing the Consulate-General of Japan, and Japanese Society of Kauai leaders Kikuo Harada and Dimples Kano. The dignitaries come every year to pay a visit and honor Kauaians with Japanese ancestry who are 100 years old and stopped by Fukushima at her home in Pua Loke.

Hiroshi Sugibayashi was busy with his granddaughter and great grandson, tossing a Nerf ball at a target, as he waiting for dignitaries to stop by.

He’s been at least 100 for four years now.

“He is 104 years old,” said his son Roy Sugibayashi. “At 100 years old, the Social Security paid him special honors, sending over two people to verify his existence.”

Chiyeno Matsumoto was the center of activity at her home in Kapaa as caregivers poured over her to spruce up her clothes for the visit.

“I’m tired,” Matsumoto said while her caregivers prepared her for a photo with Endo and her centenarian certificate.

Kano, of the Japanese Society of Kauai, said they contacted the family of the Chiyeko Yoshii, who passed away Nov. 1.

“We also had a nice visit with the family of the late Chiyeko Yoshii,” said she said.


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