Connecting with Nippon Maru

PUHI — Patsy Fujimoto said Sumiko Fujimoto’s sister’s grandson, Taiki Yokota, was a cadet aboard Nippon Maru.

“He’s never been here, and we’ve never met him,” Patsy said. “We came to meet him.”

More than 300 people turned out to the luau welcoming the cadets and officers aboard Nippon Maru which docked at Nawiliwili Harbor Friday.

“We have an exchange student, Erika Ishiguro who was a cadet on Nippon Maru,” said Ed Kawamura, one of the coordinators of the mochitsuki, or mochi-making for New Year. “She even made one of the kine, or wooden mallets, we’re using, tonight.”

Amber McClure flew in from Oahu for the event, explaining that a lot of the officers aboard Nippon Maru sailed with Hokule‘a during the Indian Ocean leg of its worldwide voyage. That led to an emotional reunion among the Hokulea crew who helped during the luau welcoming the visiting Japanese.

Nippon Maru left Kauai for Oahu Monday.


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