Katsukuni Tanaka of the Japan-America Society of Hiroshima made a promise to the Kauai High School Japanese Club Thursday.
He accepted the club’s peace project of 1,000 paper origami tsuru, or cranes, the symbol of peace, created by the students during the Matsuri Kauai event and in their free time.
“I will bring it to Hiroshima,” Tanaka said. “I will take it to the Hiroshima Peace Park, and I will take a photo to send back to you to show that your efforts and desires for peace is at the park.”
“He loves Kauai,” said Art Umezu, retired from the county’s Office of Ecomic Development. “He first came to Kauai in 1987 with a television company, and was instrumental in setting up sister-city relationships with other television stations in Hawaii.”
Umezu said Tanaka brought the first Kauai hula halau — Na Hula O Kaohikukapulani with kumu Kapu Kinimaka Alquiza — to Japan. More recently, Tanaka was instrumental in getting the Kauai Yankees, a Little League baseball team of 11 year olds, to Hiroshima, where they ended up playing baseball games against Japanese youth baseball teams two years ago. “Now, he wants to bring the team from Hiroshima here to Kauai,” Umezu said.