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 Hawaii Travel Guide by Kathie Fry

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Japanese Culture in Hawaii

Information about Japanese culture in Hawaii and the influence of Japanese culture on the Hawaiian culture of today. Includes Japanese attractions, events, and organizations in Hawaii, books about Japanese culture in Japan, Japanese restaurants in Hawaii, and recipes for Japanese dishes popular in Hawaii.

Japanese Attractions in Hawaii

Byodo-In Temple
The beautiful Byodo-In Japanese Temple in Hawaii is located on the windward side of Oahu at the base of a steep mountain range. It is a full scale replica of the Byodo-In Temple built in 998 in the city of Uji, Japan. Oahu's Byodo-In Temple is located on the grounds of the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Kaneohe. It was built in 1968 to celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of the Japanese culture in Hawaii.

Brothers in Valor Memorial
The Brothers in Valor Memorial in Waikiki's Fort DeRussy Park recognizes the contributions of Japanese Americans who served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II.

Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
Founded in May of 1987 as a result of discussions sparked by the 1985 "100 Years of Japanese in Hawaii" celebration. The purpose of the center is to share the history, heritage, and culture of the Japanese American experience in Hawaii.

Japanese Events in Hawaii

Memorial Day Lantern Floating Ceremony (Oahu)
This annual festival on Magic Island in Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu features live Hawaiian and Japanese entertainment and a traditional Japanese lantern floating ceremony to honor ancestors and remember those who have passed away. As the sun is going down, more then 700 lanterns lit with candles are set afloat. For the first three years this event was held in Keehi lagoon but since 2002 it has been held at Magic Island.

Honolulu New Year's Ohana Festival (Oahu)
The New Year's Ohana Festival at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and Moiliili Field is the largest annual event organized by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. It typically lasts all day and it features live entertainment, cultural and martial arts demonstrations, crafts, books sales, and Japanese and multicultural food booths. The 2009 New Year's Ohana Festival took place on Sunday, January 11, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Joy of Sake (Oahu Island)
This annual event at the Hawaii Convention Center sponsored by the International Sake Association and it features Sake sampling and exhibits. For more information call 808-739-1000.

Hilo Festival of the Pacific (Hawaii Island)
This annual event on the Big Island of Hawaii celebrates Japanese influences on Hawaiian culture and it features a lantern parade, a Japanese tea ceremony at the Liliuokalani Park Tea House, contests, arts and crafts, and food booths. For more information call 808-934-0177.

Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival (Hawaii Island)
This annual festival on the Big Island of Hawaii is a celebration of Japanese culture and it features a parade, bon dancing, Taiko drums, karaoke, art, crafts, and food booths. Call 808-961-8706 for more information

Other Japanese Culture Events in Hwaii
-Cherry Blossom Festival
-Cherry Blossom Queen Pageant
-Girl's Day: March 3
-Boy's Day and Children's Day: May 5
-Buddha Day: April 8
-Bodhi Day: First Sunday in December

Japanese Organizations in Hawaii

Japan America Society of Hawaii
An organization founded on September 28, 1976 to promote understanding and friendship between the people of Japan and the United States through the special and unique perspective of Hawaii

Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
2454 South Beretania Street, Suite 201
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
Phone: 808-949-5531

Japanese Cultural Society of Maui
In 1969 a group of Japanese American women on Maui formed the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui to perpetuate their heritage and educate the younger generation about traditional Japanese culture and values. Anyone interested in Japanese culture is welcome to join the society.

Hawaii Association of Teachers of Japanese (HATJ)
Membership is open to teachers, former teachers, prospective teachers, students, administrators and others interested in the teaching of Japanese language, literature, and linguistics at all educational levels in Hawaii.

Judo Black Belt Association of Hawaii
Founded in 1929 to support local Judo students in Hawaii by assisting in their travel to international tournaments and by bringing world class Judo instructors to Hawaii.

Hawaii Bonsai Association
Founded in 1972 to promote the art and culture of bonsai to the general public in Hawaii by providing bonsai knowledge, exhibits, demonstrations, and educational programs.

Japan Exchange Teaching Alumni Association (JETAA) Hawaii
Organizer of social activities, community service events, networking events, and cultural appreciation events, for JETAA members, alumni, family and friends.

UH Japanese Culture Club
This University of Hawaii student club organizes cultural workshops, community service opportunities, international exchange events, language exchanges and movie showings.

UH Center for Japanese Studies
Official Web site of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Hawaii Manoa.

More About Japanese Culture in Hawaii

Japanese Immigration to Hawaii
Articles and information about Japanese immigration to Hawaii.

Japanese Restaurants in Hawaii
Where to find Japanese restaurants, sushi houses, and Japanese cafes and fast food outlets in Hawaii.

Japanese in Hawaii: A Bibliography (PDF)
These materials related to Japanese in Hawaii are available in the Hawaii and Pacific Section of the Hawaii State Library at 478 South King Street in the historic capitol district of Downtown Honolulu.

Japanese Food Recipes
Recipes for Teriyaki Meatballs. and for the breaded and fried chicken cutlet dish known as Chicken Katsu.

- Japanese Pilot Crash landing on Niihjau in 1941
- Jan Ken Po: The World of Hawaii's Japanese Americans
- Cane Fires: The Anti-Japanese Movement in Hawaii: 1865-1945
- No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawaii During WWII
- The Japanese in Hawaii: A Century of Struggle
- Unlikely Liberators: The Men of the 100th and 442nd

- Japanese Cooking Hawaii Style
- Hawaii's Bento Box Cookbook: Fun Lunches for Kids

See also:
- Japanese Immigration to Hawaii
- Other Ethnic Groups to Hawaii

Related Links
About Hawaii
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors

Elsewhere on the Web
Japanese Culture in Hawaii
Japan-America Society of Hawaii
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
50th Anniversary of Japanese Immigration to Hawaii
Japanese Immigration to Hawaii
The Japanese in Hawaii
University of Hawaii Center for Japanese Studies

A NOTE FROM KATHIE: If you have any corrections or updates to the information on this page or if you would like us to add any information or links, please send a message to the email address on our contacts page.

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