Honoring Heritage, Embracing Diversity

By Carole Hayashino, president and executive director, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii

“I am a son of immigrants, While my parents and I built up our foundation on this Hawaiian paradise,

What is the fate of our life to end up in internment.”

Moonlit Night on Sand Island, by former internee Zenichi Kawazoe


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Carole Hayashino

Sand Island, Honouliuli, Kalaheo Stockade, Kilauea Military Camp – these are few of the names of Hawaii’s internment camps that imprisoned Japanese Americans during World War II. Places nearly forgotten, memories buried for decades, until the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (JCCH) released its feature-length film The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii.

With support from the National Park Service and based on research by JCCH, the film chronicles the wartime incarceration of more than 2,300 persons of Japanese ancestry living in Hawaii. The Untold Story has been screened throughout the state, receiving positive reviews for focusing public attention on this unknown chapter in our history and building support for the preservation of Honouliuli, Hawaii’s longest-operating confinement site. The film has been viewed by more than 3,000 individuals, with future screenings scheduled in Hawaii and California and the DVD release in the fall.

JCCH’s effort to educate the public and share the history of Japanese Americans in Hawaii goes to the very heart of our mission of Honoring Our Heritage, Embracing Our Diversity and Sharing Hawaii. As we remember our past through The Untold Story, we celebrate our success through our annual gala, Sharing the Spirit of Aloha. Both remind us of our collective history and our future as a community.

We invite you to join us – attend a screening of The Untold Story or celebrate with us at Hilton Hawaiian Village Saturday, June 29, to pay tribute to Jennifer Goto Sabas of Daniel K. Inouye Legacy Foundation, Kurt Osaki of Osaki Creative, Alvin Okami of KoAloha Ukulele, Pacific Guardian Life and John Okutani. Help us continue our work to preserve history and share the stories of today for future generations.

For more information on the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii or any of our events, please contact us at 945-7633 or visit jcch.com.

Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.