The East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai will celebrate the new year with its annual luncheon meeting Sunday at the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Sangha Hall.
The Kenjin Kai is welcoming the Year of the Dog. According to the Chinese zodiac, it is believed those born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive. They are not afraid of difficulties in daily life and are considered valiant, loyal, responsible, clever, courageous and lively. These positive characteristics encourage harmonious relationships with people around them.
A short business meeting conducted by outgoing president Tommy Goya and installation of incoming president Jon Arizumi and officers will take place at 10:30 a.m.
Beiju honorees, those members who will accomplish reaching the auspicious age of 88 in 2018, will be honored before the New Year’s luncheon: Annie Aoki, Eva Hirano, Bea Isemoto, Yoriko Ishii, Teruichi Kohashi, Iris A. Namaye, Stanley Namaye, John Okino, Kenji Oshita, Donald S. Shintaku and Ethel Yoshimasu. Family members and friends of the honorees are encouraged to attend.
This year will mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. There will be information about the festivities celebrating the gannenmono (first-year men), 150 Japanese men and women who arrived June 19, 1868, aboard the Scioto at Honolulu Harbor.
Short reports by the 2017 East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai scholarship recipients also will be delivered along with information about the educational scholarships awarded to children and grandchildren of EHHKK members.
There also will be short reports by Carina Cook and Deylen Nekoba, 2017 East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai delegates to the Hiroshima International Youth Exchange Program in Japan.
Highlights of this trip included attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony on Aug. 6 in front of the Hiroshima Peace City Memorial Monument erected in the Peace Memorial Park to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city and presenting 1,000 origami cranes at the Sadako Sasaki statue in the park. Sasaki was a young girl who died of radiation poisoning while folding 1,000 cranes. The Hawaii delegates folded the cranes in a rainbow of colors to honor Sasaki’s memory and promote world peace.
All those with ancestral roots in Hiroshima or interest in Japan can attend the luncheon and join the organization.
“Please join us in celebrating the Year of the Dog,” Goya said. “We welcome guests and family members of the Beiju recipients and new members. Remember, it’s up to you to help preserve our rich local history and culture.”
The New Year’s luncheon cost is $15 per person. For remaining tickets or more information, call Goya at 989-5953 or Arizumi at 896-8172.