Oahu fishpond restoration reveals century-old grave

HONOLULU — Restoration of fishponds in Hawaii led to the discovery of a child’s grave from nearly 100 years ago.

A nonprofit group has been restoring the fishponds at Honouliuli stream in Ewa Beach.

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Earlier this month, the group’s founder saw a grave stone hidden in the tall grass, Hawaii News Now reported.

“All I could see was the top of it,” said Anthony Chance. “When I pulled away the pickleweed, I noticed writing and what I know to be Japanese writing.”

He sent photographs to a friend who translated the inscription. It said a 1-year-old boy named Akira Matsuyama died in June 1927.

Through social media, Chance found members of the Matsuyama family who lived on the land in the 1900s.

Aileen Matsuyama Feldman said she remembers her grandparents’ home that once stood near the fishpond but doesn’t remember ever seeing the gravestone of a child who died 20 years before she was born.

Feldman said she found a cousin who knows about Akira.

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“We haven’t been to the fishpond for years,” Feldman said.

Chance will host some of the Matsuyamas at the gravesite on Sunday.