We are honored to be able to host THE HAWAII NIKKEI LEGACY EXHIBIT
at our Kaloko Facility this November!

73-5611 Olowalu Street
Kailua Kona, HI 96740


November 1 - 28, 2018

Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 PM   |   Saturday: 10 AM - 2 pm
Exhibit closed: 11/12 & 11/22

The Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVL) in conjunction with the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (JCCH) has produced a photographic exhibit that documents the Japanese American experience in Hawaii.
(Note:Nikkei means overseas Japanese.)

The exhibit was shown in several locations in Japan in 2017 to foster deeper understanding of the Japanese American culture in Hawaii and enhance relations between Japan and Hawaii.

The goal of the exhibitors is to take the exhibit to the major prefectures in Japan that the contract worker immigrants came from:

Hiroshima  -  Fukushima  -  Yamaguchi  -  Fukuoka  -  Okinawa  -  Niigata  -  Tokyo - Yokohama

In 2018, the NVL is working with the Consulate-General of Japan in Honolulu to show the exhibit across the State of Hawaii as part of the 150th anniversary celebration on the initial Japanese immigration to Hawaii.



  • The Exhibit highlights the Japanese American experience in Hawaii from the initial immigration through World War II and the Post-War period.The exhibit emphasizes the role of Japanese American soldiers in influencing the attainment of Hawaii Statehood and the civil rights redress movement after the War. They also played a major role in reviving Japanese culture and customs after the War and improving relations between Japan and Hawaii.

    The exhibit is divided into the following components:

  1. Japanese contract worker immigration to the Hawaii and the continental United States, (1885-2007). The immigrants came primarily from seven prefectures in Japan:Fukushima, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Niigata and Okinawa.

  2. Pre-war experience in Hawaii. Life on the plantation and Americanization of the Nisei (second generation).

  3. Beginning of the War in the Pacific and Japanese internment.Japanese American evacuation and internment on the West Coast and Hawaii; and how they differed.

  4. The formation of the all-Japanese American Army units and the actions of the Japanese American Nisei (second generation) soldiers in World War II, including a brief description of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Also, the Japanese Americans of the Military Intelligence and Language Service, to include their role in the occupation and recovery of Japan after the War.

  5. The experience of Japanese Americans under martial law during the war in Hawaii.Description of the Varsity Victory Volunteers comprised of University of Hawaii ROTC students and the role it played in the creation of the all-Japanese American units, and other war support from the home front.

  6. End of the War.Soldiers returning home – President Truman’s award speech, closing of the internment camps and repatriation of the families.

  7. Post-War activities.Japanese American veterans and their role in the struggle for Statehood for Hawaii and the civil rights redress movement.Also the granting of citizenship for Issei (first generation Japanese) for the first time in 1954 along with the elimination of many discriminatory laws.

  8. Revival of Japanese Culture in Hawaii – the role the Nisei veterans in restoring the popularity of Japanese culture and customs in Hawaii after the suppression of these practices during and immediately after World War II.This included sponsoring sumo tournaments, sports and cultural exchanges including bringing popular Japanese entertainers to Hawaii and support for cultural organizations and clubs.

  9. Modern Japanese Culture in Hawaii.This section includes Japanese performing arts, cultural practices, martial arts/sports and culture and arts.

  10. The Legacy of the Nisei soldiers – Young Japanese Americans and all people of color in Hawaii have no ceilings to their personal aspirations due in part to the contributions of the Nisei soldiers of World War II.

  11. Prefectural Connections – The exhibit showcases prominent Japanese Americans from the respective prefectures of the original migrants to strengthen the pride and relations between the citizens of the contributing prefectures and the descendants of the immigrants that came from them.

    The lasting contributions of the Nisei veterans are the popularity of Japanese culture in Hawaii and the Hawaiian culture in Japan.The unique blend of cultures that exist in harmony in Hawaii helped to form a strong and growing bond between Hawaii and Japan and serves as a model to promote peace and friendship between our two countries.

The purpose of the exhibit is to:

  • Help to educate people on the story of Hawaii’s Nikkei.

  • Promote goodwill between Japan and the US, specifically, between the State of Hawaii and the primary prefectures in Japan that have strong ancestral ties to the families of the initial immigrants.

  • The collective result of these aims is to increase interest in Hawaii by Japanese resulting in increased tourism traffic.


Saturday, November 3
Japan in a Suitcase
Blue Zones Okinawa Food Demonstrations

Saturday, November 10
Lauhala Weaving by Kona Weavers*
Kona Shoji Designs*
Hatsukaichi Chamber of Commerce & Industry
and more!

*Items available for purchase.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Classes held between 10:00 am-2:00 pm


Japan In A Suitcase I - Kindergarten and Grade 1 (40 minute class)
The class begins by teaching students simple Japanese greetings. Next, they are shown enlarged photos of roads in Japan and the U.S. with people driving on opposite sides of the street as an example of something that is done differently in a different place. Puppets are used to demonstrate animal sounds in different countries, and teach various gestures used in Japan. Then students explore items in the suitcase which include artifiacts used by Japanese elementary school children such as a school backpack (randoseru), indoor shoes (uwabaki), and textbooks (kyoukasho). The class ends by teaching the students the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in Japanese.

Japan In A Suitcase II - Grades 2 and 3 (45 minute class)
Students start by learning simple Japanese greetings. Then they are shown photos of McDonald’s Restaurants in Hawaii and Japan as an example of something they are familiar with which may not be the same elsewhere. Then students explore items from the suitcase and posters that reveal aspects of Japanese elementary schools such as a timetable and bento box, as well as from the community such as yen (Japanese currency) and traditional Japanese clothing. Time allowing, students will play the popular children’s game, Jan Ken Po, in the Japanese style.

Japan In A Suitcase III - Grades 4 and 5 (60 minute class)
After introductions and greetings, the students will compare a Japan-centered and a U.S.-centered world map to show that people see or depict things differently depending on where they are from. Students then have an opportunity to explore various school items (calligraphy set, P.E. uniforms, and more) in small groups. Following this exploration period, each group presents their items to the class for further discussion. The class is ended with a slideshow on school life in Japan.