JUNE 7 2018

The First Japanese Immigrants to Hawaii Commemoration Ceremony and Symposium



(Molokai Ballroom)


Plus $3.50 Online Transaction Fee










Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye

Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye

President of the U.S.-Japan Council

She oversees the organization and administers the TOMODACHI Initiative. She is the former President and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum.

Dr. Mark McNally

Dr. Mark McNally

Professor UH Manoa

Mark T. McNally is Professor of History at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He is a specialist in Tokugawa Japan (1603-1868).

Mr. Colbert Matsumoto

Mr. Colbert Matsumoto

Chairman and President of Island Holdings

Active with many community organizations, he played a key role in the fundraising efforts on behalf of several entities including the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii where he led its successful $9 million campaign to save its facility from foreclosure.

Dr. Dennis Ogawa

Dr. Dennis Ogawa

Professor of American Studies UH

Ph.D. from UCLA in 1969 and is a professor at UH. His books include the best sellers: JanKenPo: The World of Hawai’i’s Japanese Americans and Kodomo No Tame Ni – For the Sake of the Children.

Dr. Michael Chun

Dr. Michael Chun

Retired President and Headmaster of Kamehameha Schools

Retired President and Headmaster of Kamehameha Schools now currently engaged in corporate and charitable leadership throughout Hawai`i.

Dr. Akemi Kikumura Yano

Dr. Akemi Kikumura Yano

Anthropologist and Curator, whose works include the best seller Through Harsh Winters: The Life of a Japanese Immigrant Woman and the traveling exhibition “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawai’i Belt Road,” installations appearing in Brazil, Los Angeles and throughout Hawai’i.

Dr. Masako Iino

Dr. Masako Iino

President of the Japan-U.S. Educational Exchange

President of the Japan-U.S. Educational Exchange Promotion Foundation (Fulbright Foundation); Former President / Professor Emeritus of Tsuda University, Tokyo; Chair of the Academic Council, Japanese Overseas Migration Museum. As a professor she taught in the fields of American history and immigration studies at Tsuda University for many years.

Mr. Koichi Ito

Mr. Koichi Ito

Consul General of Japan

Mr. Koichi Ito is the Consul General of Japan in Honolulu. During his 34 years’ service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, his overseas assignments included China (Minister Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary), as well as Geneva (Economic Affairs) and Malaysia (Deputy Chief of Mission).

Performance by Aolani

Performance by Teruya boys

Performance by Keiki Dances

Performance by Kanaka’ole family

Performance by Manoa DNA


9:00 a.m. to 11:30 am
Sheraton Waikiki, Molokai Ballroom


Yuki Kaea Lyons and Lily Kahelelani Lyons Descendants of Tokujiro Sato

Hula - Kaea Alapai

Performed by Halau Kaeaikahelelani

Welcome and Introductions

Ms. Barbara Tanabe, Emcee


Honorable David Ige Governor of State of Hawai‘i


Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino


Honorable Masahisa Sato State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan

Video Presentation

“Gannenmono: Hawai’i’s First Japanese Immigrants”


Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye President, U.S. – Japan Council


Performance by Manoa DNA

Legacy of the Gannenmono

Talk Story with Descendants of Tokujiro Sato, Sentaro Ishii, Matsugoro Kuwata, Bunkichi Arai Moderated by Carole Hayashino

Kizuna Hawai‘i Celebration Activities
  • Hanashikata presented by UJSH Krista Mamiko Shoda (11th grade), Leeward Japanese School “My Japanese-American Ancestors”
  • Sage Tadashi Maxwell (11th grade), Kamehameha Schools “More than Tradition”
  • Japan Wizards Competition video presented by JASH Students: Lindsay Sasaki, Victoria Nago, Keiran Dela Cruz Hawaii Baptist Academy
  • JCCH Photo Contest winners announced by Kurt Osaki

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Kauai/Maui Ballrooms)

  • Welcome: Jill Kuramoto, Emcee
  • Sukiyaki: Performance by Tanner and Devin Teruya
  • Keynote:Colbert Matsumoto Chairman and President of Island Holdings

1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Molokai Ballroom

Symposium Welcome

Cyrus Tamashiro, Moderator

Hole Hole Bushi

Performance by Aolani Yukie Silva

"Gannenmono: A Living Testament"

Dr. Dennis Ogawa, Professor of American Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

"Two Cultures - One People"

Dr. Michael Chun, Former President and Headmaster of The Kamehameha Schools

“How Do the Experiences of the Mainland Japanese Americans Compare to Hawai‘i’s

Experiences and the Gannenmono?” Dr. Akemi Kikumura Yano, Former President and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum

“Gannenmono Spirit and Hawai‘i-Japan Relations”

Professor Emeritus Masako Iino, President of the Japan-U.S. Educational Exchange Promotion Foundation

"Japanese Castaways and the Gannenmono: The Case of Ishii Sentarō."

Dr. Mark McNally, Professor of History, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Closing Remarks

Tyler Tokioka, Co-Chair Kizuna Hawai‘i


Cancellation Policy

  • No shows or cancellations after May 29, 2018 will be charged.
  • No refunds after May 29, 2018.
  • Admission is non-transferable.

Seating Information

  • Seating for morning and afternoon sessions will be theater style seating. Reserved VIP Sponsor seating, open seating for General Admission attendees.
  • Lunch seating: Eight per table. Reserved tables for VIP Sponsors, open seating for General Admission attendees.

Who were the Gannenmono?

The Gannenmono were a group of approximately 150 Japanese who emigrated to Hawai’i in 1868 to serve as migrant workers on sugar plantations, work for which they each signed 3-year contracts. Although they were not the first Japanese people to visit Hawai’i, some of them eventually became the first to settle in Hawai’i, and today we call them gannenmono (lit. “people of the first year”) because of their departure from Japan and arrival in Hawai’i in 1868, the first year (gannen) of the new era of Meiji.

150th Anniversary of the Gannenmono

Commemoration Ceremony and Symposium
June 7 Event Ticket HereJune 6 ANJA Event Page

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