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Uluwehi Guerrero to perform at Shinnen Enkai

By Staff | Dec 31, 2009

Michael Hondo will be honored as the JCS Maui Nihon Bunka Awardee for 2010 at the event.

KAHULUI — The Japanese Cultural Society of Maui (JCS Maui) will welcome the Year of the Tiger at its annual Shinnen Enkai (New Year) dinner on Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Elleair Rainbow Room at the Maui Beach Hotel. 

The Shinnen Enkai will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the traditional otoso (sake welcome) with no-host cocktail hour to follow.  Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Cost for the buffet dinner is $40, $35 for those 60 years and older, $20 for children ages 5-10 and free for children ages four and under.

Tickets are available through the Maui Box Shop and Credit Associates of Hawaii in Wailuku, Party Paradise in the Maui Mall, Sanrio at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center and Omochaya in Pukalani.

The event will highlight the past year’s events and programs sponsored by JCS Maui and install the organization’s newly elected officers.

Uluwehi Guerrero will perform music, including “Nani Kamakura,” which is featured on his new CD called “Uluwehi Sings Na Mele Hula Aloha — Beloved Hula Songs.”

Guerrero is a Na Hoku Hanohano award winner and longtime kumu hula of Halau Hula Kauluokala.

Michael Hondo will be honored as the JCS Maui Nihon Bunka Awardee for 2010. Selected by the JCS Maui Board at a recent meeting, Hondo has been a member of Maui Okinawa Kenjin Kai for over 20 years and has served in various roles, including president. 

He also currently serves as the facilities chair of the Maui Okinawa Cultural Center and as an advisor to the Maui Okinawa Kenjin Kai Senior Citizens Club.

Hondo’s most recent involvement in the Okinawan culture is his interest and participation in learning the art of Koten (classical) Taiko. 

Darren Konno, who nominated Hondo for this award, said, “I have known Michael for over 15 years and his leadership and dedication to the Okinawan culture has earned him the respect of the entire Okinawan community both here on Maui and on Oahu.  Michael is deserving of this award because of his tremendous efforts to ensure the Okinawan culture continues to strive and be shared with the community. He realizes the importance of Okinawan arts and music, but also the importance of the maintenance of the facilities, the fund-raising and the annual events that are all necessary to help preserve and promote the Okinawan culture.”

The event will also feature a silent auction with proceeds going to the “Great Grandfather’s Drum” film project. Any donations for the silent auction are greatly appreciated. To make a donation, call Tiffany Iida at 276-5444 or Yuki Lei Sugimura at 870-8047.

Kimono dressing assistance will be provided for those who wish to dress in formal Japanese attire. To reserve a time slot, call Sugimura.

For more information on the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui Shinnen Enkai dinner, call Iida or Sugimura or visit www.jcsmaui.com.