homepage logo

KBRA names Gayle Miyaguchi a ‘Na Hoku O’ Ka‘anapali’

By Staff | Apr 4, 2019

Gayle Miyaguchi brought many new, exciting ideas to Kaanapali Beach Hotel’s team of cultural experts. 

KAANAPALI – Gayle Miyaguchi, Kaanapali Beach Hotel’s Hawaiian culture resource specialist, has been named by the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association a “Na Hoku O’ Ka’anapali.”

Miyaguchi is one of ten “shining stars” who act as ambassadors of KBRA’s public relations campaign.

The campaign aims to highlight Kaanapali’s best and brightest individuals and share their stories, thereby increasing the public’s understanding and interest in this dynamic area.

Miyaguchi grew up in Makawao and spent her childhood years on the family farm in Kula. With this deep background in agriculture, and especially through successful methods of growing ipu (gourds), she was able to create Na Kani ‘O Hula, a business that handcrafts hula implements.

Her many years as a hula dancer under Kumu Hula Hokulani Holt-Padilla in Halau Hula Pa’u ‘O Hi’iaka gave Miyaguchi an understanding of how each instrument is used.

For 23 years, Miyaguchi provided hula dancers throughout Hawaii and worldwide with their hula instruments and Hawaiian crafts produced from her farm in Kula.

Miyaguchi now shares this unique gift with guests at Kaanapali Beach Hotel (KBH), helping them to create one-of-a-kind instruments like the pu’ohe (bamboo trumpet), which guests learn to make, play and then take home with them.

Another favorite instrument to create is the ‘uli’uli (Hawaiian feathered gourd rattle). Miyaguchi said that the opportunity to breathe life into ideas, projects and activities is her favorite part of her job – to see the appreciation and pride in the faces of those who completed an activity.

In addition to her work at KBH, Miyaguchi offers occasional workshops, such as a February demonstration at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center in Makawao.

She continues to run her small Kula farm, raising asparagus, flowers, fruits and plants. She has five kids and six grandkids, plus dogs, cat and hens.

In her free time, Miyaguchi can be found surfing Maui’s clear, clean ocean, or (her favorite!) enjoying Salmon Benedict at KBH’s Tiki Terrace Restaurant.

Miyaguchi lives by the philosophy “kokua aku, kokua mai,” which basically means to treat others the way you want to be treated.

The saying is a Code of Conduct at KBH, where everyone from hotel management to Ho’okipa (hospitality) staff takes immense pride in nurturing and perpetuating the rich culture of the Hawaiian Islands.

KBH is recognized as “Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel” by the Waiaha Foundation, with an extensive Po’okela (excellence) Program in practice that includes topics such as Hawaiian geography, religion, mythology, economics, technology and the Native Hawaiian diet.

Staff receive a wealth of cultural training, including ?ukulele and hula classes, Hawaiian language lessons and a deep understanding of our islands’ history and sense of place.

“Through her cultural expertise, Gayle is able to give visitors to Kaanapali not only a beautiful craft that they made with their own hands, but a lasting memory and understanding of their connection with the Hawaiian culture,” said KBRA Executive Director Shelley Kekuna.

“We are very proud to name Gayle as one of our ‘Na Hoku’ of Kaanapali.”

Na Hoku O’ Ka’anapali embody several essential qualities; they are well-respected in the Kaanapali community, they are 100 percent committed to serving the area, and they are at the top of their game in their professional fields. They are also fascinating individuals with unique interests, and their respect for Hawaiian culture runs deep.

For information about the program, e-mail charlene@kauhaneinc.com.