Despite living in Hawaii my whole life I never made it a point to attend the Honolulu Festival. This changed last month whenI attended the 18th Annual Honolulu Festival. The theme of this years festival was bonding together, hand in hand.
The Honolulu Festival has grown to become a large three day event. I was only able to take in the events on the last day. In fact, I was only at the convention center for about 4 hours but yet I saw and experienced so much ethnic diversity. There was live music, dance, and cultural demonstrations. Groups from all over the world flew in to perform at the festival. I sat down and enjoyed two of the live performances. The Tada-ryu Tada Kimono Kitsuke School put on an interesting kimono dressing show. The Discendance, an Australian aboriginal group, were the show stoppers with their traditional aboriginal dance and song.
When I wasn’t watching the live performance I was roaming the convention center floor. The floor featured a large craft fair featuring arts and crafts from various cultures. They had an entire section dedicated to the Kasama Potters of Japan. I had a great time watching the Kasama Potters demonstrate their craft.
“The devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 created major long-lasting disruptions to every facet of the daily lives of people, including potters in the town of Kasama. Located in Ibaragi Prefecture, Kasama has a long history of ceramic-making dating from the 1700s, and is one of the most important art and craft centers in eastern Japan. The March 2011 earthquake was especially heartbreaking for this small town as kilns and ceramics were destroyed, devastating livelihoods in just a matter of moments. In immediate attempts to repair the kilns, the aftershocks weakened the same havoc several times over. The Kasama potters are still recovering from the devastation.”
In November 2011, a filmaking group from Hawaii traveled to Kasama, Japan, to document the devastation and story of the Kasama Potters. The result was a short film that they produced titled Place of Hope: The Kasama Potters Community and the Great Ordeal.
Also on the show floor were tons of games for the keiki that were organized by the Pacific Basin Cultural Exchange. There were tons of nifty items featured at the craft fair, however, my favorite find were the custom handmade soaps by Filthy Farm Girl. The Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association (HSLEA) also had an amazing art exhibit set up. I can only hope to be half as creative as those fellows in my golden years.
Unfortunately, I missed the Nagaoka Fireworks presentation that took place later that evening in Waikiki. Originating from Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast, the Nagaoka Fireworks is well known for their large fireworks display. I’m kind of bummed that I missed this. I heard that the fireworks display was stunning. Fortunately, there were a few people on Flickr who captured some photos.