Photos from the 18th Annual Honolulu Festival

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.

Authentic sake drinking cups from Nagaoka, Japan. A lot of people tried to snag these. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Another photo from the Nagaoka sake table. I think that these are labels for the sake bottles. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

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.

An actual Kasama potter from Kasama, Japan. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Kasama Pottery. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Kasama Pottery. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

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.

Traditional japanese handmade footwear. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

These ladies from the Lucoral Museum were giving away some cool custom bookmarks with your name written in Korean. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Great penmanship. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

This guy was roaming the show floor. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

They had some cool origami demonstrations. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Origami Scorpion. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

This is a wooden Japanese game. You swing the ball and try to have it land on the top of the wooden hand piece. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

This man created some really neat cards using his brush and some watercolors. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Custom painted cards. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Someone was selling handmade bottle covers at the craft fair. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

I found these awesome handmade soaps at the craft fair by Filthy Farm Girl. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Art from a Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association (HSLEA) member. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

One Thousand by Shuko Fujita. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

One Thousand by Shuko Fujita. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association Art Exhibit. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Brushes. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Someone from the Pacific Basin Cultural Exchange looks on as Taiko Kozo perform traditional Japanese drums. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Foreign hula dancers waiting to perform. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

The Tada Kimono Kitsuke School. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Descendance. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

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.

Nagaoka Fireworks in Waikiki. Photo by Flickr member Marcus Luna.

Nagaoka Fireworks in Waikiki. Photo by Flickr member Andrew Wertheimer.

Nagaoka Fireworks in Waikiki. Photo by Flickr member Andrew Wertheimer.

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.