Events Calendar

Hanohano O Kona September Lecture Series

Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 5:30pm to 7pm, West Hawaii Civic Center

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KONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOSTS FREE LECTURE ABOUT KUMIAI, JAPANESE COMMUNITY GROUPS

For the September installment of the Hanohano `O Kona lecture series on Wednesday, September 26, Kona Historical Society is proud to announce Claudia Chang, President of the Kona Japanese Civic Association, will be sharing the history of Kona’s Kumiai, or Japanese community groups. The presentation will start at 5:30pm at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

When Japanese immigrants came to Hawaii, they brought with them their culture, many examples of which are still enjoyed in Hawaii today. Throughout Kona, and throughout Hawaii, mochi pounding and bon dances are still popular traditions, but others, like kumiai groups are slowing disappearing.  As Japanese immigrants moved to Hawaii from Japan to work on sugar plantations and eventually coffee farms, neighboring families would gather resources to help each other during times of struggle. On Hawaii Island, and particularly in Kona, the kumiai groups still have a strong presence.  They continue to gather annually and help families at funerals.  Claudia will share history of the kumiais, and in particular, the Akitsu Kumiai, based in South Kona district.

Claudia Chang is a fourth generation Japanese American, born and raised in Kealakekua.  A graduate of Konawaena High School, University of Hawaii Manoa and Kapiolani Community College, she is the past president of the Akitsu Kumia, and currently serves as an Officer and Board Member of many Japanese and other community organizations in Kona.  Currently, she serves as President of Kona Hiroshima Kenjin Kai and Kona Japanese Civic Association, Vice President of the Japanese Cultural Center of Kona, Board Member and Lantern Parade Chairperson for the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Youth Director for Kona Hongwanji Buddhist Temple Kyodan, Assistant Secretary for Kona Hongwanji Buddhist Women’s Association and Secretary for Keopuka Kai Property Owner’s Association.

For the past seven years, Kona Historical Society has offered this community lecture series, spotlighting local and state speakers on a wide variety of cultural and historical subjects. It is a gift from the Society to the community that has supported it for so long. The lectures are free of charge and open to all, residents and visitors alike. Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.