Moanalua Gardens is a 24-acre privately-owned public park in Honolulu. The park is the site of Kamehameha V Cottage which used to be the home of Prince Lot Kapuāiwa, who would later become King Kamehameha V. Moanalua Gardens also hosts the annual Prince Lot Hula Festival.
Moanalua Gardens is also the home of a large monkeypod tree (about 130-years old) that is known in Japan as the Hitachi Tree, one of the most recognizable corporate icons in Japan.
The Hitachi Tree first originated through a TV commercial for Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi, Ltd that first aired in Japan in 1973.
The Hitachi tree, a large monkeypod tree with a distinctive umbrella-shaped canopy, grows in the middle of a grassy area in the middle of the park.
The tree is registered as an exceptional tree by the City and County of Honolulu and cannot be removed or destroyed without city council approval.
An earlier agreement between the Damon Estate and Hitachi gave Hitachi exclusive worldwide rights to use the tree’s image for promotional purposes in exchange for annual payments.
It was recently reported that Hitachi Ltd, has agreed to pay the owner of the Moanalua Gardens $400,000 a year for 10 years to use the garden’s famous monkeypod tree in its advertising.
The tree symbolizes the “comprehensive drive” and the “wide business range” of the Hitachi Group. It continues today as an image of the Hitachi Group’s working for communities through leveraging of its collective capacities and technologies, and the dedication of the individuals that the Group comprises.
The tree is widely recognized, especially in Japan, and has become an important symbol of the Hitachi Group’s reliability, and earth-friendliness. It also enhances Hitachi’s brand value as a visual representation of its corporate slogan: “Inspire the Next.”
Over the past 40 years, the Hitachi Tree has become a valuable Hitachi Group asset as a familiar and respected image in Hitachi’s expanding messages globally.
It symbolized the Group spirit of bringing its whole strength to a wide variety of business fields in Japan in order to contribute to society. In Hitachi’s view, how better to portray this spirit than with a mighty tree?
Since then, the Hitachi Tree advertisements focused on the domestic market, have continued in various forms, including newspapers and magazines, on public transport, in picture books and through photography competitions on the theme of trees.
As such, the Hitachi Tree plays an important role connecting customers and the Hitachi Group. Here’s a link to its 9th generation of Hitachi Tree TV commercials:
Monkeypod is native to Central and South America and widely distributed in subtropical areas. The leaf shape is similar to that of fern fronds, and the leaves open at sunrise and close in the afternoon. Flowers bloom twice a year, around May and November.
Moanalua Gardens Foundation preserves and perpetuates the history, native culture and environment of Hawaiʻi through education, celebration and stewardship at Moanalua Gardens and Kamananui Valley.
This is accomplished through our educational activities, resources for educators at Moanalua Gardens and Kamananui Valley, and the Prince Lot Hula Festival. Moanalua Gardens Foundation offers high-quality, award-winning educational programs and services to Hawaii since 1970.
In addition to this image of the Hitachi Tree, I have included others, as well as Hitachi Ltd advertisements using the Moanalua Gardens tree in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.