Hanami (Japanese, literally, hana = flower and mi = look … “flower viewing”) is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers; “flower” in this case almost always means cherry blossoms.
In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or “Sakura,” is an exalted flowering plant.
On the continent, the plantings of cherry blossom trees originated in 1912, as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan.
Over three-thousand cherry blossom trees were planted along the Tidal Basin of the reclaimed Potomac waterfront in Washington, DC. Today, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is a DC spring celebration.
Cherry blossom trees are very temperamental. They grow in cold climates and require a lot of sunshine, space, rain and breeze. The flowers bloom when a cold spell is followed by a warm spell.
Waimea on the Big Island meets the criteria and today marks the 20th Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival – with a bunch of activities and programs, focusing on the “Viewing of the Flowers in Springtime.”
The cherry trees in Waimea are in rows fronting Church Row Park. The first trees (there were initially only three) were planted in 1953 in honor of Fred Makino. These trees are the Formosan cherry trees from Taiwan, which produce flowers but no fruit.
In 1912, Fred Makino founded and edited the Japanese language newspaper Hawaii Hochi, which flourished through the Great Depression, two World Wars, dock strikes and political changes. After Makino’s death in 1953, his wife decided to plant cherry trees in his memory.
From these, Parker Ranch gardener Isami Ishihara later propagated more trees. Ishihara then approached Pachin Onodera of the Waimea Lions Club to suggest the trees be used to promote community beautification.
In 1972, led by President Frank Fuchino, the Waimea Lions Club started what was to become a cherry tree park at the County-owned Church Row by planting 20-trees donated by Ishihara.
In 1975, 50-more trees were added in a tree planting commemorating the visit of Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako to Hawaiʻi and to honor the first Japanese immigrants who settled in Waimea.
For two decades, Waimea’s free community festival has showcased the 60-year-old cherry trees planted at Waimea’s historic Church Row Park. The event also celebrates this community’s rich Japanese cultural heritage and traditions at venues throughout town.
Look for pink banners identifying sites — from the Parker Ranch Historic Homes on Māmalahoa to the Hawaiian Homestead Farmer’s Market.
Everyone is invited to spend the day enjoying a lineup of Japanese and multi-cultural performing arts, plus hands-on demonstrations of bonsai, origami, traditional tea ceremony, mochi pounding and a host of colorful craft fairs and delicious foods.
Festivities begin at 9 am in the parking lot behind Parker Ranch Center with special guests, honorees and performances, including bon dancing.
Highlights this year will be an anniversary exhibit honoring some of the festival’s first performers and commemorating its founders – most notably the memory of the late Anne Field-Gomes, whose volunteerism benefited many Waimea organizations and events, including the festival.
Anne Field-Gomes died October 23, 2012 at the age of 84. She brought the AARP’s Tax Aid program to Waimea, served on the Waimea Community Association Board, and was treasurer for the Friends of Thelma Parker Library and the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee. She was a member of the Waimea Outdoor Circle, St. James’ Church and Imiola Congregational Church and the Waimea Pupule Papale Red Hat Club.
The image is this year’s event poster. In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.
Although no one knows for sure exactly where and when surfing began, there is no doubt that over the centuries the ancient sport of “heʻe nalu” (wave sliding) was perfected, if not invented, by the kings and queens of Hawai’i, long before the 15th century AD.
“Surf-riding was one of the most exciting and noble sports known to the Hawaiians, practiced equally by king, chief and commoner. It is still to some extent engaged in, though not as formerly, when it was not uncommon for a whole community, including both sexes, and all ages, to sport and frolic in the ocean the livelong day.” (Malo)
By 1779, riding waves lying down or standing on long, hardwood surfboards was an integral part of Hawaiian culture. Surfboard riding was as layered into the society, religion and myth of the islands as baseball is to the modern United States.
Chiefs demonstrated their mastery by their skill in the surf and commoners made themselves famous (and infamous) by the way they handled themselves in the ocean.
When Captain Cook arrived in Hawai’i, surfing was deeply rooted in many centuries of Hawaiian legend and culture. Place names had been bestowed because of legendary surfing incidents. The kahuna intoned special chants to christen new surfboards, to bring the surf up and to give courage to the men and women who challenged the big waves.
Hawaiian society was distinctly stratified into royal and common classes, and these taboos extended into the surf zone. There were reefs and beaches where the chiefs surfed and reefs and beaches where the commoners surfed.
Lieutenant James King, commander of the Discovery, 1779, recorded in the ship’s log the first written description of Hawaiian surfing by a European:
“But a diversion the most common is upon the Water, where there is a very great Sea, and surf breaking on the Shore. The Men sometimes 20 or 30 go without the Swell of the Surf, & lay themselves flat upon an oval piece of plan about their Size and breadth, they keep their legs close on top of it, & their Arms are us’d to guide the plank, thye wait the time of the greatest Swell that sets on Shore, & altogether push forward with their Arms to keep on its top, it sends them in with a most astonishing Velocity, & the great art is to guide the plan so as always to keep it in a proper direction on the top of the Swell, & as it alters its direct.”
“The surf-riders, having reached the belt of water outside of the surf, the region where the rollers began to make head, awaited the incoming of a wave, in preparation for which they got their boards under way by paddling with their hands until such time as the swelling wave began to lift and urge them forward.” (Malo)
“(T)hey resorted to the favorite amusement of all classes – sporting on the surf, in which they distinguish themselves from most other nations. In this exercise, they generally avail themselves of the surf-board, an instrument manufactured by themselves for the purpose.” (Bingham)
“The inhabitants of these islands, both male and female, are distinguished by their fondness for the water, their powers of diving and swimming, and the dexterity and ease with which they manage themselves, their surf-boards and canoes, in that element.” (Bingham)
Missionary Amos Cooke, who arrived in Hawaiʻi in 1837 – and was later appointed by King Kamehameha III to teach the young royalty in the Chief’s Childrens’ School – surfed himself (with his sons) and enjoyed going to the beach in the afternoon. “After dinner Auhea went with me, & the boys to bathe in the sea, & I tried riding on the surf. To day I have felt quite lame from it.” (Cooke)
Mark Twain sailed to the Hawaiian Islands and tried surfing, describing his 1866 experience in his book Roughing It. “I tried surf-bathing once, subsequently, but made a failure of it. I got the board placed right, and at the right moment, too; but missed the connection myself.—The board struck the shore in three quarters of a second, without any cargo, and I struck the bottom about the same time, with a couple of barrels of water in me.”
Duke Kahanamoku is credited as the ‘Father of Modern Surfing’ and through his many travels, Duke introduced surfing to the rest of the world and was regarded as the father of international surfing. On one trip to Australia in 1914-15, Kahanamoku demonstrated surfing and made such an impression that the Australians erected a statue of him. (Nendel)
Duke was named after his father, who was named Duke after the Duke of Edinburgh who visited Hawaii in 1869 – in 1920, Duke took Prince Edward surfing at Waikīkī.
Today, surfing is thought of as a lifestyle in Hawaiʻi, it is part of the local culture. As an island state, the shore is the beginning of our relationship with the ocean – not the edge of the state line. Surfing expands our horizon, refreshes, rejuvenates and gives hope. It has helped people find harmony in one’s self and the vast ocean. (Hawaiʻi Quarter Design)
As former Hawai’i State governor, George Ariyoshi, stated, “Those of us fortunate to live in Hawai’i are extremely proud of our state and its many contributions to the world. Surfing certainly is one of those contributions. It is a sport enjoyed by men, women and children in nearly every country bordering an ocean. Surfing was born in Hawai’i and truly has become Hawaiʻi’s gift to the world of sports.”
Missionary Hiram Bingham, noted (rather poetically,) “On a calm and bright summer’s day, the wide ocean and foaming surf … the green tufts of elegant fronds on the tall cocoanut trunks, nodding and waving, like graceful plumes, in the refreshing breeze … the natives … riding more rapidly and proudly on their surf-boards, on the front of foaming surges … give life and interest to the scenery.”
The image shows Hawaiian surfing in the early-1800s (culturemap-org-au.) I have added some other surfing images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.
Before the foreigners arrived, Hawaiians had a vocational learning system, where everyone was taught a certain skill by the kahuna. Skills taught included canoe builder, medicine men, genealogists, navigators, farmers, house builders and priests.
The arrival of the first company of American missionaries in Hawaiʻi in 1820 marked the beginning of Hawaiʻiʻi’s phenomenal rise to literacy. The chiefs became proponents for education and edicts were enacted by the King and the council of chiefs to stimulate the people to reading and writing.
By 1831, in just eleven years from the first arrival of the missionaries, Hawaiians had built 1,103 schoolhouses. This covered every district throughout the eight major islands and serviced an estimated 52,882 students. (Laimana)
The proliferation of schoolhouses was augmented by the printing of 140,000 copies of the pīʻāpā (elementary Hawaiian spelling book) by 1829 and the staffing of the schools with 1,000-plus Hawaiian teachers. (Laimana)
The word pīʻāpā is said to have been derived from the method of teaching Hawaiians to begin the alphabet “b, a, ba.” The Hawaiians pronounced “b” like “p” and said “pī ʻā pā.” (Pukui)
In 1831, Lahainaluna Seminary, started by missionary Lorrin Andrews, was created in Maui to be a school for teachers and preachers so that they could teach on the islands. The islands’ first newspaper, Ka Lama Hawaii, was printed at this school.
Hilo Boarding School opened in 1836, built by missionary David Lyman, a missionary. Eight boys lived there the first year. This school was so successful a girls’ boarding school was created in 1838.
Oʻahu’s first school was called the Chiefs’ Children’s School (Royal School.) The cornerstone of the original school was laid on June 28, 1839 in the area of the old barracks of ʻIolani Palace (at about the site of the present State Capitol of Hawaiʻi.)
The school was created by King Kamehameha III, and at his request was run by missionaries Mr. and Mrs. Amos S. Cooke; the main goal of this school was to groom the next generation of the highest ranking chief’s children of the realm and secure their positions for Hawaiʻi’s Kingdom.
The Chiefs’ Children’s School was unique because for the first time Aliʻi children were brought together in a group to be taught, ostensibly, about the ways of governance. The School also acted as another important unifying force among the ruling elite, instilling in their children common principles, attitudes and values, as well as a shared vision.
Kamehameha III called for a highly-organized educational system; the Constitution of 1840 helped Hawaiʻi public schools become reorganized.
William Richards, a missionary, help start the reorganization, and was later replaced by missionary Richard Armstrong. Richard Armstrong is known as the “the father of American education in Hawaiʻi.”
“Statute for the Regulation of Schools” passed by the King and chiefs on October 15, 1840. Its preamble stated, “The basis on which the Kingdom rests is wisdom and knowledge. Peace and prosperity cannot prevail in the land, unless the people are taught in letters and in that which constitutes prosperity. If the children are not taught, ignorance must be perpetual, and children of the chiefs cannot prosper, nor any other children”.
The creation of the Common Schools (where the 3 Rs were taught) marks the beginning of the government’s involvement in education in Hawaiʻi. At first, the schools were no more than grass huts.
Armstrong helped bring better textbooks, qualified teachers and better school buildings. Students were taught in Hawaiian how to read, write, math, geography, singing and to be “God-fearing” citizens. (By 1863, three years after Armstrong’s death, the missionaries stopped being a part of Hawaiʻi’s education system.)
The 1840 educational law mandated compulsory attendance for children ages four to fourteen. Any village that had fifteen or more school-age children was required to provide a school for their students.
Oʻahu College, later named Punahou School, was founded in 1841 on land given to missionary Hiram Bingham by Boki (at the request of Kaʻahumanu.) Bingham gave the land to the mission for the school.
By 1832, the literacy rate of Hawaiians (at the time was 78 percent) had surpassed that of Americans on the continent. The literacy rate of the adult Hawaiian population skyrocketed from near zero in 1820 to a conservative estimate of 91 percent – and perhaps as high as 95 percent – by 1834. (Laimana)
From 1820 to 1832, in which Hawaiian literacy grew by 91 percent, the literacy rate on the US continent grew by only 6 percent and did not exceed the 90 percent level until 1902 – three hundred years after the first settlers landed in Jamestown. By way of comparison, it is significant that overall European literacy rates in 1850 had not risen much above 50 percent. (Laimana)
The government-sponsored education system in Hawaiʻi is the longest running public school system west of the Mississippi River. To this day, Hawaiʻi is the only state to have a completely-centralized State public school system.
The first capital of the kingdom of Hawai‘i, Lāhainā, was also once a bustling whaling town and plantation settlement. To recognize and preserve its rich history, two sets of historic districts have been created in Lāhainā.
The first, the Lāhainā Historic District encompassing about 1,665 acres, was added to the National Park Service’s (NPS) National Historic Landmarks Program in December 1962. Maui County Historic District Boundaries 1 and 2 cover about 65 acres in Lāhainā.
This summary highlights the nine structures that were identified in the Lāhainā Historic District (NPS;) the principal historic structures and sites still visible include the following.
Because these are also part of the Lāhainā Historic Trail, I am using the Lāhainā Restoration Foundation numbering for each – I will be adding to these sites over time and will end up with 62-Lahaina sites (these are the sites noted in the National Landmark Nomination form:)
14 – Court House
This solid, two-story stone building stands on Wharf Street, in the square bounded by Wharf, Hotel, Front and Canal Streets (on the site of the old stone fort.) The Court House Square is famed today for its banyan tree, planted by the sheriff of Lāhainā in 1873 and proclaimed today as ‘Hawaii’s largest.’
After an 1858 violent windstorm damaged government buildings here, a new ‘Lahaina Court and Custom House and Government Offices,’ was completes by December, 1859. In addition to the offices mentioned above, it contained the Governor’s office, post office and ‘a room in which to starve the jury into unanimity.’
16 – Pioneer Hotel
Built in 1901 and therefore not strictly connected with Lāhainā’s most significant era, this well-known hotel is nevertheless a key part of the Lāhainā scene (corner of Wharf and Hotel Streets.)
The description of the hotel in one guide book – ‘a large box of a building … with a wide balcony and decorative wooden railing’ – may be accurate, but it fails to convey the tropical atmosphere of Lāhainā’s first hotel.
18 – Old Spring House
The Old Spring House is said to have been built by the Rev. William Richards in 1823 to enclose a spring to supply water not only for his own dwelling nearby, but for the entire community and for ships anchored off the town.
According to local tradition, a hand pump here was visited by crews of sailors who ‘constantly rolled huge casks for water.’ The Spring House apparently is thus one of the few remaining physical links with the whaling era.
21 – Baldwin House
Completed early in 1835, Dr. Dwight Baldwin and his family occupied this two-story home, built of coral blocks, it until Dr. Baldwin was transferred to Honolulu in 1868 (some sources say the Baldwins lived in the house until 1871.) It is one of the oldest and best preserved missionary dwellings.
Dr. Baldwin, in addition to serving as pastor of the Hawaiian church at Lāhainā and, for a time, as seamen’s chaplain, was a medical doctor; and he was government physician for the islands of Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lāna‘i. Dr. Baldwin’s son, Henry P. Baldwin, was born in this house.
44 – United States Marine Hospital
Around 1842, this hospital was established for sick and injured American merchant seamen. The hospital could accommodate about 60 men; it’s on the landward side of Front Street, between Kenui and Baker Streets, about 0.6 mile north of the Baldwin House.
In 1865, the structure was sold to the Episcopal Church and became a school for girls, and during the 1870s it was turned into a vicarage and served as such for more than 30 years.
48 – Maria Lanakila First Catholic Church
The first resident Roman Catholic priests arrived at Lahaina on April 21, 1846. A church was built on the present site that same year, but it was replaced by a new structure in 1858 (Waine‘e and Dickenson Streets.)
The present concrete church, erected in 1927-1928, was built on the same foundation and is almost a replica of the older frame structure, it is said that the original ceiling was retained in the new building.
50 – Hale Aloha
The predecessor of this building, known as the Hale Halewai, or Hale Lai, is sometimes said to have been built as early as 1823; and it, instead of the Waine‘e Church, is occasionally claimed as the first stone church in the island (behind the Episcopal Cemetery in about the center of the large block bounded by Waine‘e, Hale and Chapel Streets and Prison Road.)
The meetinghouse was in bad condition by 1855 and the church voted to rebuild completely, the walls being ‘too old fashioned to be tolerated in these go-ahead days.’ The present building, called ‘Hale Aloha,’ was completed in 1858 and was ‘the largest sectional meeting house of its time.’ In 1860, the government fitted it out for use as an English Church.
53 – Old Prison (Hale Pa‘ahao)
In addition to ordinary criminals, the authorities at Lāhainā generally had on their hands a number of boisterous seamen who had run afoul of the law in one way or another during their periods of ‘refreshment’ ashore. During the 1830s and 1840s prisoners usually were confined in the fort which stood on the seaward side of the present square (see the Court House above.)
A new prison was started in 1852. The main cell block, built of planks, was constructed in that year, but the wall around the grounds, built of coral blocks from the old fort, was not erected until about 1854 (at the corner of Waine‘e Street and Prison Road.) Prisoners performed much of the labor.
56 -57 -Waine‘e Church and Cemetery (Waiola Cemetery and Church)
For several years after the American Board missionaries reached Lāhainā in 1823, services were held in temporary structures. In 1828 the chiefs, led by Hoapili, proposed to build a new stone church, and the present site was selected (on Waine‘e Street, between Chapel and Shaw Streets.)
The cornerstone was laid on September 14, 1828, for this “first stone meeting-house built at the Islands.” Dedicated on March 4, 1832, this large, two-story, galleried Waine‘e Church was twice destroyed by Kauaula winds and once, in 1894, by a fire of incendiary origin. The present church structure was dedicated in 1953, at which time the name was changed to Waiola.
The adjoining cemetery is said to date from 1823. It contains the body of Keōpūolani, wife of Kamehameha the Great and mother of Kamehameha II and Kamehameha III. Other prominent Hawaiian nobles interred here include Governor Hoapili, King Kaumuali‘i, Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena, Queen Kalākua and Governess Liliha.
I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.