‘Pan-Pacific Union’ was the local expression of the larger ‘Hands-around-the-Pacific’ movement, which embraced all countries in and about the vast western ocean – the future theatre of the world’s greatest activities. (The Friend, May 1, 1918)
The projected calling of a Pan-Pacific conference to meet in Hawaiʻi, the establishment of a Pan-Pacific commercial college in Honolulu and the project of a Pan-Pacific peace exposition here after the war was launched by a number of influential business men. (Mid-Pacific Magazine, 1918)
A Pan-Pacific commercial college was considered one of the best means to bring Hawaiʻi into closer communion with the countries of the Far East while the exposition and general conference would create a sentiment in the countries of the Pacific to make the Pacific independent in its resources and make Hawaiʻi a real cross-road of the Pacific. (Oregon News, June 26, 1918)
Folks selected a site along the Nuʻuanu Stream, in the heart of Honolulu, near two waterfalls, as the nucleus of a Pan-Pacific Park; here all resident races of the Pacific might re-create their national life and customs.
It turns out the site was at the former home of the former Queen, Liliʻuokalani. Here, once stood the grass house of the parents of Hawaiʻi’s last Queen. As a child she played and bathed in the pool below the falls. (Some call it the Queen’s Bath.)
At first, the Japanese offered to make of Liliʻuokalani Gardens a bit of old Japan. With more land, they suggested different nations around the Great Ocean come for the 1920 Exposition. (Mid-Pacific Magazine, January 1917)
During initial discussions of the proposed Pan-Pacific Exposition came up, Mr Ishii announced that he would provide a Japanese tea house section that would be a credit and honor to his race in Hawaiʻi.
In the garden, and tea houses, there should be no intoxicants of any kind, and only the real lovers of simple pleasures, and those who enjoy the beautiful in nature, would be welcomed. (Mid-Pacific Magazine, August 1918)
Ishii’s Garden in Pan-Pacific Park, a bit of old Japan in Hawaii, was looked upon as one of the most charming spots in Honolulu. The entire grounds were formerly known as Yoraku-en—the Pan-Pacific tea garden.
The garden was planted with Japanese grass, and the landscape gardening there is patterned after the Land of the Cherry Blossoms. Buildings, too, are designed along Japanese lines. It was Ishii’s plan to will the park and garden to the Pan-Pacific Union as its headquarters.
For ten years, Ishii has been improving these remarkable Japanese gardens. They adjoin the Liliʻuokalani Park, one of the most beautiful bits of landscape in Hawaii. The building of a native Hawaiian village is contemplated, adjoining both Liliʻuokalani and Ishii’s gardens, so that in time all may be thrown into one Pan-Pacific park.
Here, perhaps each Pacific race in Hawaiʻi may have its individual club house and grounds. Mr. Ishii is a public benefactor in pointing the way for better understanding and co-operation among the men of all races in Honolulu. (Pan-Pacific Union, March 1923)
Glance up the Nuʻuanu Stream, beneath the finest (and most forgotten) avenue of monkeypod trees in the Island. It was a bit of Japan at its fairest, and there, far up at the end of the arching of green, were two tumbling white waterfalls.
There are many beauty spots in Hawaiʻi, but none more beautiful than those that congregate about that section of the Nuʻuanu Stream, flowing through Honolulu, where it was proposed to hold the Pan-Pacific Peace Exposition after World War I.
Their philosophy was, work hard enough and long enough for the thing you want, and you will get it; and so any good idea may be made to grow into a reality.” (Mid-Pacific Magazine, August 1918)
Unfortunately, there are no records of the Pan-Pacific Union holding the exposition (like a World’s Fair) in Honolulu. The City later acquired the Liliʻuokalani Park – it’s now a small, streamside passive park. Waikahalulu Falls are still there, too.
The City notes, portions of this garden were once the property and favorite picnic grounds of Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaiʻi. She later donated her land to the City and County of Honolulu to be used for the public’s enjoyment. This developing garden is devoted to native Hawaiian plants. (C&C)
Records do note that the Nagoya Pan-Pacific Peace Exposition was a world’s fair held in Japan from March 15 to May 31, 1937.
It was intended to promote industry, transportation, education, science, construction, architecture, social welfare, tourism, fine arts and crafts. The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) erupted only two months after the Exposition closed.
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