Grant Kagimoto

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - October 05, 2005
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Grant Kagimoto rolls up his sleeves and hauls around equipment on a Saturday morning in preparation for the 10th annual Discover Moiliili Day festival at Honolulu Stadium Park Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Kagimoto was one of the original planning members of the community volunteers and businesses who discussed the festival - which was supposed to be only once. But for the past 10 years the Hilo-born entrepreneur’s role has changed from helping set up the craft fair, to coordinating logistics for Glen Grant with his scary storytelling event, to old-fashioned manual labor.

“One thing that I’ve done every year is to design the T-shirt,” says Kagimoto, 57, who appreciates every facet of Hawaii since he lived in Okinawa from elementary through high school.

The Ala Moana resident runs two businesses in Moiliili. One is his production company Cane Haul Road, which silk screens T-shirts. His specialty is designs reflecting Hawaii’s local culture, one of which, about local genealogy, depicts a composition notebook with the question, “What school you went?” and the follow up, “You know my cousin?”

Kagimoto’s second business is the King Street retail store Mango Seasons, where he sells his designs of Cane Haul Road on men’s T-shirts, towels and notecards. He shares the store-front with Colleen Kimura, creator of Tutuvi apparel, which features hand-painted tropical designs on women’s clothing.

“I’ve had my business for about 25 years in Moiliili, and I feel an obligation to give back to the community that has supported my work,” says Kagimoto, who also volunteers as the first vice president of the Moiliili Community Center.

With MCC, which thrives as a Japanese language school and community center, one of his goals is to create programs for the early baby boomer generation who are healthy and will be seniors soon so they are “occupied, excited and learning. We are not a group that wants to sit on our laurels.”

The Discover Moiliili Festival features a historic exhibit, food booths, crafts and entertainment including the Royal Hawaiian Band. Advance orders will be accepted for the soon-to-be-published 400-page book, Moiliili - The Life of a Community. The Church of the Crossroads is the site of the Spooky Tales storytelling contest.

“We are also going to try to reach out to the tourist market,” explains Kagimoto. “It’s cultural tourism, so the visitors can see our neighborhood. We have a unique community, and we wanted to share that with the greater Honolulu community.”

-Linda Dela Cruz

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