Keiki Will Share Culture, Hula In Japan

Carol Chang
Wednesday - April 28, 2010
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Aiea’s Jonah Yamato (front, center) and Waipahu’s Joshua Nakanishi (front, right) are in training with Reyn Tao (front, left), Kristen Izuo, Mari Alice Shaw, Calais Nobuhara and chaperon Cheryl Parker for the Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention in Fukuoka, Japan, this summer. Photo from Elizabeth Stanton-Barrera of Japan-America Society of Hawaii.

Two West Oahu children have begun monthly training as Junior Ambassadors to the Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention, set for this summer in Fukuoka, Japan.

Joshua Nakanishi of Waipahu and Jonah Yamato of Aiea are among six 11-year-old students picked from 22 candidates by the Japan-American Society of Hawaii to represent the state at the 22nd annual convention July 16-27, hosted by the Fukuoka government.

Nakanishi, who attends Hawaii Baptist Academy, and Yamato, a Pearl Ridge Elementary student, will have all of their travel and touring expenses paid for by JASH and the APCC.

“Because of budget cuts, we could pick only six instead of eight like last year,” said Marsha Yokomichi of JASH. “We wanted to pick 12 - they’re all very bright kids.”

During a full day of interviews and team activities, the judges watched for “a willingness to learn about new cultures” as well as their interaction with others, academic achievement and cultural skills. As representatives of Hawaii, they will first attend a Global Exchange Camp with 220 other delegates from 44 countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region, followed by 10 days with a Japanese host family.

Their parents are not allowed to accompany them, since the exchange is designed, after all, to “promote international relationships between children so that they will become adults with a strong social responsibility for the world.”

They also are learning a group hula to perform at the convention.



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