Pahoa Japanese Community Association, Friends and Guests Celebrate 50th Anniversary

The Pahoa YBA Hall was filled with more than 130 current and former Pahoa Nikkei Jin Kai (Japanese community association) members, friends and guests to commemorate the official incorporation of the organization in 1963.

Pahoa Nissei

(seated) Fusae Arakawa, Chieko Sugimoto, Masami Ohara, Hisae Campbell, Doris Kuwahara; (second row) Albert Nishimura, Lefty Kawazoe, Kay Kawazoe, Yukio Yamamoto, Tomiye Kukino; and (standing) Sueko Arakawa, Mitsuo Miyatake, Stanley Oishi, Bernice Tanioka, Julie Uyeki, Jack Oshita, Kikuko Kuwahara and Sumiko Miyamoto

The earliest known organization – Pahoa Nihonjin Kai – was formed circa 1904 by the early Japanese immigrants who settled in Pahoa to work on the sugar plantations. Many started their own businesses and Pahoa Village became a thriving center of commerce. During World War II, the name was changed to Pahoa Zairyumin Kai( Pahoa Resident’s Association). The organization formally incorporated in 1963.

Pahoa Nikkei Jin Kai presently continues to perpetuate the goals and culture of the early forefathers and support the Japanese and Pahoa community with a variety of projects. They conduct the annual bon dance, they prepare mochi for the new year (mochi tsuki), they maintain the YBA Hall – currently used by the Big Island Boys and Girls Club for daytime youth activities – and they maintain the Pahoa Japanese Cemetery located above Pahoa town.

Current leadership includes president Craig Shimoda and officers Jason Hashimoto, Marilyn Sato, and Janet Watarida. Past presidents Stanley Oishi, Glenn Watarida and Robert Sugihara serve as advisors.

Among activities during the 50th anniversary celebration were plantation days games, identification of old photographs in the Lyman Museum collection, and honoring members 80 years of age and older (keirosha).

Part of the program included remarks from State Senator Russell Ruderman and State Representative Faye Hanohano, who were present, as well as a message from Governor Neil Abercrombie read by his Hawaii Island representative Wendy Botelho-Cortez. Messages were read from U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa and Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi.

“We had so much fun,” said long-time member Marilyn Sato. “Friends got re-acquainted. Everyone enjoyed the displays. My favorite moment was seeing Albert Nishimura wear a crown for winning the jun ken po competition.”

For further information on Pahoa’s early history, Hiroo Sato’s book Pahoa Yesterday can be obtained by calling Craig Shimoda at 430-6497.

Pahoa Town Under Surveillance – Street Cameras Installed

Pahoa Village and in particular the town section of it, has long had a reputation of having many problems.  A few years back the Town was a recipient for Federal funding for “Weed and Seed” programs that brought cameras in to town and established laws that would make dealing drugs more punishable.

Well the cameras in town didn’t last long and they really didn’t seem to be very effective in cleaning up the problems that Pahoa was having.

This morning, I just noticed that quietly the county has installed cameras throughout the town:

This camera is set up near Kaleo's Restaurant pointed towards Luquins Restaurant

I’m not exactly sure who is monitoring these cameras and/or who paid for them… but they look pretty high-tech.

It looks like some of them may be powered by solar panels, I just can't tell

I wonder if they are being recorded 24/7 or just being monitored when needed?

This one was in front of Luquins pointing towards Kaleos Restaurant

Some of the cameras looked like they may have the ability to look 360 degrees.

There are two cameras in this picture. I believe the round one w/ the bubble covering it can view 360 degrees.

Let’s see if this solves some of the problems we are having… or just creates more!

Pahoa Village Disc Golf Course First Public Course to be Approved in the State of Hawaii

Pahoa Village Disc Golf Course is the first “public” DG Course to be approved in the State of Hawaii.  Funding has been approved! Pledges and Commitments have been made! Surveying has begun! Sponsors are being gathered!

Looking onto DownTown Pahoa Villlage from Ball Fields. DG Course area is located above Ball Fields. Community/Activities/Senior Center at far right edge of photo; Newly restored Akebono Theater (The State's oldest theater) is Green/White building with red roof; White building center under three Monkey Pod trees is old Fire Station, soon to be renovated as part of Community Center. Olympic Pool out of photo on left.

Perched on a beautiful property overlooking rustic and historic Pahoa Village, the freshly approved “Pahoa Village Disc Golf Course” has tremendous promise to be a premier location for holding World Class events.

One of the few par 3's for the Pros. Plans are to have par3 t-boxes throughout course for those just beginning in the game, or for those wanting to play a shorter more traditional DG course

Plans for multiple tee-pads and pin placements to accommodate all skill levels, along with extended par ranges in the 60’s to 70’s, in a suitably demographical area, should help to build a solid future for the Sport in Hawaii.

Image of tentative Course Layout. This is rough...subject to some probable changes and refining of path/pin details and data. In addition to Holes, this basic image depicts the outer boundry layer and existing roads..some of which will be incorporated into jogging/hiking nature trails.

Pahoa Village, located in the Puna District on the Big Island of Hawaii, has a very unique and Free Spirited character….and is still very influenced by “Old Hawaii” and Traditional ways. Pahoa’s unique Spirit stems from a mix of Asian and Western influence during the early times of Ohia (tree) harvesting for railroad ties in 1800’s, Sugar Plantations in the early to mid 1900’s, and the more recent liberal Surfer, Rainbow and Eco influences of the last 50yrs. Because Pahoa and Puna is projected to grow over the next 10yrs at a faster pace than any other area in the State, improvements to infrastructure are a current focus.

Approximately 55ft elevation change from front to back.

The Park is in a “prime” location, providing the Community an Activities and Senior Center, Youth Facilities and PlayScape, Baseball Fields, Basketball Court, Olympic Pool and Showers, Concrete Skate Park(with more expansion soon!)…..and now the State’s very first public Disc Golf Course!!

Contact information:

Snak Shak Opens in Pahoa Village

I just had a burger from Pahoa’s newest food joint The Snak Shak. It was a pretty good burger from a hole in the wall type of restaurant.

It’s located next to Pahoa Village Cafe in downtown Pahoa.