My name is James from the Community Relations Department.
Did you know that there are many Japanese and Japanese Americans living in Hawaii?
Immigrants who came to Hawaii from Japan in 1868 have been engaged in various activities throughout Hawaii as the “Kenjinkai” (Prefecture Clubs) for generations. Today, I would like to introduce the Hokkaido Club Hawaii to which I belong.
The number of immigrants from Hokkaido is small compared to other prefectures, but there are more than 100 members of the Hokkaido Jinkai (Hokkaido Prefecture Club). We have a long history, established in 1972 at the suggestion of the then governor of Hokkaido.
In 2017, Hokkaido marked Hawaii’s fifth sister-state with a Japanese prefecture. Preceding Hokkaido were Ehime, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Okinawa.
More than 500 guests gathered at the sister states agreement reception as the two states will share resources to create business, cultural and educational exchanges that are mutually beneficial including the mutual understanding of both indigenous cultures of Ainu from Hokkaido and Hawaiian cultures.
The main activities of the association are the above-mentioned projects related to strengthening the friendship between the Hawaii state government and Hokkaido, exhibiting a Kenjinkai booth at the Honolulu Festival every year, promoting tourism of Hokkaido, and supporting companies expanding from Hokkaido to Hawaii.
One of the characteristics of our association is that the members are younger than other Kenjinkai and we actively utilize digital platforms such as our website and Facebook and other social media as our communication platform to spread information regarding our annual events to promote participation.
Summer time is a big deal for us as we get together for our renowned “Jingisukan” BBQ event!
Hokkaido is famous for Jingisukan (also known as Genghis Khan/Mongolian bbq), a dish of Japanese grilled mutton and lamb sizzled to perfection on a special grill with vegetables in front of your very eyes! Unfortunately, we were not able to hold the event this year due to the pandemic but our mouthwatering Jingisukan is an essential component of the Hokkaido culinary experience. We prepare it from scratch starting from purchasing the lamb meat and marinated from a special sauce imported directly from Hokkaido. The event is open to public and anyone can participate including all tourists.
We also put our focus on educational business and support student youth group and school trip activities from Hokkaido.
That was a very quick rundown of the main activities we do but hopefully it peeked your interest.
There are also other Kenjinkai doing various activities throughout the year, so be sure to check out the websites when planning a trip to Hawaii.
If possible, we look forward to seeing your at the Honolulu Festival next March!
▼Hokkaido Club Hawaii Homepage
▼ Hawaii Hokkaidojinkai Official Facebook page