The Hawaii Japanese Center (HJC) in Hilo invites the community to the grand opening for its special new gift shop, Mukashi, Mukashi aru tokoro ni, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Japanese fairy tales frequently begin with the phrase “Mukashi, mukashi, arutokoro ni,” which is roughly equivalent to the western “once upon a time” or “long, long ago.” The entire gift shop inventory consists of generous donations from the community and each item comes with its own history and story.
“The shop’s name serves to invite the public to take something special home and create a new story of its own,” said spokeswoman Gina Hara Chun.
As an added bonus, the grand opening of the gift shop will include an “International Sale” featuring recent donations of large gilt frames, oil paintings, vintage and antique home décor items and furniture. Also included will be a striking array of Asian dishware, textiles and clothing. There will be Girl’s Day and Boy’s Day T-shirts, kimono and books sold exclusively at the gift shop, such as Hiroo Sato’s “Pahoa Yesterday,” and the reprint of the “English-Hawaiian-Japanese Phrasa [i.e. phrase] Book” published by the Hawaii Benrisha Shuppanbu in 1919.
Gift shop proceeds will be used to support the HJC’s mission, which is to serve as a bridge for diverse generations of the future to understand the triumphs and struggles of Japanese immigrants to the Island of Hawaii through its educational and cultural activities and access to its collections. The HJC is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization located at 751 Kanoelehua Ave. in Hilo.
The public is invited to take a walk down memory lane while getting a head start on holiday shopping. Gift shop hours will be Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The HJC will be closed on holidays. Please call 934-9611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information or to offer gently used or unused Japanese items you would like to donate.