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Japanese Center to host Musical Nostalgia

The Hawaii Japanese Center’s Musical Nostalgia on Saturday, Sept. 14, will celebrate popular Japanese music from the 1930s through the 1950s, with some contemporary songs added to the mix, with special guests and favorite local performers. The event, from 2-4 p.m. at the Sangha Hall in downtown Hilo, is in its 11th year.

The program will be modeled after Japan’s legendary Red & White Song Festival that pits men against women in a lively competition. This year’s event will feature a spectacular Japanese-inspired stage set created by Norman Nakano and Lindy Kunishima. Once again, Hiroshi Suga is the general chairman, and the competition will be emceed by Pauline Fukunaga and Charles Ikeda.

The Red team will include Grace Tomita, Loraine Asakura, Kathy Okunami, Chrissy Sugiyama, Nancy Okimura, Keiko Formanec, Miyako Arimoto, Rena Imoto and Sachi Imaizumi. Richard Kunimoto, Hiroshi Suga, James Shimazu, the Rev. Naohiro Hotta, Kaweo Kanoho, Charles Ikeda, the Rev. Jeffery Soga and Sidney Fuke will compose the White team.

Also featured will be Kaori Yamada, an international performer who has studied voice in Japan, the United States and Italy.

Another addition will be the Waiakea High School Japanese Club’s participation.

This year’s event will be dedicated to the late Stanley Iwashita and Shoko Nagamine, who were popular regular participants. Musical Nostalgia is a fundraiser for the Hawaii Japanese Center, a nonprofit community organization that seeks to “preserve the past to build the future.” Part of the proceeds will go toward the HJC Scholarship Fund, which recognizes qualifying graduating high school seniors from the Big Island.

Tickets are available for a $15 tax-deductible contribution at the following locations: KTA Puainako, KTA Downtown, Honpa Hongwanji, Hilo Meishoin, Puna Hongwanji and at the door on the day of the event. For information, call the Hawaii Japanese Center at 934-9611 or email


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