Kanazawa gets lifetime kupuna award from governor
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is honoring a 97-year-old woman who once acted as a liaison between Japanese civilians and the U.S. military as a lifetime honorary kupuna.
The award made possible by a law signed this year makes Kanazawa a permanent member of the Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs.
Abercrombie’s office says Kanazawa was picked to receive the honor because of decades of pushing for policies that help Hawaii’s elders and their caregivers.
Kanazawa was born in 1915 on the Big Island. After the attack on Pearl Harbor that pushed the United States into World War II, Kanazawa was hired as administrative secretary to the Swedish vice consul. She inspected living conditions of Japanese prisoners of war and traveled with families to internment camps on the U.S. mainland.