Shinto and Buddhist blessings were part of the official dedication ceremony of the Honouliuli National Monument — JCCH Education Center. Photo: JCCH
The new education center features photos and artifacts from the Hawaii internment site.
HONOLULU — The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii officially opened the new Honouliuli National Monument — JCCH Education Center on Oct. 22, complete with Shinto and Buddhist blessings and congratulatory remarks from some of Hawaii’s elected officials. Families of former Honouliuli internees were also in attendance to witness the blessing and dedication ceremony.
The new center, located in the JCCH Community Gallery in Moiliili, adjoins the permanent exhibition on the history of the Japanese people in Hawaii and features photos of the Honouliuli Internment Camp, artifacts from the internees, oral history videos and virtual tours of the Honouliuli National Monument.
The center also provides students, teachers and the community an opportunity to learn more about the new national monument, its history and lessons for the future.
“The Honouliuli Education Center at the JCCH will be a gathering place for students, teachers, the local community and visitors to learn about the unique wartime experience of Japanese Americans in Hawaii,” said Carole Hayashino, president and executive director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. “It will be a place for us to reflect upon the lessons of war, civil liberties, peace and reconciliation.”
Since rediscovering the site in 2002, the JCCH has worked to preserve the historical site as a national monument. In addition to successfully preserving the site, the JCCH produced the documentary film on Hawaii’s internment, “The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii,” translated and published two memoirs written by former internees, produced a curriculum guide for high school social studies teachers and distributed the curriculum resources to high schools throughout the state.
The Honouliuli National Monument — JCCH Education Center is the result of a partnership between the JCCH and the Freeman Foundation, Monsanto Hawaii and JTB Hawaii.
“It has been an honor to partner with JCCH on this initiative, and we’re very proud to see the Honouliuli Education Center come to fruition,” said Alan Takemoto, community affairs manager at Monsanto Hawaii. “Monsanto’s commitment to preserving the Honouliuli Internment Camp site began nearly seven years ago when we first purchased the land in Kunia, and we look forward to continuing the momentum of raising awareness about this important piece of history through JCCH’s many education initiatives.”
Admission to the education center is free and open to the public. Regular business hours for the new education center will be Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, a nonprofit organization, strives to strengthen Hawaii’s diverse community by educating present and future generations in the evolving Japanese American experience in the state.
Founded on May 28, 1987, the center has more than 5,000 members and annually connects to more than 50,000 residents and visitors throughout its programs and events.
The Cultural Center also features a historical museum, the Honouliuli National Monument — JCCH Education Center, the Tokioka Heritage Resource Center, the Kenshikan martial arts dojo, the Seikoan Japanese teahouse and a gift shop.
For more information, call (808) 945-7633, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.jcch.com.