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KuMaiKa Hula Japan

Posted on 06.30.17 under Ahumanu, Haruno Terayama, Junko Wong

Halau Napualikolokelani, under the direction of Junko Wong. trained hard for this competition and Haruno Terayama took 1st place in the solo.

Preparation for the performance at the dress rehearsal.




And then she won!

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The group danced auana and kahiko and came in 2nd to Seiko Okamoto’s halau, Na mamo O Kaleinani. I’m biased but I thought our girls were better!


Music for the auna solo and group was performed by Ahumanu: Liz Morales, Marja Lehua, and Kekai Robinson.


Haruno will go on to Maui to compete in the KuMaiKa Hula competition at the Maui Arts Culture Center on Sept 5, 2017. She’s going to have to work hard!

All Japan Hula Championships

Posted on 12.10.16 under Halau Napualikolokelani, hokulani holt, hula, Junko Wong

Junko’s halau, Hālau Nāpualikolokelani, danced two dances before the competition started. It was a “practice” for their upcoming competition in Ho’onanea Hula Competition and KuMaiKa Hula in 2017.


The judges from left: Kehaulani Kekua from Kauaʻi, Chinky Mahoe from O’ahu, Hōkūlani Holt from Maui. Hōkūlani Holt also served as Executive Director for this competition.




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The competition was held at the Komazawa Olympic Gymnasium in Setagaya, Tokyo.

Opening the year with a Song

Posted on 01.14.16 under Hawaiian music, Junko Wong, Kaniala Masoe, Kimo Brehm, Napualikolokelani


Recording music with Kimo Brehm (right) on lead vocal, guitar, bass, ukulele and Kaniala Masoe (left) with the high harmony at Anekona Studios at the Koop.



This song is for a future Napualikolokelani solo or group dance under the direction of Junko Wong.


Staci might dance as well!

Saturday Night in Tokyo

Posted on 11.29.15 under Dustin Wong, Junko Wong, Mamoru Sato, Nakano, Takako Minekawa, Tokyo, Uncategorized

It started in Nakano, a place known for Nakano Broadway, a mecca (wait, is that still a positive description?) for Otaku with its vinyl figures, manga, anime cells, maid bars, maid costumes, and all that good stuff.

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Nakano Sun Plaza reminds me of the Tyrell Corporation in Blade Runner.

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Not nearly as majestic, though — and where are the flying cars? It’s almost 2019…

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We had dinner with Jessie, the daughter of my mentor, Mamoru Sato, a sculptor professor at the University of Hawaii, Manoa that advised me to become an art major. This was one of the biggest turning points of my life. We babysat Jessie and Dustin together — they were born just a couple of months apart.

I worked on Mo’s commissions throughout the years I was a student at UH.

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Mo and Kathleen Sato — perhaps before they married.
(B&W photos ©Peter T. Brown estate)

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Peter Brown (1955-1981) did jump through hoops, but not the usual hoops… I took this photo with his camera, turning the tables.



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Signage in “ura” Nakano. The “ura” parts of the major centers (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, etc) can be some of the most interesting.

Then I drove Jessica to her hotel in Shibuya and Dustin and Takako back to Wakabayashi, Setagaya.


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I think they used this intersection in “Fast & Furious — Tokyo Drift.” Obviously, not going to race in this part of town. There would be more than a few traffic fatalities.



Hachiko intersection. Very interesting on weekends.

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This party bus was empty. Kinda sad on a Saturday night!

Harajuku @ the Honolulu Museum

Posted on 11.21.15 under Cross World Connections, Harajuku, Junko Wong, Lolita, Minori, Pierre Grill, Rendez-vous Recording

Cross World Connections coordinated the production of this exhibition about Harajuku fashion that runs from Nov. 20, 2015 to April 3, 2016.

Before we left the hotel, we shot this photo to test the fashion.
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Minori was a focal point of this exhibition. She is a shironuri (painted white) fashion performance artist.



Minori does a face painting demonstration. This took about 3 hours to complete. She was was very focused and concentrated.

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Sara Oka (far left) and some of the participating Japanese designers.


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Believe it or not, there’s a Lolita movement in Honolulu.

And even a girl with a Blythe. She’s a designer at the museum!

The lovely, Maya Uemoto, Shuzo’s daughter.

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Minori’s almost finished.

Junko with the Tokyo Boppers.



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It was a nice time!

Later that night, went up to the Signature on top of Ala Moana Hotel. The piano player played passionately, eyes closed, with abandon.

At the end of his stint, he asked us: “What is the occasion?” in French-accented English. “Are you Pierre,” I asked. And indeed it was Pierre Grill who I first recorded with when his studio was a room in a small Makiki apartment way back when.

The last time I saw him, his daughter had just been born, 32 years ago…

Then we were joined by the lovely Kazemaru.


And, goodnight…

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