By Philbert Ono

Image search results - "nikkei"
The Museum of Japanese Emigration to Hawaii.
Go right for the front entrance.
The museum is a large, two-story, Japanese-style house donated in 1997 by the family of Fukumoto Choemon (1881-1970) who emigrated to California and became successful and rich enough to build this house after returning to Japan. The museum opened in 1999.
Museum Web site
The museum is a spacious Japanese-style house.
The museum is full of panel exhibits, mementos, artifacts, old books, and scrapbooks. It had a lot more than I had expected.
The museum staff person there could immediately tell that I was from Hawai'i even though I had said little more than "Hello" in fluent Japanese.
He knew immediately that I was from Hawai'i. That made me feel good actually, to know that I still haven't lost my Hawaiian traits even after living in Japan for many years.
Oar from the Hokule'a signed by Nainoa Thompson when they visited Suo-Oshima in May 2007. That was a big event for the island and the Hawaiian community in Japan. I saw the Hokule'a only when they arrived at Yokohama.The Hokule'a is a traditional canoe where they use only the stars, wave motions, and bird observations for navigation like they did in ancient times. Nainoa was a pioneer in resurrecting and mastering this ancient form of navigation. You can read about their adventures on Suo-Oshima here, from May 20: http://pvs.kcc.hawaii.edu/holokai/2007/japan_4_hiroshima.html
People from Suo-Oshima were among the first boatload of Kan'yaku Imin immigrants to Hawai'i in 1885. They emigrated due to dire economic conditions on the island.
All the books in the museum are in open stacks where you can pull it out and read freely. Great for AJA researchers.
The scrapbooks and other delicate materials should be digitized though, something which they haven't done yet.
Old directory of all Japanese and Japanese-Americans living in Hawai'i. Never knew about this book.
The museum also has two rooms full of Japanese school stuff. One room is full of books, scrapbooks, etc., donated by Ichisaburo Nakamura. He was a member of the Hawaii Kyoiku-kai (education council) which developed and published Japanese school textbooks.One of his scrapbooks had group photos of the Hawaii Kyoiku-kai who met every summer. I could recognize some of the faces. They were mainly Japanese school principals/teachers in Hawai'i. I spent a good amount of time in that room alone. Another room displayed old Japanese school textbooks including those published in Japan. I remember some of them from Japanese school and UH Manoa. Amazing to see all of them in one room.
Also see my list of other Japanese-American and nikkei museums in Japan here..
View of Suo-Oshima from the 2nd floor of the museum. The island is quite well populated with houses and fishing ports in many locations.
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