Karleen C. Chinen

In April 2020, Karleen Chinen retired as the Editor of The Hawaii Herald after 16 years of leading the semimonthly publication that covers Hawaii’s Japanese American community. She is currently writing a book chronicling Hawaii’s Okinawan community from 1980 until the present. Chinen previously served as a consultant to the Japanese American National Museum and was part of the Museum team that took its traveling exhibition, From Bento to Mixed Plate: Americans of Japanese Ancestry in Multicultural Hawaii, throughout the neighbor islands of Hawaii and to Okinawa for its international debut in November 2000.

Updated April 2021

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Remembrance - Remembering Akira Otani

In those sweet pre-pandemic days that we can barely remember now, one of my favorite stops every so often was the United Fishing Agency office, located a few yards from the ocean’s edge at Pier 38, to meet with the company’s chairman, Akira Otani. Even in his late 90s, he was still going in to his office for a few hours a day. When he stopped driving, his daughter would pick him up at his home every morning, drive him to the office and then come back a few hours later to take him home. The outbreak of COVID-19 put an end to that. For the health and safety of their elderly parents…

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Three Books, One Message

Never Too Young to Learn Why We Should Always Strive for Peace Last year, International Peace Day (Sept. 21) was observed just a few weeks after the 75th anniversary commemoration of the end of World War II. That milestone in history is one that we adults need to share with children. But, how can parents or teachers tell their school-age youngsters this important period in history without boring them with facts and figures and faded photographs? How can we help them understand why we should always choose peace over war and how, even in our own lives, we each can make a difference by trying t…

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Hawaii’s AJAs Play Ball - Part 2

Read Part 1 >> Bang for the Buck AJA baseball also enjoyed the support of the business community, which willingly donated trophies and prizes to the winning teams. In the 1936 O‘ahu championship game, Seikosha Watch Store owner Genbei Watanabe donated a huge silver trophy to the victor, Wahiawa, which had defeated its town rival, Pālama. Other businesses supported AJA baseball as well: Standard Oil Company, where Asahi player Tsuru Mamiya worked, sponsored the Japanese-language broadcast of the game on KGU radio. Some companies and individuals donated game or tournament trophie…

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Hawaii’s AJAs Play Ball - Part 1

If the Reverend Takie Okumura viewed the game of baseball as a vehicle for “Americanizing” Hawaii’s Japanese community, the founder of the Makiki Christian Church underestimated the pure, unadulterated draw of the game. The recorded history of Japanese American involvement in baseball in Hawaii dates back to 1899, the year Okumura formed a team made up primarily of boys who boarded at his Okumura Home. He named the team Excelsior, and they captured the youth league championship in 1905. The Riverside League, made up of four ethnic teams from the ‘A’ala area, was…

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“Under The Blood Red Sun”: The Hawai‘i-made World War II Film is a Valuable Story for All Ages

How do we keep Hawai‘i’s World War II story alive so that its lessons continue to resonate for generations to come? It’s a tough question that anyone involved in passing on history likely struggles with, be they educators, museum directors, war veterans and their descendants, or parents. One of the most hopeful efforts is the newly released film, Under the Blood Red Sun, which is based on the novel of the same name by children’s book author Graham “Sandy” Salisbury. In the early 1990s, the Hawai‘i-born Salisbury had set out to write a book about the …

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