Hawaii-Tohoku TOMODACHI Summit at the University of Hawaii, Manoa


Hawaii-Tohoku Tobodachi Summit was held at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.


This is one of the main programs out of the 10 days for the Japanese students who participated in “Rainbow for Japan Kids Project 2015.


18 junior high school students from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima and 16 students from here in Hawaii joined the summit. They broke off into smaller groups and made presentations about their hometown recovery’s and economic assistance.


The Japnese students had been practicing a Hawaiian song for the summit and they performed the song in front of relevant parties, visitors and media.


The Japanese students (8 groups) and the Hawaii students (4 groups) were divided into 4 separate rooms and made their own presentations.


At the opening ceremony, the representative for each group made a short speech for their presentation so that the visitors can go to their rooms to observe their presentation.


Visitors started to go to each presentation room. It will be interesting to see which group got the most attention!


Each room had a lot of observers.
 She was very nervous practicing her presentation but she smiled in front of the camera.


Even though the students were very nervous in front of a large audience,
they worked very hard to explain about stories of the disaster, how it happened, how they have been recovering etc….
We can not even begin to imagine how horrifying the experiences they must have had such as the noise, the earth’s shaking and the water coming from everywhere.

They repeatedly told us “We were so scared”.

They went through very sad situations such as losing loved ones, having to live separately in a shelter from their homes.
They all love their hometowns. They know what they need to do to help their community and towns. That is to inform other people about exactly what happened on that day and how everyone is doing now and to ask everyone for support.


While they ask for support, they also think very seriously about what they can do by themselves and try to execute those ideas.

Today, not only in Japan but also around the world, people’s attentions and understanding towards food in Tohoku has disappeared and they don’t realize how safe the food actually is now. The students explained about the strict inspection standards and showed people how well they are doing by eating locally grown food.


The students in Hawaii also gave good presentations. They all hoped for Hawaii’s economical growth.
The presentations were very impressive just as if adults had been the ones giving them.

Both the Japanese and Hawaiian students all paid good attention to the presentations that the others had offered. They were really learning a lot from each other.


This year, many groups gave interesting dance performances with their traditional costumes to show their culture!


Everyone truly enjoyed the performances and they clapped and cheered to the performers to show their appreciation.


After the presentations, they had a closing ceremony where Miku, an alumna from “Rainbow For Japan Kids” gave a personal speech as did other representatives telling the students how great they had done for their presentations.

This summit helped the students to get to know different cultures and to.


At the closing ceremony, Hawaiian kids performed Wadaiko (the Japanese drums)
Wadaiko became part of Hawaii’s culture and our life. We are sure that they will continue introducing the culture all over the world.

summit31(photo by Eisuke Iwase)

Finally, they had a photo session at the end of the program.

They have experienced many different things emotionally and physically throughout this program. There is no doubt about them becoming great leaders for the recovering Tohoku communities.

Their facial expressions have truly changed in these 7 days and they are hard to recognize!

We can see their bright futures ahead!

<Reported by mo-hawaii.com

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