Sayonara from the Oimachi Train Station

Bus station at Oimachi Train Station; leaving for Haneda Airport: Garrett Santos, Carrie Ann Muraoka, Bev Muraoka, Carol Yotsuda, Sarah Peters, Doric Yaris, Suelyn Kaohi, PG Gampong, Dylan, Thomas Nizo. Photo by Puni Patrick

by Guest Blogger Carol K. Yotsuda

All photos by Carol K. Yotsuda unless otherwise credited

Thirty-three travelers from Kaua`i traveled to Japan to perform in Doric Yaris’ dream show titled Kaua`i In My Heart, held August 17 at the Oimachi Tokyo Kyurion Hall. It’s been in the works for two years, was supposed to happen last year, but the earthquake and tsunami made it impossible.

Carol Kouchi Yotsuda, on the road with the performers, sent briefs and photos from Japan via iPhone and iPad, capturing some behind the scenes. Read from most current entry back to the beginning.

NEW POST: August 19 — 3 p.m. Last Day for Nine of Us

8:00 a.m.:  We met to review plans for the day. Two tahiatian kumu — Nick Kaneakua and Pua Aveaoru headed back to Fugisawa where we gave a concert last night to teach Tahitian workshop. Japanese were eating up their performances last night but I still can’t grab the image of these slim conservative Japanese ladies jiggling their hips and knees —  but they are a determined lot…most significant about the halau dancers were their flirtatious eyelashes and glances as they danced — very alluring.

Others are packing up all their concert gear — a huge job! I am packing up and checking out as nine of us will fly out of Haneda tonight at 11 p.m. and arrive on Kaua`i at 2:30 p.m. same day…wondrous date line…so Aunty Bev Muraoka gets to celebrate her birthday twice. The other night, we had birthday cake for Fred Aki.

The rest of the day we are on our own, let loose on Tokyo to wreak havoc on this very stringent and orderly system of trains, shopping, getting around, so I thought I would do what we did not have time for on last trip here and that would be to take the Tokyo loop train which circles around and around like a train track train and we will hop on and off at each town to get a flavor of that particular town — some will focus on music town (Garrett Santos), Akihabara electric town, Harajuku, town for the youthful generation, and on and on….

I have six minutes more before checkout, so I’d better say “Sayonara from Japan!” After I leave this hotel, I will not have Internet wifi, so won’t be able to send more posts.

All in all, Doric Yaris is a big name in this enormous hula community, and what he has done on this five-years-in-the-planning dream trip is AMAZING, with a lot more cooking around in his head.

I appreciate having had the chance to share their journey.

Gotta go! Gotta go!


AUGUST 19 — 8 a.m.: meeting at Toyoko-inn, which is our hangout in Shinagawa.

10 a.m.: leave on long bus ride with 32 stuffed into bus made for 20 followed by van with costumes for two shows

Noon: In the blazing hot sun on a stage that had to be watered down with water hose, Doric, his Halau, Nick Kaneakua and his Tahitian dancers plus musician Fred Aki, DJ Yaris, Garrett Santos, Sarah Peters, and Doric put on an unplanned surpris