Makiki Christian Church and Moana Pacific Towers

Aloha! It’s been a while since my last blog. With the 15th Annual Honolulu Festival over and post-festival projects completed, it was time for a mini vacation. A week in Tokyo and Yokohama did the trick. It was fun visiting friends and relatives while my husband worked during the days. My husband and I were able to spend the evenings going to our favorite restaurants and dining on Japan’s wonderful cuisine. I am back and ready to continue my quest to write articles pertaining to Honolulu, Hawaii and the Honolulu Festival.

Many of my articles have to do with the multi-cultural aspects of Hawaii. My Japanese heritage makes me lean towards topics that have to do with the Japanese influence in Hawaii. My goal is to expand my knowledge to become better versed in other cultures such as Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Hawaiian. But for now, please be patient as I talk about the things that I know most about.

I noticed on my way to dinner last night the contrast of two separate buildings on Pensacola Street. We passed the Makiki Christian Church and I could see the twin Moana Pacific Towers in its background.

The church was built in 1932 in the shape of a Japanese castle. It resembles Kochi Castle of the city of Kochi in Shikoku Prefecture.

Kochi is the home of Reverend Okamura, founder of the church. There are two golden dolphins atop the castle tower, Christian symbols used in feudal Japan. The church ministered to the Japanese immigrants who came to Hawaii in the late 19th century to work on the sugar plantations.

The Moana Pacific Towers is a condominium project built in 2007. There are 48 floors in each tower, utilizing floor-to-ceiling windows that span from wall to wall. It is a very modern building with panoramic views and great amenities.

I thought it was quite interesting that here we have two buildings so close to each other and yet from two totally different eras and cultures. The design of the church doesn’t really fit into any Hawaiian landscape that I know of. I bet there were many challenges in getting the design approved over 70 years ago. Yet the people of Hawaii accept it without any questions. It's been there for years and hopefully it will always be there. The more I thought about the contrast of the two architectures in such proximity, the more I realized how unique Hawaii is. There are probably many other examples of Hawaii’s diverse society. All of us who live here could make more of an effort to appreciate and understand our history, traditions and diversity. We can take more time to enjoy precious moments and smell the plumerias.

Honolulu Festival

Makiki Christian Church

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