The Emperor and Empress of Japan to Visit Oahu and Island of Hawaii

Big news for the State of Hawaii. The Emperor and Empress of Japan will be stopping over in Hawaii for a few days. This will be the last leg of their Canadian trip. This is a big deal for many local people in Hawaii because there are so many Japanese Americans who live here. Many of our grandparents and great grandparents immigrated from Japan to work on the sugar and pineapple plantations in the late 1800's. There is a strong connection between Japan and Hawaii because of this. The royal family has made periodic visits to Hawaii in the past. It is an honor to have them return once again. Like many other states, Hawaii has been deeply affected by the downturn in the economy. Our state relies heavily on tourism and the economy has decreased our visitor count. The number of Japanese visitors has also decreased sharply due to the global frenzy caused by the H1N1 virus. Hawaii is hoping that the royal visit from Japan's Emperor and Empress will encourage the Japanese visitors to come back to Hawaii.
The younger generation in Japan and Hawaii may not understand the reverance that is bestowed upon the Imperial Couple but according to Japanese law they were at one time considered gods. I remember seeing an old footage of the Japanese people with their heads bowed very low, avoiding direct eye contact with the royal family during a procession prior to World War II. Things have certainly changed since then but the Imperial Family continues to arouse the curiosity of many people. My mom used to tell me about how it was a big deal when the current Emperor married a commoner, the first time ever. I was told that Empress Michiko was so popular that many Japanese families named their daughters Michiko in the 1960's. You gotta give credit to the Japanese and their trends!
Let's hope that the Imperial Couple has a great time in Hawaii. I doubt that they will have time to walk on the beach and enjoy our beautiful sunset...but you never know. Aloha!

Honolulu Festival

No comments: