‘Nippon Maru’ Returns to HiloJanuary 6, 2018, 2:36 PM HST (Updated January 7, 2018, 8:40 AM)
The Big Island of Hawai‘i Gannenmono Committee celebrated the 150th anniversary of Japanese immigrants in Hawai‘i with the return of the Japanese training sailing ship, Nippon Maru in Hilo on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.
The port of call marks the beginning of year-long events commemorating 150 years of Japanese immigrants to the State of Hawai‘i.
The ship is operated by the National Institute for Sea Training out of Tokyo.
Hālau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua greeted the cadets with hula.
Rose Bautista from Hawai‘i County Mayor Kim’s office presented the crew with a commemoration that said:
County of Hawai‘i awards this Certificate of Commemoration to welcome the visit of the Nippon Maru to the Port of Hilo. We are delighted that the masters, cadets, and crew of this magnificent four-masted training ship, nicknamed the “Swan of the Pacific Ocean,” have honored us with your presence. We wish you a safe and enjoyable voyage.
Awarded this 6th of January, 2018.
Harry Kim, Mayor County of Hawai‘i.
The Gannenmono, or “first year men,” arrived in Hawai‘i from Yokohama in 1868.
These immigrants were the first of what would become wave after wave of Issei, the first generation. Working mainly as laborers or in the sugar cane fields, by 1924, so many Japanese had come to the islands that they constituted over 40% of the population.
The crew of the ship will be doing a beach cleanup tomorrow along Hilo Bay beginning at 10 a.m. and the public is welcome to come out and assist.
The ship will remain in Hilo until Tuesday, Jan. 9, when it will sail out of the Bay with the cadets on board manning the ships masts. The last time the ship was in Hilo was in 2005.