Mahalo for supporting Red & White Talent Taikai


By Kari Kiyota, Event Committee Chair and Membership Development Committee Chair

あけましておめでとうございます!  Happy New Year HJCC Members! 

Ringing in the new year for many was very different this year than in years past.  Similarly, HJCC also celebrated the new year in a different way.  The Membership Development Committee was proud to present, the inaugural HJCC Red and White Talent Taikai on Thursday, January 14th via Zoom.  Each year, NHK airs their annual Kohaku Uta Gassen, or the Red and White Song Festival where performers from the Red (female) team and the White (male) team battle it out on stage.  In homage to NHK’s Kohaku Uta Gassen which is also loved by many in the islands, the HJCC Red and White Talent Taikai was created. 

Lynn Araki-Regan headed up the Red Team and Eric Takahata headed up the White Team.  With around 60 people in attendance, we were all treated to a wonderful show.  The performers from the Red Team were Stella Chow of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, singing her rendition of Mou Koi Nante Shinai (I won’t fall in love again) by Noriyuki Makihara, Yumi Takedastu of the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui singing Kawa no Nagare no Yoni (Like the flow of a River) by Hibari Misora, and our very own Red Team Captain and HJCC member, Lynn Araki-Regan singing Seto no Hanayome (Seto Bride) by Rumiko Koyanagi.  For the White Team that was comprised of all HJCC members, we had Alan Kinuhata singing Tsunami by Keisuke Kuwata, Wesley Yamamoto singing Noren by Hiroshi Itsuki, and Nate Gyotoku singing Sweet Lady of Waiahole by Bruddah Waltah.

Our emcee of the night, Keith Regan and the team captains had such great chemistry, their friendly, but competitive banter made for a great show aside from the performances.  Both teams and all six performers did such a great job, but only one team can be the winner!  Was it the Red Team or the White Team?  Each member of the audience was able to cast their vote, and they crowned the RED TEAM as the winners!  The audience also had the chance to vote for their favorite individual performance and they selected Yumi Takedatsu as the winner!  Prizes for both the team and individual winners were generously donated by Chair of the Board, Jason Ito. 

On behalf of Blake Isobe and myself, we’d like to send a very big mahalo to the committee members  Keith, Lynn, Eric, Ed Hasegawa and Brandon Miyagi along with HJCC staff, Mina Sakai for helping to bring this new event and idea to life. 

Congratulations to the Red Team and Yumi Takedatsu on being named the winners of the first HJCC Red and White Talent Taikai! 

Wishing everyone a very healthy, happy, and prosperous year of the Ox!   

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