The Moiliili Triangle Park TORII GATE SCULPTURE & ARTS Repainting Story

The Moiliili Triangle Park TORII GATE SCULPTURE & ARTS Repainting Story

Article by: Steven Teruya

In August 2022, I reached out to chamber member, Wayne Kato to request assistance in the repainting of the Torii Gate. Wayne is a past chair, 2010-2011 and president of Painters Warehouse, Inc.

By way of background, the HJCC Charitable Corporation [HJCC-CC] has an “Adopt-A-Sculpture Agreement” with the City and County of Honolulu. The HJCC-CC is responsible for the maintenance of the Torii Gate under the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts and assume all cost associated with its maintenance.

The Torii Gate was first repainted in 2006 after its installation in 2000 to commemorate the HJCC’s 100th Year Anniversary. It was a gift from the Hiroshima Prefecture governments and the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Wayne Kato coordinated the repainting and solicited bids from six painting contractors. Raymond’s Painting Company [RPC] was one of those six asked to bid. At that time, Raymond Shimamoto, owner of RPC offered his company’s services at no cost. Wayne shares that Raymond felt it was a good thing to do… the right thing to do.

Fast forward to the present…Wayne was approached by two large mainland companies wanting to do business in Hawaii. The company names are Arkema, Inc., (a specialty chemicals and advanced materials company) home-based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and APV Engineered Coatings (manufacturer of paint used for torii gate called “Never Fade”) from Akron, Ohio.

Kynar (raw material supplied by Arkema, Inc) is the main ingredient that make this paint

(“Never Fade” manufactured by APV Engineered Coatings) unique. Never Fade is water based and is also warranted to protect the torii gate & it’s vibrant colors for 15 years.

Arkema’s representative, Ron Partridge made arrangements to visit Wayne in Honolulu. Ron’s plan was to view and select a “high profile” commercial, military, or educational facility to be repainted with Never Fade as a demonstration of its ability to protect and maintain color in Hawaii’s harsh environment. Wayne took Ron on a tour of a number of facilities and the last stop was the Torii Gate. Upon seeing the gate, hearing about the history of the gifted gate, and it’s significance to the community as a gift of peace, Ron immediately decided that he would strongly recommend the Torii Gate. APV agreed with Ron’s selection. Two representatives from APV, Ernie Porco and Brandon Bail were instrumental in getting the paint made and custom tinted for shipment to Hawaii. All paints and shipping costs for this project were donated by APV.

Wayne once again contacted six contractors for this project. RPC’s owner, Raymond “Kaz” Shimamoto, passed away in March 2021 at the young age of 83. His son, Rodd Shimamoto is the current President of the company. On behalf of his mom, Naomi, and the rest of the Shimamoto ohana, Rodd like his father, donated his company’s services in the repainting of the Torii Gate to honor his late father and says… it’s a good thing to do…the right thing to do.

Wayne then approached the City and County of Honolulu’s curator of collections, Marion Cadora who led the effort to secure the necessary permits working with several city departments Coordinating all of this was Painter’s Warehouse VP of Sales, Tusi Tupuola, a valued member of Wayne’s team. Painting started in early April and Tusi monitored the project from start to completion. He performed testing of the surface and coatings and visited the job site throughout the process to ensure the proper prep work, training in application, proper number of coats in collaboration with the painters from Raymond’s Painting Company.

The HJCC-CC is forever grateful to all the contributors of the repainting of the Torii Gate and when you past the Moiliili Triangle Park and see the Torii Gate, you will have a better appreciation for those that have cared for this beautiful sculpture and the meaning behind it.


Steven Teruya
President & CEO

Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce
Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce Charitable Corporation

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