Gakugeikai Celebration


Gakugeikai Celebration & Japan Trip Announcement

On February 23rd, the Wailuku Hongwanji Social Hall buzzed with excitement as over 160 attendees gathered for a highly anticipated event. The occasion was the long-awaited Gakugeikai hosted by the Wailuku Hongwanji Japanese Language School, known as "Gakuen." It had been five years since the last Gakugeikai in 2019, making this year's event particularly special.

In Japanese educational tradition, the Gakugeikai holds great significance as a cultural festival where students showcase their talents through a variety of performances. The term itself, " ," combines three kanji characters: " " (gaku) for "study" or "learning," " " (gei) for "art" or "skill," and " " (kai) for "meet" or "party."

Preparations for this event commenced in January, with dedicated efforts from both teachers and students at Gakuen. Each class crafted unique presentations, ranging from singing and writing Japanese characters, to magic tricks, and acting various skits. Middle school students presented reflections on their favorite Hyakunin Isshu ( ), a classical Japanese anthology featuring one hundred waka poems by renowned poets.

With a total of 60 students showcasing their Japanese language skills, the audience, comprised mainly of students' families, relished the evening's entertainment. The students impressively provided English translations alongside their Japanese presentations, enhancing accessibility and understanding for all attendees.

The evening concluded with a delightful potluck dinner, featuring an array of onolicious dishes and sweets. Gratitude was extended to all families for their unwavering support of Gakuen.

The Gakugeikai proved to be a memorable celebration of talent, culture, and community, underscoring the significance of such events in fostering camaraderie and appreciation for Japanese language learners.

Gakuen hopes to make the event a yearly tradition once again, recognizing its invaluable role in facilitating vibrant and authentic language engagement. Gakuen is currently inviting families with children who are interested in traveling to Japan to submit their Interest Forms at This opportunity is open to all affiliates of Wailuku Hongwanji

As the Community Temple, we are here to serve both temple members and non-members alike. We are today, a 21st century organization