Musical Extravaganza

In conjunction with events throughout the state, Maui Matsuri will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first group of Japanese immigrants to Hawai’i. In commemoration of this event, the country of Japan is sending over the four-masted training ship Kaiwo Maru to join in the festivities. Standing at a height of over 361 feet and possessing a crew of over 150 sailors, the ship will sail into Kahului Harbor at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2nd. The community is invited to wave their welcome from one of the harbor’s many vantage points as the ship enters port.

On May 4th, the crew will take part in Maui Matsuri's Musical Extravaganza. The evening honors the multi-cultural plantation heritage that brought the Japanese to Hawai’i. Entertainment from the Hawaiian, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese cultures will be shared. The evening ends with the audience participating in a community Bon Dance which honors ancestors.


5:45 pm -- King Kekaulike Jazz Band
6:15 pm -- Maui Taiko (Japanese Drumming)
6:24 pm -- Welcome Remarks - Kathy Collins, Mayor Alan Arakawa, Kumu Hokulani Holt Padilla
6:35 pm -- Maui Taiko – (Japanese Plantation Song - Hole Hole Bushi)
6:40 pm -- Maui Chinese Martial Arts Academy (Chinese Lion Dance)
6:50 pm -- Portuguese (Chorus Singing)
7:00 pm -- Kaiwo Maru Crew Members (Martial Arts)
7:10 pm -- Dance International Production (Filipino/Korean Dancing)
7:20 pm -- Frank De Lima – (Comedy)
7:40 pm -- Kaiwo Maru Crew Members (Musical Presentation)
7:50 pm -- Honoka & Azita (Ukulele Duo)
8:05 pm -- La Galeria (Filipino Dancing)
8:15 pm -- Uluwehi Guerrero & Hālau Hula Kauluokalā with special guest Lynn Araki-Regan
8:25 pm -- San Francisco Awakko-Ren transition to Obon area
8:40 pm -- Obon dancing with Kaiwo Maru Crew Members (Everyone encouraged to participate in the dance)


The first group of immigrants who traveled from Japan to Hawaii have come to be known as the Gannenmono, or “first-year arrivals.” Their journey to the islands in 1868 laid the ground for the many generations of Japanese who would come in the following decades. In commemoration of their arrival 150 years ago, the Maui Matsuri committee and many other organizations around the state have banned together to curate a year-long celebration across all the islands. Maui Matsuri is honored to host the official Maui portion of these events through its many festival activities.

About Kaiwo Maru

Kaiwo Maru is the most famous sailing ship in Japan, along with the Nippon Maru. Kaiwo is Japanese for “King of the Sea”. She has lived up to this name by providing the means for arduous traditional sea training. Kaiwo Maru was built in 1989, replacing the former KAIWO MARU which was engaged in the training of merchant marine cadets for over half a century.

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