[Koloa, HI] – A private reception was held at Koloa Landing Resort and Spa to honor Kumu Hula Kaleinani Hayakawa on Saturday November 15. Kaleinani wanted to culminate her 50th anniversary year as Kumu Hula on Kauai with some of her longtime hula students and special friends. Kauai’s recently re-elected Mayor Bernard Carvalho, was in attendance, as a longtime friend. Bill Child, CEO and Chairman of the Board for Poipu Beach Villas, developer for Koloa Landing, also welcomed Kumu Hula Kaleinani among other friends and dignitaries.
The reception at Koloa Landing was held to honor and celebrate Kaleinani’s many accomplishments and relationships that have developed over the past five decades. She has a long-standing relationship with Kauai, the island’s Hula Halau and Kumu Hula, as well as many distinguished public figures. A special hula was created for Kauai and the people by Kumu Hula Kaleinani.
“The “Okyo Rock” (okyo means chant or prayer, and ‘rock’ means contemporary rock music), according to Kaleinani, is a Buddhist chant added with contemporary rock music which is to bring goodness to the world, especially for the people of Kauai. The hula motion was created by Kumu Hula Kaleinani and was performed earlier this year in Honolulu for Honolulu Festival where Kaleinani was asked to produce a hula show at Hawaii Convention Center.
In 1956, Ms. Kazuko ‘Kaleinani’ Hayakawa who trained as a ballet dancer in Japan, came to Hawaii to learn about a Hawaiian dance called hula. Her teacher was renowned Kumu Hula Louise and Luka Kaleiiki of Papakolea, Oahu. Kaleinani became Kumu Hula of Joban Dance Academy which officially opened in 1964 where hundreds of hula girls were taught to perform at Joban Hawaiian Center (name changed to Spa Resort Hawaiians in 1990).
In 1976, Hayakawa opened Japan’s first hula school in various areas in Tokyo and nearby region. During the sixties and seventies, Kaleinani continued her interest in Hawaiian culture, hula and music. In the late 70s, Hawaii Governor, George Ariyoshi honored and recognized her for her work as teacher of hula and Hawaiian culture and arts in Japan.
In 1996, Kaleinani started Kauai Hula Festival which brought hundreds of dancers and her students from Japan to perform with hundreds of hula dancers from Kauai. The Kauai Hula Festival continued for six years and then the festival was moved to Japan. The festival was held in many cities throughout Japan including Fukuoka, Yokohama, Tokyo and Kumamoto promoting Kauai to Japan’s hula community.
This year, 2014, she was honored with a cultural and humanitarian award from Mayor Fumiko Hayashi of Yokohama. On July 9, 2014, Kaleinani was honored at the Grand Hula Celebration for Joban Dance Academy’s 50th anniversary at Tokyo International Forum where she performed her special Kauai Hula.
For the last 50 years Kumu Hula Kaleinani has shared her love of Hula, Kauai and Hawaiian culture all over Japan.