Maui Mayor Celebrates Second Infancy on 60th Birthday
By Wendy Osher
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa celebrates his 60th birthday next month, a significant age for men observed by some Japanese traditions.
The kanreki is a celebration that recognizes a person’s second infancy, based on a 60-year calendar cycle. The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii describes the occasion as a celebration of an individual’s personal calendar returning to the sign under which they were born.
In preparation for the upcoming celebration, friends on Maui and visitors from Japan folded 1,001 red foil paper cranes to commemorate the occasion.
Japanese guests of The Aloha Initiative, who were on Maui for a respite stay following the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and radiation events, assisted with the project. Organizers say they did so in appreciation of Mayor Arakawa’s role in serving as Honorary Chair of the home stay program.
The birthday celebration is being organized by the Friends of Alan Arakawa under the direction of event chairs Jo Ann Ridao and Jan Shishido.
Organizers say it is also customary for the celebrant to be given a red hood and wear a red vest—items usually worn by babies—to symbolize a return to birth.
While chairs and tables will be provided to senior citizens and people with disabilities, all other attendees are asked to bring a mat or chair to sit on.
The event also includes dinner, activities, and entertainment headlined by Da Braddahs, Marty Dread, The Shamrocks, and Alika Nakooka.
The celebration is planned for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Yokouchi Pavillion. Cost is $25. More information is available by calling 244-6042.