Maui Arts & Entertainment

“Super Disappointing” Time Capsule Unearthed in Kihei

January 24, 2013, 5:22 PM HST
* Updated January 27, 1:20 PM
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*BEFORE READING:* Nothing about this story is true, unlike the recent story about the time capsule that was discovered under the old Wailuku Post Office (1/22/2013).

By Vanessa Wolf

The contents of the unearthed time capsule. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The contents of the unearthed time capsule. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Ralph and Louise Tanaka of South Kihei were shocked to discover a time capsule underneath the dilapidated shed outside their home on Ohina Street.

Their son, Ritchie, unearthed the repurposed metal cookie tin while demolishing the falling-in-on-itself shed on Monday afternoon.

“I knocked the whole thing down in about five minutes,” Ritchie reported. “Whoever built it clearly had no idea what they were doing.”


After removing the debris, the Tanaka family began clearing the area for a small vegetable garden. When Ritchie started turning over the dirt so that his mother could plant some root vegetables and other items, his shovel soon came upon a medium-sized solid object. Upon further investigation, the Tanakas discovered it was a time capsule left by the home’s previous owners, the Price family.


“At first we were real excited, you know,” Ralph Tanaka said, “But then we opened it, and…”

“Super disappointing,” Ritchie chimed in.

Wife Louise nodded sadly in agreement, but declined to speak about the time capsule on the record.

The Price family time capsule letter. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Price family time capsule letter. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.


The time capsule – seemingly assembled in 1997 – contained:

  • A letter from the Price family which clearly indicated they thought at least a century would pass before the time capsule’s discovery
  • The CD case to U2’s 1992 release “Achtung Baby” (sans CD)
  • Three pistachios
  • A Christmas mouse figurine
  • A squirt gun novelty ring
  • A letter from “Tiffanee,” presumably an elementary school student at the time
  • A cheap necklace
  • A pencil
  • One half of a miniature set of dentures
  • A chicken bone

Reportedly, there were also three li hing mui mangoes, but husband Ralph consumed them shortly after the exhumation of the box. He described them as being “pretty fresh” and “maybe a little tough, but not so bad.”

Wife Louise nodded sadly and once again declined to speak on the record.

When asked what they planned to do with the time capsule contents, both Ralph and Ritchie both became notably uneasy. After a solid three to four minutes of staring at one another, Ritchie finally offered, “I don’t know. Throw them away?”

Tiffanee Price's time capsule letter. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

Tiffanee Price’s time capsule letter. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

The new vegetable garden has been planted with beets, kale, Roma tomatoes and Manoa lettuce. The family is hopeful for a bumper crop by late spring.

Realizing their potential contribution to history and wanting to illuminate future Maui residents about life in 2013, the Tanakas plan to bury their own time capsule somewhere on the property as well.

Complete details were not available, but Ritchie suggested the Tanaka family time capsule would include a bottle of Maui Babe browning lotion, news about the Kim Kardashian pregnancy, a tiger shark tooth, and some li hing mui mangoes since they clearly hold up so well against the elements.

For the third and final time, Louise Tanaka declined to comment on the record.

Although additional questions about the time capsule and its contents remain, the Price family – believed to have relocated to Palo Alto, California – could not be reached for comment.

Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (

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