Students of Kamehameha Schools Maui are the winners of the Honolulu Festival's 2013 Maui Mikoshi Design Contest.
A mikoshi is a decorative float unique to specific prefectures in Japan that is carried by groups of celebrants during festivals. For the past 10 years, the Honolulu Festival has been extending its reach to the Valley Isle by asking Maui high schools to submit a mikoshi design based on its theme. This year's festival theme is "Transforming the world; Connect! Discover! Let each experience fascinate you!"
Under the guidance of sensei (teacher) Jared Mateaki, students of Kamehameha Schools Maui won the competition among Maui high schools. They earned a trip to Oahu sponsored by the Honolulu Festival Foundation, Hawaiian Airlines, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts and Kahili Golf Course to showcase their mikoshi at the 19th annual Honolulu Festival.
The students will display the mikoshi at the Hawaii Convention Center on Saturday and then carry it in the Grand Parade along Kalakaua Avenue on March 3.
The students of Kamehameha Schools Maui have designed a mikoshi with a world-culture theme that incorporates diverse motifs transcending the ideals of cultural unity.
"The Honolulu Festival is an amazing example of culture within Hawaii and the Pacific Rim, and I am both proud and honored that our students have received this award," said Kamehameha Schools Maui Principal Jay-R Kaawa. "Our students along with sensei Mateaki have put forth outstanding effort into their mikoshi design. We are honored to be part of this wonderful festival, and I know our students are thrilled!"
"Kamehameha Schools Maui has designed an intricate mikoshi embodying creative designs that symbolize the importance of bridging the past cultures and traditions with the modern world," said Keiichi Tsujino, president of the Honolulu Festival Foundation. "We applaud the students and Mateaki sensei for creating a unique design that sends a message of cultural preservation while integrating advancements of the future."