Malia Swartz, works on clearing foreign vegetation from a kilo patch, or loi, at the Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kānewai in Manoa.

Passing traditions on to the next generation

By Kent Nishimura

Every first saturday of the month, the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Nuiakea Hawaiian School of Knowledge opens it’s Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kānewai to the public for a chance to learn about Hawaiian history, lore, culture and traditional farming practices.


Kahiau Costales, 11, of Ewa looks out towards the sunset after releasing a lantern for his late grandfather as lanterns float out to open waters. (© Kent Nishimura)

Tōrō Nagashi in Honolulu

The idea of honoring ones ancestors is deeply rooted in Hawaii’s local culture. Emphasized in Confucian philosophy, paying respect to one’s ancestors is an aspect of filial piety and is deeply rooted in Chinese culture; it is believed that the relationship and obligations of children toward their parents remains intact even after death.

Traditionally held on the final evening of a Bon Festival the Tōrō Nagashi, or Lantern Floating, is based on the belief that the lanterns will guide the spirits of the departed back to the other world, or in the case of the Hawaii Lantern Floating, that the…


Kapiolani Community College’s annual graduation ceremony on The Great Lawn in 2009. (Courtesy Flickr)

Initiatives and Funding driving push for Graduation at Hawaii Universities and Colleges

Between Summer and Fall of 2014 and the Spring of 2015 Kapiolani Community College has awarded over 2,200 degrees and certificates to students, but only 446 of those students are expected to participate in commencement exercises this Friday at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Since 2010, there has been a steady increase in both enrollment and awarding of degrees and certificates to students in the University of Hawaii Community College system; Over the next decade those numbers are only expected to continue to increase.

While numbers don’t lie, they also don’t completely tell the entire story.

KCC recorded an enrollment of…


KCC Students and Faculty participated in a walk-out from classes as a show of support to protestors opposing the Thirty Meter Telescope construction atop Mauna Kea.

Campus walkouts draw hundreds of telescope opponents from across UH system

More than 60 Kapiolani Community College students and faculty participated in a walkout on April 13 to protest the planned construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island.

The walkout, which was held in conjunction with a similar walkouts at each University of Hawaii system campus, emptied onto the KCC Great Lawn for a rally and featured music performances and speakers who voiced their opposition to the building of the $1.4 billion TMT project.

“The students you see up here (rallying) are going to end up inheriting our responsibilities of taking care of…


RockSat-X launches from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Va., Sept. 21, 2012. (Photo by NASA)

UH Campuses Collaborate on Rocket Satellite Project

Three Kapiolani Community College students who are collaborating with other students from across the University of Hawaii system on the RockSat program will have a chance to see their hard work among the stars in August.

“We’re building a payload that will be used to collect UV spectrometer data (from) above the atmosphere,” explained team member Jackson Poscablo.

Students from Kauai Community College, Honolulu Community College, Windward Community College and KCC working since September of 2014, as part of a larger two year program funded through a $500,000 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The purpose of the…


Kapiolani Chancellor Dr. Leon Richards speaks before 168 students and faculty at a private screening of Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated historical drama “Selma” which chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via nonviolent demonstrations and a series of marches from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama.

By Kent Nishimura for Kapio

Growing up in rural Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Leon Richards knew the world as a significantly different place than it is today.

“During this time, Alabama and the southern states, were segregated,” Richards said. “The races were separated (and) at this time there were only two races: you were either white, or colored. There was no in-between.”

The Kapiolani Community College Chancellor spoke before 168 KCC students and faculty at a Consolidated Theatres’ Kahala 8 theater for a private screening of Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated historical drama “Selma.” The film chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King’s campaign to…


J. Kyle Keener is seen after his presentation at Keener Vision Studios on September 12, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

GeekFest 2014: APADers Descend Upon Philly

Editor’s note: GeekFest is an annual gathering of photographers. In 2015, it was recently announced, Oakland will play host to GeekFesters. In prep for that, we wanted to share Kent Nishimura’s fond recap of last year’s event.

The title of this piece sums it up pretty well. The most recent GeekFest, #GFPhilly, went down in the City of Brotherly Love. Each year brings something new … I am told. Because, truth be told, I’d never attended a GeekFest before. Last year it was Minneapolis. I saw photos on Facebook, listened to memories recounted, and heard Melissa and Eve talk about…


U.S.S. Arizona survivors Donald Stratton, Louis Conter, John Anderson, and Lauren Bruner, talk with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in the Arizona Memorial’s shrine room.

Looking back on covering December 7 Ceremonies at Pearl Harbor

A version of this post originally appeared on my blog, here.

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy…” opened President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech imploring congress to declare war in Japan. It’s considered to be one of the most famous American political speeches of the 20th century. Within an hour of its delivery Congress passed a formal declaration of war against Japan and officially brought the U.S. into World War II.

73 years ago, on that fateful day, young lives were cut short, and members of what would become known as fabled American television journalist…

Kent Nishimura

Los Angeles Times Staff Photographer. SoCal transplant by way of Hawaii. Alumni: The Denver Post, Tampa Bay Times, The Gazette, The Honolulu Advertiser.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store