Japan’s Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko spent the second day of their visit to Hawaii on Tuesday learning about the culture and history of Japanese immigrants to the islands, including visiting a cultural center for them.
The couple, making their first official visit to the United States, saw local children playing wadaiko, Japanese drum, and kendo at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. The facility promotes knowledge of the history and culture of Japanese-Americans, including a section devoted to those who were placed in internment camps during World War II.
The prince, the younger son of Emperor Akihito, and the princess also met current and former students of the University of Hawaii who have received scholarships from the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation at the hotel where they were staying.
The scholarship was established in 1959 by a Japanese-American businessman as a wedding gift to then Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko, according to the foundation.
Prince Akishino and his wife attended a banquet hosted by Hawaii Governor David Ige, a third-generation Japanese American. “I hope this bond of friendship and goodwill between Japan and Hawaii will deepen and last long,” the prince said in a speech.
He also expressed his sympathy for those people affected by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano, which has forced many residents to evacuate since May.
The couple’s visit to Hawaii until Friday is to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Japanese immigration to the islands. They will return to Japan on Saturday.