Gen’s Home Sweet Home

Gen’s Home Sweet Home

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Gen Fujikawa’s Spirit Rests in Wai‘anae Valley Amidst His Lychee and Mango Trees

Alan Suemori

Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

If you wander along the backroads of Wai‘anae Valley, there is an unpaved country lane that will take you to a quiet farm that is always filled with the soft music of laughter and activity. In a secluded corner of the farm within the shoulders of a towering mountain hillside incongruously sits a fishing boat, as if a great tide beached her deep in this ancient valley during a once-in-a-century storm. Guarding the boat are a slender lychee tree and a mango tree that are still too young to bear fruit or provide shade. Together, the mountain, the boat and the two trees keep each other company in the sunlight, like a quartet of old friends who have finally reunited after a long separation.

“My son once told me that all he needed was a boat, a lychee tree and a mango tree to make him happy,” says Linda Fujikawa, a much-beloved and highly decorated professor of Japanese language at Kapi‘olani Community College, who recently retired after a 30-year career in teaching. “With a boat, he could always be on the ocean and he’d never be hungry with a lychee tree and a mango tree.”


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