Spotlight – A Magnificent Man And His Flying Machine

Spotlight – A Magnificent Man And His Flying Machine

The descendants of Shigeru and Soyo Serikaku, joined by about 200 of their relatives and friends, gathered at Masa’s Cafeteria in Mäpunapuna on April 24 to remember and celebrate the issei adventurer “taking flight” more than one hundred years ago.

Shigeru Serikaku was 13 years old when brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright’s plane lifted off the ground at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in December 1903 for its short “flight.” Halfway around the world in his native Sashiki Town in Okinawa, Serikaku learned of their flight. He was fascinated by the thought that humans could sail a free-flying machine in the sky and began dreaming of doing it himself one day.

Three years later, in 1906, Serikaku immigrated to Hawai‘i. After living on Maui for a time, he moved to O‘ahu and settled in Waipahu. He began attending ‘Iolani School, from which he graduated. Serikaku began working as an automobile mechanic.

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Spotlight=Shigeru Serikaku

A fuzzy, many-generations-old photo of Shigeru Serikaku in front of his plane is one of the few images remaining of the adventurous issei from Sashiki, Okinawa. (Courtesy of the Serikaku family)

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