Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants (p. 2 of 4)

Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants (p. 2 of 4)

Photo of the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants

Lori Satoki Kim

Photo of Cherry Blossom Queen Contestant, Lori Kim

Lori Kim

Parents: Eric and Karen Kim

High School: Pacific Buddhist Academy, 2007

College/Degree/Year: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, bachelor’s degree in business administration – accounting, 2012.

“What does kokoro mean to you?”

“Growing up, Kokoro always meant heart. It meant using my heart to always try and show compassion to others, a thought reinforced by attending a Buddhist school for all of my early educational years. It meant acknowledging my heart during both times of highs, like being chosen as a Cherry Blossom Festival contestant; and lows, such as being unable to pass the last tests needed to attain the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) license. Although Kokoro can also be defined as mind or spirit, Kokoro will always mean heart because my heart shapes and defines my mind and spirit. My heart led me to a challenging career because my mind wanted to be constantly tested.  My heart also helped shape my resilient spirit in testing for the CPA license exam. Kokoro is heart; it shapes who we are, defines our actions and guides who we will become.”

Jolyne Chiemi Kurihara

Photo of Cherry Blossom Queen Contestant, Jolyne Kurihara

Jolyne Kurihara

Parents: Gary and Joyce Kurihara

High School: Pearl City High School, 2007

College/Year: Leeward Community College, bachelor’s degree in business management, anticipated in 2019.

“What does kokoro mean to you?”

“I believe that kokoro, feeling from the heart, is truly the unintentional act of giving without receiving anything in return, resulting in a sense of contentment.   Growing up, my grandmother would always comfort me whenever I had a rough day, make sure I had enough food to eat, and pray for our family every night in front of her Butsudan.  Now that my grandma is older and time is slowly ticking, I want to give back that same gift of compassion, which is to be her lifetime caregiver.  It makes me feel good knowing that my grandma will be in good hands for all the things that she had done for me coming from her heart.  She inspired me to create lifelong relationships with those in my life and I hope to continue to share this gift to our community in providing a better future for the generations to come.”

Kirstie Hiroi Maeshiro-Takiguchi

Photo of Cherry Blossom Queen Contestant, Kirstie Maeshiro-Takiguchi

Kirstie Maeshiro-Takiguchi

Parents: John and Stephanie Kirimitsu

High School: La Pietra Hawai’i School for Girls, 2010

College/Degree/Year: University of Hawai’i at Mänoa, bachelor’s degree in environmental design, 2015.

“What does kokoro mean to you?”

“‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.’ – Helen Keller.

Those feelings from your heart, mind, and soul are kokoro. To me, it is a reflection of all the meaningful lessons, beautiful memories and kind people that make me who I am today. I am forever grateful for my upbringing, life experiences, and for the love and support from my family and friends. They have taught me to have an open heart and mind and to humbly embrace the essence of kokoro. I believe to live with kokoro is about being true to myself as I strive to be a compassionate and caring person. With every thing I do and every person I meet, I remind myself to speak, act, and smile from my kokoro and hopefully I will leave a beautiful footprint on others’ kokoro.”

Nicole Keiko Nakamoto

Photo of Cherry Blossom Queen Contestant, Nicole Nakamoto

Nicole Nakamoto

Parents: Nathan and Christine Nakamoto

High School: Roosevelt High School, 2008

College/Degree/Year: University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, bachelor’s degree in business administration – finance and international business, 2012.

“What does kokoro mean to you?”

Kokoro, heart/mind/spirit, should not be thought of as three distinct characteristics but in perfect unison, humbling us to the very core of our being. The heart illustrates our will, the soul connects to our emotions, and the mind permits the right disposition/attitude in which we live. My interpretation of Kokoro is to truly love with all of your heart, soul and mind. Special Olympics has genuinely shown me how to embrace this unconditional love. Those with disabilities often get portrayed in a negative way. My sisters are a blessing in my life that inspires me to look past the disabilities and see the abilities everyone has through love, support and encouragement. This is the same with all lives in general. Everyone in life deserves to love and to be loved. Kokoro exists in all of us and by perpetuating this foundational value we can make a difference in this world.”

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