Members of the Sumie Society of Hawaii celebrated the conclusion of their 15th annual exhibition at Honolulu Hale with a luncheon at Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room at the Ala Moana Macy’s on May 19. The members’ India ink and Japanese art drawings were on display in the courtyard of Honolulu Hale from May 8 to 19.
Sachie Saigusa-Sensei, who will celebrate her 91st birthday this year, presented certificates of achievement to beginner students Michiko Fukumoto and Takako Yajima-Stults. However, her words of encouragement were for all of her students, encouraging them to paint with heart and determination whether they are beginner or advanced students.
Sensei, who immigrated to Hawai‘i from Hiroshima, said she was 18 years old when America dropped the atomic bomb on her home prefecture of Hiroshima 72 years ago. Determined to live, she has survived eight surgeries for cancer and still teaches classes at Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin, Moiliili Community Center, Makua Alii Senior Center, in Wahiawa and in Hilo by mail. Sensei doesn’t drive, so she catches the bus to all of her classes.
She recalled that Sumie Society members began displaying their works at Honolulu Hale in 2003, during the administration of Mayor Jeremy Harris. The three succeeding mayors — Mufi Hannemann, Peter Carlisle and Kirk Caldwell — continued to extend the invitation to the group. She said she appreciated the city’s generosity and thanked her students for making the exhibit possible by sharing their artistic efforts.