Living Treasure honoree Nola Nahulu, with many lei, and Mitsuyo Saito (photo by Ruth Tokumi)

2013 Living Treasure Nola Nahulu with Mitsuyo Saito. Photo by Ruth Tokumi.

Living Treasures of Hawaii™ recognizes and honors individuals who have demonstrated excellence and high achievement in their particular field of endeavor, and who, through continuous growth, learning, and sharing, have made significant contributions toward enriching our society.

The program was inspired by the Living National Treasures (Ningen Kokuho) of Japan. In 1976, Bishop Yoshiaki Fujitani instituted the program within the Hongwanji at the suggestion of Paul Yamanaka, a local insurance executive. Initially established to honor those involved in the perpetuation of the island’s distinctive cultural and artistic heritage, the recognition has been expanded to include contributions by individuals in all areas of endeavor.

Important note on cancellation of 2021 Living Treasures of Hawaii recognition event

Since 1976, every year, we joyously honor the Living Treasures of Hawaii™ who demonstrate excellence in their fields and make significant contributions towards enriching our society. However, given the growing concerns around COVID-19, the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii has made the difficult decision to forgo accepting nominations for the 2021 Living Treasures of Hawaii and cancel the in-person recognition luncheon program.

Today more than ever, our community needs those individuals who selflessly give of themselves to preserve and perpetuate our culture and build a more harmonious and compassionate society for all. We encourage the nomination of these lights within our community during the nomination period next year and look forward to recognizing these Living Treasures in 2022. Updates will be shared on this page.

Nominations for 2022

Please note that nominations are paused due to the cancellation of the 2021 Living Treasures of Hawaii recognition event. When nominations are opened for the 2022 recognition, an organization or person may nominate a candidate by submitting a nomination form with information on the nominee.

For your reference, here is a sample nomination form (this form may be updated for 2022 nominations). The deadline for the Living Treasures Committee to receive completed nominations will likely be August 1, 2021. Presentation is traditionally made in February of the following year.

We will update this page when the nominations window opens. For additional information, please call our office at (808) 522-9200.

Living Treasures 2020 banner

Roberto Cazimero

Roberto Cazimero

Larry Kimura

Larry Kimura

Carolee Nishi

Carolee Nishi

Sachie Saigusa

Sachie Saigusa

Press release with honoree bios »

Living Treasures Fund

A special fund supports the Living Treasures of Hawai’i™ program. You can easily make a donation online.

Donate to the Living Treasures Fund

Honorees

You may view a complete list of honorees since Living Treasures was established in 1976.