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.
Nominations for 2024
An organization or person may nominate a candidate for this recognition by submitting a nomination form with information on the nominee and up to three letters of recommendation. You may download a nomination form or pick one up at the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii Headquarters Office (see Contact Us). Completed nominations may be submitted in the following manner:
- By mail.
- By fax – (808) 522-9209.
- By email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dropped off during office hours.
The completed nomination must be received by the Living Treasures Committee no later than the close of business on August 1. Presentation is made in February of the following year. For additional information, please call our office at (808) 522-9200.
The Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii honored the following individuals as the 2023 Living Treasures of Hawai’i™ in recognition of their personal and professional achievements and their contributions to the community. The awards program was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki on February 11, 2023.
For more information about the 2023 honorees, see the February 1, 2023 press release.
The 2022 honorees, who were profiled in a special TV program that year, were also recognized at the 2023 in-person program.
- Kenny Endo
- Dr. Patrick V Kirch
- Keali’i Reichel
You may view a complete list of honorees since Living Treasures was established in 1976.
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