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.

2021 Program Notice

“Life and Light: Wisdom of Hawai’i’s Treasures” special TV program aired in lieu of traditional luncheon program.

Though ongoing COVID restrictions prevented an in-person luncheon recognizing new honorees this year, we were pleased to present a special TV program that aired May 27 and May 30, 2021.

“Treasures of Hawai’i: Life and Light – Wisdom of Hawai’i’s Treasures” brings together the wise sayings and teachings from five Living Treasures of Hawai’i honorees: Robert Cazimero, Puanani Burgess, Lillian Yajima, Rev. Yoshiaki Fujitani, and Nainoa Thompson. Watch it here:

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.

2020 Honorees

Living Treasures 2020 banner

Robert Cazimero
Robert Cazimero
Larry Kimura
Larry Kimura
Carolee Nishi
Carolee Nishi
Sachie Saigusa
Sachie Saigusa

Press release with honoree bios »

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