Monsanto Celebrates the Grand Opening of the Honouliuli National Monument at JCCH

On Oct. 22, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (JCCH) officially opened the new Honouliuli National Monument – JCCH Education Center. Funded in part by Monsanto Hawaii, the exhibit will adjoin the Center’s permanent exhibition on the history of Japanese in Hawaii and feature photos of the Honouliuli Internment Camp, artifacts from the internees, oral history videos and virtual tours of the Honouliuli National Monument.

The grand opening event featured Shintō and Buddhist blessings and remarks from some of Hawai‘i’s elected officials, including U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and former U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa. During the opening ceremony, Monsanto presented a $20,000 donation to the JCCH to further ensure that the history and education of Honouliuli is perpetuated.

image2“It has been an honor to partner with JCCH on this initiative and we’re very proud to see the Honouliuli Education Center come to fruition,” said Alan Takemoto, community affairs manager at Monsanto Hawaii. “Monsanto’s commitment to preserving the Honouliuli Internment Camp site began nearly ten years ago when we first purchased the land in Kunia, and we look forward to continuing the momentum of raising awareness about this important piece of history through JCCH’s many education initiatives.”

In total, Monsanto Hawaii has committed $100,000 to the JCCH for the implementation of its Honouliuli Education Initiative. The donation will help to fund a variety of educational activities including a documentary of the campaign to establish the Honouliuli National Monument, community outreach on each island, supplemental materials for the Honouliuli Education Center and school tours for Hawaii’s keiki.

In 2007, Monsanto purchased approximately 2,300 acres of agricultural-zoned land in Kunia, knowing that the remnants of the Honouliuli WWII confinement site was located within its property lines, and has since gifted 116 acres of its land for the new Honouliuli National Monument. An additional 22 acre donation is currently undergoing a subdivision process, which will pave the way for legal transfer of the land to the federal government.

“At Monsanto Hawaii we are not only dedicated to preserving and protecting the land, but we also have a social responsibility to perpetuate Hawaii’s culture and history,” said Dan Clegg, business and operations lead at Monsanto Hawaii. “Monsanto understands the significance and importance of the Honouliuli Internment Camp site and we are committed to preserving it for future generations.”