In 2019 we were so fortunate to get to travel to Osaka and participate in the Hankyu Umeda Hawai’i Fair alongside 11 other vendors from Maui County. The largest out-of-state Hawaiʻi fair, exhibitors sell food, apparel, gifts and jewelry items all made in the islands. Consumers attend the event to shop and enjoy Hawaiian-themed entertainment.
Each July approximately 200,000 Japan consumers attend this event, sponsored by Hankyu-Umeda Department Store. Advertising of the event via newspaper, website, radio and blogs reach over 1.5 million customers in the area.
While 2020 was to be my first year exhibiting as an artist in the gallery, due to the pandemic, the fair was run as a virtual event instead. So it was great to see the event become an in-person showcase again this summer!
With the Olympics (2020/2021) being held in Japan and surfing being introduced as an inaugural sport, Hankyu has decided to have a theme of “surfing” for this year’s fair. The marquee focus is on Eddie Aikau, Hawaii’s legendary surfer, lifeguard and Hokulea crew member.
It is so amazing to see my prints and a collection of apparel displayed at this prestigious event. The Hankyu Hawaii Fair is a tremendous opportunity for Hawaii companies to connect directly with Japanese consumers who love our culture.
Although we were unable to attend in person, we are very excited to see my art travel and be shared across the Pacific. Crossing my fingers it goes well and I get to go back to Osaka for the event next year!