Notes by June Arakawa:
(1) The Tamagusuku Sonjinkai was established 52 years ago After the organizers consulted with and received the approval of Shushichi Omine, one of their elders, Kiyu Arakaki, was given the task of spearheading the membership drive. The initiation and first New Year’s party were held at the home of Rizen Kohatsu, the club’s first president.
(2) In the early years of the club, membership was limited because people generally did not own cars and found transportation a problem. Although there were many people from Tamagusuku living in Waipahu and Kahaluu, the difficulties in traveling to Honolulu prevented them from joining the club. Also, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, many were too poor to afford the $2.50 dues. It was not until after Worl War II that membership showed a notable increase. The economic situation had improved with the result that more people owned cars and telephones, making transportation and communication easier. There was also an influx of Tamagusuku people from the outer islands to Oahu. Yet the earlier years were not without some compensations. Because they were held at members’ homes, the New Year’s parties then were more intimate than those later held at teahouses and restaurants. The annual picnics, too, were then every special occasion–since members rarely went on outings to the countryside, it was a treat for them to go on trucks furnished by the club or by train to places such as Nanakuli, Kailua, and Koko Head.