Maj. Keith Y. Tamashiro has been named commander of the 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery of the Hawaii Army National Guard. Tamashiro assumed his new command, headquartered at Schofield Barracks, earlier this year. He has been a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard since 1989.

As battalion commander, Tamashiro is responsible for the training, administration and preparedness of nearly 400 soldiers who serve as in a variety of capacities.

Tamashiro was born in Chicago, Ill., to Caroline (Arakaki) and the late Stanley Tamashiro. His father grew up in Wahiawa, Oahu; his mother in Keahua, Maui. Maj. Tamashiro earned his B.S. in business management from DePaul University in Chicago, where he was awarded his ROTC commission and was named Distinguished Military Graduate. Tamashiro served his active duty at Schofield Barracks from 1984 to 1988. In 1990 he was selected Officer of the Year of 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery.

In his civilian life, Tamashiro is supervisor of the First-to-Work Program in the state Department of Human Services. Tamashiro is a member of Wahiawa Kyo Yu Kai. He credits his two uncles — Yoshiaki Kakazu, a Wahiawa Kyoyu Kai member, and Charles Arakaki of Maui, both veterans, for his success.



Hui Makaala held its scholarship banquet at the Ala Moana Hotel on Aug. 12. City Corporation Counsel and Hui Makaala member David Arakawa emceed the luncheon program, which was chaired by Janet Toma. Guest speaker optometrist Dr. Jon Ishihara encouraged the scholarship recipients to make a difference in life.

Several of the talented 2001 recipients showcased their cultural knowledge; a few were joined by their siblings. Year 2001 recipient Ryan Nakamatsu and his sister Nadine, a 1998 scholarship recipient, performed a sanshin rendition of the song, “Mensore.” Kerensa Iraha did a “power” karate demonstration, and Maryn Nakasone and sister Marisa played “Onna Bushi,” on the sanshin and koto.

Jolene Okaneku represented the Class of 2001 recipients in expressing their appreciation to Hui Makaala for the $2,000 per student scholarship award which supports their college education. She also thanked the Scholarship Selection Committee, chaired by 1983 Hui Makaala scholarship recipient Gary Nako, for the time they devoted to the selection process. Serving on the committee were Judy Nako, Ryan Okunaga, Lisa Tobara and Jeanne Yamasato.

The 2001 recipients are:

Lauren Aoki, daughter of Neal and Charlyn (Chinna) Aoki. Lauren is a graduate of James Campbell High School where she graduated first in her class of 480. Last year she served as a student leader in the Hawaii-Okinawa Student Exchange Program. Lauren hopes to earn her master’s in business administration from Creighton University.

Kari Furutani graduated from Moanalua High School where she played the clarinet and bass clarinet and played in the band for four years. Kari is the daughter of Mark and Norene (Shimabukuro) Furutani and attends the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she plans to major in elementary education.

Alicia Higa, a Boston University freshman, plans to major in engineering. Alicia graduated from Iolani School where she served as an officer in the Okinawan Club during her sophomore and senior years. She is the daughter of Spencer and Satsuki (Kaneshiro) Higa, both of whom are from Okinawa.

Kerensa Iraha graduated cum laude from Iolani School with a 4.0-plus grade point average and made the Headmaster’s List throughout her high school years. At Iolani, she was a member of the Hokuloa Singers since grade 8. Kerensa plans to major in business at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of Michael Iraha and Jocelyn (Ikeda) Kaneshiro and stepdaughter of Gary Kaneshiro.

Michelle Isa, daughter of Wesley and Janis (Doi) Isa, plans to major in journalism at the UH-Manoa. Michelle graduated with honors from Kailua High School, where she was active in the Japanese Club and hosted Japanese students from Tomita High School.

Iris Nagamine, daughter of Shoji and Michiko Nagamine, is attending the UH-Manoa where she plans to pursue a career in medicine. The McKinley High School graduate excelled in English, math and Japanese and was a Sterling Scholar nominee in the Science and General categories. She also received a National English Merit Award.

Ryan Nakamatsu, son of Robert and Eglal Nakamatsu, graduated from Hawaii Baptist Academy with honors — that, in spite of his many Okinawan cultural activities. Ryan has studied Okinawan dance with Lynne Yoshiko Nakasone Sensei since elementary school and also studies sanshin with Grant Murata Sensei. Ryan is an Information and Computer Science student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Maryn Nakasone, daughter of George and Jenny (Higuchi) Nakasone, graduated from Roosevelt High School, where she excelled in science and music. She is currently attending the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Maryn initially studied koto with Bonnie Miyashiro Sensei and most recently with Jane Kaneshiro Sensei. She has also studied sanshin with Katsumi Shinsato Sensei since 1998. In 1992, she performed in a Children’s Festival in Okinawa.

Jolene Okaneku, daughter of Jerome and Corrine (Sato) Okaneku, is attending the University of Pennsylvania where she plans to major in anthropology and pre-medicine. She graduated first in her class of 284 from Kauai High School. Jolene was one of five Sterling Scholar English finalists. She plans to pursue a career in medicine — the result of her family’s experience with cancer. On Kauai, she career-shadowed several Wilcox Hospital medical professionals to affirm her career goal.

Reid Okaneku, son of Rodney and Gail (Moriyama) Okaneku, is attending Chatman University in Orange County, Calif., where he plans to major in graphic design. The Assets School honor grad has been involved in Okinawan culture since he was 12, playing with the Ryukyu Kobudo Taiko - Hawaii Shibu. He has performed in numerous festivals with the group.

Amy Tamashiro, daughter of Edmund and Kimiko (Arakaki), graduated from Baldwin High School on Maui. She is an elementary education major at the UH-Manoa. Amy is considering specializing in computer graphic arts.

Amy Taniguchi, a graduate of Iolani School, is the daughter of Elsie Yoshimura. Amy served as president of Iolani’s Okinawan Club for three years. She plans to major in education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and eventually earn her master’s degree. She also hopes to join the UH Wahine softball team as a walk-on.