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8th Annual Tsunami Story Festival

"Unstoppable! The Spirit of Hilo"

May 23, 2010 Sangha Hall, Hilo, HI


Collage for festival
"Unstoppable! The Spirit of Hilo" collage for 8th Story Festival

The theme this year was "Unstoppable! The Spirit of Hilo! It is that spirit of optimism and perseverance that describes the family-owned businesses in Hilo that survived two tsunamis and a war and are still family-owned, operating and prospering today. The businesses are symbolic of the twenty plus such Hilo businesses that have persevered.

Here is a description of the nine featured stories:

  1. I. Kitagawa and Co., the story of the family automotive business that started in 1905
  2. KTA Super Stores where "You're someone special!"
  3. Ebesugawa Sisters Flower Shop where the sisters have shared the happy and sad occasions of all of our lives
  4. Koehnen's Interiors have stayed on course on tsunami-prone Hilo's Front Street
  5. Hilo Products has grown from selling kai choy and pineapple to being the largest produce wholesaler on Hawaii island
  6. HPM Building Supply, taken over by the military during the war and wiped out by the tsunamis of 1946 and 1960, supplying the rebuilding needs of Hilo
  7. The harrowing Seaside Restaurant story, wherein the original Seaside was destroyed in Keaukaha
  8. The S. Tokunaga store, described as the outdoorsman's "candy store"
  9. A mom and pop store on Kamehameha Avenue that blossomed into a major meat wholesaler, Kulana Foods.

















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Last Revised July 2010