Imperial visit lassos hearts and imaginations - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Imperial visit lassos hearts and imaginations

Keoki Wood Keoki Wood
Big Island mayor Billy Kenoi Big Island mayor Billy Kenoi
Emperor Akihito Emperor Akihito

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIMEA (KHNL) - Paniolos, hula dancers and more fellowship between Hawaii and Japan. Thursday was the final day of the imperial couple's visit to our state.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko enjoyed another day of royal treatment. Their day on the Big Island was filled with exciting events including a stop at Parker Ranch.

"When you think of how the emperor and empress and all the wonderful things they can see and have seen and yet they choose to see parker ranch and parker ranch cowboys, it was really an honor for us," Parker Ranch paniolo Keoki Wood said.

Their majesties took in some calf roping and a Po'o Wai U demonstration. It's found only at rodeos across the state.

For paniolos like Keoki Wood, it's an experience, he'll never forget.

"It was a lot of fun, waiting and anticipating, everybody was getting a little bit anxious and of course with that many cattle and this situation, you never really know what's going to happen, it's not a real controlled environment, but we managed to i think show the emperor and empress what real cowboys do," Wood said.

For Big Island mayor Billy Kenoi, his goal was to show the royal couple the warmth and kindness of the people of hawaii. but at first, he couldn't keep his emotions under control.

"I was very nervous, I've spoke with a lot of people with regards to protocol, when do I stand, what do I do?, how do I shake?" Kenoi said.

But in the end, the ending of the imperial visit to Hawaii lassoed the hearts and imaginations of two peoples coming together at least for a few days.

Paniolos of Japanese descent, played a very important role over the years in the success of Parker Ranch, including Hall of Famer Yutaka Kimura, the son of Japanese immigrants from Yano Village, Hiroshima.

Powered by Frankly