Japan family settles into home away from home

Todd Funasaki
Todd Funasaki
Sue's Fukushima
Sue's Fukushima
Kim Funasaki
Kim Funasaki

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

MAKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A kid's game of Hungry Hippos on the living room floor helped break the ice Tuesday.  It was the first full day in Hawaii for Midori Sue and her three children, house guests of the Funasaki family.

"We really didn't know anything about them until they got here. So we're just taking it slow," Todd Funasaki said.

On Monday, the Maui based group Aloha Initiative flew Sue, her son and two daughters, and 64 other Japan residents to Hawaii for 90 days of R & R.

Like the others, the Sue's Fukushima home was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. The nuclear reactor situation forced them to flee their neighborhood.

Sue said from the little she has seen, "Hawaii looks like a peaceful, restful place." But their vacation started with a bang.

"We had a huge barbecue and Fourth of July fireworks last night. They just really adapted," Funasaki said.

"It was good opportunity to see it so close and the kids were really excited," Sue said.

The Funasaki's will house the Sue's on the ground floor of their Makiki home. They have their own kitchen, living area and bedroom. They can stay for up to ninety days.

The Funasaki's have three children, too, so it's a good fit for both families.

"My son was saying that he wanted to take them to the aquarium. That's on our list. And we mentioned that we might go to the zoo concert tomorrow," Kim Funasaki said.

Midori's husband stayed behind to work at his job near Tokyo. That's where the Sue's will live when they return to Japan.

For now they've found a home away from home.

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