H.P. Baldwin High School won the Honolulu Festival’s 15th annual Maui Mikoshi Design Contest. A mikoshi is a decorative float unique to specific prefectures in Japan that is carried by groups of celebrants during festivals. The winning cultural artwork will be on display before tens of thousands of residents and visitors in Honolulu during the festival, March 10-11.
High schools in Maui were invited to submit a mikoshi design based on this year’s Honolulu Festival theme: Harmony Over the Ocean, Journey to Peace. “Baldwin High School created a beautifully designed mikoshi that carefully brings together the unique cultures of Japan and Hawai‘i,” said Tsukasa Harufuku, President & CEO of JTB Hawai‘i. “We are so proud of the students for the design elements and showcasing cultural diversity.”
Baldwin High’s mikoshi will be displayed at the Hawai‘i Convention Center on Saturday, Mar. 10, and then carried through Waikiki in the Grand Parade on Sunday, Mar. 11. The Baldwin students involved in creating the mikoshi design won a trip to Oahu sponsored by the Honolulu Festival Foundation, Hawaiian Airlines, the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui, Outrigger Enterprises Group and Maui Ocean Center to showcase their winning piece.
Baldwin’s mikoshi is inspired by the art of origami–an art form that requires time and effort, much like humanity’s journey to peace. To symbolize this year’s Honolulu Festival’s theme, the students incorporated the traditional designs of origami.
Some key components of the winning design include the flowing design and cool color tone reflect the ocean, with the warmer red and orange colors displaying the sunrise and sunset. The darker panels represent the night before the start of a new day. The gold panel depicts origami boats floating on a path of water toward peace as the crane (Japanese symbol for peace) graces the roof panel. The lighthouse shines as the guiding light toward peace through even the darkest night.
Photo courtesy Honolulu Festival