Archives for Soichi Sakamoto

Book Tells 'Three-Year Swim Club' Story, Natatorium's Role

The Natatorium is important not just because it’s an official state war memorial, because of its architectural significance, or because of its unique place in local history and culture. It’s also important because of the people who have swum there. In just a few days, a new book is coming out about some of those people, a fascinating group of youngsters from Maui known as “The Three-Year Swim Club.” Julie Checkoway’s book of that name tells the story of Maui public school teacher Soichi Sakamoto and the impoverished Depression-era sugar plantation kids he coached, at first in an irrigation ditch
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Categories: History and Uncategorized.

Floral Tribute Links Swimming History with Veterans Day

A small, “small world” back story for Natatorium history buffs: The floral display that adorned the front gate of the War Memorial during Monday’s Veterans Day commemoration was provided by Sono Hirose, daughter of pioneer swimmer Takashi “Halo” Hirose. Additional flowers and accompanying lei were hung on the gate after the somber, ceremonial playing of Taps by Johnny Sanchez with Bugles Across America. Sono Hirose’s father Halo was one of Hall of Fame Coach Soichi Sakamoto’s prodigies from Maui, a competitor in many Natatorium meets and one of Hawai’i’s most celebrated swimmer/soldiers. Among other accomplishments, he was a world record
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Categories: Events, History, Images, Uncategorized, Veterans, and Veterans Day.

Now playing…

The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium is not only a memorial to Hawai’i history, but itself a part of that history. The world premiere run of a new play, The Three-Year Swim Club, is a good occasion to remind ourselves that this commemoration of Hawai’i’s war dead was always meant as a living memorial, full of activity and emblematic of the way of life that our military men and women fought to preserve. And as a living memorial, the Natatorium has had a unique role in Hawai’i’s history and the history of competitive swimming. This show, written by Lee A. Tonouchi
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Categories: Events, History, and Uncategorized.