The Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival is a collaboration between the Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences, Inc. (HIMELE) and various planners for Japan to present Japan-based Hawaiian steel guitar players and their groups to Hawai‘i in a public performance showcase. The festival brings together legendary steel guitarists from all parts of Japan for a celebration of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. The Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival is an integral part of the annual Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week that is presented on the Royal Grove Stage by the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikīiī.
The Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival is one of a series of Hawaiian Steel Guitar festivals produced and presented by the Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences, Inc. (HIMELE) and its partners.
All festivals are presented to increase awareness and foster interest in the Hawaiian Steel Guitar, an instrument important to Hawaiian music and culture. All these festivals are free and open to the public and made possible through grant awards and donations from Hawai‘i State agencies, corporate sponsors and private individuals, supplemented by in-kind contributions and volunteer resources. Please visit HIMELE's website to see how you can help support our festivals.
The 2022 Festival will be held at the Royal Hawaiian Center's Royal Grove Stage on Friday, July 15, 2022 as a part of the 2022 Waiīkī Steel Guitar Week. The Festival will be dedicated in memory and honor of Japaneses steel guitarist Tadashi Arakawa from Yokohama, Japan. Tadashi was one of the festival's planners who unexpectedly passed away earlier in 2022 and was never able to see his planning come to fruition because all festivals were paused during the Coronavirus pandemic.