Our Traditions

Yomitan Shinnennkai Parties

The annual Yomitan Club Shinnenkai has always been the biggest event when members looked forward to welcoming the new year with family and friends, to enjoy the food, array of pupus and desserts donated by the generous members, and then await the exciting entertainment planned for all.

All members always looked forward to the highlight of the evening, especially the unique, meaningful, and often hilarious skits (often produced by Mel Horimoto and Tom Uechi) and performed by members of the Club with many created props and colorful costumes. Throughout the years, with these well-planned entertainment for all ages, the average attendance at the shinnen-enkai has been approximately 450+ members, which is a huge undertaking for the enjoyment of all the fun-loving Yomitan Club members.

To attract all generations to attend and enjoy the party, new entertainment were planned such as ballroom dancing for the niseis; disco dancing, hip-hop dancers, karaoke for the the sanseis; and games and prizes for the children, along with a photo booth for picture taking. 

Annual Summer Picnics

Four men leaning on a picnic table
Picnic attendees

Yomitan Club members look forward to the annual summer picnic at Ala Moana Beach Park, areas 8 and 9. Families come out early to find the best spot to pitch their tents, share their potluck dishes, relax, mingle, participate in many games, and cool off with shave ice. Who remembers the shave ice and azuki beans made by Mrs. Nancy China?! Ono! 

As early as 1929, at least 135 members attended the summer picnic. And as the Club continued to grow, so did the size of the picnic, with as many as 460+ in 1977!

Always energetic, picnic-goers of all ages are up to the challenge of games and races! The tandem getta, burlap sack, and rubber tube or rolling coffee can races get teams into the competitive spirit. Pounding nails into a wooden block, hanging donut eating, and the partner egg toss were also a hit. And yes, eggs were donated by Mr. Choko Oshiro, but since the eggs got pretty messy, the water balloon toss took over in later years

Of course, the most popular game is still the vegetable pick-up which brings out the widest range of contestants. Club members young and old collect vegetables, like cabbage, onions, carrots, and potatoes, all scattered on the lawn. 

Historically, the closing picnic game was the tug of war between Waialae (East) and Kalihi (West). So the story goes, one year East didn't want to lose so, they cleverly tied their end of the rope to a nearby tree. It eventually broke off, and guess who won the friendly competition?!

Three pairs of picnic attendees in a foot race where they stand one partner behind the other running in long tandem geta style wooden sandals
Tandem Getta Race
Two racers roll large high rubber tubes across the grass
Rubber Tube Race
Large group of picnic attendees pulling on the end of a long rope in a game of tug-of-war
Man eating a powdered donut dangling from a rope above his head
Donut on a string
Four women and a young boy pose for a photo under trees
Picnic attendees