Maui News

H.P. Baldwin Wins Maui Mikoshi Design Contest

March 6, 2018, 11:52 AM HST
* Updated March 6, 11:55 AM
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H.P. Baldwin High School is the winner of the Honolulu Festival’s 15th annual Maui Mikoshi Design Contest. The students’ winning cultural artwork will be on display before tens of thousands of residents and visitors in Honolulu during the festival, March 10-11.

Maui mokoshi 2018.

A mikoshi is a decorative float unique to specific prefectures in Japan that is carried by groups of celebrants during festivals. 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.”

The students of H.P. Baldwin High School involved in creating the mikoshi design won a trip to Oʻahu 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 High School created a beautifully designed mikoshi that carefully brings together the unique cultures of Japan and Hawaii,” said Tsukasa Harufuku, President & CEO of JTB Hawaiʻi. “We are so proud of the students for the design elements and showcasing cultural diversity.”

Baldwin High’s mikoshi will be displayed at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center on Saturday, March 10, and then carried through Waikiki in the Grand Parade on Sunday, March 11.


High School’s mikoshi (see art design below) 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, “Harmony Over the Ocean, Journey to Peace,” the students beautifully incorporated the traditional designs of origami.


Below are some key components of the winning design:

  • 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.
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