Monthly Archives: January 2008

Written Comments for Senate Concurrent Resolution 1

Written Comments for Senate Concurrent Resolution 1
Urging the United States Postal Service to issue a postal stamp honoring the World War II Japanese-American Nisei soldiers.
January 18, 2008

      I rise in support. 

      A United States postal stamp honoring the World War II Japanese-American Nisei soldiers would be a great tribute to the sacrifice they went through for the sake of future generations.  They faced racism in their own country, but despite this, they valiantly fought to protect it. 

      My uncle Roy Okubo was a member of the 522nd Artillery, which was attached to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  He is the younger brother of my grandma Bessie S. Karamatsu.  I am very proud of his service that helped to better our country and world. 

      I am a friend of Senator Nadao Yoshinaga who is a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  After his service in World War II, he became a lawyer and elected official, and helped change the discriminatory laws in Hawaii.  He routinely visits me and we talk about politics, a passion we both share.  It is a dream come true for me to have a mentor who was a politician from the 1954 Hawaii Democratic Revolution and a veteran of World War II.  We met in 2002 and have been friends ever since. 

      Finally, I have friends in the 100th Infantry Battalion such as Robert Arakaki, its current president.  I got to know a number of them by volunteering at their events and hanging out with them during lunchtime at Club 100.  When I am with them, I am always inspired to shoot for my dreams and do the best I can do. 

      I am so honored to have these heroes in my life.  I am who I am because of them.  We must do all we can to continue their legacy so that their sacrifice is remembered eternally.  Having a United States postage stamp honoring them would be a wonderful tribute. 

      Thank you.

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Happy New Year! Have a safe and happy 2008!!

On the last Saturday of 2007, after I helped to make mochi at Jodo Shu (Buddhist), I picked up kadomatsu and mochi for my home, business office, and state capitol office for good luck.

On new year's eve, I spent time with my family and relatives at my uncle's house in Kapahulu.  We ate good food and popped fireworks for good luck.

On new year's day, my family and I attended Jodo Shu's new year service.  We prayed to my Karamatsu grandparents at Jodo Shu, where they have a niche.  We stopped by Shinnyo-en (Buddhist) and attended the ending of their new year's service.  Then we went to Diamond Head Cemetary to pray to my Sakai grandparents.  After that, we went to the Daijingu shrine (Shinto) to get blessed by the Shinto reverend and get omomori (good luck items) for ourselves and our homes.  I got omomori for my offices.  Next, we stopped at the Izumo Taisha shrine (Shinto) to get blessed and more omomori.  We ate dim sum at the Chinese Cultural Plaza.

Finally, my family watched the University of Hawaii (UH) football game against University of Georgia.  Although UH lossed, I was happy to see how hard they tried.  Just to get to the BCS Sugar Bowl was a feat in itself.

I already typed out my 2008 resolutions in October and November of 2007, so I have already been hard at work before 2008 arrived.  All my bills for the 2008 legislative session were submitted in October 2007 and are being researched.  I have been working hard on my business.  I did some volunteer work for community organizations.  I sent out a brochure to the entire 41st State House district in December 2007.  I am revising my campaign plans and preparation for 2008.  I am working on the non-profit organization for Peace Day Hawaii.  I am slowly chipping away and writing more content for my novel.  I have been exercising about four times a week, two hours a day, trying to stay “cut.”  I spend more time with my family.  I hang out with my friends when I have a chance. 

I am starting to feel normal again after my DUI incident, but I have increased my determination a 100 times stronger, which is nuts because I was already goal-driven before my incident.  In my life as an athlete, student, and now politician, I was often the underdog because I wasn't the biggest, smartest, or most talented, but I always tried my best.  I create my strategies for all my goals and work at them non-stop.  My strategies are in my head everyday, every hour, even when I am running or lying in bed.  I have a hard time sleeping because I am always thinking.  If only, we didn't have to sleep.  With the adversity in my life, I am determined to do the best that I can.

I wish all of you a safe and happy 2008!  Cherish your loved ones.  Pray to those who passed away and pray to all your ancestors, even if you never met them.  Knowing that you think about them, means a lot.  Help others and when you fall, maybe someone will be there to help you up.  Enjoy life.  You never know when your time in this world will end.  Time is limited.  Therefore, go all-out in all your dreams!

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