Aloha Mrs. Rose Nakamura

Published July 22, 2020 by

In the midst of this unforgettable 2020 year, our Hongwanji community lost a great person. On Friday, July 10, we bid a sad farewell to Mrs. Rose Nakamura, a staunch Moiliili Hongwanji member. She passed away peacefully at Maunalani Nursing Home surrounded by her family. Rose Nakamura would have made 92 years old the following day on July 11th.

Here is a brief bio of Rose Nakamura’s life. She was born in Hilo, Hawaii to Shizuo Kiyosaki and Masae Inouye. Rose started off teaching PE at Hilo High School on Hawaii Island and later at UH Hilo. The entire family consisting of husband Paul, sons Paul Jr. and Neil and daughter Gwen moved to Windward Oahu where they attended Kailua Hongwanji Mission (now known as the Windward Buddhist Temple). She went on to becoming a program officer at the East-West Center helping hundreds of students coming from all over the world to attend UH Manoa. Many described Rose as always welcoming and a mom to all of the students. The family home moved from Kailua to Kaimuki (Kaminaka Drive) where they transferred to Moiliili Hongwanji.

After retiring from the East West Center, she co-founded Project Dana with Mrs. Shim Kanazawa in 1989. She served as the Project Dana’s Founding Administrator until her retirement in 2017. Project Dana is a volunteer group that helps the frail and elderly by taking them to appointments, helping with grocery shopping, providing companionship, and more. Last year in 2019, Project Dana celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Throughout the 30 years, Rose Nakamura has been very humble and wanted no recognition. Instead, she wanted the volunteers to get all the recognition and credit. Rose epitomized true Dana, selfless giving.

Rose Nakamura served the Hawaii Kyodan well and over the years served many positions at the Hawaii Kyodan and Moiliili Hongwanji Mission. She was very active in the Buddhist Women’s group at all levels – Moiliili Unit, Honolulu United, Hawaii Federation and World Federation. She enjoyed playing the ukulele with the other members of the Happy Strummers.

Rose loved all sports and always had a close heart with the UH Manoa sports. She would always support her daughter Gwen, who is the UH Band Director, whether it would be by attending games or just watching it on TV. Grandchildren Erin Warner and Drew Nakamura and sister Iris Namaye remember her most fondly.

The Hawaii Kyodan Funeral Service is currently being coordinated by the Office of the Bishop and Moiliili Hongwanji Mission. Due to the current situation of COVID-19, a private memorial service for only the immediate family members will be held. The family is planning to hold a public ceremony at a later date next year.

We bid a very fond aloha to Mrs. Rose Nakamura. Domo arigato gozaimashita!

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