Time Therefore Remained Idle without Light Extruding Acceptance
Mixed Media 14.38" x 10.75"
In Japan, a faceless ghost is known as a Noppera-bō. Stories about Noppera-bō began to appear in the Edo period, and subsequently, through Japanese migration, resurfaced in Hawaii. In 1959, the Honolulu Advertiser reported the first appearance of Noppera-bō in Hawaii. In the Honolulu neighborhood of Kahala, a woman was seen sobbing unconsolably in the restroom of the Waialae Drive-In Theatre. When another lady attempted to console her, the weeping woman turned her head ever so slightly, as if in slow motion, to reveal a featureless visage with no eyes, nose or mouth. In horror, the lady burst out of the restroom to find the nearest security guard. However, when the security guard arrived at the scene, the faceless woman was nowhere to be found. It was presumed that the Waialae Drive-In was being haunted by something from its neighboring cemetery. Demolished in 1984, Waialae Drive-In Theatre is now the location of a storage facility.
Softly Encompassing the Womb
Mixed Media 57.75" x 54.75"
The Dole Cannery, which is located on the big island of Hawaii, was built above a heiau, an ancient Hawaiian temple. In the 1980s, a school bus full of children crashed in the same area where the heiau was once located. Manifestations of the bus diver have been reported appearing in the Dole Cannery Signature Theater #14, and in the restroom next to the theater, it is said that you can hear the voices of the children who perished there.
It Would Have Been Selfish to Ask for More
Mixed Media 16.5" x 12.5"
It took 2 days, but when he awoke from his illness, Katsumi shared his account of the scariest evening in Mokuleia. As he was pulling in his net, he saw that a young Hawaiian girl was trapped inside it. Once he freed her, she leapt towards him, grabbing his neck and crawling up his back. Unable to speak Hawaiian, Katsumi assumed she wanted a piggyback ride, so he ran up the beach, and she clung tight to him and hit him with each step, urging him to go faster as she laughed maniacally. He felt her hot breath on his ear, and her long tongue licked the sweat from his neck. Weakening, Katsumi fell to the ground and the girl flipped him over, ripping his shirt off. He attempted to get away from her, but she was strong and he was helpless, frozen in fear. Katsumi's vivid final memory of that night was of the girl's head arching back as she recoiled her tongue and released the most evil laugh. According to Hawaiian legend, Mokuleia was home to the Mo'o, a supernatural creature known to take the form of a lizard god or a beautiful woman.
Mo'o, a supernatural creature known to turn into a lizard guard or a beautiful woman.
Some Would Travel Farther Than Intended
Mixed Media 24" x 19"
Swimming lessons at the War Memorial Complex, Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii.
THE MAKAMAKAOLE GULCH MAN
Mixed Media 30.5" x 22.13"
His origin has been told and retold over Boy Scout campfires at Camp Maluhia on the island of Maui for several generations with diluted variations. In my time, the legend of the Makamakaole Gultch Man had ties to the fact that a man escaped prison and was last spotted in these camp grounds. A search party was sent out but no trace of the man was ever found. Then, this is where the twist begins. The Makamakaole Gultch Man had to amputate his leg and replaced it with a wooden stump. You could hear him approaching you from a distance, through the stillness of the night, the stomp of a shoe accompanied by the heavy sound of a piece of wood being dragged through the grass. I believe this story was invented by Scoutmasters to keep adventurous children inside the camp grounds at night.
Well It Goes On
Mixed Media 31.5" x 23.5"
Late at night at Konawaena High School during the days when teachers lived on campus in bungalows, the still night was broken by loud cheers from the school gym. Irritated, 6 teachers approached the source of the noise. The sound of a full game in progress carried within the building including
lights emanating through the roof ventilation system. One of the six teachers was a P.E. teacher with a key. Upon opening the door, all pandemonium stopped within the darkened interior. When the lights were turned on there were no evidence of anyone inside the gym. The school burned down in 1974 for no explainable reason.
Something Held Whirling to be Released
Mixed Media 32" x 22"
In ancient Hawaii, whenever someone died, the living members of the family would gather to destroy or conceal the body, so as to prevent an enemy from stealing their ancestor's bones and turning them into fish-hooks or arrowheads. Desecration of the bones brought dishonor and would cause the spirit to suffer. Sometimes, a chief would build a small altar and place the bones within, providing a place for the ancestor's spirit to dwell.
A COMMEMORATIVE RESET BUTTON
Mixed Media 6" x 10"
Based on a photograph I took of our family cat, Rusty (1994-2009), as he explored the house as a inquisitive kitten. The replicating accuracy of this image is unknown, since the picture on which it is based was lost years prior to making this painting.
All Signals Configuring to a Position Seeping from Words Either Unspoken or Intangible
Mixed Media 24" x 35"
Hawaiian elders will tell you that you should never respond to someone who calls out your name when it is addressed to your back and never answer a stranger, man or woman when they use your name and order you to step towards them. Hawaiian mythology tells us that such voices are Leo Wawalo O' Ka Hanehane or calling voices of the spirit. In one case, on the island of Hawaii, a cowboy followed an unknown seductive girl into wild vegetation until he stopped from a slight chill and an overwhelming feeling of uncomfortableness. He ran home as fast as he could while hearing the girl yelling at him angrily behind him. The next day accompanied by his Grandfather, they returned to the exact location where the girl was standing. After clearing some vines, they found a 20 ft deep lava tube. He asked his Grandfather to explain the cold air that surrounded the calling spirit. The cold air, his Grandfather responded, were his family spirits protecting him from venturing further.
Mixed Media 44.5" x 34.5"
The most famous haunted house on the north shore of Oahu once stood beside Kamehameha Highway, at the entrance to Waimea Falls Park. Visitors to this house described high pitched calls, which locals identified as the spirits of the house. The spirits called out through the walls, from under the floor and down from the ceiling, vibrating the entire frame of the wooden building. In the mid-'80s, the structure was scheduled to be demolished, and a curious archaeologist was given permission to make a quick survey. Over a few days, they uncovered an ancient structure under the foundation, which was believed to be a fish shrine. As the research team continued to work, they heard a faint "woooo" sound that seemed to be exhaling through the ground. Following that noise among the stones, the team located a small opening from which the eerie sound emanated. Evidently, an old lava tube ran underneath the house, down to the nearby ocean at Waimea Bay. So when the tide rose, the air in the tube was forced out through the opening, literally penetrating the earth and into the walls of the house, emitting that unearthly call of the dead.
The 1921 Wall
Mixed Media 15.5" x 26.5"
Owned and operated by the Kahului Railroad Company, the stone crusher was a concrete and corrugated metal building near the western breakwater of Maui's Kahului Harbor. The crusher was primarily used to maintain the breakwater, while the finer rock was used for road pavement. Decades ago, the building was torn down, leaving only skeletal remains which can be explored today as a remnant of Kahului's industrial period.
The Secret Life of a Rustling Brush
Mixed Media 34.25" x 24.25"
Oahu's Old Pali Highway, built along an ancient Hawaiian footpath, has long been known as a place where the spirits congregate. Dr. Glen Grant (1947-2003), a historian who was the foremost expert on Hawaiian ghost stories, was once told the harrowing tale of a murder victim known in Kailua as the "Old Pali Girl," a young girl who was killed by a family friend. According to the account, the girl screamed for help, resisting the man's sexual advances, and he panicked and used her jumprope to silence her. By the time her strangled body was found, the lower part of her face had been eaten away by animals. Local residents say that the Old Pali Road continues to be haunted by her presence, so if you find yourself on this road at night, stop and turn off your engine. The first thing you will notice is a white mist forming on the road ahead. Then a girl will materialize before you, skipping with her jump rope. As she draws closer to you, you will see her ruined face with bulging eyes staring through your windows, searching for her murderer.
Mixed Media 16.5" x 16.5"
According to legend, Madame Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, lives in the fire pit of Halema'uma'u Crater at the summit of Kilauea. Since 1983, Pele's mountain has been constantly erupting and her lava flows have extended the island's reach into the sea by more than two square kilometers.
A Spot Grew Anxiously Without You
Mixed Media 6.4" x 10"
My mom has recalled this story to me a few times in my life. Born prematurely, I was flown from Maui to Oahu, where better care could be found in the Kaiser Permanente prenatal care unit. My mom was staying at my Uncle Matsushima's house, and one night as she lay in bed, she heard the voices of children laughing in a sinister tone. In her mind's-eye, she could see these children circling around her bed, wandering through the walls and enjoying their recreation. She said it felt as if they were waiting to take a little playmate away with them. She attempted to fight these spirits, but her body was frozen. Willing herself to move, she started to wiggle her toe, and eventually she was able to drop her foot onto the floor. At that very moment, the voices stopped. The next morning, when she arrived at the ICU, Dr. Kathleen Poon told my mom that the previous night had been terrible. It was touch and go for me all night, until suddenly I miraculously recovered.
After It's Given ALl You Wanted
Mixed Media 30" x 46"
The Mo'o is a supernatural lizard-like creature that measures as much as 30 feet tall. Known to make their dwelling in streams, lakes, waterfalls and fishponds, the Mo'o can take any marvelous shape they desire, including a human female. They sometimes seduce men, bringing them back to their caves and using them until their victim dies from exhaustion. According to Hawaiian historian Samuel M. Kaamakau (1815-1876), the Mo'o has skin that is as dark as night, and possesses a tongue so long that it can be removed and utilized as a surfboard.
Tired Bones of a Well Traveled Ancestor
Mixed Media 8" x 9"
Near the summit of Mauna Loa sits not only one of the most dramatic views of the island of Hawaii, but a legendary location of ghost dog stories. Since 1959, the staff of the Mauna Loa Observatory has been spotting a white dog roaming nearby. Some speculate that the appearance of the white dog foreshadows a volcanic eruption. However, there was no mention of a white dog sighting in 1984, when Mauna Loa last erupted. Coincidentally, natives who claim to have seen Pele have also reported her being accompanied by a white dog. Pele is known to make her home in the Kilauea volcano, which is located on the southern flank of Mauna Loa.
Familiar Kiss of the Underground Sandstorm
Mixed Media 36" x 24"
Imagine being held underwater by an unseen force. In 1947, on the big island of Hawaii, some boys were swimming in a pond in the village of 'Ola'a (now Kea'au) when one of them suddenly disappeared below the surface. When divers located the missing boy, they were stunned by what they saw. His corpse was found sitting naturally on a boulder at the bottom of the pond, his eyes and mouth open wide as if in horror. Locals who swim there swear that they sometimes feel something tugging at their leg, trying to draw them downward, and eerie cries have been heard drifting from the area at night. Some believe the drowned boy is trying to find a replacement for himself at the bottom of the pond, so he can pass into the next world.
A Space Absorbing Memories Already Long Forgotten by Others
Mixed Media 14.38"x10.75"
A glimpse into the junior high yearbook calm after it's euphoric distribution. These girls catch up on all the days gossip in front of Kaohu Store. Located directly across the street from Iao Intermediate School, Kaohu Store patroned the students as a local snack shop, loitering space, and many first time shoplifting efforts.
How to Follow a Raincoat of Sunshine
Mixed Media 14.38"x10.75"
From 1987 to 1995, my friends and I joined the BoyScouts of America (the largest youth organization in the United States). During this period we were evolving from childhood to adolescence. Depicted in this painting is my friend, Michael Okuda. From his juvenile perspective of the world, he is now turning the corner towards adulthood. His face is filled with many questions and worries about a future not yet discovered.
Recorded Without Any Insecurity
Mixed Media 16.5"x16.5"
Waimea Valley is famous for it's pleasant recreational area. But behind it's luscious facade, the pond at Waimea Falls was used for sacrificial purposes. These sacred rituals included human sacrifices and is actually named after a temple where human offerings were presented to gods of war and conquest. It is the belief that an Akua or god lived at the bottom of this pond and occasionally desired a human sacrifice. The body was taken down to the altar which is a large flat rock that sits at the bottom of the pond where the ceremony was performed. Several days later the body would rise to the water's surface. Today, there are numerous missing drowned victims that have been discovered 3 days after a full investigation of the pond.
Since Time only Meant that we were Growing up and Falling Apart Together
Mixed Media 30"x39"
My favorite type of ghost in Hawaiian mythology is the Lapu. They are mischievous wandering ghosts who will play pranks on the living. They travel together in groups, dancing and playing, and gathering around places where the living have been feasting to sit and devour imaginary food. The children in this image are portraits of my friends, my younger brother and myself. The ghostly Lapu figures intermingle with us almost unnoticed. They represent the people in our lives with whom we have lost touch. Such people fade away, only to exist in the recesses of our memory.
Gradiently Everything would Sparkle from the Sea to the Stars
Mixed Media 30"x63"
In Hawaiian folklore "Ka Huakai O Ka Po" literally translates into "Marchers of the Night." It is the moment between nightfall and before the dawn breaks when the ancient gods, chiefs, and their soldiers rise from the past to assemble, march and play. Many still claim to be witnesses of the night marchers in modern day Hawaii. Such knowledgeable people will inform you that in the presence of the night marchers you should not look directly at them. If you are lucky a relative would come to your aid to protect you. Otherwise, the night marchers will take you with them into the afterlife.
After All the Tears Have Rusted
Mixed Media 14.38" x 10.75"
According to Hawaiian legend, ancestor-ghosts would linger near the place where their descendants dwelt in the living world, watching over their families and helping them with their daily tasks, as they farmed, hunted and built canoes. The natives believed that the ancestral spirits would reveal their presence with the motion of a rustling bush at night, a trembling eyelid, a sneeze or a sudden shiver.
Remnant of Light Exiting a Pupil
Mixed Media 14.38"x10.75"
Somehow creating art becomes a documentation of an artist's life. The relationship between the subject matter and artist intertwine and it describes a period in time. This piece was done shortly after my trip to Japan in 2007. All patterns and colors are based exactly on the house where my Great Grandfather resided while in Tabuse, Japan.
Much After the Clouds Retreated into the Millyard
Mixed Media 10.25"x14.25"
In Japanese, kanashibari literally means "to bind metal," and refers to a type of paralysis. Usually occurring when one awakes from sleep, kanashibari is described as a heavy pressure on the chest, with limbs numb and useless and the helpless victim unable to move. Many report the sensation of someone crouching on their chest. Such cases are not limited to Japan — cultures as far-flung as Vietnam, Hungary and Zimbabwe all share stories of a pressing ghost. The ancient Hawaiians believed this to be the result of "Pule Ana 'ana," a sorcery chant invoked to pray someone to death. These symptoms have been medically explained as a delay in chemical release of the nervous system.