Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival

Konnichi-wa and Aloha!

The 3rd Annual Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival was held on Friday, July 12, 2024 at the Royal Grove Stage in Waikīkī's Royal Hawaiian Center.

The 2024 festival featured seven steel guitarists and steel guitar groups from Japan. Performers included Shinichi Kakiuchi, Yukio Katagiri, Kiyoshi "Lion" Kobayashi, Masami "Matt" Kobayashi, Paul Okubo, Masami Sato and Makana, and Noriko and Shuji Tomita.

The Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival is a collaborative project between HIMELE and Japanese steel guitar planners to bring Japanese steel guitar players to Honolulu to showcase their talents. The Royal Hawaiian Center provided the Royal Grove Stage and other support for this project.

The festival is a culmination of years of planning with Hawai‘i and Japanese planners, including Japanese steel guitarist Tadashi Arakawa who passed away in early 2022. The 1st annual festival was dedicated to him in his honor.

The 2024 festival was a part of the weeklong 2024 Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week, a celebration of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar that was held during the week of July 8-13, 2024. The festival was livestreamed.

2024 Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival Poster2024 Festival Poster