Thursday, August 3, 2017

Death of Helen Kuwashima, Japanese Internee and Ukulele Club Founder-- Part 1

From the August 2, 2017, Chicago Tribune  "Ukulele club founder and its driving force" by Joan Giangrasse Kates.

Helen Kuwashima (1932-2017)

She was the daughter of a strawberry farmer in California and spent part of her childhood in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.  She later came to Chicago and became the executive secretary to the president of the National Tea, then one of the largest grocery chains in the United States.

After retiring at age 62, she became a founding member of the Na Kupuna Ukulele Club, a popular performance group known for hula dances and Hawaiian songs.  Prior to forming the club in 1997, she had never even picked up a ukulele


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