Island countries and states abound throughout the world. As diverse as Madagascar is from the Outer Hebrides, as Iceland is from Sri Lanka, as Mindanao is from Tahiti, anyone who has grown-up on an island, large or small, can tell you it sets a person apart literally and figuratively. Growing up surrounded by ocean, on volcanic rock, can create a way of life that affects your way of being. It can make people who meet from vastly different island backgrounds find commonality in ways of culture and community, yet also make them curious about the differences of “home.”
Hailing from Chiba Prefecture on the island of Japan, our school founder, Kenjiro Ide, has shared how years ago he discovered great affection for the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i, when traveling here often with family. Its unique filter of urban, suburban and rural lifestyles, framed within indigenous Hawaiian culture and the peoples, cultures and events in Hawai’i’s history, creates an American culture both reflective of the country and yet unique to this island place. With its own incredibly rich cultural past, Chiba can also present landscapes and lifestyles reflecting the diversity, change and traditions of the larger culture, just in one part of the country. So much to find in common, so many differences to unearth.
We see the bridge between Chiba, Japan, and Honolulu, Hawai’i through our Kid’s☆garden centers, a bridge we have the wonderful opportunity to pave for young children and families alike through early childhood education.