Reed Matsuura

Reed Matsuura
Age: 67
Birthplace: Waialua, Hawai`i
Photographer: Kate Uesugi, Age 18 ~ George Washington University
Mr. Matsuura was born, raised and currently lives in Waialua but he considers Wahiawa his second home. He spent much of his time in Wahiawa helping his father with their family insurance business. Mr. Matsuura eventually became president of the company and ran it for 26 years until his retirement in 1996. Mr. Matsuura has two children. He is a graduate of Mid-Pacific Institute, attended the University of Hawaii and was a District 2 Council Aide for 17 years.  Mr. Matsuura thinks one of life’s greatest gifts is fishing, which he does each morning.
I went to summer school and summer fun in Wahiawa and considered Waialua, where I lived, as the country and Wahiawa as town — the big city! I would spend a lot of time as a kid at the Ohara building because that’s where my mom and dad worked. Once of my favorite memories was when I was five and Mrs. Kanemaru, who owned the Okazuya where Wendy’s is today, would give me a plate of food to eat even though I didn’t have money to pay for it.
Money flowed really well in Wahiawa because a lot of people came to the area to work on the plantations in Waialua and Wahiawa. When those jobs filled up, people found work elsewhere, like at Schofield or they opened up their own businesses. Wahiawa has been a part of my life for a long time and holds a lot of memories for me.
I hope the younger generation will take the time to talk to their grandparents. They only have one shot. When they’re gone, it’s all lost.

Kate Uesugi

I participated in this project because my Wahiawa family roots are very strong. My parents, grandparents and other extended family members still live here. I think itʻs important for the younger generation to know what Wahiawa was like years ago and to help preserve its history and culture. Even though things have changed dramatically over the years, Wahiawa is a quiet, tight-knit community where everyone knows one another. I learned from Mr. Matsuura that the entrepreneurial spirit was very strong in the past, especially as immigrants moved into Wahiawa. Some of these businesses still exist today. Kate Uesugi
Age: 18
George Washington University
Photographer: Lisa Uesugi
I sometimes like to go down to the gulch with my friends, play tennis down at the courts and visit the botanical gardens. I am currently a sophomore in college and hope to work internationally with a company after graduating and would eventually like to return to live in Hawai`i. I enjoy photography, working in the darkroom with my mom, drawing and going to the beach with friends.

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