In early September my wife C. and I completed a barely 30-minute flight from Honolulu to Kahului Airport to begin a new phase in our lives. The second-largest Hawaiian island is a new adventure for us, very different from our recent lives and sense of place and people.
This blog shall describe our adjustment, frustrations, happiness, and awakenings – much like many recent transplants to Maui, from Oahu, California, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia*, and even Europe and other regions. Walking in the red dust alongside cane fields, I feel like a newcomer yet simultaneously connected genetically to Maui, as our family’s history goes back more than a century on this beautiful island.
For the last 20 years we lived in an enormous mega-tropolis of Tokyo, a city of about 15 million people, plus adjoining Yokohama, with another 4 million citizens – in the center of the Kanto region (a sprawling plain where 45 million Japanese live, hemmed in by the mountain ranges running up and down the main island of Honshu). We lived in Minato Ward, one of 23 wards or “micro-cities” that comprise Tokyo metropolitan prefecture. Minato Ward has an official area of eight square miles — compared to Kahului town with 16 square miles or double the area. Compared to Minato Ward’s population of 220,000 though, the entire population of Maui County is now about 160,000 (Kahului itself is at 28,000).
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