Justin Kanda and “Kanda in the…”

Taken by Shaylen Chang at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Asian Wing. 2017.

Originally, this site was going to be a supplement to a monthly serial published in a free magazine. Life happened between the initial proposal and initial publication and that fell through, but after a conversation with a friend I decided to keep the website and run it as a(n irregular) blog. Even with an abundance of social media channels, what better way to write about what you like than your own website? No character limits (Twitter), no other visible users (Facebook, Tumblr), no need for photos if you don’t have any (Instagram), no deadlines—it’s your own space to kind of do whatever you feel.

The site name, “Kanda in the…,” came from my initial foray into “themed” social media: an Instagram account named “Kanda in the Kitchen.” I had originally used the tag to sort through posts on my personal Instagram (both accounts found in the footer),  and used it on my Facebook when hashtag support launched on the site. Much like Friends episode naming conventions (“The one with…”), I decided to keep the entire website named “Kanda in the…” despite some posts not following that particular format.

I was born and raised in Honolulu, HI, attended a public school in town, and graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa with my BA in Japanese and MA in Japanese Linguistics (paper title: Maxims, scripted media, and humor construction: A brief analysis of the Japanese anime YURI ON ICE). (Bonus tidbit: the original draft of that paper had used this episode of 30 Rock.) I currently work at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa as an Educational Specialist, after working at a small not-for-profit in communications and digital marketing (i.e. trying to use social media all day despite later developing an aversion to the platforms).

Holding a gift from a friend when I was roughly 25 pounds lighter. Kyodo Bowl, Tokyo, Japan. 2013.

The interest in Japanese stemmed from my older brother’s discovery of Japanese music in the mid-’90s (e.g. Pocket Biscuits, SPEED, Amuro Namie, globe, Aikawa Nanase, etc.) and my grandparents’ interest in a show called Soko ga shiritai (lit. ‘I want to know about there’). It deepened when I found my own favorite artists/singers, such as Hamasaki Ayumi, Utada Hikaru, and Morning Musume, and more recently again after finding a women’s professional bowling show called P-LEAGUE BOWLING REVOLUTION. I’m honestly not a big fan of anime nor manga, and I don’t really have a favorite author either (although I’m quite partial to poetry).

I spent a year abroad in Tokyo, Japan at Sophia University from 2012-2013, and bowled with Waseda’s team during that time. I started bowling from the age of 5 at Bowl-O-Drome on Isenberg St., then moved to Kalihi Bowl, Pearl Harbor Bowling Center, Naval Station Bowling Center, then finally ended up at Hickam Bowling Center (where I coached the junior program). I’m currently coaching at Fort Shafter Bowling Center, and also coach high school bowling for a small private school. Both my parents and all four grandparents bowled, as well as my older brother; in fact, my great-grandmother on my dad’s side was ‘legendary’ from what I was told. Besides my grandmother on my dad’s side (who retired from bowling before I started), I’m the only left-handed bowler in the family.

I’ve only been baking from scratch since October 2016, and have expanded my horizons thanks to Book-Off, where I buy Japanese recipe books, and the Great British Bake Off, which supplies a lot of flavor combinations and baking inspiration. Current specialties include chocolate chip cookies, fruit bread, and scones.

If you’d like, a copy of my most recent Work and Bowling CVs.