Author: Gavin Arucan

Lisa Kobuke

Professor Lisa Kobuke has been teaching Japanese for 16 years at KCC, although she began teaching at UH Mānoa. Professor Kobuke first got into teaching back when she attended UH Mānoa and was required to teach Japanese in order to earn a scholarship. Her mother, who came from Japan, taught Japanese as well, so that interested Professor Kobuke as well. She loved getting her first class, but she also remembers scripting her entire lectures the night before during her early semesters of teaching.

“I just love Japanese literature and I see so much that I want to share about Japanese culture. Language is just one avenue in which I can share that,” said Professor Kobuke. “It’s more of a package. You cannot separate language, culture, and history. Everything is together. It’s my mission to share that.”

Some of her favorite Japanese literature includes “The Tale of Heike” and “Hōjōki.”

Professor Kobuke loves the KCC community. “I feel a deeper connection with the students here,” said Professor Kobuke. “I love getting to know the students, getting to joke around in class, or finding out how you’re going to use the language you’re learning.”

Professor Kobuke currently resides in Kāneʻohe because she “has to see the Koʻolaus.” In her free time she likes to read or appreciate art in museums.

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Manny Batinga

Manny Batinga is in his second semester of college. At the age of 19, Manny is taking classes at two UH community colleges. While he is majoring in Fire at HCC, he is taking his Japanese language requirement at KCC with Kobuke sensei.

Manny wants to major in Fire because he “wants to become a firefighter and help other people.”

Manny graduated from President William McKinley High School in 2016 where he earned a scholarship from the McKinley Foundation that aided him in attending college. In his free time, Manny enjoys weightlifting and working on his car, a 1986 Toyota Corolla.

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  • Ikona Kahana-SanchezIkona Kahana-Sanchez
    From Wahiawa, 20-year-old Ikona Kahana-Sanchez is a nursing major attending KCC. In her first year of school, Kahana-Sanchez said her decision to go into nursing sparked when she volunteered at Wahiawā Medical Center during her sophomore year at Leilehua High School in 2015. Exposed to the medical field and aging community within the medical center, she became interested in how these aspects can be further studied. Kahana-Sanchez said that her grandmother also played a role in influencing her to go into nursing. In 2015 her grandmother went into surgery for a total knee replacement but after it shredded a vein and artery, it prompted a life-threatening situation that required assistance and care from Kahana-Sanchez. Because her grandmother could no longer continue working as a medicist in the office at Wahiawā Medical Center, Kahana-Sanchez asked to fill the position for her. Becoming significantly involved with the duties and tasks that her grandmother's position required, this led Kahana-Sanchez to further pursue medical assistance. As she takes and eventually completes her prerequisites, Kahana-Sanchez hopes to take her schooling to a higher level of education, debating between a school in Oregon, UH Hilo, or Chaminade University.

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