John Kapena

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John Kapena (seated, right), along with Isaac Harbottle (middle, standing) and his younger brother James (middle,seated), in San Francisco, as they prepare to depart for Japan, 1882.

John Makini Kapena was a Hawaiian noble and marshall of the royal household, who served for a time as ambassador to Japan from the Kingdom of Hawaii. He traveled to Japan especially in 1882 to engage in negotiations pertaining to Japanese immigration to Hawaii,[1] and also to present to the Imperial Household a formal invitation to the coronation of King Kalakaua; at the coronation, which took place the following year, he performed a formal proclamation of Kalakaua's titles, honors, and genealogical qualifications as the rightful occupant of the Hawaiian throne.


  • Stacy Kamehiro, The Arts of Kingship, University of Hawaii Press (2009), 35-36.
  • Matt Matsuda, Pacific Worlds, Cambridge University Press (2012), 246-247.
  1. Franklin Odo and Kazuko Sinoto, A Pictorial History of the Japanese in Hawaii 1885-1924, Bishop Museum (1985), 28.
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