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Yamase and Masuda Buildings

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1921, Jitsutaro Murakami. Kaumualii Hwy. and Moana St.
  • Yamase building (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

Providing a distinctive and distinguished gateway for Moana Street, with their rounded corners, the Yamase building and its single-story echo, the Masuda building, are the products of Japanese master temple builder Jitsutaro Murakami. This itinerant carpenter worked on Kauai in the years immediately following World War I. The second-story verandah encircling the Yamase remains an impressive sight, audaciously supporting the gable roof's sheltering eave. The Masuda, with its parapet and encircling pent roofs, originally housed a grocery store and was constructed for Lee Kwai. The Yamase contained Sumitomo Bank and Yamase Tailor Shop, as well as accommodating the Yamase family upstairs. Waimea's first known electric streetlight was hung under the eaves of the Yamase building in 1921. Hurricane Iniki damaged the Yamase in 1992 and it was condemned. However, thanks to local preservation efforts, the building was saved and rehabilitated in 1995.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Yamase and Masuda Buildings", [Waimea, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 52-52.

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