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KIKU Will Stop Airing Japanese and Filipino Programming June 28

Renate Köppel from Pixabay

Local television is about to see a big change by the end of the month.

On June 28, the Japanese-language programming that makes KIKU-TV unique will disappear, and in its place will be 24-hour shopping programming.

It’s a format change that the station’s New York-based owners RNN National is rolling out to the nine stations it owns across the country—from Honolulu to San Francisco to New York. RNN acquired KIKU last February.

Versions of the station have existed since the 1960s under different owners and even call signs.

For kama‘aina of a certain age, it will always be remembered as the station that brought Kikaida, Kamen Rider V-3, Ultraman and many other live-action Japanese superhero series to Hawaii.

This became a cultural phenomenon so big that even then-Gov. George Ariyoshi met with the Kikaida cast when they arrived to put on a live show at the Blaisdell, attended by thousands of children and their possibly mystified parents.

KIKU Vice President and General Manager Phyllis Kihara said the station has been flooded with calls and emails since announcing the change on Facebook last week.

The station had added Filipino programming in recent years and fans of both cultural programming streams are lamenting the loss.

Kihara intends to finish seasons of ongoing shows, such as Kuru Kuru Japan and Soko ga Japan, by airing extra episodes each week before the change.

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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