Stories from Dr. Yukari, Story #18-2, Nagomi – A Japanese hospice and foster care home

[ Stories from Dr. Yukari ]

Guided by the hope of St. Nichiren, we continue to work towards a peaceful society. Honolulu Myohoji Mission collaborates with Psychologist Dr. Yukari Kunisue, a trained and experienced therapeutic life coach, to offer a safe online space: Stories from Dr. Yukari



I first learned about Kayoko’s hospice practice from a friend whose mother spent the last few months of her life at Nagomi. My friend could not return to Japan to take care of her but instead, her mother received excellent care at Kayoko’s place in Hawaii. I was so impressed that I decided to call Nagomi to request a tour of the facility.

When I arrived two dogs welcomes me with friendly barks. While we were walking around on the lanai overlooking the ocean in the distance, residents were either walking around with a walker or playing with a puzzle near Kayoko’s antique piano. A breeze would occasionally sweep through this calming place. Kayoko also had a green thumb and successfully created an atmosphere with vegetation everywhere. The door is also open till 7PM so that anyone can visit whenever they wish (schedule has been modified due to the on-going pandemic). While this place is in Hawaii, it also reminded me of a country home. 

From the few times that I visited, I often saw staff members watching Japanese TV with the patients. Some of the staff members were also seen recording a patient’s oral history from when she was a little girl living in Hiroshima. I also heard that a former hospice patient really liked the place and occasionally came back from the afterlife to turn on the coffee maker at a certain time during the day. And no, it was not on a timer. The residents say that it is the former resident who likes to come back to visit.

“While it is legally my home, I don’t think it’s really ‘mine’. This place is a temporary home. I was everyone to feel relaxed here”.

Kayoko already said her goodbyes to more than 100 passing patients. Unfortunately, the real estate value drastically decreased due to the nature of the facility. Nonetheless, it did not stop her from starting her online school classes to earn her certificate as a Certified Nurse Aid (CAN). She continued to open and manage another facility along with delivering bento boxes daily to independent patients in the community along with training volunteers, staff members, and supporting patients’ families. 

Kayoko reminds me of the strong and dense monkey pod trees that are everywhere in Hawaii. This tree provides shade to everyone and it’s leaves also close when it rains, but returns with beautiful pink flowers once its sunny. Everyday, she loves what she does and what she is put on this earth to do. I hope that in the future, I can ask her to take me in when the time comes. Until then, I plan on supporting her organization in whatever way I can. With this being said, if you have any interest in learning about Nagomi or are interested in donating money or goods, please contact Kayoko. She will most likely invite you in to have a cup of tea or coffee. 

This an article and YouTube of Kayoko and Nagomi in Star Advertiser

Nagomi Foster Homes / Nagomi CNA School

4475 Wahinekoa Place, 

Honolulu HI 96821, tele 808-398-4194