Yuji Nishihara

Yuji Nishihara

Yuji Nishihara

1998, Vocal Music
CES Institute Director

After entering BYU-Hawaii at the venerable age of 44, Yuji Nishihara joined the Concert Choir and raised his voice in defense of truth and virtue. His passions for the gospel and for beautiful music have continued to inspire many others in subsequent years.

Nishihara had to resign as Institute Director to come to Laie. He worried about learning English, but plenty of friends stepped in to assist. He was a great blessing to the Concert Choir and participated in tours throughout Hawaii and to the South Pacific.

After graduation, Nishihara returned to the institute in Nagoya and was soon called as stake president. While infusing into the students his love for the scriptures, he has organized an institute choir and a vocal ensemble that conducts firesides around Japan. He also has passed on his love of BYU-Hawaii to his three children, two of whom have enrolled at BYU-Hawaii.

In 2004, his wife passed away just days before the Concert Choir visited Japan on its Asian tour. At a concert in Osaka he was comforted and the choir members were moved to tears as they dedicated their parting anthem, Aloha Oe, to him.

After the final song, Dr. Smith introduced me and announced that my wife had died recently. Then he said, "We will sing Aloha Oe for Yuji." He invited me to the stage, and I went up and began to shake hands and hug the choir members as they sang. We were one. I felt heavenly joys. I love the choir. I still want to go back to Hawaii and join them.