Christmas Hawaii was started by three venturous friends: Richard Tajiri, Ron Sugita & Van Takemura. For the
first year in 1976, we brought in two containers and sold them mostly to hotels, banks and other commercial
While Ron & Van found the tree business not profitable enough with extremely hard work, Richard found it fun by
traveling to the mainland, meeting new people and bringing the best quality trees to his friends and families. He
brought in two to four containers yearly next several years for mainly whole sale to florist and pre-order
In 1983, he married Paula. Together they incorporated the business as FMR (Fast Moving Richard) Sales and
expanded business to major Christmas tree retailer in Oahu. Since then, the container counts has been growing
each year and became the biggest single owner retailer in Hawaii.
During these years, Christmas Hawaii/Richard Tajiri introduced "Stand Straight pin stands", "Tree IV", "Fraser
Firs", "Colorado Spruce", "Nordman" and etc. to Hawaii. He also created "Tip Flocking" which makes trees look like
real snow fall trees.
In 1933, Richard's Son-In-law, Russell Lee joined the team. Since then, he has been Richard's right hand man &
our local representative. For the last few years he has been our Pearlridge lot manager.
Richard spends hundreds of hours visiting various farms in Oregon and Washington throughout the year checking
and tagging his trees. He even helps farmers prune their trees so that they could grow the best quality trees to
take to Hawaii.
Richard Tajiri is now known as one of the most knowledgeable retailers among Christmas Tree industry and is
lovingly called the Godfather of Christmas Trees in Hawaii.
Bringing the best quality trees to Hawaii for 40 years!
Richard Tajiri was born in Wailuku, Maui and brought up
in Haiku. After he graduated from Boldwin High School,
he came to Honolulu and attended University of Hawaii
and worked at various tour industries.
Besides the Christmas tree business, he owned and
operated the Blue Velvet Lounge in Waikiki, Big Deal
Sales (wholesale garlic, beef jerky and etc.), Walk in
Liquor in Kakaako.
In 1983 he got married to Paula. In 1986 they sold all
their business except Christmas Hawaii and moved to
Pacific Northwest, where all the Christmas Trees come
First they moved to Richmond, BC to help their friend.
Then following year, they moved to Lakewood,
Washington and owned & operated Haiku Gardens
Japanese Restaurant for 13 years. Their karaoke lounge
was a famous gathering place for locals with Hawaiian
Jam sessions every month.
In 2000, they moved to Portland, Oregon. Portland has been offering great opportunities for their daughter, Ami with good
public schools and various cultural and athletic activities. Since 2002, they own and operate Rumours Restaurant and
Lounge in Stayton, Oregon.
For the past 30 years, Richard goes back to Hawaii to sell Christmas Trees and see his friends and families. He is
planning to do this for many more years.