Items belonging to Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto auctioned off

Published On: Dec 24 2013 12:30:06 PM HST   Updated On: Nov 23 2013 09:39:41 PM HST

Hundreds of luxury items once belonging to Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto were sold to the highest bidder in an auction Saturday.

Interest in the auction was high, mainly for those who would get their first chance to gain insight into the life of the eccentric landowner.

Click here to watch Jill Kuramoto's report.

Those who came to the auction ranged from the curious to those relieved to see it all go.

“I said, ‘We’ll never get to do this again' (and) get to go inside the mansion to see what it looks like and see what kind of stuff this guy collected,” said Joani Sakata, who lives in Kahala.

“The best part of this auction is Mr. Genshiro Kawamoto is gone, is gone, is gone forever,” said Rick Stams, a 30-year Kahala resident.

Kawamoto was not well liked by many in the area because he was known for leaving many of his properties in a state of disrepair.

The auction happened at at the Kahala mansion Kawamoto once owned.   

More than 500 of the billionaire's belongings, from  kitsch carvings to European-style furniture, were all up for sale.

With no minimum bid, it was anyone's deal.

“Absolutely anything. I mean the bidders will make the decision on where the prices start and where they end,” said Carol Yamada, marketing coordinator for Oahu Auctions.

The items up for auction came from several of the properties Kawamoto sold to Alexander & Baldwin in a $98 million deal in September.

Kawamoto's dream of a private museum for his art collection fizzled when he ran into tax evasion problems with the Japanese government.

Auction organizers had hoped to sell everything in one day.

Money taken in at the auction will go to Alexander & Baldwin only.

“I want the landscaping, I’ll take the plot of grass, just for history,” said Deborah Linden, who was leaving before the auction started.      

“The whole place reminded me of Atlantic City on the boardwalk because there were about 40 shops absolutely full of about the same stuff, “said an auction attendee who was also leaving early. “It was really fun to come and I’m glad we did, but we’re headed out for the rest of the garage sales now.”


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