Local television is set to see a big change by the end of the month.
On June 28, the Japanese-language programming that makes KIKU-TV unique will be phased out and replaced with 24-hour shopping programming.
It’s a format change that the owners of the New York-based station, RNN National, are rolling out at 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 been around since the 1960s under different owners and even call signs.
For kama’aina of a certain age, the station that brought Kikaida, Kamen Rider V-3, Ultraman and many other Japanese superhero series live to Hawaii will always be remembered.
It became such a significant cultural phenomenon that even the government of the day. George Ariyoshi met the cast of Kikaida when they arrived to give a live performance at the Blaisdell, which was attended by thousands of children and their possibly mystified parents.
KIKU vice president and general manager Phyllis Kihara said the station has been inundated with calls and emails since the change was announced on Facebook last week.
The station had added Filipino programming in recent years and fans of both cultural programming streams lament the loss.
Kihara intends to wrap up seasons of ongoing shows, such as Kuru Kuru Japan and Soko ga Japan, by airing additional episodes each week before the change.