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Slain man ‘a special person’; Wife recalls artist husband whose body was found Wednesday night

The wife of a 75-year-old man police say was murdered near their Glenwood home Wednesday said she doesn’t want people to think of her husband as a victim, but as a brilliant, internationally-known artist whose body of work spanned decades.

“He’s a wonderful artist. His work has been shown all over the world,” said Lynn Farr, the wife of Shingo Honda, who police said was identified through fingerprints after an autopsy Friday. “I have written many books about him. They’re all about him.”

One, “Speaking Shinglish: A Cross-Cultural Love Story,” was published in 2017. The book, written in a gentle, loving tone, is described in a blurb used on websites such as Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble as “English meets its match in this humorous book about a cross-cultural couple who speak so little of each other’s language they can hardly have a satisfying fight.”

“He is a special person,” Farr said Friday evening. “He couldn’t speak English very well, but he came to the United States and eventually became an American citizen.”

Honda was born in northern Japan and was a Zen priest in addition to being an artist.

Farr said Honda has an exhibit scheduled for February at the East Hawaii Cultural Center.

“I don’t know if they’re still going to do it but this was a print show,” Farr said. “This is based on some prints he made on prints in Japan and here.”

Honda’s website, www.shingohonda.com, says he was educated at Tama Fine Arts College in Tokyo from 1967-68 and lists dozens of exhibitions dating back to 1967 in places as far-flung as Tokyo; New York; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Cincinnati; Stockholm, Sweden; Wellington, New Zealand; and Melbourne, Australia.

According to police Lt. Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Hilo Criminal Investigations Section, Farr reported her husband missing Wednesday evening. He said she’d come home after leaving the house earlier in the afternoon.

“The wife said he typically would take a nap in the afternoon, then get up and go for a walk,” Amon-Wilkins said. “She said when she got back she thought he was still sleeping.”

When she checked, however, he was missing, Amon-Wilkins said. He said Farr canvassed the neighborhood and called police to report Honda missing at about 7:18 p.m. Wednesday.

Honda’s deceased body was found several hundred yards from the house, police said.

Amon-Wilkins said police aren’t yet releasing details about how Honda was killed, but police issued a bulletin saying a Puna man, 55-year-old Michael Cecil Lee, in sought connection with Honda’s death.

He’s described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall, 150 pounds, with grayish-brown hair and brown eyes.

Police cautioned the public to not approach Lee, who should be considered armed and dangerous.

Farr said she, as did her husband, finds comfort in Zen Buddhism, and added, “I love my Shingo so much.”

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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