Maruhan Golf counts 8 major courses in Maui, Oahu and more as Affiliate clubs. Who knew its CEO Han Chang-Woo hates Black people so much, he’d risk his whole empire? PGA’s Sony Open draws attention
There will be no mulligan when the members of Hawaii’s top golf clubs realize their leaders have partnered with a group of Japanese clubs led by a racist billionaire. Check your club’s Affiliation lists and look for Maruhan and its famous Taiheiyo Club. That’s the golf and gambling empire in Japan led by Han Chang-Woo and connected to a South East Asian bank so predatory it wound up on a Human Rights Watch list.
Actually, in Japan they don’t call Pachinko gambling — even though it’s regarded as a major contributor to substance abuse, poverty, depression, domestic abuse, and even suicide. Han Chang-Woo came up through the shady world of pachinko and the Maruhan empire depends on millions of addicted souls pumping their paychecks, pensions and disability money into the machines.
The golf courses with Maruhan Affiliate status include two of the most celebrated clubs in the state: Maui’s legendary Wailea Golf Club and Oahu’s majestic Ko’Olau Golf Club. Six more round out the group.
“Hawaiian golf has a history of discrimination to live down already,” said a former communications director for one of the clubs who asked not to be named. “Until 1947 many didn’t allow Asian-Americans to join. And women were treated as second-class citizens. At Wailea, there were still ‘men only’ restaurants and bars up until 1989.”
Mr. Han has been said to frequently use the slur “Kurombo” which literally translates as “Black boy” but carries the same weight as the N-word does in the United States. His hatred of Black people is so strong he has lashed out at his own daughter, allegedly stealing her life savings as retribution for marrying her African American husband. The situation was first reported by the Financial Times.
The Prejudiced Pachinko King has had his daughter and her husband followed, attempted to seize her passport to keep her from travelling to her home in California, and done everything in his power to destroy her life. In response, his daughter has filed a massive suit against him in Guam, where Maruhan has real estate holdings, to force him to turn over documentation of his alleged theft from her. (Each of the five children of Mr. Han received equal amounts of stock twenty years ago—worth $400 million today).
“In Japan, activist groups like mine are working on a 2021 boycott of Maruhan properties,” said a leader of a group who advocates for Koreans facing discrimination in Japan. “We’d love to see some support from our Hawaiian brothers and sisters across the water on this!”
Coupled with Human Rights Watch’s condemnation of Maruhan’s banking practices in South East Asia—where its Sathapana Bank has been seizing poor farmers’ homes and land who are affected by the worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic– this company is not in tune with Hawaiian values like L?kahi. It will be interesting to see how this get’s acknowledged during the PGA’s Sony Open.
A complete list of Hawaiian clubs supporting Maruhan Corporation and Han Chang-Woo’s racism is below: