From the early 1940’s to 1955, Edith Oshima operated a sewing school and did alterations for the Marines stationed in Kaneohe. The marines had nowhere to eat and were always hungry. So at that point, Edith decided to open Kaneohe Restaurant in a location between Times Supermarket and Jack-in-the-Box. She served old-fashioned, home-cooked local favorites, as well as hamburgers and saimin with barbeque stick done over charcoal. The food was a huge hit.
Then, in 1958, Edith opened the original Maruki Tei Restaurant which was located on Kamehameha Highway across from Mui Kwai Restaurant. She brought back all her popular homemade favorites of Japanese, American and Hawaiian dishes. The name Maruki Tei was derived from Edith’s Japanese name "Kimiye." The kanji (or Japanese symbol) means "Happiness" and is placed inside a round circle so whenever you eat at Maruki Tei, you will be forever happy. The restaurant would serve Kaneohe from that location for 22 years, until the building was demolished in 1980, at which time Edith retired.
In the early 1980’s, excitement was building about the brand new enclosed, two-level mall that would soon open in Kaneohe. Edith's daughter, Eloise, decided to take a chance and re-open her family’s popular eatery as a fast-food Okazuya inside the new mall. Maruki Tei opened its doors in 1982 in the brand new Windward Mall; and, as they say, the rest is history!
Eloise has continued to use her mom's old-fashioned recipes and continues to offer shoppers a variety of delicious home-cooked okazu, bento and hot noodles. To this day, Maruki Tei does not sell "instant saimin" but instead their broth is made from scratch and the noodles are fresh. In fact, all the food at Maruki Tei is made fresh daily, with the only exception being the "lau lau" which is too labor intensive to make. Otherwise, customers know they are eating food made from scratch at the restaurant each day.