The hula student who set off a firestorm over halau naming rights tells Island News she's trying to protect a well-known name, not take it.

Sawako Van Osdol confirmed through her attorney Thursday afternoon. She filed what's called a "tradename" in Japan for Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea.

It's the same name of the halau Van Osdol danced for in Kane'ohe for years.

In a statement, she explains why she filed papers, stating:

"A tradename application in Japan had been filed for the benefit of Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea in order to prevent an unrelated third-party from registering there first."

On Thursday, Island News spoke with Kumu Hula Kapua Dalire-Moe who founded the halau in 2003. She said Van Osdol did not have her consent and filed papers after leaving her hula school.

Dalire Moe is currently in Japan seeking legal counsel to contest the filing.

The controversy has outraged thousands on social media. It's also triggered concerns among other kumu hula to consider trademarking their group names, as well.

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