. : 23rd Annual Golf Fundraiser Held at Pearl Country Club
Congratulations to first place team of Mike Nitta and daughter Nicolle Nitta who are presented with the winner's trophy by trophy sponsor Japan's Consul General Shigeeda.
Morning thundershowers did not keep away 130 golfers from gathering at Pearl Country Club on Wednesday, April 24 for the Society's 23rd Annual Friendship Golf Classic. The golf tournament is one of the major fund-raisers along with the Annual Dinner held in the fall. Every participant received a prize, with the grand prize, a fly and stay package to the Makena Beach and Golf Resort on Maui with airfare donated by go! Airlines presented to the 23rd place team in honor of our 23rd year.
JASH would like to thank Tournament Sponsor First Insurance Company of Hawaii, all of the other major sponsors, Titanium and Graphite sponsors, and the individual players who supported this tournament. For the complete list please click here. A special thanks to the 40 volunteers who help to make the tournament run smoothly. Proceeds from this tournament will be used for community programs, including educational programs and cultural exchanges for Hawaii's schools and students to continue to build special relationship between the people of Hawaii and Japan.
As in previous years, JASH invited members of the military to participate. Four individuals from Hawaii Air National Guard and military members from Pacific Air Forces participated. Their services in supporting Operation Tomodachi and the Rainbow for Japan Kids program are greatly appreciated. A special thanks to Admiral Thomas Fargo and Ms. Sharon Weiner for sponsoring our military guests.
A special thanks to Jim Yuki, a JASH friend and Sony Open volunteer pool chairman for assisting with golf questions and scoring. Also thanks to our roving course photographer, JASH member Ray Tabata. Please click here for a link to his photos.
Mahalo to Sony Hawaii for sponsoring a special prize giveaway in honor of their 45th Anniversary.
Australian Consul General Scott Dewar, JASH Chair Sharon Weiner, Korean Consul General Young Kil Suh, and Director General, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Honolulu V.C. Chu get ready to tee off at the Special Hole, #16.
. : Japanese Students from Tohoku Visit Hawaii under Rainbow for Japan Kids Project
At the farewell dinner and reception at Pagoda Hotel Ballroom after performing on their hand-made ukulele.
Two years after the tragic events of March 11, 2011, 23 Japanese junior high school students ages 12-14 visited Hawaii under the Rainbow for Japan Kids (RFJK) program. This was the sixth group of Japanese students to visit Hawaii under this program, bringing 120 students from the three affected prefectures--Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima--who have visited Hawaii.
The Hawaii RFJK Committee composed of Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH), Japan Airlines Hawaii Office, First Hawaiian Bank, Studio Rim Hawaii, Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association and its Nadeshiko Club, Lighthouse Hawaii, and other supporters welcomed the Japanese students on March 25th for an eight-day stay that took the students to locations on Oahu and the Island of Hawaii. As in previous programs, the students spent several days at North Shore's YMCA Camp Erdman with local students from the Bridge Club of Hawaii engaging in outdoor activities specifically designed to forge teamwork and create friendships with local students, a major goal of this program. Following activities on Oahu, the students traveled to the Island of Hawaii to experience its incredible natural beauty. In Kona, the students learned about ancient Hawaiian culture and customs and then moved to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for a stay at Kilauea Military Camp. There, through hiking tours, story-telling sessions, and night-time stargazing, the students learned about Hawaii's volcanic origin and how Polynesians first colonized Hawaii. Through these activities, the program aims to free the students from their day-to-day lives in Japan under less-than-ideal conditions, focus on their own lives and dreams, create friendships with local people, and return to Japan refreshed and dedicated to bettering their lives and their communities.
Back on Oahu, the students engaged in water activities at Hilton Hawaiian Village's lagoon where the Hilton Grand Vacations staff and Waikiki Beach Activities prepared kayak races and stand-up paddle-boarding lessons. Several days were spent dedicated to making personal ukuleles, courtesy of KoAloha Ukulele. The students took the ukuleles back to Japan as a reminder of their visit. Other organizations provided in-kind donations of hotel rooms, meals, and local transportation to include Pagoda Hotel, Suntory Restaurant, Beijing Restaurant, Nishimoto Trading, Lawson, Warabeya, Waikiki Trolley, Iyasume, and Ito-En. Hawaiian Airlines provided discounted and complimentary airfares for travel to the Big Island.
This group included three students from Onagawa City in Miyagi Prefecture. Last year, Mrs. Susie Roos, wife of U.S. Ambassador John Roos, donated funds from the sales of her cook book to this project after visiting Onagawa City and seeing the devastation and visiting with the children. Several students from Onagawa visited last year also.
RFJK is a proud partner with TOMODACHI, a private-public partnership led by the U.S. Embassy and the U.S.-Japan Council that aims to invest in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties, and deepen the friendship between U.S. and Japan over the long term. More information on these programs can be found on the JASH website at www.jashawaii.org/jpnaid1.asp, or by calling JASH at (808) 524-4450, and on the U.S. Embassy website at http://japan.usembassy.gov.
. : Japan-America Society of Hawaii Holds Spring 2013 McInerny Foundation's Japan Day
April 3rd proved to be a very eventful day for 105 students representing Aiea High School, Farrington High School, Lahainaluna High School (Maui), and McKinley High School. These students participated in the Japan-America Society of Hawaii's (JASH) Spring 2013 Japan Day, sponsored by the McInerny Foundation and held at Hawaii Tokai International College. Over 40 volunteer experts presented cultural classes on bon dance, calligraphy, traditional crafts, ikebana (flower arranging), kimono/yukata wear, soroban (Japanese abacus), and tea ceremony. Master drummer Kenny Endo and four members of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble livened up the Welcome Ceremony with a flawless taiko performance and demonstration. Inspired and energized, the students proceeded to their cultural classes. Throughout the hallways and in the classrooms, students excitedly compared their cultural creations and class anecdotes, wishing the day would not end!
Now in its 20th year, over 5,200 students from 56 schools statewide have experienced Japan Day. This unique program is one of two programs offered by JASH to Hawaii's high school students, with the other being the Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition. Japan Day provides students with hands-on experience with traditional Japanese arts and culture while reinforcing and complementing what is taught in the classroom setting. Japan Day also illustrates how art and culture in different societies can influence and enhance people's lives, and how these cultural values are perpetuated by devotees of the arts. Through understanding and respecting different cultures and customs, we continue to bridge the gap that leads to friendship and cultural appreciation.
(L-R Clockwise): Students are deep in concentration during a soroban (Japanese abacus) calculation; Dancing with fans is a unique bon dance experience for the students; Students learn how to put on their own yukata; Students proudly show their calligraphy masterpieces.
JASH would like to thank all the volunteer experts for their dedication to the program, for without them, this program would not be possible: Ms. Betty Dela Cuesta and members of Hawaii Shin Kobukai; calligraphy master Mrs. Shokyoku Hashiro and Mrs. Setsusen Tokumine; Mrs. Kikuji Yonesato and members of the Kikufu Nippon Bunka Kenkyu Kai; Mrs. Jessie Nakata of MOA Hawaii; Mrs. Jean Sakihara and members of Kimono Project USA; Mr. and Mrs. Hideaki Oshima from Araki Hiroya Soroban School; and Mr. Yoshibumi Ogawa and members of Urasenke Foundation. We would also like to thank Hawaii Tokai International College for the generous use of their facilities, and the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble for their moving taiko performance and demonstration. Please visit the JASH Facebook page for more photos of the event. For more information on this educational program, please contact Kelsey Soma Turek at 524-4450 or via email at email@example.com.
The screening of the movie "Emperor" provided the perfect opportunity for a JASH Night Out on the town. "Emperor" is the story of post-War Japan and the issue of how to deal with Emperor Hirohito - whether to try him as a war criminal or not. The movie stars Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur sent to Japan to establish order, remove Japanese militarism, and deal with those determined to be war criminals, and Matthew Fox as General Fellers who is assigned the task of determining whether Hirohito should be charged with war crimes.
Following the movie, the JASH attendees gathered at a local restaurant to carry on the discussions about the movie. Mr. Kenichi Ando of Hawaii's Japan Airlines Office attended the evening's program and donated a large poster of the movie and brought along a letter addressed to the JASH membership from the producers of the movie (Mr. Ando is a good friend of one of the producers). The poster was offered as a gift to the winner of the movie trivia contest and JASH President Ed Hawkins read the letter to the gathered JASH attendees (see the text HERE. It was an evening of learning and fun.
. : JASH Helps Support 442nd RCT Anniversary Event
Many may not know or appreciate that the City of Bruyeres in France and Honolulu are sister cities...why the connection? It has to do with the liberation of Bruyeres in the Vosges Mountains of France from Nazi occupation by the Nikkei soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Battalion. On Saturday, March 23rd, the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd RCT held a memorial service at Waikiki's Army Museum to remember all who served.
As a special feature of the memorial service, 442nd veterans and leaders of the community paid a tribute by placing folded paper cranes at either the photo of a departed Medal of Honor winner or a special memorial for all who had served. The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) was invited to be a participant in the service, and chose to have the Society represented by Junior Ambassadors for the Asian-Pacific Children's Convention (APCC) in Fukuoka. Eleven-year-olds Kiana Kawahara and Cole Ichikawa presented a paper crane in memory of the 442nd veterans, but with a slight twist. JASH President Ed Hawkins had planned a private trip to Europe when he learned about this memorial service. He contacted the members of the Peace and Freedom Trail Association in Bruyeres, France to see if they could assist in having the children of Bruyeres fold a paper crane that Mr. Hawkins could bring back for this ceremony. Mr. Hawkins stopped by Bruyeres during his trip and received the paper crane from the President of the Peace and Freedom Trail Association, Mr. Martial Hillaire and Vice-President Christian DeVille. This is the paper crane that Kiana and Cole presented on March 23rd.
APCC Junior Ambassadors Kiana Kawahara and Cole Ichikawa present the paper crane from Bruyeres at the Waikiki Memorial Service.
The paper crane from Bruyeres was made by the students of Jeanne D'arc school, sister school of Le Jardin Academy in Honolulu. JASH was pleased to assist in this symbolic act of friendship and respect from the people of Bruyeres to the people of Hawaii, and to honor the memory of the Nikkei soldiers.
JASH President Ed Hawkins receiving the paper crane from Peace and Freedom Trail Association President Martial Hillaire (L) and Vice President Christian DeVille (R).
Students at Jeanne D'arc School in Bruyeres and their teacher presenting the paper crane to Martial Hillaire.
. : JASH helps bring Symposium on 3/11 Tsunami Debris to Honolulu
Experts in ocean debris management gathered in Honolulu on Saturday, March 2, 2013 for a symposium to discuss the tsunami debris created as a result of the Great East Asia Earthquake in March 2011 and what is being done about the debris that is now arriving on the West Coast of the U.S. and in the Hawaiian Islands. The Symposium was sponsored by the Honolulu Festival Foundation and JTB Hawaii as part of its annual festival designed to bring various cultures around the Pacific Rim together in Hawaii to promote understanding and friendship. The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) assisted with the overall planning and acted as the symposium emcee. The symposium was timely as reports and photos of tsunami debris, some positively identified as associated with the 3/11 Tsunami, have begun to appear in various news media at this second anniversary of the tragic event.
Titled "3/11 Tsunami Debris: Japan-U.S. Collaborative Effort," the symposium''s purpose was to inform the public about what's being done about the tsunami debris, who's responsible for it's management and disposal, what the public should do about the debris if found, and what does the future hold. About 150 people gathered for this event at the Hawaii Convention Center.
Experts from the Government of Japan included Mr. Tsuyoshi Saito, former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Kazuhisa Ito, Cabinet Counselor, The Secretariat of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy, Cabinet Office; and Mr. Takashi Mori, Director, Office of Marine Environment, Ministry of Environment. Japan's Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, Honorable Toyoei Shigeeda completed the Japanese representation and delivered opening remarks thanking the people of Hawaii for providing donations to Japan and for assisting directly with the relief and recovery efforts. Mr. Saito followed by stating the Japanese Government has provided $5 million to the U.S. through NOAA for cleanup and management of tsunami debris. A video message from Hawaii's Senator Mazie Hirono, a native of Fukushima Prefecture, welcomed the panelists and guests to the symposium. U.S. representatives to the discussion panel included Ms. Carey Morishige, Pacific Islands Regional Coordinator for NOAA; Mr. Jono Blodgett, Aquatic Invasive Species Research Supervisor, Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources; Mr. Gary Gill, Deputy Director, Environmental Health Administration, Hawaii State Department of Health; and Commander Martin Smith, Marine Environmental Response Specialist, 14th District-U.S. Coast Guard. The discussion panel was moderated by Dr. Jeffrey Hornung, Associate Professor at Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and a Japan expert.
Following each presentation, questions were fielded from the audience by the experts. After the symposium, the press was invited to remain and direct questions to the panel members.
JASH is pleased to have been a co-sponsor for this event designed to inform the public about 3/11 tsunami debris management and to promote greater understanding between the peoples U.S. and Japan. Presentations and symposium program is available at the following links:
. : Hinamatsuri Celebration at the Japanese Consulate
(L) Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda addresses the guests. (R) Slack-key guitarist Bobby Moderow Jr. with Tomodachi Planning Committee members in front of the Consulate's hinaningyo display.
On Tuesday, February 26, Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda graciously opened their residence to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii's annual Tomodachi Hinamatsuri celebration in honor of Girl's Day. Also known as the Doll Festival, Hinamatsuri is traditionally celebrated on March 3rd by Japanese families to ensure their daughter's future happiness.
Guests were able to enjoy the Consulate's beautiful seven-tiered hinaningyo doll display. As Tomodachi co-chair Shirley Miyamoto explained, the dolls are handed down from generation to generation and only displayed in late February. They are put away the night of Hinamatsuri to ensure that the family will have no trouble in marrying off their daughters.
Local slack-key guitarist Bobby Moderow Jr. of the band Maunalua gave an energetic performance and even explained the stories behind the music. He performed old favorites such as the song "Sanoe" originally written by Queen Liliuokalani about an affair in the royal court, and "Koke'e" written by Reverend Dennis Kamakahi on the roadside as he made his way through Waimea Canyon.
Following a taste of local music, guests were able to partake in special refreshments prepared by the Consul General's personal chef. Of note was the hishi cake, a tri-colored cake instead of the tri-colored diamond shaped hishi-mochi that is traditionally served on Girl's Day. Tomodachi Planning Committee members also generously donated items such as mochi, barazushi, and namasu. The Japan-America Society of Hawaii and Tomodachi would like to send a big mahalo to Consul General and Mrs. Shigeeda for hosting this special event. We also send out our special thanks to Mrs. Shigeeda for giving opening remarks and being such a generous hostess. Mahalo to Bobby Moderow Jr. for sharing his aloha with us through Hawaiian music. Thank you again to Tomodachi co-chair Ray Tabata for being the official photographer for this event.
To view all of the photos from Hinamatsuri at the Consulate, please click here.
. : Four High School Teams Earn Trips to Japan through the Japan Wizards Competition
By 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 23, 135 students representing 26 schools from Oahu, Hawaii, and Maui were anxious to begin competing in the 10th annual Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC) held at Kapiolani Community College (KCC). This marks the second year that Hawaiian Airlines graciously served as overall sponsor. Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda from the Consulate General of Japan at Honolulu welcomed the students and wished them success in this year's competition.
Hawaiian Airlines Executive Monisa Cline told the gathered high school students that the qualities of personal responsibility, team work, and the rewards that accrue from hard work as exemplified in the JWC are the same ones valued by Hawaiian Airlines, and that is one of the reasons for its strong support. We again thank Hawaiian Airlines and other major supporters - ABC Stores, Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, International Cultural and Friendship Association, JTB Hawaii, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles - who make the competition one which high school students across the state look forward to each year.
This year, a total of 45 teams competed in two skill levels. The teams were tested on their knowledge of Japanese art, culture and tradition, food, geography, history, Japan-Hawaii ties, literature, politics and government, sports, contemporary Japan, and of course the Japanese language. Study guides were provided to registered teams in the fall to aid them in their preparation and studies.
JASH President Ed Hawkins with Hawaiian Airlines' Ms. Monisa Cline and JTB Hawaii's Mr. Keiichi Tsujino and the winning teams.
The Japan-America Society of Hawaii awarded plaques to the three top scoring teams in each level. In Level A, these were Pearl City High School (1st place), Mililani High School (2nd place), and Punahou School (3rd place). The Level B winners were Punahou School (1st place), Kamehameha Schools - Kapalama (2nd place), and Mililani High School (3rd place).
The top scoring public schools to receive the Japan trip award were Pearl City High School from Level A and Mililani High School for the Level B division. Levels A and B from Punahou School were the recipients from the private school division. These teams (three students and an advisor each) will travel to Japan this summer to experience firsthand what they studied in the classroom and through independent research. This year's Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship went to overall top scoring team Punahou School, Level B.
(L) Students enjoy a friendly game of karuta in the Activity Center; (R) Volunteers assist students playing Pictionary.
Between competition rounds, students were kept busy with the numerous activity stations in the Activity Center. These included calligraphy, gyotaku fish printing, karuta, origami, a tea ceremony demonstration, and Jeopardy to name a few. The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa) Department of Theatre and Dance provided a rakugo demonstration.
JASH would like to thank Hawaiian Airlines for sponsoring the Competition, and all the major supporters including ABC Stores, Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation, International Cultural and Friendship Association, JTB Hawaii, The America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo, and The Freeman Foundation. JASH would also like to thank all the contributors who provided prizes, snacks, drinks, and other donations that assisted with the competition. Many thanks and recognition goes to the 78 volunteers representing the JET Alumni Association of Hawaii, UH Manoa, KCC, Alaka'i Young Professionals, and Hawaii Tokai International College to name a few. Without this tremendous support, the competition would not have been possible. Finally, our gratitude to the President, Chancellor and staff of Kapiolani Community College for the generous use of their facilities and for their support of the Japan Wizards Competition.
February 9, 2013, was the important "Jusankaiki," or 13th anniversary of the Ehime Maru incident according to Buddhist tradition. On this day, several hundred gathered at Kakaako Waterfront Park to pay tribute to the nine Japanese victims, including four students. Those gathered included bereaved family members, government officials from Ehime Prefecture and Uwajima City, and local Hawaii State and City representatives.
The ceremony began with a prayer by Reverend Irene Matsumoto of Palolo Kwannon Temple, and a moment of silence was observed at precisely 1:43 p.m., the time of the accident. Names of the lost were read out. Tributes followed from the Vice Governor of Ehime, the Governor of Hawaii, the Mayor of Uwajima City, and the Mayor of Honolulu. Both Hawaii Governor Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Caldwell pledged to do whatever necessary to keep such an accident from recurring, and to honor the memory of the lost by maintaining the memorial at Kakaako in perpetuity. They also pointed to the many good-will measures put in place following the incident that continue today. Afterwards, flower wreaths were presented by attending groups and organizations. Mr. Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi, representing the bereaved, thanked all the volunteers for continuing to honor the lost by cleaning and maintaining the memorial.
The Ehime Maru Memorial Association, associated with the Japan-America Society of Hawaii, maintains the memorial, assists the bereaved with annual memorial services, and promotes Ehime-Hawaii relations through educational and cultural programs. More information can be found on JASH website
Dignitaries, and guests gather at Kakaako Waterfront Park for the Memorial Ceremony.
Bereaved families' representative Mr. Mizuguchi thanks those gathered.
On February 6, JASH was invited to tour the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC) facilities at Hickam Air Force Base. JPAC conducts global search, recovery, and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts in order to support Department of Defense's personnel accounting efforts. The Command was activated October 1, 2003. The laboratory portion of JPAC, referred to as the Central Identification Laboratory, is the largest and most diverse forensic skeletal laboratory in the world. JASH visitors were presented an overall briefing on JPAC and its mission, and were taken on a tour of its identification laboratory to see how the identification process is accomplished. Remains of several servicemen were being identified. It was a great opportunity for JASH members to learn about the important role this facility in Hawaii plays to account for Americans from past conflicts and how our country puts so much effort and resources into this task to honor our servicemen and women and their families.
JASH members outside JPAC Central Identification Laboratory on Hickam AFB.
(L) Mahalo to Steve Sombrero (far right) and Aloha Beer Company for providing beer for our event. (R) Guests enjoyed a playful shishimai performance by Ryukyu Hawaii.
The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) rang in the New Year with a reception at historic Washington Place. Washington Place, built in 1847 as the home for American merchant John Dominis, was the refuge of Hawaii's last monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, and the official residence for a dozen Hawaii Governors. It was named Washington Place by King Kamehameha III after the U.S. President.
The New Year Reception is an opportunity for our Society and supporters and friends to reflect on the accomplishments of last year and dedicate ourselves to the tasks of this New Year. Host Governor Neil Abercrombie pointed to many of those accomplishments and the important role JASH plays in maintaining the relationship with Japan as he welcomed the Society and its friends. Other guests included former Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, former Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi and wife Jean, Deputy Commander of U.S. Army Pacific, Major General Richard Burr of the Australian Defence Force, Japanese Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda, Australian Consul General Scott Dewar, and Republic of Korea Consul General Young Kil Suh.
JASH Chair Sharon Weiner welcomed our special guests while JASH President Ed Hawkins spoke about the accomplishments the previous year such as helping promote sister relationships with Ehime, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, and newest one with Nagaoka City through cultural and educational exchanges. JASH welcomed four members of the Nagaoka delegation to this event, led by the Vice Mayor of Nagaoka, Tatsunobu Isoda. JASH outlined its hallmark educational programs for students K-12 that reached over 7,000 students in 2012, and the continuing work with hosting Japanese children from the 3/11 disaster in Japan through the Rainbow for Japan Kids project.
Japan's Consul General Shigeeda toasts to the New Year with Hawaii's Governor Abercrombie.
After a traditional kagamiwari sake barrel opening ceremony, the evening concluded with a traditional Okinawan-style lion dance, shi shi mai, presented by Jon Itomura and the Ryukyu Hawaii group. JASH would like to thank the overall sponsor, Stanford Carr and Stanford Carr Development for their donation and arranging for wine from Paradise Beverages. Thanks go to Dr. Michael Leineweber, Yumi Ozaki, and the rest of the Kokusai Sake Kai for providing the sake service; and to Steve Sombrero and Aloha Beer for providing the complimentary beer. Thanks also to Teru Kishii and The Cherry Company for providing the kagamiwari instruments and the sake for the kampai. Everyone had a great time!
For more photos from the evening please click
. : Japan Society of UK Trustee Speaks about Freemasonry in Japan
Ms. Chakmakjian with former Tokyo Grand Master Fredric Collins and JASH President Ed Hawkins; those who attended now know what the elements of this symbol signify.
What is Freemasonry and how did it get to Japan? This question was answered on January 29th by a Trustee of the Japan Society of UK who is an expert on this topic. Ms. Pauline Chakmakjian is a world traveler, history buff, and lecturer who comes to the U.S. periodically to visit family and friends. The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) took the opportunity during her visit to Hawaii to schedule a luncheon talk featuring Ms. Chakmakjian. Those who attended were not disappointed and were treated to a fascinating talk about the rise of Freemasonry in Europe, the spread of this fraternal organization to the U.S. and the rest of the world, and its establishment in Japan. Throughout her talk, Ms. Chakmakjian tied in historical events and personages, keeping the audience interested and engaged. A lengthy Q&A session that followed showed the level of interest generated.
Ms. Chakmakjian explained that Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century based on guilds. Though it has lost those identities, it still flourishes across the world keeping many of the symbols and practices originally established as hallmarks of this secret society, but it now engages in mostly charitable work. Ms. Chakmakjian lifted the veil of secrecy (it's not as secret as some might think) through her talk and pointed to the many positive charitable programs the organization started. Now Freemasonry's membership is estimated at about six million with lodges all over the world.
JASH would like to thank Pauline Chakmakjian for taking the time to speak to our Society members and friends about this interesting topic.
As in 2011, college students from Honolulu's newest sister city, Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, visited Honolulu from December 2 - 9 as a continuation of a collaborative program with Nagaoka's International Exchange Association to promote emerging ties between the two cities. The students' visit was twofold. First was to engage in round-table discussions about Japan's war experience and attainment of peace in the world with students at the University of Hawaii. The other was to attend the Pearl Harbor Attack memorial ceremony on December 7, see the actual attack sites, and see how America remembers that event and honors those who died and those who survived.
Nagaoka City was totally destroyed by U.S. bombing near the waning stages of World War II and the City holds a fireworks festival each year on the anniversary of that attack to remember the victims and to dedicate itself to lasting peace. In March, Nagaoka brought these world-famous fireworks to the Honolulu Festival as a gift to the people of Honolulu and visitors to the festival. As a result of the deepening relationship, Nagaoka is again bringing the fireworks to Honolulu next year.
JASH began the student exchanges with Nagaoka several years ago, leading to the signing of a sister city agreement with Honolulu this March. In February, JASH sent three Waipahu High School students to Nagaoka to experience its snow festival, learn its history, and be hosted for home-stays. JASH believes it's vitally important to educate our youth about the shared history and experiences. A related initiative was to bring together Nagaoka's Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto museum (his home town) and Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum to share materials and artifacts. JASH is proud to assist with these acts of furthering understanding and promoting reconciliation between former enemies who are now close friends.
(L) Nagaoka students engage in peace discussions with University of Hawaii at Manoa Students at the East-West Center; (R) Nagaoka students Kento Yoshida and Saki Iizuka are interviewed about their impressions by ABC reporter Lara Yamada after the Pearl Harbor Attack memorial ceremony.