The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) was pleased to hold its bi-annual Japan Day, sponsored by the McInerny Foundation on May 6, 2015. The program, now in its 22nd year, is the Society's longest running educational program. 130 students representing Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Island Pacific Academy, Kailua High School and Mid-Pacific Institute gathered together at Toho No Hikari Hawaii for a half-day program full of Japanese cultural activities. Over 30 volunteer experts presented cultural classes on bon dance, calligraphy, ikebana (flower arranging), kimono/yukata wear, origami, soroban (Japanese abacus), and tea ceremony. The morning started off with a Welcome Ceremony in the Social Hall led by JASH President Lenny Yajima and Toho No Hikari Administrator Jody Kanemaru welcoming the students to Japan Day. Members of the Taiko Center of the Pacific then invigorated the audience with their taiko performance and detailed explanation of taiko. The students then proceeded to their various activities. Each student had the opportunity to participate in four different cultural sessions throughout the morning. Comments made by the students included, "This Japan Day experience helped me further understand and appreciate Japan's culture and activities," and, "I liked the activities because I got to be out of my comfort zone and learn new things."
(L-R Clockwise): Students enjoy the taiko demonstration during the Welcome Ceremony; Beautiful yukata are donned by the students; Students partake in the tea ceremony; Students try their hand at soroban; Students learn the art of calligraphy; Volunteers teach the students how to bon dance.
To date, over 5,500 students from 56 different schools 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. As one student commented, "Japan Day was interesting. We got a window into Japanese culture." 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. Another student said,
"This was a great hands-on experience to learn Japanese culture." Through understanding and respecting different cultures and customs, we continue to bridge the gap that leads to friendship and cultural appreciation.
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. Setsuko Tokumine, her assistant Ms. Joyce Wong and Mr. Stanley Hashiro; Mrs. Jessie Nakata and her daughter Ms. Dawn Kanno of MOA Hawaii; Mrs. Jean Sakihara and members of Kimono Project USA; Ms. Ashley Nishihara of Hawaii Origami Club; 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 Toho No Hikari Hawaii for the generous use of their facilities, and the Taiko Center of the Pacific for their inspirational 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 Elizabeth Stanton-Barrera at 524-4450 or via email at email@example.com.
(L) JASH Staff members Liz Stanton-Barrera and Kathryn Murata showcase the special prizes to be awarded to Special Hole ticket drawing winners. (R) Deputy Consul General of Japan Koichi Maruyama presents the JASH trophy to 1st place winners Vaughn Hokama and Eddie Sim.
The 25th anniversary of JASH's Annual Friendship Golf Classic was held on April 22nd, 2015 at Hawaii Prince Golf Club in Ewa beach. Shochu donated from Kai Vodka was used for the JASH-traditional sake kanpai at noon, shortly followed by a taiko shotgun sendoff led by JASH Chair Daniel Dinell on taiko borrowed from Chinagu Eisa Hawaii.
During the award ceremony dinner, each participant received a door prize and teams with the top ten scores awarded prizes. The grand prize of a golf stay package at the Grand Wailea and Wailea Golf Course was awarded to 25th place team winners, Vic Angoco and Chris Redlew. The 1st place trophy was awarded to Vaughn Hokama and Eddie Sim. Guests got to enjoy a special 25th JASH Friendship Golf Anniversary cake from Liliha Bakery, donated by Golf Chair Alan Yamamoto.
JASH would like to thank our Tournament Sponsor Pacific Guardian Life for making this fundraiser a success this year. Thank you also to our other major sponsors, Titanium and Graphite sponsors, individual players, and many donors that supported our cause. Please click here for a comprehensive list of supporters of the tournament. A big MAHALO to the volunteers that helped bring the tournament together! Thank you to volunteer Ray Tabata for taking photos throughout the hot and sunny day.Thank you to the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu for their continued support of the tournament - and special thanks to Deputy Consul General of Japan Koichi Maruyama for presenting the trophy during our awards dinner.
We would also like to thank Kimo Kahoano for being a wonderful MC for our program, as well as facilitating the live auction briefly held during the awards dinner. His personality and great humor was a highlight of the evening. Finally, JASH gives a very special Mahalo to the 2015 Golf Chair Alan Yamamoto, who assisted throughout the preparation period of the tournament in soliciting for sponsors, teams and donations. Mahalo, Yama-san!
Dr. Nonaka gives talk at the Pacific Club
On April 16, 2015, JASH members and local business leaders experienced an informative lecture by Dr. Ikujiro Nonaka, a sought–after international professor and speaker. Dr. Nonaka gave an inspiring presentation about how business strategies and operations could be reformed to maximize potential and efficiency. Along with his interactive slideshow, Dr. Nonaka included insightful anecdotes and examples such as the fractal organization used in 7-Eleven. He explained how 7-Eleven’s creative and effective management system results in proficient leaders and a productive company.
Following his lecture, Dr. Nonoka answered questions from the audience. Some of the questions addressed how listeners could implement Dr. Nonaka’s ideas into their own business policies.
At the conclusion of his lecture attendees proceeded to indulge in an exquisite dinner laid out by The Pacific Club. The second half of the event provided an opportunity for attendees to network with other local and international leaders. It was very motivating to see so many local leaders come together and continue to learn and improve their corporate strategies in order to better prepare their companies for the future.
We would like to thank Dr. Nonaka and his wife, Sachiko, for speaking at this event, and recognize The Pacific Club for their excellent venue and service.
In February 2015, JASH invited two young professional organizations - Japan Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association Hawaii and the Sakura Hawaii Alumnae -- to participate in Project Reach Out (PRO), which is supported by a generous grant from The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.
PRO enables JASH to collaborate with these young professional organizations that share an interest in strengthening U.S.-Japan ties. As collaborators, JETAA and SHA each receive:
- Financial support for two networking or cultural events
- Subsidized tickets for their members at JASH signature events (Annual Dinner, Holiday Gala, and New Year’s Reception)
- Use of office and conference space (including computer use) in the JASH Office
"We are excited to partner with both organizations to deepen engagement and relevancy,” said JASH President Lenny Yajima. “We hope this collaboration will generate interest by JETAA and SHA members in JASH’s activities."
The PRO grant also provides funding for engaging a community outreach liaison, creating a database of youth and young professionals who have participated in JASH programs, and revamping JASH’s social media presence.
JETAA Hawaii is a network of Hawaii residents who have participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. JETAA prepares new JETs for their Japan assignments with a pre-departure orientation, events, and workshops. JETAA supports active JETs with information, materials, and ideas to assist them in their work and daily living.
SHA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that brings together former Hawaii Cherry Blossom Festival contestants who wish to advance and further the Japanese culture and heritage in Hawaii through mentorship and leadership in a variety of educational, social, community, and cultural events and projects.
The 2015 Mission Project delegation and host families at the Welcome Ceremony.
Fifteen students and three chaperones comprised this year's Asian Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) Mission Project delegation, visiting Honolulu, Hawaii from Wednesday, March 25 to Monday, March 30, 2015. Students from Japan were able to engage in the melting-pot culture and natural beauty of Hawaii through 15 volunteer host families. This is the fifth time the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) has hosted a Mission Project delegation from Fukuoka. In addition to Hawaii, other Mission Project delegates from Fukuoka were sent to Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Korea, Maldives, Nepal, Palau, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.
Established in 1994 by the APCC in Fukuoka, the goal of the Mission Project is to enhance Japanese children’s understanding of their Asian-Pacific neighbors by learning about their lifestyles, cultures, and customs through first-hand experiences. They do this by sending delegates to various Asian-Pacific countries. Here in Hawaii, students from ages 10 to 17 stayed with host families selected by JASH and were able to experience local culture, food, excursions to the beach, sightseeing, and many other fun activities. A highlight of the visit was the opportunity for Japanese students to attend school with their American host brothers or sisters. JASH would like to extend a warm mahalo to all of the principals of the hosting schools for opening their doors and classrooms and warmly welcoming the Japanese students.
Each summer, the APCC generously sponsors Hawaii’s Junior Ambassadors (JAs) for a global youth camp and home stay with host families in Fukuoka. JASH selects those JAs and spends six months preparing them for their trip to Fukuoka in July. The Mission Project allows JASH to reciprocate the hospitality that our own JAs experience in Japan.
JASH staff members greet the Hawaii delegation at the Honolulu International Airport.
JASH staff greeted the delegation on the morning of March 25th in the traditional Hawaiian style—giving lei to each delegate and chaperone—and escorted them to the Honolulu International Airport Conference Center, where delegates finally met their host families at the JASH sponsored Welcome Ceremony. Many of the delegates had been in contact with their host families a few weeks prior to arriving in Hawaii, so everyone was anxious to finally meet face to face. The Welcome Ceremony was a memorable first event, thanks especially to Deputy Consul General of Japan Koichi Maruyama who gave welcome remarks to the delegates.
(L) Sela Kimura and her host sister enjoy the icebreaker game at the Appreciation Party.
(R) Mission Project delegates strike a final pose to conclude their dance, Soran Bushi at the Appreciation Party.
JASH also sponsored an Appreciation Party for the host families and Japanese students at the Oahu Veterans Center on Friday, March 27th. In addition to the host families and delegates, about 20 members of Bridge Club Hawaii (APCC Alumni Association) and five of the 2015 JAs attended the party as well. It was an evening of good food and laughter as Japanese delegates shared their talents with the audience and Dori Kim, Shayna Kim, and Michelle Buck gave special hula performances. Speeches by the delegates as well as stories from host families were especially meaningful for everyone who attended. On the evening of March 29th, host families said their tearful goodbyes as they dropped off their host students to return to Japan the next day. In just five days, host families became second families to their host students, and this was evident through the smiles and warm hugs exchanged by the students and families on this final day.
Host families and delegates say their goodbyes at the hotel.
JASH President Lenny Yajima with JASH staff Elizabeth Stanton-Barrera and Kathryn Murata seeing off the delegation at the Honolulu International Airport.
JASH would like to extend and very huge “thank you” to the 15 host families for providing the visiting students from Fukuoka once-in-a-lifetime experiences they will cherish forever. This program would not have been possible without their generosity and warm aloha spirit. JASH would also like to thank APCC Program Director Elizabeth Stanton-Barrera and Mission Project Coordinator Kathryn Murata for all of their outstanding work in leading this program.
On March 19, 2015, Chairman Takashi Hatchoji joined us at a JASH Speaker Breakfast and Panel-Discussion with featured topic: “JUMPSmart Maui Initiative,” which is currently taking place on the island of Maui. Chairman Hatchoji and the three expert-panelists spoke about the importance of this energy program and its ultimate goal of helping Hawaii become less dependent on fossil fuels. Picture from Left to Right: Panelist Moderator Mr. Tab Bowers, Executive Vice President, American Savings Bank; Ms. Sharon Suzuki, President, Maui Electric Company (MECO); Ms. Jeanne Skog, President & CEO, Maui Economic Development Board; and Dr. Richard Rocheleau, Director, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Chairman Hatchoji’s presentation focused on the history and development of Hitachi as a global enterprise with the company's basic principles maintained by every employee of the company. The Japanese terms “Wa, Makoto, and Kaitaku-Seishin” translate in English to “Harmony, Sincerity, and Pioneering Spirit”, respectively. These values have persevered with Hitachi as they have developed into a global leader of technology and IT services.
Following Chairman Hatchoji’s presentation, the program segued into a Panel-Discussion featuring Dr. Richard Rocheleau, Director, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Ms. Jeanne Skog, President and CEO, Maui Economic Development Board; and Ms. Sharon Suzuki, President, Maui Electric Company (MECO).
Ms. Suzuki explained that as the provider of electricity for the island of Maui, MECO viewed this project as an opportunity to develop a Smart Grid; a chance to improve solar panel and wind power integration into the energy system; and most importantly, and an opportunity to increase the sharing of information and involvement with the community in Maui. The goal of the project is to increase clean energy usage to at least 70% by the year 2030. Ms. Skog continued to explain that the JUMPSmart Maui program has been involving the community, businesses, the private sector, and the government. This cooperation and acknowledgement of each party’s strengths has been integral in the success of the project.
Finally, Dr. Richard Rocheleau spoke of the advantages of the Smart Grid project being on the island of Maui. He explained that the island has solar and wind resources to make the projected-goals achievable in a way that mainland locations might have trouble doing.
It was wonderful to see the solidarity and confidence that all speakers had in the project and its goals. They readily answered all questions directed to them from completely different companies and perspectives. JASH would like to thank Chairman Hatchoji, Ms. Suzuki, Ms. Skog, and Dr. Rocheleau for participating in this panel discussion. Thank you also to NAJAS and Keizai Koho Center for providing JASH the opportunity to host this program.
Picture from Left to Right: Panelist Moderator Mr. Tab Bowers, Executive Vice President, American Savings Bank; Ms. Sharon Suzuki, President, Maui Electric Company (MECO); Ms. Jeanne Skog, President & CEO, Maui Economic Development Board; and Dr. Richard Rocheleau, Director, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
On Tuesday, March 3, Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda generously opened their doors to hold a Hinamatsuri Celebration in their official residence for JASH members and guests.
Hinamatsuri is a celebration for parents to wish for happiness and good health for daughters. Traditionally celebrated on March 3rd, Japanese dolls are arranged to contain bad spirits and save the owner from dangerous encounters.
Fujima Takamasa from the Fujima Takamasa Nihon Buyou Kenkyusho (The Institute of Japanese Dance Studies of Tokyo) performed for the guests with his crew, taking the time to explain different aspects of the Hinamatsuri kimono. Guests had many questions answered regarding the number of kimono layers, the evolution of the Japanese fan, and dressing habits of the aristocracy as early as the Heian Period.
Thank you once again to the Consulate General of Japan for hosting this much-anticipated occasion. JASH would also like to thank our Tomodachi volunteers for providing additional refreshments for this event. Thank you Fujima-san for the wonderful performance, and we hope to see you again in Hawaii soon.
Performance by Fujima Takamasa and his crew.
2015 JASH Junior Ambassadors with chaperone Kevin Matsuda.
On February 7, a JASH selection committee selected six 11-year-old students (three boys and three girls) to represent Hawaii as JASH Junior Ambassadors (JAs) at the 27th Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC), which will be held in Fukuoka, Japan, from July 9 - 22, 2015. A total of 232 children from 45 countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region have been invited to participate this year. The delegation will be led by JASH volunteer Kevin Matsuda, Executive Director of the Hawaii Council on Economic Education.
This year, JASH received a total of 40 applicants from Oahu’s private and public schools. After a day of interviews and group workshops held at the JASH office, the final six JAs were selected: Luke Cisneros (Aina Haina Elementary); Landon Hung (Maryknoll School); Landon Kimura (Moanalua Elementary); Chloe Kwok (St. Patrick School); Gianni Ma (University Laboratory School) and Tierra Nakamura (Pearl Ridge Elementary).
The students will spend one Saturday each month from now until July preparing for their
trip to Fukuoka. The workshops are designed to develop teamwork skills and build
students’ knowledge about Japan, Japan-Hawaii ties, cultural etiquette and the 44 other
countries and cities that will be sending delegates to the Convention. Each delegation is
required to give a cultural performance unique to that country or region. The Hawaii
delegation will be performing a Hawaiian chant and hula at the Convention.
The first workshop was held at the JASH office on Saturday, February 28. The new
Junior Ambassadors and their parents both attended and learned more about JASH, the
APCC and their responsibilities as a JA. They also had a chance to meet the 2014 JAs
and parents and hear about their experiences in the program last year. The two groups
had the chance to get to know each other better after the workshop through a potluck
arranged by the 2014 delegation.
The next workshop for the 2015 APCC Junior Ambassadors will be held on Saturday,
Congratulations to the 130 students who represented 30 high schools on Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai at the 12th Annual Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at Kapiolani Community College (KCC)! The 45 student 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. We are proud to announce the winners of this year's competition:
Level A 1st place: Punahou School
Level A 2nd place: Maui Preparatory Academy
Level A 3rd place: Mililani High School
Level B 1st place: Punahou School
Level B 2nd place: Baldwin High School
Level B 3rd place: St. Andrew's Priory
JASH President Lenny Yajima with JASH Chair Daniel Dinell, JASH Directors David Asanuma, Sal Miwa, and Howard Hamamoto, JTB Hawaii’s Akio Hoshino, and the winning teams
The Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship was awarded to the top scoring team in the competition, Punahou School (Level B team).
JASH awarded Japan trips to the top scoring public and private school teams in each level. We are proud to announce the Japan trip winners:
Level A: Mililani High School (public) and Punahou School (private)
Level B: Baldwin High School (public) and Punahou School (private)
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. JASH will also arrange educational programs hosted by our colleagues in Japan: Japan-America Societies in Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Kitakyushu, and Tama Tokyo; Ehime Prefectural International Center, and Nagaoka International Exchange Association.
Between competition rounds, students were kept busy with the numerous activity stations in the Activity Center. These included calligraphy, gyotaku fish printing by Prior 2 Pupu Productions, karuta, origami by Hawaii Origami Club, a tea ceremony demonstration, and Jeopardy. HI Kendama performed and demonstrated various tricks and techniques involving the kendama, a traditional Japanese game that has gained popularity in Hawaii.
(L) Students enjoy a friendly game of fukuwarai, a game similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey;
(R) Volunteers teach students how to play Japanese Bingo.
Thank you to the overall sponsor Hawaiian Airlines and other major supporters - ABC Stores, Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation, Freeman Foundation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation, JTB Hawaii, Temple University Japan, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles - who make the competition one which high school students across the state look forward to each year.
JASH would also like to thank all the contributors who provided prizes, snacks, and other donations that assisted with the competition. Many thanks and recognition goes to the 76 volunteers representing the JET Alumni Association of Hawaii, UH Manoa, KCC, Hawaii Tokai International College, and American Savings Bank to name a few. Without this tremendous support, the competition would not have been possible. Finally, our gratitude goes to the President, Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, and staff of Kapiolani Community College for the generous use of their facilities and for their support of the JASH Japan Wizards Competition.
On January 21, 2015, JASH members hit off the new year at the New Year’s Reception, held at the governor of Hawaii’s official residence, Washington Place. A maximum capacity crowd had the benefits of enjoying newly-elected Governor David Ige’s welcoming remarks and opportunity to meet the Governor and First Lady on a one-to-one basis.
Entertainment included festive performances of Okinawa-style lion dance by Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts and taiko by Ryukyukoku Hawaii Matsuri Daiko. Thank you for the fun-filled performances! The Japanese traditional cask-breaking ceremony, kagamiwari, was performed by Governor Ige, Mayor Kirk Caldwell representative, Managing Director Mr. Roy Amemiya, Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda, JASH Chair Daniel Dinell, Mayor of Chigasaki, Mayor Nobuaki Hattori.
JASH extends its sincere appreciation to the event sponsor Stanford Carr Development LLC. Thank you for supporting this event year after year. Thanks also to Neiman Marcus’s Mariposa for catering, Kokusai Sake Kai for providing sake tasting, and The Cherry Company for kagamiwari donation. Thank you to Washington Place for hosting us again this year.
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