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Japan-America Society of Hawaii
1600 Kapiolani Blvd Suite 204
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
Phone (808) 524-4450
Fax (808) 524-4451
admindir@jashawaii.org
Office hours:
M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship

Ehime Maru Memorial Association

The National Association of Japan-America Societies

PAST EVENTS 2012

. : JASH Hosts Nagaoka City Students Again


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.


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. : JASH Celebrates "Bonenkai"" with Christmas 5:01


Guests enjoy the Halekulani ambience and cuisine while bidding on auction items.


This has been a busy year for JASH. Beginning the year with a memorial service for Japanese training ship Ehime Maru victims, to continuing assisting with recovery efforts from the Great East Japan Earthquake through the Rainbow for Japan Kids project, and promoting educational and exchange programs with sister cities and societies in Japan to include Nagaoka City and Ehime Prefecture, JASH has stayed busy for the entire year. It was time to "kick back", look at our accomplishments, get recharged, and dedicate ourselves for the tasks ahead next year.

Halekulani Hotel and Resort again welcomed JASH, its members, and friends to a holiday social at this world class venue. Its master chefs prepared sumptuous dishes, complemented by a hosted bar and a dessert station. What made the evening even better was the silent auction, filled with over 200 items donated by JASH members and supporters. The nearly 200 who attended enjoyed not only the feast and conversation with members and guests, but many walked away with early Christmas gifts such as getaways and golf packages to other islands, local hotel stays, and guitars and ukulele for themselves or their friends and loved ones. All the proceeds will help JASH with its programs for the coming year. This year, the event welcomed students and advisors from Honolulu's sister city, Nagaoka, who were in Hawaii to engage in round table discussions with students at the University of Hawaii and to attend the Pearl Harbor Attack memorial ceremony.

JASH would like to thank Halekulani Hotel & Resort, especially Senior Vice President Yoshinori Maeda, for generously sponsoring this premier annual event. We'd also like to thank all the donors and volunteers who made this event possible. The full list of donors can be found here and will be recognized in our upcoming Journal.

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. : Japan-America Society of Hawaii Holds Fall 2012 McInerny Foundation's Japan Day


Thanks to the generous support provided by the McInerny Foundation, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) held its Fall 2012 Japan Day on Wednesday, November 7 at Hawaii Tokai International College. A total of 132 students representing Kalani High School, King Kekaulike High School (Maui), La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls, and Lutheran High School of Hawaii gathered for an interactive experience with the Japanese culture. The day began with an inspirational taiko performance and demonstration in the Welcome Ceremony, led by master drummer Kenny Endo and seven members of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble. Senses awakened, the students proceeded to their cultural classes for the next few hours. Over 40 volunteer experts presented cultural classes on bon dance, bonsai tree planting, calligraphy, traditional crafts, ikebana (flower arranging), kimono/yukata wear, soroban (Japanese abacus), and tea ceremony. The students had a newfound appreciation for the arts as they compared craft creations and class stories with each other throughout the day.

Since its inception in 1993, over 5,100 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 different cultures and customs, we continue to bridge the gap that leads to friendship and cultural appreciation.

(L-R Clockwise): The Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble provides a stellar taiko performance; A student perfects her ikebana creation; Students learn the art of calligraphy; The Pokemon Ondo is a hit in the bon dance class!


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; Mr. Jim Meyer and the Hawaii Bonsai Association; 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 ksoma@jashawaii.org.

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. : JASH Holds 36th Annual Dinner, honors Governor and Mrs. Ariyoshi


The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) held its 36th Anniversary Annual Dinner on Thursday, October 25th at the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Coral Ballroom. Over 350 members, supporters, and friends attended this gala affair, the major annual fundraising event for JASH.

As in previous years, JASH honored a member of the community with the JASH Bridge Award for building bridges of understanding and friendship between Hawaii and Japan. This year's honorees were former Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi and Mrs. Jean Ariyoshi for their lifetime of work in promoting this most important relationship. While Governor Ariyoshi broke a lot of ground reaching out to Japan after taking office in 1974 to promote economic, cultural, and educational ties when relations with Japan were not the best, Mrs. Ariyoshi as First Lady worked to promote cultural ties, including the launching of her "One Thousand Trees of Aloha" and her work promoting the tea ceremony with Grand Master Dr. Genshitsu Sen.

Governor Ariyoshi, with Mrs. Ariyoshi, speaks to the crowd after accepting the JASH Bridge Award.


On hand was Senior Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye who recognized Governor and Mrs. Ariyoshi's work in promoting the important relationship with Japan, telling personal stories during the many years of their political and personal relationship. In his acceptance speech, Governor Ariyoshi complemented the work of JASH, quoting former U.S. Ambassador Mansfield by saying that what it promotes is the most important bilateral relationship, bar none, in the Asia-Pacific region and encouraged new initiatives to promote better ties with Japan-based societies. Mrs. Ariyoshi praised her husband's efforts, and vowed to continue working to promote this important relationship with Japan.

In keeping with previous tradition, JASH invited a world-class speaker to the event to deliver the keynote address. Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) House of Representatives Member and former Minister of the Environment and Minister of Defense Ms. Yuriko Koike addressed the gathered crowd, delivering a personal message from newly-elected LDP President Shinzo Abe with a story about Governor Ariyoshi, pointing to the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship, and discussing future regional security issues.

Japanese House of Representatives member Ms. Yuriko Koike accepts the speaker's gift from JASH Chair Sharon Weiner after her keynote address.


JASH would like to thank all the table sponsors, supporters, and attendees for their support of this annual dinner, and for their support throughout the year. Names of sponsors and supporters can be found on the JASH website here.

Mahalo to our photographers Tony Grillo and Ray Tabata for beautifully capturing our event. Please click on their names for a link to their photos.

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. : LeSportsac Donates to Rainbow for Japan Kids


The boutique stores of LeSportsac are a haute couture fixture of Hawaii. On October 26, Mr. James Geiger of Kupono Investment, Inc. and owner of LeSportsac boutiques in Waikiki and Guam came out in support of the Rainbow for Japan Kids (RFJK) program by donating $25,000 towards this project to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii. RFJK brings disaster-affected children of the March 11 disaster in Japan to Hawaii for rest, recuperation, and physical/psychological relief. As it turns out, this is not the first instance of generosity shown by Kupono Investment, Inc. to the RFJK project. In December of last year, LeSportsac donated stylish Weekender bags to the girls who came to Hawaii for this program.

As to why the company has been so generous, owner Jim Geiger said, "We are a Hawaii-based and Hawaii-staffed company. I've been here for over 30 years, we are a fixture of the community, and we want to show support to this great program as people of Hawaii."

JASH President Ed Hawkins accepts $25,000 donation from Mr. James Geiger of Kupono Investment, Inc. for the Rainbow for Japan Kids project.


LeSportsac is a quintessential American lifestyle brand of casual, trendsetting nylon bags. Founded in 1974, the company maintains a strong presence around the globe, offering a fashion forward line of handbags, travel totes, backpacks, attaches and accessories. The lightweight fabric combined with high-performance hardware characterizes its iconic, functional styles available in a wide variety of colors and prints. A leader in the accessories market, LeSportsac continues to offer fresh, innovative styles that remain consistent in terms of quality and character while partnering with trendsetters around the world. The product also features exclusive Hawaiian theme prints. Kupono Investment, Inc. operates six stores in Hawaii-Royal Hawaiian Center, Ala Moana Center, Waikiki Shopping Plaza, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, Hilton Hawaiian Village, and Waikele Premium Outlets -and two stores in Guam.

JASH and the Rainbow for Japan Kids Committee thanks Kupono Investment, Inc. and all the staff of LeSportsac for their generosity.

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. : DFS Hawaii Hosts Hawaii 5:01 at Pacific Aviation Museum


Over 60 JASH members and guests attended a "Hawaii 5:01" networking event at the refurbished and updated Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island on September 26. The event, sponsored by DFS Hawaii, was an opportunity for JASH members and guests to get to know each other better, and to enjoy the beautifully crafted exhibits of this world-class aviation museum in the Pacific region. This time, JASH invited members of the Consular Corps of Hawaii to experience this event and learn about the work the museum is doing to educate people about the patriotism, heroism, and sacrifice made by Americans during the defense of freedom in the Pacific. Many of the displays focused on first conflict with and then friendship with Japan. As to press home this point, the PAM staff welcomed two visiting Japanese WW II naval aviators who were on hand to share their stories. Admiral Ron Hays, PAM's Chairman of the Board of Directors made welcoming remarks and urged the attendees to tour all the facilities, to include the new hanger 79 where latest acquisitions are being displayed.

L-R: PAM Exec Dir Ken DeHoff, Japanese Aviator Saburo Kawabe, PAM staff Gary Meyers, Acting CG Kazunari Tanaka, Japanese Aviator Shiro Wakita, JASH President Ed Hawkins, Honorary Consul of Finland Katja Silvera.


JASH would like to thank the sponsor for the event, DFS Hawaii, who provided the catered food and drinks for the attendees, and to the Pacific Aviation Museum for opening their facilities for an exclusive evening of seeing airplanes and aviation items presented in historic, real-life detail and dynamism. As PAM Executive Director Ken DeHoff said, "This is not a 'park and plaque' museum—it's a learning museum."

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. : Tomodachi Let's Talk- Ganbappe Tohoku!


Outgoing Tomodachi co-chair Hiroko Dewitz, Incoming co-chair and guest speaker Ray Tabata, and co-chair Shirley Miyamoto. Ray's shirt says "ganbappe" which is Tohoku dialect for "ganbare" (do your best).


On Thursday, September 20, Tomodachi members and their guests gathered at the exclusive Waialae Country Club for the seventh annual "Let's Talk Luncheon." Our featured guest speaker was incoming Tomodachi co-chair Ray Tabata.

Ray Tabata retired from the University of Hawaii in 2011 where he worked for over 30 years as an extension specialist for Hawaii Sea Grant and an educational program specialist at the UH medical school. For the one year anniversary of the great Tohoku earthquake, Ray was able to visit several places in Aomori, Iwate, and Miyagi prefectures to learn about volunteer activities and photo document his journey.

Ray described the damages of the tsunami. Sea walls which were over 30 feet high offered a false sense of security as they were not enough the protect the coast. His overall impression of the affected areas was that people still have positive spirits despite their circumstances. Ray is already planning his trip for the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami.

JASH would like to thank Ray Tabata for sharing his story of his firsthand experience in the Tohoku area. Thank you also to Tomodachi co-chair Shirley Miyamoto who made all the arrangements for Waialae Country Club. Also a big otsukaresama to outgoing co-chair Hiroko Dewitz for her two years of hard work.

(L) Many businesses were trying to make a comeback such as this bus converted into a soba and udon shop. (R) A volunteer group works to rebuild the community center in Ofunato, Iwate. Volunteers are needed not only for rebuilding housing but also for food preparation and distribution, especially to seniors. Ray encouraged guests to continue to help the Tohoku area in any way that they can.


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. : 2012 Japan Wizards Japan Trip Awards Fulfill Dreams


This summer, four teams from Kauai High School, Maryknoll School, Saint Andrew's Priory, and Waiakea High School were able to put their knowledge of Japan and language skills to the test in Japan after winning the Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC), held in February and hosted by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH). The students enjoyed their time in Japan by exploring the culture and practicing the traditions they learned about in the classroom. Alyssa Braun from Kauai High School wrote in her trip essay, "Visiting Japan was the experience of a lifetime. I was able to use all of the skills I learned in my Japanese language classes. I was also able to learn more about the places and people I studied in the Japan Wizards Contest. It was amazing to see the things that I studied in person. Going to Japan through JASH also taught me a lot about the true values of culture, tradition, language, and hospitality."

From the 5th to 12th of June, Level A 1st place winners Heather Acidera, Justin Higa, Andrew Ines, and chaperone Charlene Martin from Maryknoll School explored Tokyo, Hakone, Mt. Fuji, and Nikko. Overlapping Maryknoll School's trip from the 9th to the 16th of June, Level B 1st place winners Alyssa Braun, Dylan Hernandez, Matthew Kanna, and chaperone Kathy Morishige from Kauai High School visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara. As part of the Japan trip award for each winning team, an all-day educational experience was arranged by JASH in partnership with our contacts in Japan. The educational experiences for Maryknoll School and Kauai High School were provided by the America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo, JASH's sister society. The staff from the Tama Tokyo Society graciously escorted the students to the Edo-Tokyo Museum and Ooedo Onsen Monogatari (a popular hot springs theme park in Odaiba, Tokyo) where they were able to learn about the history of Japan, embrace the beauty of nature, and interact with locals. Justin Higa from Maryknoll School learned about "a different part of Japan that can't be felt by watching television, or reading books…Japan is best experienced by visiting, and taking in as much of the sights, language, and culture as you can." This trip furthered his "views and understanding of Japan and its similarities and differences from those of Hawaii."

JWC Kauai High School team members waiting for their train


From June 27 to July 6, Level A 3rd place winners Yan Ying Huang, Isaiah Jumila, Gavin Sako, and advisor Jaimelynn Gusman from Waiakea High School traveled to Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Ehime. Ms. Noriko Omori from the Ehime Prefectural International Center (EPIC) kindly arranged a wonderful educational program for them, including a cultural presentation at a local elementary school, a visit to a local high school, a courtesy call with the Governor of Ehime Mr. Tokihiro Nakamura, and sightseeing in Matsuyama. According to Isaiah Jumila, "Interactions are far more important than sightseeing; to build international friendships is one of the best feelings in the world. I will never forget everyone who went out of their way to show me true Japanese hospitality and compassion. To know that thousands of miles away, there is a person who appreciates you for your culture and vice versa is amazing and just shows how it is human nature to be curious of other's cultures." The student testimonials illustrate the importance of incorporating an educational experience into the Japan trip awards in order to give the students person-to-person experiences.

JWC Waiakea High School team members (front row) join the Kendo Club at a local Ehime high school


From June 30 to July 8, Level B 2nd place winners Ellie Miyashiro, Courtney Nomiyama, Jennifer Takahashi, and advisor Aiko Gojo from St. Andrew's Priory experienced Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Tokyo, and Osaka. Mr. Motoyuki Murahashi from the Japan-America Society of Fukuoka (JASF) and Ms. Miho Harada from the Kitakyushu Japan-America Society (KJAS) graciously guided the team to the Takagi Company and the Yaskawa Electric Corporation in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka. Courtney Nomiyama stated, "Visiting those two companies truly opened my eyes to how technologically driven our world is becoming and how much our lives will be shaped by such devices in the future. The opportunity to have an insider's look at Kitakyushu's thriving industries is a valuable experience that will forever impact my intellectual thoughts on the modern world." Ms. Harada also escorted the team to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Nagasaki Peace Park, Dejima, and Glover Garden, where, as a history buff, Courtney "just loved that feeling of experiencing another time period in person rather than simply absorbing words off a page. Being able to visit both the historical and modern side of Nagasaki in one day was a priceless educational lesson that no school lecture could compare to…The lesson that always resonated within me was: experience is key." Nagasaki was the only seaport where trade with foreign countries was allowed during Japan's closed-door policy which lasted over 200 years. The students were fortunate to witness this foreign influence throughout the prefecture.

(L): JWC St. Andrew's Priory team members with Ms. Harada of KJAS and staff of Takagi Company;
(R): JWC St. Andrew's Priory team members enjoy their last meal at the airport with Mr. Murahashi (JASF) and Ms. Harada (KJAS)


JASH would like to send a big Arigatougozaimashita to supporters from the America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo, EPIC, JASF, and KJAS, for their warm welcome and care of our JWC teams. Matthew Kanna of Kauai High School said it perfectly: "I wish that hopefully someday, I can be like (the Japanese people); have good aspirations, morals, and be very personable. I hope that the Japan-America Society of Hawaii keeps doing this program because it is such an amazing experience and something that every student should strive for. The hard work pays off and not only do you have an amazing time, but you learn so much more about Japan—even more than you studied." We would be remiss without thanking the Competition's overall sponsor Hawaiian Airlines for the generous donation of international airfare, and to all of the other supporters who made the Competition possible. Thank you also to the Wizards who truly were ambassadors of Hawaii!

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. : APCC Delegation Returns Home


On Tuesday, July 24, the 2012 APCC delegation returned home to Honolulu after a ten day stay in Fukuoka, Japan where they took part in the 24th Asian-Pacific Children's Convention, which was held from July 13 - 24, 2012.

Hosted by the Fukuoka government, the APCC promotes international relationships between children so that they will become adults with a strong social responsibility for the world. The Hawaii delegates spent the first three nights at Marine House Camp with 218 children from 42 countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The delegates then took part in a discussion period at a local elementary school to discuss how to make the world a better place.

Following the one day visit at Hirao Elementary, the delegates all went home with their Japanese host families where they stayed for the next six nights. They did not meet again until July 21, when everyone got together for the APCC "We Are the Bridge" cultural exchange festival at Tenjin Central Park in Fukuoka City. There, the Hawaii delegates performed a hula to the song Ulupalakua.

The Hawaii delegates on the set of Hawaii News Now Sunrise Program.


After their return to Hawaii, the delegates were fortunate to be featured on Hawaii News Now's Sunrise Program on July 26. Click here for the link to the video segment.

On August 4, the delegates and their parents met for one last workshop at the JASH office where they shared their experiences being a part of the APCC program this year. Everyone who attended the last workshop was pleased to hear about all that the children had learned while in Fukuoka. JASH would like to thank all of the families and friends who helped to prepare the delegation for their trip.

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. : JASH Chair and President Visit Japan to Promote Existing Ties


In August, JASH Chair Sharon Weiner and JASH President Ed Hawkins visited both Nagaoka City in Niigata Prefecture and Uwajima City and Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture to promote sister city and sister state ties between Hawaii and Japan. The visits were in keeping with JASH's mission of promoting understanding and friendship between the peoples of U.S. and Japan through the special and unique perspective of Hawaii. The visit to Nagaoka City was at the invitation of its Committee for Developing a Bridge of Friendship between Japan and USA to view its world-famous fireworks festival, and the excursion to Ehime was at the invitation of Uwajima City to attend its first Hawaiian Festival. This trip was supported by Ms. Weiner and DFS Hawaii.

The Nagaoka City visit deepened the ever-growing ties with the City and County of Honolulu which signed a sister city relationship document this past March. Although the main purpose was to enjoy the fabulous fireworks festival, the visit was an opportunity to call on Nagaoka's Mayor Tamio Mori, visit the new City Hall patterned after the open architecture of Honolulu Hale, and engage in discussions about future educational and cultural exchanges between students of Nagaoka and Honolulu.

JASH "delegation" to Nagaoka Fireworks Festival, with members of Nagaoka Festival Committee at the welcome party.


Following that visit, Ms. Weiner and Mr. Hawkins traveled to Ehime Prefecture where the first stop was to Honolulu's sister city Uwajima. At its inaugural Hawaiian Festival, Ms. Weiner read a letter of greeting and congratulations from the Mayor of Honolulu, Peter Carlisle. The two also visited Uwajima Fisheries High School, home school for the training ship Ehime Maru, the genesis of the current relationship between Uwajima and Honolulu. Afterwards the two paid a courtesy visit to Uwajima Minami Junior High School, the sister school for Kawananakoa Middle School that JASH had a hand in help creating.

JASH Chair Sharon Weiner reads message from Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle to the crowd assembled for Uwajima's Hawaiian Festival with JASH President Ed Hawkins looking on.


The final stop was to Ehime's capital city of Matsuyama where the visitors met with Ehime Prefectural International Center staff and the two interns from the University of Hawaii, Aurora Tsai and Manako, who were completing their three-month internship (this program is a good-will measure put in place by the Ehime government following the Ehime Maru incident). At a lunch meeting with Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura, the two discussed next year's important 13th anniversary of the Ehime Maru incident in Hawaii, and areas of cultural, educational, and economic cooperation between Ehime and Hawaii. Reports of this visit were sent to Hawaii's Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism to provide inputs for next year's 10th anniversary of marking Ehime-Hawaii sister state relationship.

Additional details of these visits can be found on the trip report here: Read more

International Division Director Kunimoto, Board of Education Guidance Director Takemoto , Governor Tokihiro Nakamura, Ms. Weiner, Mr. Hawkins, Board of Education Superintendent Senba.


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. : Is Japan "Going, Going, Gone?"


Ms. Merle Okawara with fellow JASH Director Ms. Jean Rolles.


On Wednesday, August 8, Japan-America Society of Hawaii Director and Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation Trustee, Ms. Merle Aiko Okawara, spoke to JASH members about the current social trends in Japan and how they will affect the country's future. Ms. Okawara is the chairman of JC-Comsa Corp. and pioneered the pizza and ethnic foods industry in Japan.

Japan has a large elderly population with a declining birthrate (1.3%) which is leading to a declining economy. Many people are choosing to postpone marriage or not marry at all so that they can have a free and comfortable lifestyle. More women are seeking higher education leading to later marriage. Many "parasite singles" choose to live off of their parents, using their own earnings as a disposable income. Despite the downward social trend, Ms. Okawara expressed many options for Japan to work to overcome this, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. For starters, Japan will need to continue to relax immigration laws. Ms. Okawara currently uses Brazilian workers in some of her factories. Increased female population in the workplace would help to expand the workforce and change the current Confucius way of thinking. Most men still feel that a Japanese woman's place is in the home and it is still difficult for a woman's opinion to be heard in a boardroom or the workplace. Ms. Okawara also noted in the question and answer portion that if the government gave more incentives to have children, more people might oblige. However, if the population of Japan did decrease, perhaps it would decrease the density as well (currently greater than China) and lead to a better quality of life for many.

JASH would like to thank Ms. Okawara for taking time out of her Hawaii visit to give a presentation to our members. We would also like to thank former Tomodachi Co-chair Kazuko Love for introducing Ms. Okawara and being the MC for the afternoon.

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. : Japanese Children from Disaster Region Visit Hawaii for Summer Program


Twenty Japanese junior high school boys and girls visited Hawaii in July as participants in the Rainbow for Japan Kids program. The students ranging from 12-14 were from the three affected prefectures in Japan - Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. This is the fourth group of Japanese children to visit Hawaii under this program and brings the total to nearly 100.

The program does not include home stays with host families; rather, it relies on building friendships with local children of roughly the same ages through stays in camps and other outdoor activities. As in previous visits, the children stayed several days at YMCA's Camp Erdman on the north shore of Oahu, followed by a visit to the Big Island for several days at Kilauea Military Camp where they engaged in hiking, nature tours, and stargazing.

A highlight of the visit includes a water activity. This time, the staff of Hilton Grand Vacations prepared stand-up paddle-boarding and kayak races at Hilton's new lagoon next to Waikiki Beach. Afterwards, the children moved to the Hale Koa military hotel where they watched fireworks while enjoying a BBQ dinner.

Camp activities with local children form bonds of friendship.


Through these activities, the program aims to free the students from their day-to-day existence in Japan briefly, focus on their own lives and dreams, create friendships with local people, and return them to Japan refreshed and dedicated to bettering their lives and their communities.

This program is possible only because of the generosity of companies and groups who provide in-kind donations of hotel rooms, meals, local transportation, and activities. Halekulani Hotel prepared a welcome dinner, KoAloha Ukulele donated material and staff time for the children to make their own personal ukulele, and Pagoda Hotel provided rooms.

RFJK is a proud partner with TOMODACHI, a private-public partnership led by the U.S. Embassy and the U.S.-Japan Council. More information on these programs can be found on JASH website at www.jashawaii.org, or by calling JASH at (808) 524-4450 and also on the U.S. Embassy website at http://japan.usembassy.gov.

 


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. : Japan-America Society of Hawaii Holds Spring 2012
    McInerny Foundation's Japan Day


Thanks to the generous support provided by the McInerny Foundation, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) held its Spring 2012 Japan Day on Wednesday, May 2 at Hawaii Tokai International College. A total of 133 students representing Hanalani Schools, Kaiser High School, Kamehameha Schools - Hawaii, and Punahou School gathered for an exceptional opportunity to experience the Japanese culture. The day began with a taiko performance and demonstration by the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble. Energized and inspired, the students spent the next few hours absorbing the Japanese culture. Over 40 volunteer experts presented cultural classes on bon dance, bonsai tree planting, calligraphy, traditional crafts, ikebana (flower arranging), kimono/yukata wear, soroban (Japanese abacus), and tea ceremony. Excitement filled the air as students beamed with pride while making their own cultural creations, coincidentally in time for Kodomo no hi (Children's Day) on May 5!

Since its inception in 1993, over 5,000 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 different cultures and customs, we continue to bridge the gap that leads to friendship and cultural appreciation.

(L-R Clockwise): Students learn how to make Children's Day-themed origami; Students enjoy the opportunity to wear yukata; Everyone is in deep concentration learning soroban (Japanese abacus) skills; Hawaii Bonsai Association volunteers teach students how to plant their own bonsai trees.


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; Mr. Jim Meyer and the Hawaii Bonsai Association; 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, Mr. Hiroaki Yoshida, 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 469-4646 or via email at ksoma@jashawaii.org.

(L-R): The Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble explains the different instruments used in taiko; Members of the Urasenke Foundation perform a traditional tea ceremony for the students.



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. : JASH Educational Program Director Observes 20th National Japan Bowl
     in Washington DC


On Thursday and Friday, April 12 and 13, 2012, The Japan-America Society of Washington DC held its annual National Japan Bowl in Chevy Chase, Maryland. This marked the 20th anniversary of the Japan Bowl. JASH Educational Program Director Kelsey Soma Turek made the journey from Hawaii to observe the high school competition and see how we can improve the Society's Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC). Sixty-five teams represented 32 schools from across the United States in this motivational Japanese language competition. The Japan Bowl is similar to the JWC in Hawaii. Its top scoring Level IV team is awarded a trip to Japan. Similar competitions are held by Japan-America Societies throughout the U.S., but JASH's is the only competition that consistently awards four trips to Japan. Congratulations to all the participants! JASH will use some lessons learned to improve our 2013 JWC.

Final Round, Level 4 Competition on stage


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. : 2011 Japan Wizards Iolani Teams Reflect on Japan Trip


In March 2012, the two Japan Wizards Competition (JWC) winning teams from Iolani School were able to immerse themselves in the culture of Japan and experience what they had studied in and outside of the classroom. Due to the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, the teams delayed their Japan trip. According to the students, it was well worth the wait. Micah Lau wrote in his trip essay, "I could never forget the beautiful and silent gardens of Kyoto, muted by the imminent blossoming of millions of flowers; the peaceful, deep forests of Nara, the grand scale of Todaiji, the chilled water of Kiyomizu on my lips - I'll keep them forever."

As part of the Japan trip prize, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) arranged an all-day educational experience. On March 21, Level A 1st place winners Melanie Carlile, Brittney Imada, Trey Takara, Level B 1st place winners Micah Lau, Dylan Miyasaki, Aaron Nojima, and advisors Jo Ann Akamine and Ann Tomatani Hirata were graciously hosted by Mr. Shoichi Suzuki, Executive Director of the America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo. Mr. Suzuki escorted the group to the Edo-Tokyo Museum and Ooedo Onsen Monogatari (a popular hot springs theme park in Odaiba, Tokyo), which proved to be a favorite activity amongst the students. Trey Takara remarked, "we learned and saw firsthand much of what we studied last year... The onsen (hot springs) was beautiful, and we all enjoyed soaking in all the different types of baths which took away all of the aches and pains of travelling... What a treasure amid such a bustling place!" Coincidentally, one of the volunteers who accompanied Mr. Suzuki was a graduate of Iolani School, and is currently a research engineer in Japan. Aaron Nojima wrote, "He told me that he loved his job and that I, too, should pursue my dream... Meeting him gave me hope that one day I too could work and live in Japan."

JWC Iolani School teams and advisors with Mr. Shoichi Suzuki, Executive Director of the America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo


JASH would like to send a big Arigatougozaimashita to Mr. Suzuki and supporters from the America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo for welcoming our JWC Iolani teams to Japan and providing wonderful opportunities for discovery. Trey Takara said it perfectly: "I feel truly blessed to have had the experience of going to Japan, and the Wizards competition and trip reiterated my interest in such an amazing country...I believe it is through the generosity and hard work of institutions like JASH and its supporters which keep students on both ends interested in such an important global connection."

L-R Clockwise from top: Iolani boys pose with Mr. Suzuki at Ooedo Onsen Monogatari; Iolani girls and advisors show off their beautiful yukata; A deer visits the students in Nara


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. : JASH Sponsors Waipahu Students for Cultural Exchange with Nagaoka City


Attend a snow festival in Japan? That's what the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) proposed to Waipahu High School Japanese language students. Needless to say, they jumped at the opportunity. As a Title 1 school, it seldom gets such opportunities. As a continuation of steps leading to the establishment of sister city relations between Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture and City and County of Honolulu, JASH has actively supported educational and cultural exchanges between students in Nagaoka and Hawaii for the last several years. JASH hosted high school students from Nagaoka in 2010, and college students from Nagaoka when they attended the memorial ceremony of the Pearl Harbor attack last December 7th. This time, Nagaoka invited students from Hawaii to visit its "Yukishika Matsuri" snow festival in February.

Waipahu HS students Joel Maupin (far left), Tony Giang (fourth from left), and Tiffany Ganti (fifth from left) with Nagaoka host students.


Funding for this visit came from two major sources. JASH Board member and Education Programs Committee Chair Jean Rolles provided the majority, while the City and County of Honolulu provided additional support as part of its promotion of the sister city initiative. Thanks to these two supporters, three students from Waipahu High School, two boys and a girl, accompanied by academic advisor Will Smith, were hosted over several days in February by Nagaoka's Executive Committee for Developing a Bridge of Friendship between Japan and U.S.A.

WaipahuTiffany Ganti making a snow ball.


Yukishika is a mound of snow the locals in Japan's "Snow Country" built in the winter to preserve foods for the coming spring. These mounds have turned into a playground for children and the community, and a festival resulted. The program included enjoying the festival, a courtesy visit with Mayor Tamio Mori, home stay with local families, a presentation about Hawaii's culture to local university students, host families, and invited guests, and a visit to Japan's famous hot spring onsen spa. Hawaii's students were hosted by many of the same students who visited Hawaii in December, leading to the development of additional friendships and relationships.

Nagaoka and Honolulu will sign a formal sister city document during the Honolulu Festival in March 2012 when a fireworks display will be presented to the people of Honolulu as a gesture of peace and friendship. Nagaoka is the home town of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor and was firebombed by American forces at the waning stages of WWII. JASH is proud to have assisted in promoting reconciliation and mutual understanding through this new relationship. We look forward to supporting additional cultural and educational programs for students from Nagaoka and Hawaii in the future.

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. : Forty-five Hawaii Teams Participate in Japan Wizards 2012


February 25th proved to be a very eventful Saturday at Kapiolani Community College (KCC), where the 9th annual Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC) was held. By 9:00 a.m., 45 teams representing 28 schools from Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui were anxious to begin competing in the JWC, presented by overall sponsor Hawaiian Airlines.

Each year the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) brings together high school teams from across the state for a challenging, fun-filled competition designed to motivate students to learn more about Japan and help them develop lifelong skills in research, teamwork, personal responsibility and operating under pressure. Registered teams are provided study guides in the fall which provides a list of topics to aid them in their preparation and studies, including art, contemporary Japan, culture and traditions, food, geography, history, Japan-Hawaii ties, literature, politics and government, sports, and Japanese language. The competition in February is a way for the students to show what they have learned, and compete for four trips to Japan for the top scoring public and private teams in Level A (1st and 2nd year Japanese language students) and Level B (3rd and 4th year Japanese language students).

JASH President Ed Hawkins with Hawaiian Airlines' Mr. Hoyt Zia, JASH Chair Ms. Sharon Weiner, JTB Hawaii's Mr. Keiichi Tsujino and Mr. David Asanuma, JASH Director Ms. Jean Rolles, Deputy Consul General Kazunari Tanaka and the four Japan Trip Award winning teams.


The Japan-America Society of Hawaii awarded plaques to the three top scoring teams in each level. In Level A, these were Maryknoll School (1st place), Punahou School (2nd place) and Waiakea High School (3rd place). The Level B winners were Kauai High School (1st place), Saint Andrew's Priory School (2nd place), and Saint Francis School (3rd place).

The top scoring public schools to receive the Japan trip award were Waiakea High School (Hawaii) from Level A and Kauai High School (Kauai) for the Level B division. Maryknoll School (Level A) and Saint Andrew's Priory School (Level B) 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 Maryknoll School, Level A.

(L) Students practice kendo moves in the Activity Center; (R) Volunteers assist students playing fukuwarai, a Japanese game similar to "pin the tail on the donkey".


Between competition rounds, students were kept busy with the numerous activity stations in the Activity Center. These included origami, gyotaku fish printing, karuta, calligraphy, and Jeopardy to name a few. The Ken Yu Kai Kendo Club demonstrated Japanese kendo techniques and 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 Goodwill Foundation, 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 70 volunteers representing the JET Alumni Association of Hawaii, UH Manoa, KCC, 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.

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. : Aloha Beer and NAI ChaneyBrooks holds 5:01 for JASH


Why isn't there a beer called "Aloha" in Hawaii? That was the question asked by new co-owner of Aloha Beer Company and President & CEO of NAI ChaneyBrooks Mr. Steve Sombrero as the Company opened up its facilities to Japan-America Society of Hawaii. Seventy-three JASH members and guests gathered on July 26 at the Aloha Beer Company on Nimitz Highway, next to Sam Choy's Restaurant. Hawaii 5:01's are for providing networking opportunities to JASH members and to introduce JASH to potential new members.

On hand to welcome JASH and its guests were Mr. Sombrero, co-founder and partner Mr. James Lee, Brewmaster Mr. Dave Campbell, and Beer Hall Meister Mr. Stacey Santos. Executive Chef Aurelio prepared a sumptuous sampling of food which were more of a gourmet dinner items than pupus. The food was well-complemented by an endless supply of specialty beers provided by Aloha Beer. Brewmaster Campbell conducted the guests on a tour of the factory. Aloha Beer Company Brewery and Beer Hall operates a spacious bar and restaurant, open to the public from 4 p.m. until 10 or 11 p.m., depending on the days, closed on Mondays. Says co-founder Mr. Sombrero: "One of the things is that our product sells itself, because we have such a great name, Aloha Beer. At the end of the day, we're not selling beer, we're selling Hawaii. People love Hawaii and because we care about Hawaii, I think we’re the right people to make it happen." So go try it and see for yourself!

JASH would like to thank Mr. Steve Sombrero, Mr. James Lee, and the rest of the Aloha Beer staff, as well as NAI ChaneyBrooks, for hosting this very unique Hawaii 5:01 event

Guests enjoy beer, food, and camaraderie.
Co-owner and NAI ChaneyBrooks President & CEO Mr. Steve Sombrero introduces members of Aloha Beer Company.


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. : JASH Members visit Japanese Ships Participating in RIMPAC 2012


Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) visited Hawaii again this year to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise with 21 other countries. The Japanese forces were represented with three ships and a squadron of EP-3 anti-submarine patrol aircraft. Members of Japan-America Society of Hawaii were given a rare opportunity to tour the command ship, JS Shirane. Commissioned in March 1980, JS Shirane is the largest DDH (Helicopter-carrying destroyer) in the JMSDF. Primarily for anti-submarine warfare, the ship carries two SH-60 helicopters as well as rocket launchers, torpedoes, 5-inch rapid fire guns, and medium and close-in anti-aircraft weapons. Twenty-three JASH members, guests, and family members were given a thorough tour of the ship. JDS Myoko, an AEGIS air defense and anti-missile defense ship was moored alongside and its crew welcomed the JASH visitors for a tour of its awesome capabilities.

JASH would like to thank the Japanese liaison officers at U.S. Pacific Fleet who arranged this tour, and the Captain and crew of JS Shirane and JDS Myoko for this precious opportunity.



JASH members in a group photo with JS Shirane's Captain Osamu Takeuchi in front of the ship.


Additional photos can be viewed at www.PHOTOGRAPH.us. JASH would like to thank Wes Young for taking these photos and making them available.

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. : JASH and Japanese Visitors Participate in Waikiki Beach Cleanup


JASH President Ed Hawkins with Japanese visitors who assisted with beach cleanup: to his right, Tama Tokyo's Mr. Shoichi Suzuki; front row far left, JAS Fukuoka's Motoyuki Murahashi.


Saturday, June 9th was a glorious day in Waikiki. Sixty-eight members and guests of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii joined other volunteers to perform a public service to the City and County of Honolulu. Each year, Waikiki's Ohana Workforce under the leadership of Waikiki Improvement Association (WIA) organizes cleanups of Waikiki Beach as a way to promote pride in our city and beaches. JASH and its members have supported this project for many years. Several Japan-America Societies in Japan make the trip to Honolulu each year to participate. This year, nine members of the Japan-America Society of Fukuoka attended, plus Mr. Shoichi Suzuki, Executive Director of the Tama Tokyo America-Japan Society. Dutifully at 6:30 a.m., the volunteers gathered at the Duke Kahanamoku statue at Kuhio Beach Park to a breakfast of rolls and coffee prepared by the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa, one of the sponsors. WIA's Rick Egged welcomed the volunteers, who included JASH's Asian-Pacific Children's Convention Junior Ambassadors (JA) and former JA's who comprise Bridge Club Hawaii. They were all introduced the previous night at the Hilton Hawaiian 5:01. Following the introduction, the volunteers boarded trolleys to starting points at Hilton Hawaiian Village and Kaimana Beach.

JASH would like to thank all the volunteers, especially our friends who came all the way from Japan for this event. Events such as these continue to promote close relations between the people of Hawaii and Japan while supporting the Hawaii community.

APCC Junior Ambassadors and Bridge Club Hawaii preparing for the cleanup.


For more photos of the Waikiki Beach Cleanup, please visit the JASH Facebook page.

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. : Large Gathering at Hilton Hawaiian Village 5:01 Networking Event


Tama Tokyo JAS's Mr. Suzuki with Cherry Blossom Queen Erin Morimoto and Court who helped greet guests (our thanks to the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce).


One hundred forty-seven people attended this year's 5:01 networking event at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (HHV) Beach Resort & Spa on June 8th. Each year, JASH corporate member HHV hosts a networking event for JASH and its visitors from Japan who attend the following day's Waikiki Beach Cleanup. This year, nine members of the Japan-America Society of Fukuoka and one member of The America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo came all the way from Japan to attend this event. The next day, the visitors joined JASH volunteers for the Waikiki Beach Cleanup.

The evening began with a welcome by Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, joined by his wife Judy. Mayor Carlisle pointed to all the good work done by JASH in promoting U.S.-Japan relations, while praising its work providing relief to Japan following the tragic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident last March.

Mayor Carlisle welcomes JASH and Japanese visitors to the 5:01.


The HHV 5:01 has also traditionally been the event JASH introduces the year's Asian-Pacific Children Convention (APCC) Junior Ambassadors (JA) to the attendees. This year's JAs performed a Hawaiian chant and hula which they will demonstrate to children from other countries who will gather at the APCC in Fukuoka in July. JASH was also honored to welcome former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle to whom past APCC Junior Ambassadors presented a gift for her support during her time in office meeting with the JA's prior to and after their trip to Japan. This year's Cherry Blossom Queen and Court welcomed the guests.

Governor Lingle shows the signed Kokeshi Doll she received from the APCC Junior Ambassadors.


For more photos of the Hilton 5:01, please visit the JASH Facebook page.

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. : JASH Members Attend Orientation Session with FBI Honolulu Division


On May 23rd, Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) was invited to attend a Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST) Program, newly-launched by the FBI Honolulu Division to educate the community about the mission of the FBI and to tailor information to participating organizations' desires. This was the inaugural offering of this program by the local FBI.

After a welcome by Community Outreach Specialist Joy van der Voort, the administrative officer and special agents presented an overall history of the FBI, followed by seminars in International Law and Industrial Espionage. The block on International Law covered human trafficking, something that has affected Hawaii in recent years, and the work being done by the FBI as it focuses on global terrorism and threats to national security. The block on Industrial Espionage covered recent case studies of multi-national companies and foreign governments engaging in attempts to steal trade and defense secrets, areas under the jurisdiction of the FBI. The audience engaged in a lively Q&A session over the two-hour presentation.

JASH would like to thank the FBI Honolulu Division for arranging this informative event for us. JASH plans to have other presentations in the future. Please watch our activities calendar and announcements for future sessions.

JASH attendees at the FBI Honolulu Office's CREST presentation.


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. : JASH holds "5:01" Networking Reception at Hawaii State Supreme Court


Together with the Consular Corps of Hawaii, JASH held a "Hawaii 5:01" networking and social event at the historic Aliiolani Hale Hawaii State Supreme Court on April 2nd. Hawaii 5:01s are exclusively for corporate and lifetime members and their guests. The purpose of these events is to get to know each other and introduce potential new JASH members. That it was held at the Hawaii State Supreme Court was a big plus. Those who attended received a history lesson on Hawaii's legal history, including the period after the Japanese attack in 1941 when Martial Law was declared in Hawaii. Guests viewed a film about that period in the adjoining theater and were escorted by the staff through the museum displays and the original courtroom. Shuji Abe of Takumi Catering provided the delicious food and drinks, which were generously sponsored by three corporate members.

This time, the 5:01 was a joint event with the Consular Corps of Hawaii, with 18 members attending to include Consul General Yoshihiko Kamo of Japan, Dean of the Consular Corps and Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka Ms. Kusuma Cooray, and visiting Ambassador of Hungary Balazs Bokor heading the list.

The Hawaii State Judiciary Building with the statue of King Kamehameha at its front has recently become more well-known thanks to being featured as the headquarters of the popular TV series "Hawaii Five-O".


The evening began with Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald welcoming the crowd and relating the history of Aliiolani Hale. Completed in 1874, Aliiolani Hale (House of the Heavenly King in Hawaiian, one of the names given to Kamehameha) was the seat of government of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the Republic of Hawaii until the Legislature was moved to Iolani Palace across the street after the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893. Chief Justice Recktenwald added that the hit TV series Hawaii Five-0, which depicts the building as its headquarters, has brought greater focus and attention to the building. The Chief Justice also acknowledged the work JASH has done to bring greater understanding between Hawaii and Japan and in providing disaster relief to Japan after the tragic events of March 11, 2011. Afterwards, the guests were conducted on a tour of the historic building. It was a wonderful evening of camaraderie and learning about the history of Hawaii and its legal heritage.

JASH would like to thank sponsors Sachi Braden of Sachi Hawaii-Pacific Century Properties, James Stanton of the Stanton Law Group, and Alan Fujimoto of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel law firm for sponsoring this event and donating funds for the food and drink service provided by Takumi Catering.

Chief Justice Recktenwald welcomes the guests inside the Aliiolani Hale rotunda..


Additional photos available at the JASH Facebook page.

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. : "Go For Da Record Hana Hou" benefits JASH's Rainbow for Japan Kids Project


Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro again led the effort to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the simultaneous playing of the ukulele, this time at the Blaisdell Arena on Saturday, April 28. Although the attempt fell short, nearly 1,300 ukulele players from Hawaii and around the world, including many from Japan, gathered. The event began at 4 p.m. with numerous ukulele artists taking the stage to showcase their talents. Promptly at 7 p.m. (the announced time of the world record attempt), emcee Billy V called on the gathered crowd to take their appointed seats to be counted. A representative from the Guinness Book was on hand. Jake took the stage and led the crowd in a three-cord song. Volunteers handed out luminous wrist bands to the players and the lights were dimmed during the attempt, adding to the joyful atmosphere. When the count was announced, a sigh of disappointment rose from the crowd, but organizer Leo Daquioag of the Music For Life Foundation took the stage, thanked everyone, and proclaimed success as it brought people together with music. Leo announced that there will be another attempt. Prior to the attempt, JASH President Ed Hawkins met with Jake in the dressing room to accept a donation for JASH and the Rainbow for Japan Kids.

Jake Shimabukuro presents a donation to JASH President Ed Hawkins before performing at the "Go for Da Record Hana Hou" event at Blaisdell Arena.


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. : Return to Tohoku


An empty field spread out in front of me to the piers, broken only by foundations of homes and a checkerboard of cleared lines where roads once ran. A multi-story concrete building lay on its side like a beached whale. Here and there, piles of incongruous rubble dot the landscape, remnants of the town that no longer exists. A year later, scenes of the destruction are still poignantly visible. So this is what the kids have to look at every day, I thought to myself as I made my way to the surrounding hillside to Onagawa First Junior High School, saved from the destruction because it perched on a hill. I had come to Onagawa to see for myself what the four students we hosted in Hawaii were going through. Misato-chan, Saki-chan, Takanori-kun, and Shoya-kun were in school that day, no doubt talking about their experiences in Hawaii the previous month. I stopped by the temporary shelters that house these students, built on the only flat land that was available, a neighboring school's athletic field. A tent in the middle of the complex served as its community activity center. Throughout the short visit, I felt the trials of the children's daily life. And they must look at that scenery, down to the town that has disappeared, where 800 died or are missing, as they walk to and from their cramped apartments. Reaching out and touching even a few children at a time is well worth the effort, I thought. This is why we do this project: to give them new dreams.



JASH and its Rainbow for Japan Kids project will host the fourth group of Japanese students from July 16-23. The project's partner in Japan, the Bikki Organization, is currently recruiting the next 20 students, including from the town of Onagawa.

JASH and its partners would like to thank all the donors, volunteers, and supporters who make this program possible. We also would like to acknowledge the support of TOMODACHI initiative that provided funding for this program, and the donation from Mrs. Susie Roos, wife of Ambassador John Roos, who continues to provide assistance to the children of Onagawa. We look forward to continuing this project for the next several years.

Temporary apartments built on a school athletic field near the middle school.


Onagawa First Junior High School, the school four students who came to Hawaii for Rainbow for Japan Kids attend.


The view from the Junior High School, to what remains of the town of Onagawa.


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. : Annual Fundraising Golf held at Pearl Country Club


One hundred twenty-two golfers gathered at Pearl Country Club on April 26 for the Society's 22nd Annual Friendship Golf Tournament. Together with the JASH Annual Dinner in the fall, the golf tournament is the major fund-raiser for the Society. Prizes donated by our supporters were presented to top 30 teams, with the grand prize, a fly/stay/golf package to Maui's Makena Resort (airfare by Go!Mokulele), presented to the team that placed 22nd. All players received some sort of an award.

JASH would like to thank all the major sponsors, Titanium and Graphite sponsors, and the individual players who supported this tournament. For complete list please click here. A special thanks to the 34 volunteers without whose support this tournament would not have been possible. Proceeds from this tournament will go right back into programs for the community, including educational programs such as cultural exchanges for Hawaii's schools and students to continue building grass-root relations between the people of Hawaii and Japan.

As in previous years, JASH invited members of the military to participate. Four individuals from the Hawaii Air National Guard who were instrumental in providing disaster relief to Japan following the tragic earthquake and tsunami last year participated, courtesy of retired Admiral and JASH Director Thomas Fargo.

Top finishing team of Ted McAneeley and Garrett Yamamoto are presented with the winner's trophy by the trophy sponsor, Japan's Consul General Kamo


Clockwise, Top L-R: Hole-in-One Sponsor First Hawaiian Bank team gets ready to tee it up; Bobby Ichikawa and Yoshinori Maeda get a quick snack; Korean Consul General Young Kil Suh, JASH Chair Sharon Weiner, Japan's Consul General Yoshihiko Kamo, and Australian Consul General Scott Dewar are set for the challenge.


Additional photos can be seen here.

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. : JASH Plans Future of Educational Exchange with Ehime


The year 2013 will mark the tenth anniversary of the start of educational exchange programs between Ehime Prefecture and Hawaii, goodwill measures put in place following the tragic accident between a high school training ship and a U.S. Navy submarine in waters off Honolulu that resulted in the loss of nine Japanese crewmembers, including four students. Two officials from Ehime Prefectural International Center (EPIC; administrator of the program) and one from the Ehime Government office visited Honolulu recently to discuss how to structure future educational exchange programs.

For 2012, EPIC will continue the program of hosting two University of Hawaii students for a three-month summer internship in Matsuyama, Ehime's capital. However, the Ehime government that funds this project wants to look at restructuring the present program to include programs for high school students. JASH has been the Hawaii action office for these programs, working closely with UH's Center for Japanese Studies (CJS) to recruit and select students. JASH accompanied the Ehime visitors to several local schools to gauge their interest: Saint Louis School (Japanese club cleans the Ehime Maru Memorial), Iolani School (winner of last year's Japan Wizards competition), Kawananakoa Middle School (sister school with Ehime's Uwajima Minami Junior High School). JASH will work with EPIC in the coming year to help develop this new direction in Ehime-Hawaii educational exchanges

JASH President Hawkins with Ehime visitors and UHCJS staff: (L-R) Ed Hawkins, Ryotaro Yano (Ehime International Affairs Division), Jun Morimoto (Director, EPIC), Gay Satsuma (Associate Director, UHCJS), Bob Huey (Director, UHCJS), Noriko Omori (Manager, EPIC)


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. : JASH Hosts Visit of Sasebo Japan-America Society


Thirty two members of the Sasebo Japan-America Society visited Hawaii recently as a part of their Society's 50th Anniversary commemoration events. The Sasebo JAS met with Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet as well as with members of the Nagasaki Kenjinkai. The Sasebo JAS enjoys a very close relationship with the U.S. Navy which has a base in that city.

As part of its desire to further relationships with Hawaii organizations, the Sasebo JAS requested a meeting with JASH. Sasebo JAS's President Kazuo Oniki and several members visited the JASH office for discussions. At that meeting, Mr. Oniki stated his desire to become closer to JASH because of our noted educational and cultural exchange programs and our position in Hawaii close to the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. JASH hosted an evening dinner reception at the Natsunoya Teahouse that evening. Fourteen JASH members, including JASH Chair Sharon Weiner and several Directors attended. JASH Director and Sister Society Committee Chair Mike Leineweber welcomed the Sasebo visitors, followed by JASH President Ed Hawkins.

Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Oniki agreed to discuss potential future cultural and educational exchanges. The Sasebo JAS will return to Japan and offer proposals.

L-R) JASH members talk with Sasebo JAS members over dinner at Natsunoya Teahouse; Group photo of dinner party members in front of Natsunoya.


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