You're Invited    to our 2nd Annual JASH NexGen Natsumatsuri on Thursday, July 29 from 6-7pm (HST)!

Planned and organized by the JASH NexGen Advisory Board and sponsored by Island Insurance Foundation, this year’s summer festival will be a hybrid event, broadcast to you live from Natsunoya Tea House via Zoom.

Themed around Tanabata ‘Star Festival’, the evening will be filled with:

Great take-home meals from Rinka Japanese Restaurant,

Interactive tanzaku lucky draw,

Awesome entertainment by Alternative Taiko Unit Garyu,

Sake tasting courtesy of Keith Nakaganeku of The Cherry Co.,

Bon Odori with the 69th Cherry Blossom Festival Court,

and stories of Tanabata presented by Kintetsu International!

We can't wait to celebrate the summer and party in the stars with you!

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Food Menu <Rinka>


We're partnering with Rinka to offer our members a special bento exclusive for our JASH Natsumatsuri!

Bento description coming soon.

Japanese Restaurant Rinka

1001 Queen St #105

Honolulu, HI 96814


Program & Entertainment


Interactive Tanzaku Lucky Draw

Tanzaku are the colorful strips of paper that decorate bamboo during Tanabata. On them, people write their dreams and goals in hopes a god might see your tanzaku and grant your wish.

Join our Tanzaku Lucky Draw fundraiser for the chance to win fabulous prizes! Winners will be drawn and announced at the end of Natsumatsuri program, but you do not need to be present to win. Check back soon for more information on the prizes!

Tanzaku Entry Prices

1 entry - $5.00   /   3 entries - $10   /   15 entries - $40

Performance by Alternative Taiko Unit Garyu

Garyu 我龍 is a percussion and performance group from Hiroshima, Japan, founded in June of 2005. Garyu fuses wadaiko---traditional Japanese drums---with contemporary Western drums, to create a new style of music that moves beyond conventional genres. Their motto is “the pursuit of original expression.” The characters for Garyu read as “self” and “dragon.”

Garyu’s beat begins when they cut the hide of the drums themselves. The group makes inventive, modern instruments using traditional methods. Their music, materials, costumes, and the majority of their instruments are entirely original.

When playing, Garyu interlaces their Japanese heritage and rich scenery of their country with the beats of wadaiko and Western drums. At first glance, Japanese and Western drums seem incompatible. But delve deeper, and you find that each contains unique elements that compliment and enhance one another. The members of Garyu challenge themselves to bring together the best of both styles of drums in order to give you modern music with a strong beat and a sharp edge.

Sake Tasting with Keith Nakaganeku of The Cherry Co.


Sake sommelier Keith Nakaganeku of The Cherry Co., Ltd. returns to host another installment in his popular interactive sake tasting segments.


You can add the sake he will be discussing to your Rinka take-out order for easy pick-up or delivery.

Bon Odori with the 69th Cherry Blossom Festival Court

Obon season is a festive time for the Nikkei community here in Hawaii as we gather at our local temples to celebrate our ancestors. Summer nights are filled with the glow of paper lanterns and the pulse of taiko beats as we dance and sing under the starry sky.

For this year's Natsumatsuri, the 69th Cherry Blossom Festival Court brings bon odori to the comfort of your own home. Brush off your dance moves or learn some new ones during this interactive dance lesson.

History of Tanabata with Kintetsu International

Do you know the legend behind Tanabata? Who are Orihime and Hikoboshi? Why is the weather important?


Join Kintetsu International Hawaii Company as they present the history of the Star Festival and share how it is currently celebrated in Japan.



Taylor Date

Taylor is a social media marketer for Japanese-owned marketing firm, Ocean Blue Hawaii. She comes from a community relations and international communications background holding roles in the Hawaii State Legislature and the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in strategic communications with a minor in journalism from Seattle University in 2018. During her time in college, she studied abroad in two of the biggest metropolises in the world- Seoul, Korea at Hanyang University and Tokyo, Japan at Sophia University. Today, she is involved with multiple Japanese American organizations and serves as the Co-Media Director for the JET Program Alumni Association. She also runs a Hawaii food and lifestyle blog on Instagram (@townie.tay) where she covers our island’s trendiest eateries, experiences, and hidden gems.

Kristian Lipumano

Mainland born but locally raised, Kristian has been part of the local community his whole life. Kristian has been a banker with First Hawaiian Bank since 2015. Previously, he has also worked in the travel industry, primarily in the Japan-focused markets. Kristian received his bachelor's degree in Japanese from the University of Hawaii at Manoa before participating in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. He spent two years teaching English in Hokkaido, and he remains closely tied to his town, Kuriyama. Upon his return, he received his master's degree in business administration from the Shidler College of Business. Kristian is a JASH NexGen Board Member and serves as the current president of the JET Alumni Association of Hawaii. He works to produce networking and career development opportunities within his JET Alumni sphere.



Title Natsu Sponsor


Fuyu Sponsors

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Iris Elements Hawaii



Natsumatsuri Co-Chairs

Michelle Hirose

Monchalee Ota


Taylor Date

Kristian Lipumano

NexGen Members

David Hayashida

Cosmo Hirai

Tyler Hiranaka

Rich Kiyabu

Gina Maeda

Mika Morigawara

Jessica Ogasawara

John Rankin

Toby Tamaye

Delle Tanioka

The JASH NexGen Natsumatsuri would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of the JASH NexGen Advisory Board. The board is made up of JASH’s young leaders who continue the mission of promoting understanding and friendship between the people of Japan and the U.S. through the special and unique perspective of Hawaii.

If you are interested in being involved with NexGen, please contact Lila at