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This summer, I had a chance to learn more about JASH’s history while working with the Program Coordinator on the Annual Dinner video for JASH’s 40th Anniversary. We sorted through JASH’s extensive archives, updated the new website, and conducted multiple interviews with members of the JASH community. One of the questions we asked during every interview was “What does JASH mean to you in one word?” I have heard multiple answers but my personal favorites were relationships, synergy, and opportunity.

Through its many programs and events, JASH instills the continuation of the bond between Japan and Hawaii. Without JASH’s volunteers, members, and staff, the chances for the people of Hawaii to connect with Japan would be difficult to come by. Having personally benefited from the JASH programs as a student, I would like to once again thank JASH for all of the work and effort put in to create such wonderful opportunities. I still cherish the memories of when I participated in the Japan Wizards Competition Program and am grateful for the staff and donors who helped us with our trip to Japan, a trip that motivated me to continue my Japanese studies.

Thank you to the staff for giving me the opportunity to come back and intern for another summer. The work you all do is truly inspiring. It was a joy to come in and learn something new every day.

Naomi Natori

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