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JASH Weekly Update 11/18: Taste of JASH with Hawaiian Shochu Company TONIGHT!

Dear Members and Friends of JASH, Join us TONIGHT, Thursday, November 18 at 5:30PM (HST) for our second installment in our Taste of JASH: Nomu Edition series! We welcome Ken Hirata, founder and owner of Hawaiian Shochu Company in Haleiwa for a virtual distillery tour and talk-story, moderated by JASH Board Director John Rankin. In this virtual pau hana, learn how POI inspired Haleiwa’s own Nami Hana shochu, and get the latest information on Hawaii’s FIRST locally distilled gin. Hawaiian Shochu Company Founder and Owner Ken Hirata and his wife Yumiko produce small-batch Honkaku Shochu in Haleʻiwa using locally-sourced sweet potatoes (imo) through traditional, old-style techniques. Click here for their website.


Ken Hirata - Hawaiian Shochu Company Founder & Owner Ken was born and grew up in Osaka, Japan. After he graduated from high school in Osaka, he had a chance to study in the U.S. It took him 6+ years to obtain a B.B.A from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He could not have done it without all the friendship and help from the Hawaii kids attending the school with him at that time. After college, he went back to Asia and started working in finance. One summer, he was visiting Hawaii as a tourist enjoying POKE and POI and thought, “If there is POI in Hawaii, maybe we can make SHOCHU because POI is fermented, too.” Obviously, his college life had taught him some knowledge about drinking. It was just a joke and everyone including himself was laughing about it because he didn’t know anything about making alcohol. Several years later when he was working in the field of Japanese traditional craft art, the idea of making SHOCHU in Hawaii suddenly came back to his mind, and he thought, “It would be fun if we can really make SHOCHU in Hawaii.” A few months later (in 2005), he was accepted as an apprentice by Master MANZEN in Kagoshima, Japan. In 2013, he started a small SHOCHU distillery in Haleʻiwa.

John Rankin - Program Moderator, JASH Board Director & NexGen Member John Rankin is a Real Estate Advisor with Cushman & Wakefield Chaney Brooks, Hawaii's largest and oldest locally-owned commercial real estate company and advises clients on sales and leasing of commercial property. Previously he held high-level positions in the travel and tourism industry and also spent six years working abroad in Tokyo, Japan. John is a JASH Board Director as well as a founding member of the JASH NexGen Committee and has helped organize many prior events including the Taste of JASH, Natsumatsuri and the Annual Gala celebrations. When he is not working or drinking shochu he enjoys spending time with his wife Rosie and one year old son Noah.


Upcoming Events

SAVE THE DATE—Our 2021 Silent Auction will be held online from December 10-14, 2021, with auction preview starting on December 7. Our Silent Auction is one of our biggest annual fundraisers and is part of our annual Bridge Awards Event. Proceeds from the auction go directly to JASH so that we may continue to produce programming for our community. DONATE TO OUR SILENT AUCTION—We are currently accepting donations of goods and services for our Silent Auction! If you have item(s) you would like to donate to JASH, please complete and submit the donation form by clicking the button below.

ABOUT THE 2021 BRIDGE AWARDS EVENT—While we are excited to hold our Bridge Awards Event in-person this year (more information coming soon), we ask for your understanding as we have transformed its format to address health concerns. To learn more about this year’s Bridge Awards Event and Silent Auction, please click here to visit our website.


Shared Programs

By the Hawai‘i International Film Festival

41st Annual Fall Festival

Online: Nov. 4-28

In-Theater (Oahu): Nov. 4-14

In-Theater (Neighbor Islands): Nov. 18-21

The Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF) presented by Halekulani is proud to present the 41st Annual Fall Festival. Enjoy over 200 features and shorts from around the world, including Spotlight on Japan presented by Hawaiian Airlines. Use the promo code JASH for $2 OFF any non-HIFF member priced ticket for both in-person and virtual films. To view the Spotlight on Japan section and purchase tickets, click here.


By the Japan Foundation New York

PRE-EVENT: Japanese Film Festival Online 2022 Online: Nov. 15-21

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, people around the world have been facing tremendous uncertainty, loneliness, and grief. As a response to this, last year the Japanese Film Festival (JFF) launched an online film festival in hopes that Japanese films would be able to provide some positivity and light into viewer’s lives, even if only a little. As we continue preparations for Japanese Film Festival Online 2022, here’s an opportunity to catch up on some of the popular titles from last year in case you missed it. These 5 titles will be FREE to watch from November 15-21: CAN’T STOP THE DANCING; Little Nights, Little Love; GON, THE LITTLE FOX; Tora-san in Goto; and The Great Passage. For details and to register, click here.

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