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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




RECENT EVENTS

. :   Message from U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy & Admiral Harry Harris Highlight Annual Dinner



A video message from U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and a keynote address by newly-nominated Pacific Command Commander Admiral Harry Harris highlighted Japan-America Society of Hawaii's (JASH) 38th Annual Dinner held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Coral Ballroom. A capacity crowd of over 400 including 30 JASH Board Members supported this gala event, the major fundraising event for the Society.
Admiral Harris speaks on the importance of U.S.-Japan relations.

This year's honoree for the JASH Bridge Award was Hawaiian Airlines. Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Peter Ingram was there to accept the award on behalf of the Hawaiian Airlines team. Admiral Harris and his wife Ms. Bruni Bradley headed a distinguished list of guests to include Honolulu's Mayor Kirk Caldwell, former Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi and Mrs. Jean Ariyoshi, Japan's Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda, Korean Consul General Walter Paik and Mrs. Jeong Ki Min, and joining us from Nagaoka City, Mayor Tamio Mori. KITV's anchor and reporter Lara Yamada again acted as emcee.

Hawaiian Airlines was honored for what they've done to open new air connections to Japan, and by so doing expand not only tourism and business, but cultural and also educational exchange opportunities as well. JASH President Ed Hawkins highlighted the significant contributions Hawaiian Airlines has made to JASH educational programs with donations of air travel to Japan, and supporting the disaster-affected Japanese kids who came to Hawaii following the tragic earthquake and tsunami of March, 2011 under the Rainbow for Japan Kids project. In accepting the award, Mr. Peter Ingram thanked JASH and its members, and reiterated Hawaiian Airlines' desire to continue partnering with JASH in supporting educational and other community support programs it provides.

Keynote speaker Admiral Harry Harris spoke about the importance of U.S.-Japan relations in maintaining regional security and economic and political development in the region, praising JASH for the work it does to promote relations with Japan. He reiterated former Ambassador Mike Mansfield in saying the U.S.-Japan relationship is the most important bilateral relationship, bar none.

Ambassador Kennedy's message complimented JASH for another successful year of building bridges with Japan through its educational and exchange programs, specifically noting the work done for the relief of Japanese victims of the 3/11 disaster that carries on to this day, and the management of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship that allows U.S. and Japanese college students to study in respective countries.

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 listed on the JASH website at www.jashawaii.org. Video message from Ambassador Kennedy and videos of the TOMODACHI-Rainbow Project and the tribute to Hawaiian Airlines can be found in the following links:



TOMODACHI-Rainbow Project Tohoku Video

Message from U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy

2014 JASH Annual Bridge Award Honoring Hawaiian Airlines

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. :   Japan-America Society of Hawaii Holds Fall 2014 McInerny Foundation's Japan Day


On September 16, 134 students representing Hawaii Baptist Academy, Saint Francis School, Waiakea High School, and Waipahu High School gathered at Hawaii Tokai International College for the Japan-America Society of Hawaii's (JASH) Fall 2014 Japan Day, sponsored by the McInerny Foundation. Over 30 volunteer experts presented cultural classes on bon dance, calligraphy, ikebana (flower arranging), kimono/yukata wear, origami, soroban (Japanese abacus), and tea ceremony. Members of the Taiko Center of the Pacific enlivened the atmosphere in the Auditorium with their taiko performance in the Welcome Ceremony. Students then proceeded to their cultural classes for this half-day program, which is now in its 21st year.

To date, over 5,400 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. 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 and respecting different cultures and customs, we continue to bridge the gap that leads to friendship and cultural appreciation.

(L-R Clockwise): Volunteers teach the students how to bon dance; Students learn the art of calligraphy; Beautiful yukata are donned by the students; Students are deep in concentration creating their ikebana masterpieces.


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; Mrs. Jessie Nakata 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 Hawaii Tokai International College 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 Kelsey Soma Turek at 524-4450 or via email at ksoma@jashawaii.org

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. :   Japan-in-a-Suitcase Visits Wailuku Elementary on the island of Maui


On September 5, 2014, students at Wailuku Elementary were treated to a special presentation of the Japan in a Suitcase (JIAS) program thanks in large part to a grant given by the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation. Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) staff members Elizabeth Barrera and Kathryn Murata along with JIAS volunteers Becky Ebisu and Geri Cheng spent the day on Maui sharing JIAS I and II with the first and second graders in the school. Together, the four of them gave a total of twelve JIAS presentations to nearly 250 students.

Wailuku Elementary, with its stately buildings constructed from stones found in Iao Valley, was established in 1904 and currently services over 1,000 students in grades K – 6. The interest level of the students was high and children were excited to see the presenters on campus and in their classrooms sharing items about Japan and Japanese school life. The first graders especially liked seeing various Japanese school items and comparing and contrasting the differences between school life in Hawaii and in Japan. For the second graders, the program tied into school curriculum nicely, as students will visit the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum this school year to learn about Japanese immigrants who came to Hawaii to work on the plantations.

(L) JIAS Volunteer Geri Cheng shares the illusion poster with 1st graders at Wailuku Elementary. This visual prop helps teach the concept of different perspectives. (R) JASH Staff Kathryn Murata and Liz Barrera show the Japanese world map to 2nd graders to help them learn where Japan, Hawaii and the US are located.


All students seemed to grasp the basic concept of different perspectives, having been shown various items and poster boards while discovering more about Japanese school life: student schedules, writing system, randoseru (backpack), zokin (cleaning cloth), uwabaki (indoor shoes), textbooks, and a bento box; and Community life: language, money, festivals, clothing, the game Jan Ken Po (JIAS II), and the Japanese version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (JIAS I). They were encouraged to spot differences in the way Japanese children do things and the way they do things and were reminded that different does not equal wrong.

JIAS is a free program offered to elementary schools in Hawaii. It is one of five JASH educational programs aimed at teaching the concept of different perspectives and is aligned with the Hawaii Department of Education Content Standards for Social Studies and World Languages. The major goal of JIAS is to nurture students' sense of inquisitiveness and help them to look at objects and issues from different viewpoints. This is accomplished through a hands-on demonstration of items used by Japanese school children in the classroom. JASH believes teaching these concepts at an early age will make them more open-minded to new ideas and people of other cultures. The secondary purpose of JIAS is to teach children about Japan's unique culture and to appreciate Hawaii's special relationships with Japan. The young students at Wailuku Elementary now understand this rich cultural relationship first hand. JASH wishes to extend a special thanks to Vice Principal Noe Castro who helped us arrange this visit.

If you know of a school on a neighbor island that would benefit and welcome the JIAS program in Spring 2015, please contact JIAS Program Coordinator Elizabeth Barrera at ebarrera@jashawaii.org.

. :   2014 Japan Wizards Competition winners venture to Japan


This past summer, four teams from Iolani School, Kalani High School and King Kekaulike High School traveled to Japan to experience all they had studied after winning the 2014 Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC) hosted by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) in February. Student winners and their team advisors explored various landmarks and regions of Japan, utilizing the cultural knowledge and Japanese language skills they had acquired from the competition. King Kekaulike High School student winner Maya Ooki encapsulated the sentiments of all Japan trip winners: "The trip I've just recently taken to Japan has been one of the best opportunities I have ever had to broaden my mind and see the world from a different point of view! ... Everywhere I went, I was surrounded by a completely different world, and I learned so much from my short time visiting. I'm very grateful to have [had] this opportunity and to have met the people I've seen."

From June 6-14, JWC Iolani School Level A winners Matthew Imanaka, Naomi Natori, and Kara Wong and JWC Iolani School Level B winners Tamlyn Kurata, Michele Yamanoha, and Alex Young along with their advisors Ann Tomatani and Jo Ann Akamine explored Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka, and Nara. Iolani's Level A winners were hosted by the Executive Committee for Developing a Bridge of Friendship between the U.S. and Japan (ECDBFUSJ) in Nagaoka city, Niigata Prefecture. They ventured to the Isoroku Yamamoto Memorial Hall and Museum and partook in various cultural activities with local high school students from Nagaoka, while Level B winners remained in Tokyo and were hosted by the America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo (AJSTT). They explored the Edo-Tokyo Museum and Japan's famous hot springs at Ooedo Onsen Monogatari. Students got a glimpse of Japan's history both through an authentically Japanese perspective and by experiencing the longstanding traditions that make Japanese culture so unique. On the following day, the students were hosted by the staff at Temple University Japan (TUJ) in Tokyo, where they were given a chance to tour a Japanese college campus, observe a shamisen (a three-stringed Japanese guitar) performance, and participate in suikawari (splitting watermelon with a wooden stick while blindfolded). This visit was particularly enlightening to Naomi Natori, who wrote, "The Temple University visitation was very enjoyable and it made me question where I want to go to college. Before the visit, I was very against studying abroad, but after the visit I have an open mind to foreign options."

(L) Iolani JWC Level A team members make yakisoba with local high school students in Nagaoka. (R) JWC Iolani teams at TUJ.

JWC King Kekaulike High School Level A winners Charlotte Bridge, Devynn Leigh Kochi, Maya Ooki, and advisor Jan Matsushita were next to leave for Japan, departing July 2 and remaining there until July 14. The team began their trip in Osaka and Kyoto and after a busy weekend of sightseeing, headed to Ehime Prefecture to be hosted by the Ehime Prefectural International Center (EPIC). The team members separated for a one-night homestay with local students from Matsuyama Higashi High School. Devynn Leigh Kochi, much like her other teammates, was nervous to meet her host family at first but later reflected upon the experience as her "favorite event of the trip." While in Ehime, JWC teammates learned about the historic tragedy that brought Ehime and Hawaii together and how these two distinct regions have since moved forward, forging intimate ties and a mutual respect for one another, as attested by the warm welcomes and smiles that greeted King Kekaulike High School team members. Within two short days, JWC team members grew close to their host sisters and brothers, tasting home-cooked Japanese food and observing firsthand a day in the life of a Japanese student. Charlotte Bridge remembers the invaluable moments she and her host sister Yuri shared: "I loved the cultural feeling of Ehime, and just walking the streets at night with my [host family] was super nice. I spent an hour sitting in the footbaths and talking with [Yuri], and that was an experience that I feel I'll remember Ehime by."

King Kekaulike High School Level A team members pose with their host students in Ehime.

From July 8-21, JWC Kalani High School Level B team winners Kira-Ann Hayashi, Janelle Morimoto, Rebecca Yamashiro, and advisor Robynne Klein finally got their chance to travel to Japan. The Kalani team began their trip in the northernmost region of Hokkaido and then rode the bullet train south to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Fukuoka, and Osaka. During their time in Hokkaido, Kalani team members were hosted by the America-Japan Society of Hokkaido (AJSH) and also given a homestay experience for two nights in Hokkaido's capital city, Sapporo. Escorted by their host families, students ventured to the small harbor city of Otaru, observing remnants of older times when the city was once a bustling trading port. Team member Kira-Ann Hayashi "got a chance to view a bit of that history when [she]... saw all of the old glass fishing buoys piled up along the shoreline," a sight largely absent from commercial tourist webpages and Japanese textbooks. Rebecca Yamashiro reflects upon visiting Hokkaido as "one of the best stops on [her] trip and probably [her] new favorite place in Japan."

(L) JWC Kalani Level B team members and their host families in Hokkaido. (R) JWC Kalani team members pose with Koyo High School students in Nishinomiya.

JASH would like to thank our contacts at ECDBFUSJ, AJSTT, TUJ, EPIC, and AJSH for their warm hospitality and aloha towards our JWC teams. Kalani senior Kira-Ann Hayashi summarized the experience for all participants, as it helped her realize future goals and further desire to study Japanese: "I never imagined that this trip would help me in this way... This is an unexpected result, but... I think this is what the Japan Wizards Competition is all about. It helps foster these interests in the Japan-United States relationship and inspires people to continue to study. I cannot thank JASH and the other sponsors of the Japan Wizards Competition enough for granting us this trip and helping give me motivation for the future."

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. :   Junior Ambassadors travel to the Asian-Pacific Children's Convention in Fukuoka


The APCC delegates at Marine House Camp.


After six months of attending workshops to prepare for their trip, Hawaii's six Asian-Pacific Children's Convention (APCC) Junior Ambassadors, (Kala Handa, Diesel Kawelo, Andrew-Lee Smith, Chelley Endo, Sunny Monaco and Misa Muranaka) along with Peace Ambassador Jae-Sun Brown and chaperone Dori Nishijo-Kim departed for Fukuoka on July 9, 2014. They spent two weeks there taking part in the 26th APCC, which was held from July 10 - 23, 2014.

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. In its 26th year, the APCC has hosted over 10,000 Junior Ambassadors with nearly 6,340 host families in Fukuoka. This year, the Hawaii delegates spent the first five days at an exchange camp with 230 children from 40 countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region. They were fortunate to have roommates from New Caledonia, Dalian (China) and Japan, so communicating through hand gestures and games were a fun way to get to know each other

Following the exchange camp at Marine House Camp, the delegates all went home with their Japanese host families in the city of Asakura where they stayed for the next eight nights. While with their host families, among other things, the children had a chance to attend school with their host siblings, visit a Japanese onsen, visit the Dazaifu Temple, take part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, eat lots of Japanese food, meet the Mayor of Asakura, and perform at the Asakura city festival. While the APCC delegates were busy with their activities, Hawaii's Peace Ambassador Jae Sun Brown shared community service stories and experiences of the Bridge Club Hawaii, an alumni organization of former APCC delegates with the 29 other Peace Ambassadors in attendance at the APCC.

On July 21, the 230 delegates again reunited for the APCC "We Are the Bridge" cultural exchange festival held at the JR Hakata Station in Fukuoka City. There, the Hawaii delegates performed two oli (chants) and danced a hula to the song Waikiki Hula, which they had learned from their chaperone, Makua Dori Kim, a Hawaiian studies teacher at Aina Haina Elementary.

The students returned to Honolulu on July 23, excited to share what they had done on their trip. Delegates and parents met again at the JASH office on August 2 to discuss with each other their experiences. JASH would like to thank all of the families and friends who helped to prepare the delegation for their trip.

JASH has been associated with APCC for 11 years, sending Hawaii's 11-year olds to this global youth camp to expand their view of the world, create new friendships, and inspire them to better themselves and their community. JASH continues to promote this relationship by involving APCC alumni in programs and activities through the Bridge Club Hawaii.

If you know of anyone interested in taking part in the Asian-Pacific Children's Convention in 2015, the application will be available on-line at http://www.jashawaii.org/edu2.asp after December 1, 2014. The deadline to submit the application to the JASH office will be January 23, 2015. Applicants for the 27th APCC will need to be born between September 1, 2003 and August 31, 2004 in order to apply. Further information on Bridge Club Hawaii can be found on its Facebook website at https://www.facebook.com/BridgeClubHI.

On the morning of August 20, 2014, JASH President Ed Hawkins and Peace Ambassador Jae-Sun Brown shared their experiences about the 2014 APCC on KITV 4. Please click here to see the video clip.

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. :   Tomodachi-Initiative

  Hawaii delegates bring hope and hula to Rainbow for Japan Kids alumni


Hawaii delegates dance hula at Otsuchi Collaborative School as part of a variety of cultural exchange activities.


Ten students from ages 13 to 19, along with chaperones Daniel Hwang and Wendy Lum, recently ventured to the northern region of Japan's main island to reconnect with Japanese students who had participated in the Rainbow for Japan Kids (RFJK) program in Honolulu, Hawaii. This program offers Japanese children - often left homeless and even parent-less by the Great Tohoku Earthquake of March 11, 2011 - a chance to relax and recuperate, in the hopes that they will bring fonder memories back to their homes. These memories are forged by one of the program's primary goals, which is to create lasting friendships with Hawaii children through a 2-day camp and outdoor activities that immerse Japanese kids in Hawaii's natural beauty.

A generous grant from the TOMODACHI Initiative gave some Hawaii kids the rare opportunity to visit RFJK alumni in their hometowns and strengthen the bonds of friendship formed in Hawaii. Within their six days visiting the Tohoku region, Hawaii delegates engaged in cultural exchange activities such as performing a hula for students from Otsuchi Collaborative School, folding shopping bags out of newspapers with seniors at a temporary housing facility, and partnering with the Utatsu Sea Monkey Project to clean up debris at a beach in Minami-Sanriku. The beach cleanup stood out as a meaningful highlight for some delegates, as the chosen location was where Kai, an RFJK alumna and organizer of the cleanup, lost her mother to the March 11th tsunami. Kai's demonstration of resilience and strength is an ideal example of how close the Hawaii delegates had become to the Japanese students in just a short span of time, an invaluable understanding Hawaii delegates could not have reached from attending the RFJK camps alone. Delegate Evan Lin commented on how it felt to experience these students' situations firsthand: "It wasn't until this trip that it hit me - many of these kids had their homes destroyed and family taken away. What truly touched me, though, was that these kids' spirits were not broken." Hawaii delegates witnessed this through the warm smiles and positive attitudes that greeted them wherever they went, making it seem like they were the ones receiving hope rather than giving it. Delegates were not only touched, but also inspired by the strength these Japanese kids have shown in the face of life-changing adversities and expressed their need to appreciate and cherish the family, friends, and homes they usually take for granted.
Japanese volunteers of the Utatsu Sea Monkey Project gather with Hawaii delegates for beach cleanup at Minami-Sanriku.

Special thanks to Hide Takahashi and Masami Kanaya for making this experience possible by escorting the group around and assisting with Japanese translation.

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. :   Japan in a Suitcase Visits Guam


(L) A St. John's School student points out the differences of Japanese yen. (R) St. John's students model the randoseru backpack.


From May 27-28, 2014, two schools on the island of Guam, Tamuning Elementary and St. John's School, were given a special presentation of Japan in a Suitcase (JIAS). Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) Volunteers Becky Ebisu and Noreen Kawachika spent one full day at each school presenting the JIAS program to every classroom. In the interest of promoting understanding of U.S. - Japan relations in Guam, JASH obtained a special grant funded by The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) which focused on promoting cultural understanding and education in schools which will in turn strengthen positive global relationships. The CGP grant allowed JASH to take JIAS to Guam and will also include a JIAS presentation to American Samoa later this year.

Because of Guam's unique placement in the Pacific, the students at both schools embraced the concept of different perspectives wholeheartedly as they discovered more about Japanese school life: student schedules, writing system, backpack, textbooks, and a bento box; Community life: language, dress, and the game Jan Ken Po; and Geography: locating Japan, USA and Guam on a world map through the JIAS presentations. Guam's close proximity to Japan also meant that many students had traveled there or would be visiting Japan sometime in the near future.

In appreciation for the JIAS presentations given by the JASH volunteers at Tamuning Elementary School, the students shared with the presenters a gift of song. Everyone agreed this was an effective and enjoyable way of learning about each other.

The JASH volunteers also visited St. John's School, where they gave the JIAS presentations to a total of nine classes for students in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade. In each classroom, there was high interest in the contents of the suitcases and the lessons were very interactive for the students, evidenced by the many questions raised about the various items presented. Teachers hoped that this program would return to Guam again in the future.

(L) Students of Tamuning Elementary. (R) A Tamuning Elementary student models the boy's yukata.


JIAS is a free program offered to elementary schools in Hawaii. It is one of five JASH educational programs aimed at teaching the concept of different perspectives and is aligned with the Hawaii Department of Education Content Standards for Social Studies and World Languages. The major goal of JIAS is to nurture students' sense of inquisitiveness and help them to look at objects and issues from different viewpoints. This is accomplished through a hands-on demonstration of items used by Japanese school children in the classroom and challenging the children to explain the differences they see from how they learn. JASH believes teaching these concepts at an early age will make them more open-minded to new ideas and people of other cultures. The secondary purpose is to teach the children about Japan's unique culture and to appreciate Hawaii and Guam's special relationships with Japan. Children of both Tamuning Elementary and St. John's School now understand this rich cultural relationship first hand. A special grant from the Center for Global Partnership made this visit possible. A special mahalo to Monte Mesa, President of the Nikkei Club in Guam, who helped us to coordinate this visit with the schools. Also thanks to Tricia Marie Cruz, Curriculum Coordinator at Tamuning Elementary, and Pat Bennett, Principal at St. John's School for allowing us to come in to visit their schools.

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. :   Tomodachi Special Tour at the Honolulu Museum of Art


(L) Dr. Kazuko Kameda-Madar and Tomodachi Chair Kazuko Love. (R) Examples of Japanese kuchi-e artwork used in war-era novels.

On Tuesday, May 20, JASH members and friends explored two exhibits on Japanese art at the Honolulu Museum of Art. They were able to get a special guided tour by art history expert Dr. Kazuko Kameda-Madar. Dr. Kameda-Madar is Lecturer at Hawaii Pacific University and also Visiting Researcher at the Ritsumeikan University. She earned her PhD in Japanese Art History at University of British Columbia.

The "Light From Shadow: Gold in Japanese Art" exhibition features many artworks, especially large screens, that use gold leaf or gild, mineral pigments from precious stones (ground up and mixed with 'gelatin' and pasted on paper), and ground seashell pigments that create a lasting shimmer. Gold has aesthetic and symbolic value which also allowed the owner to show off their level of prestige. The moon on the screens was often created out of silver. When new, it would shine bright like the moon. However silver, unlike gold, tarnishes over time, so now only the gold and minerals shine on the screen. Screens of this type are now not allowed to be sold or taken outside of Japan. A majority of the collection was purchased from private collections in Japan and brought over by Mrs. Anna Rice Cooke, who also established the museum. She donated most of her collection to the museum.

During the late Meiji period (1868-1912), romance novels that highlighted the predicaments of female protagonists enjoyed enormous commercial success in Japan. The "War-Torn Hearts: Political Propaganda in Japanese Romance Novels" exhibition introduces kuchi-e (woodblock prints produced as frontispieces for these novels). Kuchi-e often represents the female anxieties about loved ones in danger and their mourning of those who died in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). One such notable print showed a woman biting on her handkerchief to symbolize 'biting back her emotions'.

The Tomodachi Planning Committee would like to thank Dr. Kameda-Madar for providing this insightful and educational tour.

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. :   JASH Holds 24th Annual Golf Tournament at Hawaii Prince Golf Club in Ewa Beach


Taiko by RMD Hawaii and volunteers for a shotgun sendoff. A new JASH tradition!


The Japan-America Society of Hawaii held its 24th Annual Friendship Golf Classic on Thursday, April 24 at Hawaii Prince Golf Club in Ewa Beach. Golfers kicked off the noon start with a kampai and taiko sendoff led by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (RMD) Hawaii. The golf tournament is one of three major JASH fundraisers. A prize was awarded to each participant, with a stay package at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort on Maui awarded to the 24th place team in honor of our 24th year; and golf and stay package at the Grand Wailea on Maui awarded to the first place team.

Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda presents the perpetual trophy to first place winners Jeffrey Steen and Jennifer Lynch of HMSHost.


JASH would like to thank Tournament Sponsor First Insurance Company of Hawaii, all of the other major sponsors, Titanium and Graphite sponsors, and the individual players who supported this tournament. For the complete list please click here. A special thanks to the 40 volunteers who help to make the tournament run smoothly. Proceeds from this tournament will be used for community programs, including educational programs and cultural exchanges for Hawaii's schools and students to continue to build special relationship between the people of Hawaii and Japan.

As in previous years, JASH invited members of the military to participate. Two individuals from United States Pacific Command were sponsored by the Myland Hawaii Realty team to show appreciation for their service to our country.

A very special Mahalo to 2014 Golf Tournament Chair Alan Yamamoto, who volunteered his time to solicit and obtain Sponsors, Teams, donations; and also assisted JASH staff on the tournament day. Also thanks to our roving course photographer, JASH friend Morgan Vanderbilt-Bush. Please click here for a link to his photos.

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. :   Two Scholars Presented with the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Award


Two scholars were presented with the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship award at a formal ceremony at the Japanese Consulate on May 8th. New Chairman of the Scholarship Foundation, Mr. Allen Uyeda, presented the certificates to Japanese recipient Ms. Sakiko Yasuda and University of Hawaii student Mr. John Seymour. Foundation Trustees and members of UH Foundation and Center for Japanese Studies were invited to this event. Mr. Uyeda thanked Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda for opening their residence for this ceremony, and noted that the Scholarship was mentioned in a recent Joint Statement following President Obama's visit with Japanese Prime Minister Abe as among non-governmental programs linking the people of our two countries and being "indispensable" for building relationships. Consul General Shigeeda then welcomed all, echoing the importance of this Scholarship in promoting friendship and understanding between U.S. and Japan.

Ms. Yasuda received her B.S. in Nursing and Education from Kibi International University and her Master of Public Health from Kyoto University. She is a Ph.D. of Public Health Candidate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, John A. Burns School of Medicine. Her research topic is school-based intervention to improve health for children.
Mr. Seymour received a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Theory from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and a Master of Arts in Music Composition from the University of North Texas. He is currently a Ph.D Candidate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he composes new music for traditional Asian instruments and also researches Gagaku, an ancient genre of Japanese music which he will study in Japan.

Akihito Scholarship Awardees Sakiko Yasuda and John Seymour with Consul General and Mrs. Shigeeda, Trustees, Scholarship Staff, and supporters.


The Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship was established in 1959 to commemorate the wedding of Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko. The purpose of the scholarship is to promote better understanding between the peoples of Japan and the United States by providing scholarships to UH scholars to study in Japan and Japanese scholars to study at UH. The Emperor and Empress of Japan honors the scholars with a personal audience at their residence in the Imperial Palace. Since inception, a total of 142 scholarships have been granted. Each grant is approximately $45,000 per year and can be awarded for two years. Those interested in this scholarship are directed to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii website at www.jashawaii.org under "CPASF."

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. :   Junior Ambassadors build friendships at Camp Erdman


APCC delegates participate in a Team Building Exercise while at Camp Erdman.


During the weekend of May 3-4, 2014 Asian-Pacific Children's Convention (APCC) Junior Ambassadors along with Peace Ambassador Jae-Sun Brown learned about team building at Camp Erdman in Waialua. The APCC delegates were accompanied by 2014 chaperone Dori Kim and 2015 chaperone Kevin Matsuda, along with JASH staff Marsha Yokomichi and Liz Stanton-Barrera.

This annual outing helps the APCC delegates bond with one another through outdoor activities and team building exercises. While at the camp, the JAs took part in a Team Development Course led by a YMCA counselor, went swimming, made a kukui nut lei to take with them to Japan, ate smores while sharing stories around a campfire, and practiced their hula performance. For several of the JAs, this was their first overnight experience at a camp away from their families. The experience helped the group bond together in preparation for their trip to the APCC in Fukuoka, Japan from July 9 through July 23

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. :   JASH Brings English Rakugo to Hawaii


Diane Kichijitsu performs English Rakugo at the University of Hawaii Manoa Orvis Auditorium.


So what is Rakugo? And in English? These thoughts were in the minds of the 100-plus audience that came to see Diane "Kichijitsu" perform at the University of Hawaii Manoa Orvis Auditorium on April 3rd. Diane, who calls herself Kichijitsu (or literally, Lucky Day in Japanese), is a comic storyteller in this 400-year old traditional Japanese art form. Popular in Japan, it is virtually unknown to the rest of the world. Diane, originally from England, has made her home in Osaka deciding to stay there after backpacking around the world and discovering this unique art that appealed to her. She's been performing Rakugo for over 20 years around the world to include Finland, Norway, Estonia and Dubai after being an understudy of the master Rakugo performer, Katsura Shijaku, the pioneer of Rakugo in English.

Rakugo is Japan's traditional version of the stand-up comic. But the performer stays seated on stage on a zabuton cushion, using two very simple implements, a folding fan (sensu) and a hankie (tenugui), and uses them to tell stories of every-day life assuming multiple characters. Rakugo literally means "falling (or tumbling) words" because at the end, there's always a verbal surprise, a punch line.

JASH teamed with the Japanese Consulate and the University of Hawaii Department of Theatre and Dance to bring this performance to its members and the community. JASH Director and President of Myland Hawaii Realty prepared snacks and refreshments for the audience in a pre-event setting at the Auditorium to turn this into a gala affair. JASH President Ed Hawkins introduced the event, explaining that JASH is about promoting understanding between U.S. and Japan, and this Rakugo performance fits perfectly. Deputy Consul General Kazunari Tanaka welcomed the crowd, and UH Manoa Center of Japanese Studies Director Dr. Mary McDonald gave closing comments. The crowd was treated to over an hour of an engaging performance, complete with the ochi, punch line. Diane even gave a history lesson of Rakugo and description of the performer's dress and props through audience participation. The event concluded with Diane's stories of her travels across the world, weaving her experiences and life's lessons which she shared. Then she engaged the audience in "laughter yoga," something she picked up in India, stressing laughter is good for the body and soul.

JASH would like to thank all the sponsors, supporters, and volunteers that made this event possible. Special thanks to UH Department of Theatre and Dance for providing the Orvis Auditorium, Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu for co-hosting and funding the stage support, and of course Diane "Kichijitsu" for providing the performance.

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. :   JASH Holds Spring 2014 McInerny Foundation's Japan Day


Ninety-two students representing Castle High School, Kapolei High School, and Maui Preparatory Academy gathered at Hawaii Tokai International College for the Japan-America Society of Hawaii's (JASH) Spring 2014 Japan Day on March 28, sponsored by the McInerny Foundation. Over 35 volunteer experts presented cultural classes on bon dance, calligraphy, kimono/yukata wear, origami, soroban (Japanese abacus), and tea ceremony. Everyone was in for a treat as members of the Taiko Center of the Pacific led by taiko master Kenny Endo performed a few pieces. Students then proceeded to their cultural classes for this half-day program, which is now in its 21st year.

To date, nearly 5,400 students from 57 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. 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 and respecting different cultures and customs, we continue to bridge the gap that leads to friendship and cultural appreciation.

(L-R Clockwise): Students enjoy writing Japanese calligraphy; Hawaii Shin Kobukai members teach the students how to bon dance; Students experience wearing Japanese yukata; Mr. Hideaki Oshima makes learning math fun by using soroban!

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 teacher Mrs. Setsusen Tokumine and her volunteers; Mrs. Jean Sakihara and members of Kimono Project USA; Mr. and Mrs. Hideaki Oshima from Araki Hiroya Soroban School; Ms. Ashley Nishihara and members of the Hawaii Origami Club; 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 Taiko Center of the Pacific for inspiring the students with their 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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. : Four High School Teams Earn Trips to Japan through the Japan Wizards Competition


This year, 135 students representing 24 schools from Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui competed in the 11th annual Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC) held at Kapiolani Community College (KCC). This marks the third year that Hawaiian Airlines graciously served as overall sponsor.

JASH President Edwin Hawkins welcomed the high school students and thanked Hawaiian Airlines and other major supporters - ABC Stores, Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation, JTB Hawaii, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles.

This year, 45 teams competed in two skill levels. The 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.

JASH President Ed Hawkins, JASH Chairman Dan Dinell, Hawaiian Airlines' Vicki Nakata, JTB Hawaii's Keiichi Tsujino and David Asunama, and JASH Director Jean Rolles pose with the four winning teams.

The top three scoring teams in each of two levels were awarded plaques. In Level A, these were Iolani School (1st place), King Kekaulike High School (2nd place), and Waiakea High School (3rd place). The Level B winners were Iolani School (1st place), Maryknoll School (2nd place), and Kalani High School (3rd place). The top scoring public and private school of each level were awarded trips to Japan. These teams (three students and an advisor) 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 Iolani School, Level B.

(L) Students learn how to fold Origami with volunteers from the Hawaii Origami Club; (R) Volunteers teach students the Tea Ceremony.

Between competition rounds, students were kept busy with the numerous activity stations in the Activity Center. These included origami by the Hawaii Origami Club, calligraphy, gyotaku fish printing by Prior 2 Pupu Productions, karuta, a tea ceremony demonstration, and Jeopardy to name a few. The Ken Yu Kai Kendo Club provided a kendo demonstration to start the Activities.

This year, Temple University of Japan was a major sponsor, donating the Japan Wizards Competition t-shirts worn by all students, advisors, and volunteers. JASH would like to thank all the donors and supporters, including Kapiolani Community College for the generous use of their facilities.

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. : JASH Holds Educational Exchange Symposium during Honolulu Festival


Ms. Kaori Seki, student from Bunkyo University in Chigasaki, Japan studying at the University of Hawaii gives witness to how the educational exchange program has affected her life. Mayor Mori of Nagaoka City (far left), Dr. Huey (center), and Dr. McDonald of the panel look on.

Recently JASH participated in a community symposium to raise awareness of the importance of educational exchanges for promoting country-to-country relations, focusing on the important U.S.-Japan relationship. The symposium, "Building Relations Through Educational Exchanges" was held at the Hawaii Convention Center as part of programs surrounding the annual Honolulu Festival held in March. This year was the special 20th Anniversary of the Festival and the organizers requested a symposium focusing on relations between Hawaii and Japan, to include Nagaoka City which for the third year in a row provided a spectacular fireworks display off Waikiki Beach.

JASH organized the symposium, inviting former Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi as the keynote speaker, with presentations from Nagaoka City Mayor Tamio Mori, University of Hawaii's Dr. Robert Huey, Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages & Literature, and Dr. Mary McDonald, Director of the Center for Japanese Studies. Governor Ariyoshi stressed the importance of education and educational exchanges for laying the groundwork for future good will, Mayor Mori told the story of "Kome Hyappyo" hundred sacks of rice that stressed how community leaders in Nagaoka sacrificed the town's present well-being for the future of its people, and Drs. Huey and McDonald discussed how Hawaii and the U.S.-Japan relationship benefited from University of Hawaii's many educational opportunities for Japanese students and the numerous educational exchanges with schools in Japan. JASH President Ed Hawkins gave a presentation on a U.S.-Embassy endorsed strategic campaign to promote educational and cultural exchanges as a path to future cooperation, highlighting programs such as JASH-sponsored Asian-Pacific Children's Convention, Japan Wizards, the Rainbow for Japan Kids project and the U.S.-Japan Council led TOMODACHI Initiative. An audience of about 100 attended this important bilateral event.

Presentations are available on our website here: Dr. Mary McDonald, Mayor Tamio Mori, Ed Hawkins.

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. :   Hinamatsuri Celebration at the Consulate General of Japan


(L) (l-r) JASH Director Ms. Betty Brow, Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda, and Tomodachi co-chair Mrs. Kazuko Love in front of the Consulate's hinaningyo display. (R) Guests enjoy an opera performance by Rev. Takamasa Yamamura.


On Thursday, February 27, Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda graciously opened their residence to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii's annual Tomodachi Hinamatsuri celebration in honor of Girl's Day. Hinamatsuri is traditionally celebrated on March 3rd by Japanese families in order to ensure their daughter's health and future happiness.

Tomodachi co-chair Kazuko Love shared with the guests some background about the seven-tiered hinaningyo doll display. It is believed that the dolls possess the power to contain bad spirits and protect the owner from harm. It is also believed that if the dolls are not put away on the night of Hinamatsuri, the family will have trouble marrying off their daughter.

Opera singer Takamasa Yamamura, along with piano accompaniment by Misa Ninomiya, performed a medley of opera songs. Of note was the collaboration on Tadashi Yanada's Jogashima no Ame (The Rain of Jogashima) with traditional Japanese dancer Segawa Senka who danced wearing an appropriate rain-colored kimono to match.

Following this special collaboration, guests were able to partake in special refreshments prepared by the Consul General's personal chef and donated by the Tomodachi Planning Committee members. The Japan-America Society of Hawaii would like to send a special Mahalo to Consul General and Mrs. Shigeeda for hosting this special event. We also send out our special thanks to Mrs. Shigeeda for giving opening remarks and being a wonderful hostess. Thank you again to our performers Takamasa Yamamura, Misa Ninomiya, and Segawa Senka.

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. :   Pacific Fleet Commander invites JASH to Round Table


Admiral Harris welcomes JASH Directors and CPASF Trustees to his Headquarters.

Admiral Harry Harris, new Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, recently invited members of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii Directors and Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation Trustees for a visit of his Pacific Fleet headquarters. Admiral Harris provided a military mission briefing of the Pacific Command "AOR" (Area of Responsibility) which extends from California to the West Coast of Africa, and his role as Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The Admiral, son of a Japanese mother and a Navy Chief Petty Officer, was recently honored by the Japanese American Citizens League for assuming four-star rank and being assigned as Commander of Pacific Fleet. Admiral Harris spoke about his recent visits to the region of his command, relating his engagements with Chinese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and other military counterparts. Admiral Harris fielded questions, providing frank responses and assessments. The Admiral thanked JASH for the work it does in promoting U.S.-Japan relations, and how he looks forward to working with JASH for common causes.

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. :   2014 APCC Junior Ambassadors Selected


The newly selected 2014 Junior Ambassadors with volunteer chaperone Makua Dori Kim.

JASH selected six 11-year old students (three boys and three girls) to represent Hawaii as Junior Ambassadors (JAs) at the 26th Asian-Pacific Children's Convention (APCC), which will be held in Fukuoka, Japan, from July 10- 24, 2014. Hosted by the Fukuoka based NPO by the same name and supported by the Fukuoka government, APCC promotes relationships between children from different countries with the goal of creating adults with a strong social responsibility for the world. A total of 230 children from 45 countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region have been invited to participate this year. Hawaii is one of two cities in the U.S. that will send a delegation. The students will travel to Japan with a JASH volunteer chaperone. The students will also participate in home stays with host Japanese families.

This year, JASH received a total of 31 applications from Oahu and Hawaii. After a day of interviews and group workshops, the final six JAs were selected: Chelley Endo (Aina Haina School), Kalaokahikina "Kala" Handa (Kainalu Elementary), Diesel Kawelo (Island Pacific Academy), Malia "Sunny" Monaco (Aina Haina School), Misa Muranaka (Iolani School), and Andrew-Lee Smith (Aina Haina School).

The students will spend one Saturday each month preparing for their trip to Fukuoka. The required workshops are designed to develop teamwork skills and build students' knowledge about Japan, Hawaii-Japan ties, cultural etiquette, and other countries 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 hula to the song Waikiki Hula, taught by their chaperone, Makua Dori Kim. All travel and workshop costs for this program are borne by APCC and JASH.

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. :   New Year's Reception


JASH members and guests toast to a prosperous new year.

Starting the New Year at historic Washington Place was welcome news to JASH members and guests. Over 200 attended the sold out reception. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie invited the guests to his "official" home, calling attention to the many programs and services JASH provides to the community, including schools and children, in accomplishing its mission of promoting understanding and friendship between the people of U.S. and Japan with the special perspective of Hawaii. Gourmet food catered by Neiman Marcus with beer donated by Aloha Beer provided perfect complement to the stately mansion as backdrop for starting the New Year on a high note. International Sake Association (Kokusai Sake Kai) gave private tastings of sake from the 2013 National Sake Tasting event.

JASH Chair Dan Dinell, Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris, and Governor Neil Abercrombie perform the Kagamiwari.

Sponsor Stanford Carr welcomed the guests noting it was the eighth straight year he has sponsored the event, and he looks forward to many more. New JASH Chair Daniel Dinell of Hilton Grand Vacations gave his own New Year greetings, pledging to continue with the Society's mission and programs, and quoting from a student whose life was transformed by JASH. Later, Chair Dinell joined Governor Abercrombie, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, new Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris, and Japanese Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda in the traditional breaking of the sake cask, kagamiwari ceremony. Consul General Shigeeda offered the sake toast, pointing to JASH's past accomplishments to include the relief support provided to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and pledging future collaboration. Sake and implements were donated by Mr. Teru Kishii and The Cherry Company

Guests enjoy traditional Okinawan shishimai lion dance.

JASH would like to thank Stanford Carr, other supporters and donors, and the many volunteers who assisted with the reception. More photos available on the JASH Facebook.

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. :   JASH Holds New Year Reception at Historic Washington Place


We are pleased to share select photos from our New Year's Reception held on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at Washington Place. Please click here for a link to our Facebook album.

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. :   JASH Hosts Public Symposium on Cultural & Educational Interchange


Mr. Harry Hill, Chair of the U.S. CULCON Panel addresses the gathered guests on the importance of educational interchange at the Public Forum, East-West Center.

"The goodwill of the Japanese people is America's greatest strategic asset in the Asia-Pacific region." With these words, Mr. Mark Davidson, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo framed the importance of this public symposium. Mr. Davidson identified Youth Engagement and Social Media as one of those strategic pillars. With close cooperation and support from the United States-Japan Conference on Cultural & Educational Interchange (CULCON), JASH held a public symposium on cultural and educational interchange in Hawaii to kick off the new year. Nearly 100 leaders from the community composed of educators, non-profits, think-tanks, and government groups gathered at the iconic I.M. Pei-designed Imin International Conference Center at the East-West Center to hear experts from Japan and the U.S. who had gathered for this occasion.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy Susan Stevenson talks about the U.S. strategic imperative promoting educational exchanges as a means to promote mutual understanding; Minister for Public Affairs, Mr. Masato Otaka from the Japanese Embassy in the U.S. addresses the alarming drop in Japanese students studying in the U.S. and how Japanese Government is addressing the issue.


The symposium was conceived to take advantage of the CULCON Educational Task Force Meeting, held this year in Honolulu. Attending this event were nearly 30 U.S. and Japan experts on education to discuss its annual report, looking for solutions to address the declining interest of Japanese studying in the U.S. and the low U.S. student numbers studying in Japan. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Department of State, Honorable Susan Stevenson led off the symposium by stating how the U.S. government stresses the importance of promoting international exchanges, including educational ones. Following Ms. Stevenson's remarks, Mr. Masato Otaka, Minister for Public Affairs, Embassy of Japan in the United States listed the recent problematical trend of decreasing numbers of Japanese studying in the U.S. and what this meant to Japan's future economic viability and security. Mr. Otaka added that the Abe Administration through the Ministry of Education has set goals to double the number of Japanese students studying in the U.S. by 2020. The last presentation was by Mr. Mark Davidson who covered all aspects of the importance of cultural and educational interchange, inspiring all of us to continue with our programs. Notably, Mr. Davidson listed a number of programs JASH has or is conducting to support cultural and educational interchange, focusing on the successful Rainbow for Japan Kids program that brought Japanese children from the disaster region of Japan to Hawaii for rest, recuperation, and physical/psychological relief, awarding of exchange scholarships through the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation, and recently assisting three locations in Japan (Nagaoka City, Ehime Prefecture, Shizuoka City) to apply for "Friendship Blossom" dogwood tree planting, a gift from the U.S. to Japan to mark the 100 year anniversary of the gifting of cherry trees to the United States in 1912.

Please visit the JASH Facebook page for additional photos of this event.

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