The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) held its annual New Year Reception again at historic Washington Place on Thursday, January 27th. New Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie opened the official Governor’s quarters to JASH and its guests for an evening of celebration and camaraderie. Over 200 Society members and guests attended this gala event that’s intended to celebrate the accomplishments of the previous year and dedicate the Society to the tasks ahead. It was also an opportunity for new JASH Chair and Group Vice President of DFS Group Sharon Weiner to introduce herself and welcome the guests.
JASH also welcomed the Mayor of Nagaoka City Honorable Tamio Mori who was visiting Hawaii to meet with Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle. Mayor Mori was in Honolulu to coordinate final planning for a fireworks display Nagaoka City is bringing to the Honolulu Festival in March as a gift of peace and friendship to the people of Hawaii. JASH is assisting Nagaoka’s efforts to further ties with the City and County of Honolulu.
This year’s event was again sponsored by long-time JASH benefactor Stanford Carr of Stanford Carr Development. JASH members and guests enjoyed making new acquaintances and talking story while enjoying delectable Japanese dishes crafted by Mr. Shuji Abe’s Takumi Catering. This year, the Kokusai Sake Kai provided a special high quality sake tasting booth for the benefit of our Society. Reverend Irene Matsumoto of Palolo Kwannon Temple delivered the blessing. A traditional kagamiwari sake cask breaking ceremony was held. Led by host Stanford Carr and JASH Chair Sharon Weiner, military guests Major General Jan-Marc Jouas of Pacific Air Forces and Rear Admiral Charles Ray of the 14th Coast Guard District, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu Yoshihiko Kamo along with special guest Mayor Mori participated. Later the guests enjoyed the performance of Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, under the direction of sensei Akemi Martin. The taiko/dance group combines traditional music and dance with taiko and martial arts that Okinawa is known for. The Azami String Quartet provided the evening’s music.
JASH would like to thank Stanford Carr and Stanford Carr Development for being the event sponsor, The Cherry Company for donating the sake and equipment for the kagamiwari, and Paradise Beverages for donating the wine and drinks. A special thanks goes to JASH Director Dr. Michael Leineweber and his Kokusai Sake Kai for providing a classy and thoroughly enjoyable sake tasting experience for our guests.