The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) rang in the New Year with a reception at historic Washington Place. Washington Place, built in 1847 as the home for American merchant John Dominis, was the refuge of Hawaii’s last monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, and the official residence for a dozen Hawaii Governors. It was named Washington Place by King Kamehameha III after the U.S. President.
The New Year Reception is an opportunity for our Society and supporters and friends to reflect on the accomplishments of last year and dedicate ourselves to the tasks of this New Year. Host Governor Neil Abercrombie pointed to many of those accomplishments and the important role JASH plays in maintaining the relationship with Japan as he welcomed the Society and its friends. Other guests included former Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, former Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi and wife Jean, Deputy Commander of U.S. Army Pacific, Major General Richard Burr of the Australian Defence Force, Japanese Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda, Australian Consul General Scott Dewar, and Republic of Korea Consul General Young Kil Suh.
JASH Chair Sharon Weiner welcomed our special guests while JASH President Ed Hawkins spoke about the accomplishments the previous year such as helping promote sister relationships with Ehime, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, and newest one with Nagaoka City through cultural and educational exchanges. JASH welcomed four members of the Nagaoka delegation to this event, led by the Vice Mayor of Nagaoka, Tatsunobu Isoda. JASH outlined its hallmark educational programs for students K-12 that reached over 7,000 students in 2012, and the continuing work with hosting Japanese children from the 3/11 disaster in Japan through the Rainbow for Japan Kids project.
After a traditional kagamiwari sake barrel opening ceremony, the evening concluded with a traditional Okinawan-style lion dance, shi shi mai, presented by Jon Itomura and the Ryukyu Hawaii group. JASH would like to thank the overall sponsor, Stanford Carr and Stanford Carr Development for their donation and arranging for wine from Paradise Beverages. Thanks go to Dr. Michael Leineweber, Yumi Ozaki, and the rest of the Kokusai Sake Kai for providing the sake service; and to Steve Sombrero and Aloha Beer for providing the complimentary beer. Thanks also to Teru Kishii and The Cherry Company for providing the kagamiwari instruments and the sake for the kampai. Everyone had a great time!