Nagaoka City Students Exchange Perspectives on Peace with University of Hawaii at Manoa Students


Nagaoka students meet with University of Hawaii students at the EWC.

On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 27 students from Nagaoka City and the University of Hawaii at Manoa met at the East West Center for a discussion on peace and its meaning to today’s generation.  The 12 university and high school students from Japan were participants in Nagaoka City’s Peace Exchange Program.  The 15 UHM students were enrolled in Gladys Nakahara Sensei’s Fourth-year Japanese for Advanced Speakers course.  Over lunch, the students enjoyed the exchange of ideas about peace.  

The Nagaoka City students visited Honolulu with a full 4-day itinerary that included visits to the USS Missouri, Pacific Aviation Museum, and Arizona Memorial, and attendance at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremony on December 7.  The students also paid their respects at the Ehime Maru Memorial and Punchbowl Cemetery.  In addition to meeting with UHM students, they also visited the Kamehameha Schools.

JASH is pleased to partner with the Nagaoka International Exchange Association in helping to foster cross-cultural learning and understanding through the exchange of perspectives between younger generations of Japan and Hawaii.    

JASH Continues to Foster Ehime-Hawaii Sister State Relationship


Students learn how to play POGS at a JASH office visit on July 22, 2016.

On Friday, July 22, 2016, JASH welcomed fifteen students from two schools in the Ehime prefecture of Japan. As a sister state of Honolulu, Ehime maintains a strong connection to the islands; especially following the tragic Ehime Maru accident of 2001, the states are committed to working together to better relations between the people of both countries. During their visit, Uwajima Minami Secondary School and Matsuyama Higashi High School students played icebreaker games with JASH staff, interns, and volunteers, were introduced to JASH’s activities through a presentation by President Lenny Yajima, and were treated to delicious yakisoba made by Mr. Atsushi Takebayashi of Move4Japan.

Friday’s visit followed that of two groups of students from Uwajima and Okinawa in 2015 as part of the Society’s Sister School Relationship Program.

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2016 TOMODACHI – Aloha Leadership Program delegates visit Tohoku, Japan

TALP delegates meet students at Onagawa Junior High School

TALP delegates meet students at Onagawa Junior High School

Six delegates between the ages 12-20, along with chaperone Daniel Hwang and videographer Colby Takeda, returned to Honolulu on June 28, 2016 after spending one week in the Tohoku region of Japan as part of the 2016 TOMODACHI – Aloha Leadership Program (TALP).  JASH has been sending delegates to Tohoku since 2013, and as the fourth TALP delegation, these students were appreciative of the opportunity to reunite with friends they had made through Rainbow For Japan Kids (RFJK). Read More

EPIC Interns Share the Aloha Spirit in Ehime


2016 EPIC Interns Jake Yasumori and Yu Sasaki enjoying their time with students at Uwajima Fisheries High School.


Jake sharing a hug with a student at Uwajima Fisheries High School.


Yu sharing a hug with a student at Uwajima Fisheries High School.


Jake and Yu exchange omiyage with Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura.


Jake and Yu pay their respects at the Ehime Maru Memorial.



EPIC Interns Jake and Yu Arrive Safely in Ehime

EMMA Jake and Yu EPIC Interns
Yu Sasaki and Jake Yasumori, the 2016 students selected for the EPIC Summer Internship, have arrived safely in Ehime. Both students are committed to building the Ehime-Hawaii relationship through their efforts in the internship program.

TOMODACHI- Aloha Leadership Prepares for upcoming Tohoku Trip

On Saturday, May 14, 2016, delegates of the 2016 TOMODACHI-Aloha Leadership Program met at the JASH office to plan and prepare for their upcoming trip to Tohoku, Japan next month. The TOMODACHI Aloha Leadership Program (TALP) envisions creating generations of Japanese and Americans dedicated to perpetuating the important Japan-America relationship, bettering their communities, and empowering themselves to become global-minded leaders in their schools and organizations. Read More

EPIC Interns Jake and Yu Visit Ehime Maru Memorial

EPIC Photo 1
EPIC Photo 2

Jake Yasumori and Yu Sasaki will be spending the summer at Ehime Prefectural International Center 公益財団法人愛媛県国際交流協会 (EPIC), in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, under the guidance of manager Noriko Omori. The internship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the interns to immerse themselves in Japanese culture, Ehime-style, with great attention to “omotenashi ” or first class hospitality. They will also share vibrant Hawaiian culture with students in their classrooms, and visitors to the center. Congratulations to Jake and Yu for being selected as ambassadors of goodwill from Hawaii to Japan through EPIC, the UH Manoa Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and JASH.

TOMODACHI – Aloha Leadership Program Delegates Visit Tohoku, Japan

TALP Delegates reunite with RFJK students in Onagawa

The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) sent six students ranging in age from 12 – 22, along with chaperon Daniel Hwang, tothe Tohokuregion of Japan as part of the 2015 TOMODACHI – Aloha Leadership Program (TALP) from July 7 – 15, 2015. The purpose of the trip was to reconnect with participants of the Rainbow For Japan Kids Program (RFJK). The funding for this program came from a generous grant given by the TOMODACHI Initiative and another private donor. This was the third year in a row that Hawaii students have been able to travel to Tohoku to visit and reconnect with the friends made here in Hawaii who have participated in the RFJK program, which allows Japanese students affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami to travel to Hawaii for mental and physical recuperation in addition to learning about Hawaii’s culture. Read More

TOMODACHI – Aloha Leadership Program Delegates Travel to Tohoku

TALP Delegates at Honolulu International Airport: (back row, l – r: JASH Educational Assistant David Nakanishi, JASH Educational Director Liz Barrera, Sarah Tamashiro, chaperone Daniel Hwang, Malakai Shiraki, Logan Takeda, JASH President Lenny Yajima; front row, l – r: Seri Nakamura, Moana Ueda and Shayna Kim)

After one month of training workshops and other events, JASH sent six delegates (ages 12 – 22) and one volunteer chaperone, Daniel Hwang, to the Tohoku region as part of the TOMODACHI – Aloha Leadership Program (TALP) on July 7, 2015. The purpose of this trip is for the Hawaii delegates to reconnect with Japanese students who had participated (or will participate) in the Rainbow for Japan Kids (RFJK) program in Hawaii.Read More

TOMODACHI – Aloha Leadership Program Reunion Party

TOMODACHI Alumni and BCH members enjoy time to network and share their experiences

On June 20, 2015, JASH partnered with the Bridge Club Hawaii (BCH) to create the first annual TOMODACHI – Aloha Leadership Program Reunion Party. About fourteen delegates from the 2013, 2014, and 2015 trips to Tohoku attended the potluck lunch at the JASH office. This inaugural party featured two guests: Giovanni Douresseau, a TOMODACHI Inouye Scholar from Los Angeles, California; and Atsushi Takebayashi, the founder of Move4Japan, from Honolulu. BCH members shared popular dishes with Mr. Douresseau to allow him to experience some of the local culture. Mr. Takebayashi generously shared some of his famous yakisoba, which he cooks for the people affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in the Tohoku region through his non-profit organization, Move4Japan. Read More