Ehime Maru Memorial Visit by EPIC-bound Interns


The two University of Hawaii students selected as Ehime Prefecture Interns for 2015 visited the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu prior to departing for Ehime to begin their three-month summer internship. Ms. Ashley Nakaoka, undergraduate Japanese language and Biology major, and Mr. Tabo Nagase, undergraduate Hawaiian language major accompanied UH Center for Japanese Studies Director Dr. Mary McDonald, Assistant Director Dr. Gay Satsuma, and EMMA President Lenny Yajima who explained the Ehime Maru incident of 2001, the significance of the memorial, and why their upcoming internship in Ehime was directly tied to these events. They learned that this internship, which is fully paid and sponsored by Ehime Prefectural International Center (EPIC), was one of several good-will measures established soon after the tragic Ehime Maru accident to promote future understanding and good relations between the people of Ehime and Hawaii. Former EPIC Interns Mathew Manako Tanaka and Rochelle Ohata also attended to share their experiences.

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

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

In July 2014, ten students from ages 13 to 19, along with chaperones Daniel Hwang and Wendy Lum, 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. Read More

Hawaii’s Kids visit Tohoku to Reconnect with Japanese Kids

Hawaii’s kids help clean Shichigahama Beach park in Miyagi Prefecture as part of their volunteer activity during the Japan trip

Eight youth from Hawaii ages 13-18 visited northern Japan recently to reconnect with Japanese kids who visited Hawaii under the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) sponsored Rainbow for Japan Kids (RFJK) project. JASH has been bringing Japanese children directly affected by the 3/11 disaster to Hawaii for rest, recuperation, and physical/psychological relief. Read More

Rainbow for Japan Kids Project Receives Award from Japanese Consulate

Consul General Yoshihiko Kamo presenting the certificate of commendation to JASH President Ed Hawkins

Consul General Yoshihiko Kamo presenting the certificate of commendation to JASH President Ed Hawkins

As part of the festivities at this year’s Emperor’s birthday celebration on December 14, 2011, JASH was presented with a special certificate of commendation from the Consulate General of Japan at Honolulu. The Consul General decided to recognize organizations in Hawaii that assisted with immediate disaster relief efforts following the tragic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident on March 11th in Japan’s northeast region. The Rainbow for Japan Kids project, which JASH is a partner with JAL Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank, and Studio Rim Hawaii, brings children from the affected regions of Japan to Hawaii for rest, recuperation, and physical/psychological relief. The other individuals and organizations honored were Aloha for Japan statewide fundraising campaign (represented by Hawaii Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz), Aloha Initiative (represented by Mr. Keith Regan), and Mrs. Andy Walsh (wife of Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Patrick Walsh). Read More

Go For Da Record!

the crowd gathers for the record; Hawaiian Airlines was a major sponsor

1000+ ukulele players gathered at the Waikiki Shell on Saturday, October 22 in an attempt to break the World Record for largest ukulele ensemble. While they fell about 500 people short of the record, they still set a new record for Hawaii. Jake Shimabukuro wrote the special song for the record attempt and kept the mood positive. A majority of the attendees were just happy to play along with Jake. Organizer Leo Daquioag of the Music for Life Foundation stated that the event was not only to break the record, but also to raise funds for his charity that supports children in Hawaii and to support the Rainbow for Japan Kids project led by JASH and its partners, so it was a success nonetheless. Read More