Tomodachi – Hinamatsuri Celebration at the Japanese Consulate

Hinamatsuri Celebration at the Japanese Consulate

On March 1, 2017, Consul General Yasushi Misawa and Mrs. Yoko Misawa graciously opened their doors to hold a Hinamatsuri Celebration in their official residence for JASH members and guests. Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) also known as Momo-no-sekku (Peach Festival) is traditionally celebrated on March 3 by the Japanese to wish for the happiness and healthy growth of girls. Households display elegant dolls called hina ningyo dressed in ancient court costumes of the Heian Period (794 – 1185).

Consul General and Mrs. Misawa welcome guests to the hinamatsuri celebration

Mrs. Misawa provided a brief background on the Hinamatsuri tradition and shared a joyful story of her own youthful experiences with those in attendance.  The guests also enjoyed a special dance performance, based on the art of Yamato gaku, uniquely interpreted into dance by Senka Segawa.  Yamato-gaku is a type of music played with a shamisen, which contains some elements of western music in a free style.  Senka choreographed and danced to the song “Fuji Murasaki.” Her dance started very quietly, like a still picture, then sprung to life; with light hand movements and steps, finishing with a flourish of wisteria flower.

Senka Segawa dances to “Fuji Murasaki”

Following the dance, guests were entertained by Bernice Hirai and Mary Yanagihara, both koto players, who shared their talent with the guests through three songs: Tanoshii Hinamatsuri, Sakura, and Hana Ikeda. To start the musical portion of the program off, guests enjoyed singing along to the popular Tanoshii Hinamatsuri song.

Thank you once again to Consul General and Mrs. Misawa for hosting this much-anticipated event. JASH would also like to thank our Tomodachi Committee members for providing additional refreshments for this event. Thank you Senka Segawa, Bernice Hirai and Mary Yanagihara for the wonderful performances.

Guests enjoy refreshments at the Japanese Consulate

JASH New Year’s Reception – January 24, 2017

On January 24, 2017, nearly 200 JASH members and guests celebrated the Year of the Rooster at its shinnenkai held at the historic Washington Place, the home of Governor David Ige and First Lady Dawn Amano Ige.

JASH Board Vice Chairman Steve Sombrero served as the evening’s emcee. Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko opened the celebration and delighted guests with a lively Okinawa-style lion dance and taiko performance.shishimai

Governor Ige, JASH Board Chairman Sal Miwa, and Board Director Howard Hamamoto — who represented the Reception’s sponsor Stanford Carr — offered welcome remarks.

Guests enjoyed a delicious buffet including traditional Japanese foods prepared by Mariposa.kagamiwari

The Japanese traditional sake cask-breaking ceremony (kagamiwari) by Governor Ige, Consul General Yasushi Misawa, Chair Miwa, Director Hamamoto, and Ms. Bruni Bradley, wife of Admiral Harry Harris, brought blessings of health, happiness and prosperity to all. Consul General Misawa offered a rousing kanpai.

JASH extends its sincere appreciation to the event’s sponsor, Stanford Carr Development LLC., who has generously supported the New Year Reception for more than 10 years. Thank you also to Board Director Duane Kawamoto and his Mariposa team, Kokusai Sake Kai, and The Cherry Company.

2017 JASH Junior Ambassadors have been selected

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The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) is pleased to announce the selection of six Junior Ambassadors (JAs) to represent JASH and Hawaii at the 29th Annual Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) in Fukuoka, Japan in summer 2017.

The APCC is a cultural exchange program that deepens participant’s appreciation for the cultures of other nations and regions, and promotes mutual understanding and friendship, nurtures international awareness in young people, and works towards world peace and co-existence. It is hoped that the JAs will build an international network of friends.

Following the competitive application process, the six Junior Ambassadors — three boys and three girls, all age 11 — will participate in a JASH-designed six-month preparation program for their July Japan experience.

In Fukuoka, the students will meet over 200 fellow Junior Ambassadors from 40 countries and cities in the Asia-Pacific region in a global youth camp. This will be followed by a home stay where they will live with a Japanese host family. It is our hope that our Ambassadors will mature into adults with a strong sense of social responsibility.

The 2017 Junior Ambassadors are:

  1. Yuuka Brown, Waikiki Elementary
  2. Sabina Funasaki, Noelani Elementary
  3. Ryan Handa, Kainalu Elementary
  4. Rielan Hung, Maryknoll School
  5. Taryn Kimura, Moanalua Elementary
  6. Kyler Shigemi, Aina Haina Elementary

If you wish to know more about the APCC program, please visit the JASH website,, or contact David Nakanishi, APCC Program Coordinator, at (808) 524-4450 or via

We thank you for your continuing support of JASH.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Ehime Maru Memorial



Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park on December 26, 2016 during his visit to Honolulu. Prime Minister Abe was welcomed by Sal Miwa (JASH Chair) and Blair M.T. Odo (JASH and Ehime Maru Memorial Association (EMMA) Interim President), along with Earl Okawa (JASH President Emeritus) and Kenneth Saiki (EMMA Director).

“Prime Minister Abe commented how he was Cabinet Secretary at the time of the accident, and remembers well the subsequent events with sadness,” said Interim President Odo.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, lays a wreath at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, in Honolulu. The memorial is dedicated to the victims of a 2001 collision off the coast of Hawaii between the Ehime Maru, a fisheries training vessel, and a U.S. naval submarine. Several were killed, including four high school students, in the accidental collision. Shinzo Abe arrived in Hawaii on Monday to recognize the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, lays a wreath at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, in Honolulu. The memorial is dedicated to the victims of a 2001 collision off the coast of Hawaii between the Ehime Maru, a fisheries training vessel, and a U.S. naval submarine. Several were killed, including four high school students, in the accidental collision. Shinzo Abe arrived in Hawaii on Monday to recognize the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

JASH provides liaison and administrative services for EMMA. The Memorial honors the nine crew members of the Japanese fishery high school training ship Ehime Maru who lost their lives on February 9, 2001, when the tragic accident with the submarine occurred. Since then, both EMMA and JASH have facilitated various cultural and educational exchange programs to heal and strengthen relations between Ehime Prefecture and Hawaii.

Later in the evening, a reception was held for the Prime Minister at the Hawaii Convention Center, with JASH — along with other Japan-related organizations in Hawaii — playing a key planning role.

Tomodachi Holiday Tea Delights JASH Members and Guests

On Thursday, December 15, 2016, the annual Tomodachi Holiday Tea at the Outrigger Canoe Club in Waikiki brought together JASH members and guests for an afternoon of singing, merriment, and beautiful ocean views.


Bobby Moderow, Jr. shares his musical talents.

Special guests included Yoko Misawa, wife of the Honorable Yasushi Misawa, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu. Bobby Moderow, Jr., of Maunalua — the Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning trio – began the festivities with his slack key guitar artistry and falsetto voice.

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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 Celebrates the Season of Giving at the Holiday Gala & Auction


Benefit Auctioneer, Ms. Sherry Truhlar, facilitates an exciting bidding war.

On December 8, 2016, a sold-out crowd of nearly 250 JASH members and guests attended the annual JASH Holiday Gala and Auction at the Pōmaika‘i Ballrooms at Dole Cannery Iwilei to raise funds for the Society.

This festive event featured a night of fun and fabulous finds, including vacation packages to New York City and West Korea/Seoul; Honolulu Fish Auction tour and breakfast at Nico’s at Pier 38; a round of golf and lunch at the exclusive Waialae Country Club; a wide array of restaurant gift cards; impressive holiday décor, and rare experiences such as a weekend getaway to Maui, which included airfare, rental car, and an exclusive tour of the Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm.
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Tomodachi – Sharing Memories of Pearl Harbor Through the Eyes of Kamaʻaina Citizens, 75 Years Ago


(L-R) Mr. Seikichi “Chick” Takara, Mrs. Shirley Miyamoto, Mr. Herbert Kiyoto Yanamura

On Thursday, November 3, 2016, the Tomodachi Committee presented Sharing Memories of Pearl Harbor – Through the Eyes of Kamaʻaina Citizens, 75 Years Ago at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Stunning first-hand accounts surprised and enlightened event attendees, many of whom expressed hope that the younger generation will also delve into such personal stories to obtain a more thorough understanding of this momentous world event.

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Japan-America Society of Hawaii Holds Fall 2016 Japan Day

The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) held its bi-annual Japan Day, sponsored by JASH Board Director Jean Rolles, on October 27, 2016 at Pacific Beach Hotel.

The Japan Day program, now in its 24th year, is the Society’s longest running educational program that brings together – in a single location- numerous experts in traditional Japanese arts and culture to provide students with hand-on experiences to make their study of Japan come alive.  Nearly 150 students representing Damien Memorial School, Kapolei High School, Nanakuli High School, St. Joseph High School and University Laboratory School took part in the various cultural classes.

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JASH Celebrates 40th Anniversary at Annual Dinner


(L-R) Bridge Award Honoree, Mr. Daniel Martinez and Keynote Speaker, Vice Admiral Yoji Koda (Ret.).

Over 450 guests celebrated JASH’s most recent milestone — its 40th Anniversary — at the Annual Dinner held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Coral Ballrooms on September 29, 2016. Distinguished guests included Hawaii Gov. David Ige, former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu Yasushi Misawa, Consul General of the Republic of Korea Walter Paik, and Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center Wallace Chow.


(L-R) Mrs. Lynnette Dinell, Mr. Daniel Dinell, Dr. Blair Odo, Mrs. Dawn Amano-Ige, Governor David Ige, Mrs. Amy Matsuda, Dr. Fujio Matsuda, Dr. Dori Fujimori.

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