JASH Japan Wizards Competition

Registration is NOW CLOSED for the JASH Japan Wizards Competition, which will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Kapiolani Community College.

Japan Wizards Competition is a challenging, fun-filled academic team competition for Hawaii’s high school students that tests students’ general knowledge of Japan and Japan-related fields.  The competition is sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH), a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization with the mission of promoting understanding and friendship between the peoples of the United States and Japan through the unique and special perspective of Hawaii.

Japan Wizards is a great opportunity for students to team up with friends and classmates, learn about Japan, compete with peers from other Hawaii schools, and have a chance to experience the Japanese society and culture first-hand!  The Japan-America Society of Hawaii will send four teams – the top scoring public school teams and the top scoring private school teams for Levels A and B – on a trip to Japan in the summer of 2017.  A fifth team will also be selected to win a trip to Japan if they are picked as the recipient of the Dr. Michael Leineweber trip award.

There is NO CHARGE to participate in the Japan Wizards Competition, however a $100 penalty fee will be charged if the entire team drops out after February 1, 2017.  Schools will also be responsible to reimburse JASH for any direct expenses (such as airfare) incurred by the withdrawal.  Generous support for this Competition is provided by organizations such as Friends of Hawaii Charities, JTB Hawaii, and the Tateuchi Foundation.

JASH hopes to have a limited number of round-trip tickets to and from Honolulu for the Competition (ground transportation not included).  Please indicate on the registration form whether your school needs airline tickets in order to participate in the competition, and complete all requested information on the registration form.

Please contact JASH directly at ebarrera@jashawaii.org or 808-524-4450 if you have any questions about the Japan Wizards Competition.

Click HERE for information on how to become a volunteer.

JASH Japan Wizards Competition Sends Five Teams to Japan in Summer 2017

On February 25, 2017, 126 students representing 25 high schools from Oahu, Hawaii Island, Maui and Kauai participated in the 14th Annual Japan-America Society of Hawaii’s (JASH) Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC) at Kapiolani Community College. Teams were comprised of three students each, with a total of 42 teams competing.  The 42 teams competed in one of two levels, A or B, depending on the Japanese language class they were enrolled in at their respective high school. Students were tested on their knowledge of various Japan-related topics such as art, culture and tradition, food, geography, history, Japan-Hawaii ties, literature, politics and government, sports, contemporary Japan, and of course language. Four winning teams are awarded trips to Japan at the end of the event.

At the conclusion of the JWC, the annual Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship, given by JASH Board Member Ms. Ina Tateuchi in honor of her late husband, Atsuhiko Tateuchi, who was a strong supporter of JASH and the Japan Wizards Competition, was awarded to the overall top-scoring team in the competition, Mid-Pacific, Level A team. This team received a total of 240 points out of a possible 300 points at the competition.

Mid-Pacific Level A team wins the Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship

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The 29th Annual Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention

The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) sent six Junior Ambassadors (JAs) to the 29th annual Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) in Fukuoka, Japan, July 13 – 25, 2017.

The APCC has been hosted by the Fukuoka City government since 1989. It was started to celebrate the city’s 100 anniversary. Now in its 29th year, the APCC has hosted over 10,000 students from all across the Asia-Pacific region and other countries across Europe and South America. The mission of the APCC is to promote international relationships among children so that they will become adults with a sense of social responsibility for the world.Read More

JASH Junior Ambassadors depart for the 29th Asian Pacific Children’s Convention in Fukuoka

After months of preparation, parents and children were both anxious and excited as the JASH Junior Ambassadors departed for the 29th Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) in Fukuoka, Japan on Thursday, July 13, 2017.  They were accompanied by chaperone David Nakanishi and Peace Ambassador Ava Williams.  The delegates will spend eleven days in Fukuoka — seven days with a host family and three days at an Exchange Camp with other 11-year olds from over 40 different Asia-Pacific countries and regions.  

APCC Delegates depart to Fukuoka, Japan (l-r:  Junior Ambassadors Yuuka Brown, Sabina Funasaki, Taryn Kimura,  Peace Ambassador Ava Williams, Kyler Shigemi, chaperon David Nakanishi, Rielan Hung and Ryan Handa)

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JASH members learn how to “Build an International Career”

On Friday, June 2, 2017, nearly 100 JASH members and guests participated in a business mentoring and networking event on “Building an International Career” at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (HHV) Beach Resort & Spa.

(From L-R) Maya Rogers, Christine Kubota, Tab Bowers, Reyna Kaneko, Dan Dinell and Sal Miwa

The focus of the evening was to bring together young professionals with mentors who have successfully built careers across the globe. The program began with a panel session moderated by JASH Director Mr. Tab Bowers, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at American Savings Bank.  The four distinguished panelist were Mr. Daniel Dinell, president of Hawaii Coffee Company; Ms. Christine Kubota, Director with Damon Key Leong Kupchack Hastert, a Honolulu based law firm; Mr. Sal Miwa, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Myland Hawaii Realty, Ltd; and Ms. Maya Rogers, President and CEO of Blue Planet Software.

Panelists Dan Dinell, Christine Kubota, Sal Miwa and Maya Rogers share their thoughts on building an international career

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JASH hosts Japan U.S. Military Program

On June 5, 2017, JASH held its first ever JUMP event (Japan U.S. Military Program) in partnership with Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and National Association of Japan-America Societies, and with the support of the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu. 

Given the recent events of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and Hawaii’s position as a crossroads between east and west, the JUMP event provided attendees with a highly relevant and engaging day of learning and conversation. Guests heard advice from a decorated United States Brigadier General, a thought provoking and provocative panel discussion with faculty from the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and had an opportunity to connect with U.S. military service members who have served in Japan and members of the community with an interest in U.S.-Japan defense and security issues. 

JASH President Reyna Kaneko opened the day by welcoming attendees and introducing Peter Kelley, the President of National Association of Japan-America Societies, from Washington D.C.  Sal Miwa, Chairman of the Board of JASH then introduced Brigadier General (Ret) James T. Hirai, the Deputy General of Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, as the keynote speaker.

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Junior Ambassadors take on the Charity Walk!

JAs and parents at 2017 Visitor Industry Charity Walk

On May 20, the JASH Junior Ambassadors and their families along with 2017 APCC Chaperone David Nakanishi and 2018 APCC Chaperone Sandy Takeda, participated in the 2017 Visitor Industry Charity Walk. As always, the walk started in Ala Moana Beach Park and extended into Waikiki for a total of 5.25 miles. The calm walk through Waikiki provided the JAs and parents the opportunity to build upon their friendships. Along the way, the JAs stopped by a number of checkpoints where they were given various snacks and gifts from the charity walk sponsors. Despite having minor injuries prior to the walk, the six JAs finished the back at Ala Moana Beach Park to enjoy a lunch with each other. The Visitor Industry Charity Walk raise money for various charities on the island of O’ahu and the money that the Junior Ambassadors raised will help fund future APCC programs.
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Junior Ambassadors take on Camp Erdman

The JASH Junior Ambassadors (JAs) stayed at Camp Erdman from Saturday, May 6 to Sunday, May 7 for an overnight retreat to build teamwork amongst the group and prepare for their trip to Japan. At camp, the JAs practiced for the cultural performance which they will perform at the Global Bridge Festival in Fukuoka, Japan in July. They also completed the YMCA’s Team Development Course in which JAs were tasked with a variety of challenges and puzzles designed by Camp Erdman staff to encourage participants to work together and trust the other members of their team.
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Spring 2017 Japan Day

Over 130 high school students enjoyed a morning immersed in Japanese culture at JASH’s bi-annual Japan Day, sponsored by the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Youth Matters and Lanai Community Fund on May 9. 2017.  Held at the Pacific Beach Hotel, Japan Day is celebrating 25 years of bringing together students and experts in a variety of traditional Japanese art forms and is the Society’s longest running educational program.  Students from Kalani High School, Lanai High and Elementary School (LHES), Moanalua High School and Punahou School took part in the various cultural classes.

Taiko Center of the Pacific shares a taiko demonstration during the Opening Ceremony.

Members of the Taiko Center of the Pacific invigorated the atmosphere with their taiko demonstration during the Welcome Ceremony.  Following the welcome ceremony, students then proceeded to their cultural classes presented by 30 volunteer experts on bon dance, calligraphy, ikebana (flower arranging), karate, kimono/yukata wear, origami, soroban (Japanese abacus), and “Life Skills and Personal Success: Attributes of a Global Citizen.”  Each student had the opportunity to participate in four different cultural sessions throughout the morning.Read More

JASH 27th Annual Friendship Golf Classic


Consul General of Japan Yasushi Misawa awards the grand prize trophy to Wallace Afalava and Mark Sumida.

The JASH 27th Annual Friendship Golf Classic was held on April 20th, 2017 at Hawaii Prince Golf Club in Ewa Beach. Mahalo to Atsushi and Mayumi Takebayashi from Move4Japan for providing the delicious yakisoba! Shochu donated by Kai Vodka was used for the JASH-traditional sake kanpai at noon, followed by a taiko shotgun sendoff performance by Dragon Beat.

Thank you to Atsushi and Mayumi Takebayashi for cooking fresh yakisoba for the players and volunteers.

With the taiko drums in the background, 113 golfers descended upon the course. Despite the rainy weather that persisted from the start of the tournament through its end, players persevered through the conditions to finish all 18 holes while participating in various contests such as the Hole-in-One and Closest to the Pin contests.  Various snacks and refreshments were available at the Special Hole and the Cold Towel stations.
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