Tomodachi – Let’s Talk Story with Mike Malaghan

 

Mike Malaghan discussing his book, Picture Bride

On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, the Tomodachi Committee of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii held its annual “Let’s Talk Story” luncheon at Taormina Sicilian Cuisine in Waikiki. Over 20 JASH members and guests enjoyed a delicious 3-course lunch and a special presentation by Mike Malaghan, JASH Lifetime member, on his recently published novel, Picture Bride. Based on extensive research and personal interviews, attendees learned about the immigrant life of Japanese women in Hawaii prior to WWII.

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JASH Japan Wizards Competition

Registration is NOW CLOSED for the JASH Japan Wizards Competition, which will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Kapiolani Community College.

WHAT IS JAPAN WIZARDS?
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.

WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?
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.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
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.

WHAT ABOUT NEIGHBOR ISLAND PARTICIPANTS?
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 Hosts Beer Garden at The Plaza at Waikiki

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Yakisoba by Move4Japan and Aloha Beer Red Ale and Lager.

On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, JASH held its third Beer Garden event. Over 80 JASH members, guests, and Plaza residents enjoyed The Plaza at Waikiki’s beautifully decorated lounge areas and spacious outdoor terrace. The weather added to the ambiance of a Beer Garden gathering in Japan! Read More

Summer 2016 Intern Reflections – Emily Ratté

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My time at JASH was not what I expected it to be—in the absolute best way possible. As a college student, an internship at a non-profit organization most often means doing grunt work: spending the day filing or filling coffee orders in busy offices whose employees don’t have the time or energy to give you more substantial work. And that’s not all bad; nonprofit employees have high-stress jobs and receive little thanks for the work they do to improve our communities, and with ever-limited funding, every minute counts. However, viewing interns as the next generation to lead nonprofits like our own, JASH staff dedicates time and effort to training interns as staff members, with the conviction that spending the energy now will better serve the organization, and its purpose, in the long term. As a recipient of this care and education, I could not be more thankful.

Under the supervision of Educational Program Director, Liz Stanton-Barrera, I have had the chance to experience all which make possible JASH’s extensive student-geared programs, like Japan in a Suitcase, Japan Wizards Competition, Japan Day, and others. By assisting with grant proposals and reports (key steps in organizing such events) I have learned valuable skills in persuasive writing that will be vital to my future career in the nonprofit sector, and by helping to boost JASH’s social media presence, I have become aware of all that it takes to keep JASH and its various programs in the public eye. The summer internship at JASH also allowed me to meet influential members of the Japanese community in my hometown of Honolulu, dedicated civil servants to the mission of promoting intercultural relations, as well as a number of young students with whom JASH is working to foster interest in Japan and its culture. Facilitating workshops for these students has given me a chance to take the role of educator, and working with the JASH staff on everything from event set-up to budgets and expense reports has allowed me to see the complicated process of funding community programs through grants and donations.

As I continue in my studies as a Sociology and Asian Languages/Civilizations double major at Amherst College, the experience I have gained at JASH will help me to ground my studies within real-world applications: while studying Asian societies and the way they function, I will keep an eye toward applying it to international relations and cultural exchange; while studying abroad in Kyoto during the Fall 2016 semester, I will work to improve my Japanese language skills so as to become proficient enough to utilize them in my future career; and perhaps most importantly, as I continue to meet Japanese and Japanese-Americans, I will remember that interacting across cultural barriers is the first step in “building bridges” between the peoples of the world.

Thank you to JASH for everything and more!!

Emily Ratté

Summer 2016 Intern Reflections – Naomi Natori

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Naomi Natori, Program Intern – Summer 2016

This summer, I had a chance to learn more about JASH’s history while working with the Program Coordinator on the Annual Dinner video for JASH’s 40th Anniversary. We sorted through JASH’s extensive archives, updated the new website, and conducted multiple interviews with members of the JASH community. One of the questions we asked during every interview was “What does JASH mean to you in one word?” I have heard multiple answers but my personal favorites were relationships, synergy, and opportunity.

Through its many programs and events, JASH instills the continuation of the bond between Japan and Hawaii. Without JASH’s volunteers, members, and staff, the chances for the people of Hawaii to connect with Japan would be difficult to come by. Having personally benefited from the JASH programs as a student, I would like to once again thank JASH for all of the work and effort put in to create such wonderful opportunities. I still cherish the memories of when I participated in the Japan Wizards Competition Program and am grateful for the staff and donors who helped us with our trip to Japan, a trip that motivated me to continue my Japanese studies.

Thank you to the staff for giving me the opportunity to come back and intern for another summer. The work you all do is truly inspiring. It was a joy to come in and learn something new every day.

Naomi Natori

Five Teams Visit Japan This Summer through the JASH Japan Wizards Competition

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This summer, JASH gave five teams the opportunity to travel to Japan and experience first-hand the country and culture they had studied in preparation for the 2016 Japan Wizards Academic Team Competition (JWC) hosted by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH). The JWC in February gathered 28 high schools to compete in two categories, levels A and B, depending on Japanese language proficiency. The four winning teams of the JWC—Iolani School Levels A and B, Kauai High School Level B, and Leilehua High School Level A—received free trips to Japan for themselves and their advisors. In addition, this year, a generous donation from JASH Board Member and Educational Committee Chair Jean Rolles gave one additional team the chance to go to Japan: Island Pacific Academy Level A. This prize, named the Dr. Michael Leineweber Trip Award after Ms. Rolles’ fellow JASH Board member and friend who passed away in 2014, was awarded at random to one team from the top 20 scoring teams with over 100 points.  Thanks to Hawaiian Airlines, who sponsored the winning teams’ air fare to Japan, students and their advisors explored a variety of landmarks in Japan while traveling through the regions of Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Kansai, Chubu, Chugoku and Shikoku.

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Dr. Michael Leineweber Trip Award Recipients- Island Pacific Academy

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IPA Level A in shock after receiving the Dr. Michael Leineweber Trip Award!

This summer, JASH gave five teams from Iolani School, Kauai High School, Leilehua High School, and Island Pacific Academy (IPA) the opportunity to travel to Japan and experience first-hand the country and culture they had studied in preparation for the 2016 Japan Wizards Academic Team Competition (JWC) hosted by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH). The JWC in February gathered 28 high schools to compete in groups of three in two categories, levels A and B, depending on their Japanese language level. The four winning teams of the JWC—Iolani School Levels A and B, Kauai High School Level B, and Leilehua High School Level A—received free trips to Japan for themselves and their advisors.

In addition, this year, a generous donation from JASH Board Member and Educational Committee Chair Jean Rolles gave one additional team the chance to go to Japan: Island Pacific Academy Level A. This prize, named the Dr. Michael Leineweber Trip Award after Ms. Rolles’ fellow JASH Board member and friend who passed away in 2014, was awarded at random to one team from the top 20 scoring teams with over 100 points.

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JASH Continues to Foster Ehime-Hawaii Sister State Relationship

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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 JASH Junior Ambassadors Depart for APCC

The APCC delegates arrive in Fukuoka

The APCC delegates arrive in Fukuoka

JAs land safely in Japan

Junior Ambassadors land safely in Japan

On July 9, 2016, the JASH Junior Ambassadors (JAs), Peace Ambassador (PA) Jocelyn Bonilla, and chaperone Dori Kim departed for their two-week adventure in Japan to participate in the Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC). When they arrived in Fukuoka, they received a warm welcome from APCC volunteers who helped them to their bus headed towards the Marine House Camp where they will stay for the next few days. At camp, the JAs will have the opportunity to meet the 226 other 11-year old students from 44 different countries and cities in the Asia-Pacific region. For more updates about the JAs’ trip to Japan, please visit our JASH Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JapanAmericaSocietyofHawaii/

JASH 2016 Junior Ambassadors visit Governor David Ige

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On July 8, 2016, JASH Junior Ambassadors (JAs) met with Governor David Ige at the state capitol and discuss with him their upcoming trip to Fukuoka, Japan to participate in the Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention. Governor Ige presented the JAs with state pins to take with them to Japan and tell people about the beauty of Hawaii. The JAs were then able to ask him questions about what it is like to be governor of Hawaii. The JAs leave for Japan on July 9, 2016. They are very excited to have met with the governor right before they depart and now leave with a better understanding of their roles as Junior Ambassadors of Hawaii.