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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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.

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 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


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


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