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 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.

Students try their hand at soroban.

Students listen intently to Life Skills.

Funding from the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Lanai Community Benefit Fund enabled JASH to bring the entire inaugural class of Japanese language students at LHES to the Japan Day program.  Thirteen 7th and 8th graders attended the program and all expressed how much they enjoyed participating in the various Japanese cultural sessions.  When posed with the question, After experiencing Japan Day, how has your interest in Japan been affected? One student responded, “In the future I want to visit Japan and I want to communicate with them.”  Another student wrote, “Someday I would love to travel to Japan.”  The ability to expose middle school students to a different culture helps broaden their global perspective and speaks to the mission of our organization.  At the conclusion of the Japan Day program, the Lanai students went on a short tour at the East-West Center (EWC) and the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) campus. The last stop for the group was a visit to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii’s (JCCH) exhibit, Okage Sama De: I am what I am because of you.  The students had recently had a mural project where they learned about Lanai’s plantation history.  Learning about the Japanese immigrants’ experience inspired them to think about their own heritage.

Students learn how to put on an obi in kimono class.

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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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2017 Mission Project delegation visits Hawaii

2017 Mission Project Delegation with Consul General Misawa and Mrs. Misawa, host families, Bridge Club Hawaii, and volunteers

In late March, 2017, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii welcomed a delegation of 15 students and 3 chaperones who visited Honolulu as a part of this year’s Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention’s (APCC) Mission Project program. The 15 students from Fukuoka, Japan experienced Hawaii’s unique culture first-hand through their brief, but fun-filled five-day stay in Hawaii. Each Japanese student stayed with a volunteer host family coordinated through JASH. Read More

27th Annual Friendship Golf Classic – Sponsors and Donors

A Special Mahalo to Our Sponsors



Flag & Graphite:

Golf Cart & Graphite:

Hole-In-One #B7 & Graphite:

Golf Ball & Graphite:


Shoe Bag:

Snack Bag:

Golf Shirt:

Hole-In-One #C7:

Hole-In-One #B4:

Golf Cap:

Cold Towel:

Howard Hamamoto


Sharon Weiner


Douglas Goto

Mahalo to Our Donors
53 by the Sea
ABC Stores
Accuity LLP
Yama’s Consulting Corp.
Aloha Shoyu Company, Ltd.
Aloha Excellence LLC
American Savings Bank
Angelo Pietro, Inc.
Armstrong Produce
Atlantis Adventures
B. Hayman Co.
Big City Diner
Central Pacific Bank
DFS Group LP
Director General Wallace Chow
Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi
Japan-America Society of Hawaii
Germaine’s Luau
Grand Wailea A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Hawaii Coffee Company
Hawaii Prince Golf Club & Bird of Paradise Restaurant
Hawaiian Host Inc.
Hawaiian Shochu Company
Howard & Audrey Karr
Island Insurance Company
Ito En
Johnson Brothers of Hawaii Inc.
Kai Vodka LLC
Ko Olina Golf Club
KOP Distributors, LLC
Kyo-ya Management Co., Ltd.
Liliha Bakery
Meadow Gold Dairies
Mililani Golf Club
Mr. Ojisan Restaurant
Nippon Golden Network, Inc.
Novictor Helicopters
Pacific Beach Hotel
Panda Travel
Kawailoa Development LLP
Pro Am Golf Shop
Puakea Golf Course
Roberts Hawaii
Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar
Sushi Sasabune
The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Tony Group
Tori Richard
AP Company USA, Inc.
Waikoloa Land Co.
Wailea Golf LLC
Wayne Tamashiro
Zippy’s Restaurants
Prince Resorts Hawaii Inc.
Ito En (Hawaii) LLC


Luncheon with Grant Newsham, The “Other” Side of Japan: Yakuza and their involvement in Japanese Society, Government and Business

On Thursday, April 27th, 2017, over 75 guests attended a lunch talk at the Ala Moana Hotel given by Grant Newsham on “The Other Side of Japan: Yakuza”.  Mr. Newsham provided an enthralling picture of Yakuza in today’s Japan – their involvement in all levels of Japanese society and their impact on domestic and global business and government affairs.  Mr. Newsham’s personal anecdotes and stories allowed attendees an inside look into yakuza operations and how they wield influence over infrastructure development and political figures and events.  Perhaps most surprising to the audience was learning of the yakuza presence in Hawaii.

The yakuza is a blanket term for Japan’s organized crime groups. They were traditionally federations of gamblers and street merchants and their history dates back hundreds of years. Today, there are 21 major groups with more than 53,000 members, according to the National Police Agency. Many of their money-making activities are illegal but they also run legitimate enterprises.

A Retired U.S. Marine Colonel, Mr. Newsham is an independent business risk consultant specializing in organized-crime, corruption, fraud, and other oft-overlooked threats to private companies doing international business. He lived in Japan for over 20 years and served as a U.S. Diplomat before spending over a decade with a major American financial firm fending off risk-threats to private companies.

Ehime Maru 17th Year Memorial Ceremony on February 9 Highlighted Enduring Hawaii-Japan Friendship Born from Tragedy

On Thursday, February 9, Ehime Maru Memorial Association (EMMA) — with dignitaries from Japan and Hawaii – held a memorial ceremony at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park. The afternoon ceremony highlighted the gratitude and friendship that grew between Hawaii and Japan in the years following the 2001 collision of the submarine USS Greeneville and Japanese Uwajima Fisheries High School training ship Ehime Maru – a tragedy that claimed the lives of four students, two teachers, and three crew members.

“This year is the significant Jyuunanakaiki, or 17th anniversary memorial, in the Buddhist tradition,” said event Co-Chair Kenneth Saiki. “Because the next major anniversary memorial is not until the 33rd year, the bereaved families wish to now thank those who helped them during their period of distress when the accident occurred.”

Families of bereaved families and guests pay their respects at the Ehime Maru Memorial

Ehime Prefecture Governor Tokihiro Nakamura and Hawaii Governor David Ige recognized the friendship between Hawaii and Ehime that was forged in the tragedy’s aftermath. This friendship includes sister-city and sister-state relationships, and youth and college cultural exchange programs.

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