TOMODACHI-Aloha Leadership Program (TALP)

After the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, a program called “Rainbow for Japan Kids” was started to offer Japanese children —some of who were left homeless and even parent-less by the disaster—a chance to relax and recuperate in Hawaii, in the hopes that they will bring fonder memories back to their homes. While in Hawaii, the RFJK kids met members of Bridge Club Hawaii and built lasting friendships through a two-day camp and outdoor activities that immerse Japanese kids in Hawaii’s natural beauty. The TOMODACHI-Aloha Leadership Program gives Hawaii delegates the rare opportunity to visit RFJK alumni in their hometowns and strengthen the bonds of friendship formed in Hawaii. The 2016 planned itinerary includes visits to the following cities and villages in Tohoku: Sendai City, Onagawa town, Ogatsu, Otsuchi, Rikuzentakata, Kamaishi, Ofunato, Minamisanriku, Kesennuma and Shinchi town. Hawaii delegates will also visit schools and towns that were destroyed by the tsunami and are in the process of rebuilding, and participate in some of the recovery efforts.

2018 APCC Applications are Available

Thank you for your interest in the Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC). Please click HERE for a PDF of the 30th Annual APCC Application Packet.

The 30th Annual Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention is a cultural exchange program, July 12-24, 2018, in Fukuoka, Japan for students in Hawaii born between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2007.

JASH selects six students (three boys and three girls) to serve as Junior Ambassadors (JAs). The JAs will join over 200 students from 40 different Asian-Pacific countries and regions in Fukuoka, experience living with a Japanese host family for approximately seven days, and participate in a five-day APCC global youth camp.

The APCC’s vision is to deepen appreciation for the cultures of other nations and regions with the aims of promoting mutual understanding and friendship, nurturing international awareness in young people, and working toward world peace and co-existence. It is hoped that the JAs will build an international network of friends.

All items listed below are to be submitted together as a completed packet and mailed directly to the JASH Office by FRIDAY, December 15, 2017. Email submissions are not acceptable.

Your completed application packet must include:

  • The Applicant Signature Page (pg. 5)
  • The APCC Junior Ambassador Application Form with photo
  • Two Teacher Recommendation forms each sealed in separate envelopes

Akira Kurosawa Perspective – Discount for JASH Members

JASH members have been kindly offered a discount on two select screening in this series (other films and times may be attended at the general rate of $12 per person).  Simply go to the ticket booth and mention that you are a JASH member to receive the discount (discount may not be claimed on tickets purchased/reserved in advance).

Red Beard
Saturday, October 28, 2017
12:00 PM (noon)

Rhapsody in August
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
7:30 PM

(Please note that the Wenesday showing is not eligible for the JASH member discount)

Doris Duke Theatre
900 S Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
Member Admission $10
General Admission $12

For weekday matinees, you may park in the lot behind the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria Street, entrances on makai side of Beretania and Young Streets) for $5 for up to five hours and $2 for each additional 30 minutes or fraction thereof.  For evening screenings, you may park free at the museum’s lot at 1035 Kinau St., Diamond Head of Victoria Street.  Handicapped parking is available in the small Luce Pavilion lot on Victoria Street. Patrons using handicapped stalls should proceed to the main entrance on Kinau Street.

The descriptions and showings for other films in the series can be viewed by clicking here.

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 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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Japan-in-a-Suitcase Programs

Aloha educators,

Thank you for expressing your interest in our Japan-in-a-Suitcase (JIAS) programs.  Please read below for more information about each program.


Applications for the 2017-2018 school year are now closed. Applications for the 2018-2019 school year will be available in July 2018.


Japan-in-a-Suitcase I
Kindergarten – Grade 1 (40 minutes)

Japan in a Suitcase (JIAS) I is a program designed to teach the concept of different perspectives to our very young students through easy to comprehend examples.  In JIAS I, we show enlarged photos of highways in Japan and the U.S. with people driving on opposite sides of the street to help students see things from a different point of view.  We then use puppets to demonstrate animal sounds in the two countries, and teach various gestures used in Japan.  All of these examples are simple and easy to understand.  It is important that they are also neutral; in other words, they are neither right nor wrong.  Following these examples, we explore with the students items in the suitcase.  Included are artifacts used by Japanese elementary school children, such as a school backpack (randoseru), indoor shoes (uwabaki), and textbooks. We end by teaching “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in Japanese.

Japan-in-a-Suitcase II
Grades 2 – 3 (45 minutes)

JIAS II is geared for students in grades 2 and 3.  Following introductions and greetings in Japanese, we show examples of McDonald’s restaurants in both countries as an example of something they are familiar with which may not be quite the same elsewhere.  Students then explore items from the suitcase that show aspects of Japanese elementary school life such as a timetable and school textbooks, as well as community aspects such as traditional clothing (yukata). Time permitting we teach the students the Japanese style of Jan Ken Po, and have them try it with their classmates.

Japan-in-a-Suitcase III
Grades 4 – 5 (60 minutes)

For students in grades 4 and 5, JIAS III uses more complex examples to teach and reinforce the concept of different perspectives learned in K-3.  Following introductions and greetings, we start by comparing a Japan-centered and a U.S.-centered world map.  We have students point out Japan on the two maps and ask them questions to help them see that Japan is in the center of the Japanese map but far off to the left on the American map.  We stress that it doesn’t mean one map is correct and the other is wrong; rather, that people see or depict things differently depending on where they are from.  Students then have an opportunity to explore various school items (calligraphy set, P.E. uniforms and more) in small groups.  Following this exploration period, each group presents their items to the class for further discussion.  We end with a slideshow on school life in Japan, which helps to reinforce what they have just learned.

Japan-in-a-Suitcase III
Grade 6 (60 minutes)

For students in grade 6, JIAS III uses more complex examples to teach and reinforce the concept of different perspectives learned in elementary school. A Japan-centered and a U.S.-centered world map is compared to show that people may see things differently depending on where they are from.  Students also have an opportunity to explore various school items used in Japanese schools (calligraphy set, P.E. uniforms, backpacks and textbooks and more) in small groups.  Following this exploration period, each group presents their items to the class for further discussion.  We end with a slideshow on school life in Japan, which helps to reinforce what they just have learned.

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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