47th Annual JAA Scholarship Dinner
11th Honjo Scholarship Awards

The 47th JAA Scholarship Awards Dinner was held at the Harvard Club on June 6, 2017. Our guests were Ambassador and Madame Reiichiro Takahashi; UN Ambassador and Madame Yasuhisa Kawamura; and UN Ambassador Hiroshi Minami; Mr. Kanetsugu Mike, Deputy President, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (who will become President and CEO next week), and his successor, Mr. Masato Miyachi, Chairman, MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation and MUFG Union Bank, N.A.; Mr. Jason Stevens, President and CEO of Mitsubishi International Corp; Mr. Hideki Kunugi, Senior Vice President of ANA; Mr. Kazuhiro Gomi, President and CEO of NTT America, Inc.; Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York; and Mr. Bobby Valentine, former general manager of the New York Mets and the Chiba Lotte Marines; and 130 donors, awardees, their families, and JAA members. A total of $43,500 was awarded to ten high school recipients, along with three round-trip air tickets by ANA and Delta Air Lines. This year was the 25th anniversary of the JAA Murase award, first established by Mr. Jiro Murase in 1992. Five graduate school students received a total of $30,000 from the Honjo International Foundation.

Mr. Koji Sato, Co-Chair of the Scholarship Committee, served as emcee. Remarks came from JAA President Ms. Susan J. Onuma, and Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, the Consul General of Japan in New York, provided the audience with a sweet, personal story in his thoughtful greeting.
Our keynote speaker, Ms. Diane Paulus, the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, gave an inspiring speech to all in attendance. Her special message to the awardees, stemming from her family history and career experiences, was to take risks and to try your best. She received the 2013 Tony Award for Best Director and is currently directing the musical "Waitress" on Broadway.

Following the awarding of scholarships, Miss Mikako Inaba, a recipient of the JAA Murase Scholarship, and Ms. Kaoru Hayashi, a recipient of the Honjo Foundation Award, gave gracious acceptance speeches on behalf of their respective groups.

To conclude the ceremony, Ms. Julie Azuma, Co-Chair of the Scholarship Committee, expressed gratitude to all the donors and guests.
List of awardees, members of Committee and bio of Diane Paulus are below.

47th JAA Scholarship
(for graduating high school students)

(1) JAA Murase Scholarship
($10,000, plus Round Trip Air Ticket to Japan, courtesy of All Nippon Airways)

Mikako Rose Inaba Princeton University

(2) Delta Air Lines Scholarship
($5,000, plus Round Trip Air Ticket to Japan, courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

Caroline Miyake Lin Columbia University

(3) MUFG Scholarship MUFG($5,000)
Miyu Ono
The University of Pennsylvania, Jerome Fisher Management & Technology Program

(4) Dr. Soji Tomikawa Scholarship ($5,000)  
Miki Olivia Hansen Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

(5) Dr. Soji Tomikawa Scholarship($5,000)
Beth Rieko Rose Awano Wellesley College

(6) Orient Corp. of America Scholarship($3,500)
Minna Kimura-Thollander Brown University

(7) Toyota Scholarship ($3,000)
Reina Ashizawa Tufts University

(8) TV Japan Scholarship ($3,000)
Kiyana Jacqueline Marsh Fordham University

(9) Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya Scholarship($3,000)
Leo Hashikura Ramapo College

(10) ANA Japan Travel Scholarship
($1,000, plus Round Trip Air Ticket to Japan, courtesy of All Nippon Airways)
Fumika Ando Trinity College

11th JAA Honjo Scholarships Awardees
(for graduate students)

  • Kaoru Hayashi ($7,000)
    Princeton University, doctoral program in East Asian Studies

  • Janet Haruko Kanzawa ($7,000)
    Columbia University Law School

  • Lisa Matsue ($6,000)
    Fordham University School of Law

  • Arnaud Jurrian van der Meer ($5,000)
    Columbia University, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures,
    doctoral studies in Japanese Literature

  • Oliver Harry White ($5,000)
    Columbia University, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures,
    doctoral studies in Japanese Literature
  • 2017 Annual JAA Scholarship Dinner Benefactors
    Gold Sponsor: ITO EN (North America) Inc
    Silver Sponsors: Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll Bertolotti LLP,
    J.C. C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New York,
    Japanese Medical Society of America,
    Gary S. Moriwaki, Hiroko & Satoru Murase, Julie Azuma & Koji Sato

    2017 47th JAA General Scholarship Committee
    Co-Chairpersons: Julie Azuma and Koji Sato
    Members: Makoto Iwahara, Yuki Kaneshige, Frederick Katayama, Yumi Kuwana,
    Susan J. Onuma, Masaki Shimomura, Nozomi Terao

    2017 11th JAA Honjo Scholarship Committee
    Chairperson: Gary S. Moriwaki
    Members: Frederick Katayama, Satoru Murase, Susan J. Onuma,
    Suki Terada Ports, Katsuo Takeda

    Keynote Speaker
    Diane Paulus

    Diane Paulus is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Paulus is the 2013 recipient of the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical (Pippin). A.R.T.: Eve Ensler’s In the Body of the World, Waitress (currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater), Crossing (a new American opera with music and libretto by Matt Aucoin), Finding Neverland (currently on US National Tour), Witness Uganda, Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival and Best Director), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival, NAACP Award, Best Direction), Prometheus Bound, Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, Best of Both Worlds, Johnny Baseball, The Donkey Show. Her other recent work includes Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, currently on tour in Europe, Invisible Thread at Second Stage, The Public Theater’s Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London’s West End. As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute, the complete Monteverdi cycle, and the trio of Mozart-Da Ponte operas, among others. Diane is Professor of the Practice of Theater in Harvard University’s English Department. She was selected as one of Variety’s "Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014" and Boston Magazine’s "50 Thought Leaders of 2014."

    Japan Disaster Relief Fund

    Tohoku high school students who love baseball will visit New York as part of the Bobby V. Kizuna Foundation Baseball Summer Camp from August 9 to August 19. They will play a goodwill game against JAA league members on August 12 at Central Park’s North Meadow. More details will be announced soon.

    Kumamoto・Oita Earthquake Relief Fund

    On May 20, 2017, JAA co-sponsored a fundraising event with Kyushu no Kai and Batten Kai. The program started with a greeting from both Ms. Suki Ports, JAA Vice President, and Ms. Mina Kondo, representative of Kyushu no Kai. Ms. Michiyo Noda, JAA Executive Director, reported on the current situation in the area with photos and video of the earthquake’s damage. She reported how the JAA Kyushu Earthquake Relief Fund was used in Kumamoto. This event featured popular music of Kumamoto and Oita by pianist Rikako Asanuma and violist Sumiko Tajihi. Soul food of Kyushu was served. $3,000 was raised for the JAA Kyushu Earthquakes Relief Fund.

    13th JAA Sakura Matsuri

    All Photos by Masao Katagami

    Our 13th Sakura Matsuri was held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday, April 15th with beautiful cherry blossoms. Guests included Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Consul-General of Japan in NY, and Ms. Janice Melnick, Administrator for Flushing Meadows Corona Park. More than 1,000 people attended, including JAA President Susan J. Onuma and Mrs. Chieko Inagaki, the generous benefactor of the annual event.

    We were treated to wonderful entertainment by our guest performers: Soh Daiko, traditional Japanese Taiko; the JAA Chorus led by Ms. Mari Takagi; NY Okinawa Club, Okinawan Dance and Sanshin; and the Japanese Folk Dance Institute. A tea ceremony was held on the lawn. A Kwanzan cherry tree was planted to commemorate the 110th Anniversary of JAANY in the ceremonial planting.

    300 bento and expenses for performers were donated by Mrs. Inagaki and catered by BentOn. We greatly appreciate the donation of $5,200 from Mrs. Inagaki, an anonymous donation of $1,000, as well as teas from ITO EN (North America).

    The Sakura Committee Chair was Susan Hamaker, Advisor was Suki Terada Ports, and the volunteers were Julie Azuma, Masao Katagami, Jasmine Wilson, Yuki Kaneshige, Kaori Eda, Shuji Kato, Eiko Aono, Kyoko Hunter, Keiko Nakanishi, Michiyo Noda, Mike Aida, Tomoko Abe and Nobuo Miki from the Japanese American Lions Club.

    The 9th Sakura Health Fair

    NY Life Science Forum Kids

    Dr. Ono

    Play Date

    Lions Club

    Free hair cut for Seniors
    Safety Measures in New York

    Takarabune Awaodori

    The 9th Sakura Health Fair at JAA was co-sponsored by JAA and JAMSNET and supported by the Consulate General of Japan in New York. This event was held at JAA Hall from April 8 to April 29 with more than 50 programs covering a variety of topics from Yoga, Flower Arranging, and Safety Measures in New York. It was for all ages with more than 1,600 participants. It was a huge success. Many thanks to all the volunteers and speakers who provided informative and expert advice. Photos are in the Japanese section.

    Exhibition of Japanese and Japanese American Artists
    in New York 2017

    Uchio Shinohara(left) and Norikos

    Mr. Katsuo Takeda
    (Photos by Masao Katagami)

    The 22nd JAA Annual Art Exhibition of Japanese and Japanese American Artists in New York was held from May 4 to May 13. Thirty-three artists, including four first-time participants, displayed sixty-three works at JAA Hall. New artists were Justin Baldwin, Kazuko Hyakuda, Ryoichi Miura, and Setsuko Winchester.
    The opening reception began with remarks by Mr. Katsuo Takeda followed by greetings from Consul Hayato Ishizuka. Guests included the artists, JAA members, and more than 150 people. Everyone enjoyed the exhibition of international art. Refreshments were served by JAA volunteers. JAA greatly appreciates those who bought art works, as a portion of the proceeds were donated to JAA. Thank you to the volunteers whose names are on the Japanese page of this issue.
    Art Show Committee Chair: Michiyo Noda. Members: George Hirose, Kazuko Hyakuda, Miki Nagano, Mayumi Sarai and Keiko Watanabe.

    The 32nd JAA Foreign Minister’s
    Baseball Tournament

    The tournament started on April 30, with 17 teams (290 players) at Randall’s Island and Central Park’s North Meadow. The six weeks of preliminaries on early Sunday mornings have always been competitive. Last year’s championship team the Radiators (Dr. Kamal Ramani’s team) won 3 games, along with group A leader Niko Niko, Junks kept the group B lead with 3 wins and 1 loss.
    You can see the most recent scores as well as photos and rankings at www.jaabaseball.blogspot.com and Facebook.com/jaabaseball. If you want to play baseball and/or to enjoy the games as a supporter, please contact the JAA office.
    Shuji Kato
    Chairperson of the JAA Sport committee

    Memorial Day Ceremony
    at the Japanese Cemetery in Mt. Olivet Cemetery

    Memorial Day Services (Bosankai) were held on May 29, 2017 at the Japanese Cemetery at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Queens. This event has been held since 1912. It is sponsored by JAA with the support of the New York Buddhist Church and the Japanese American United Church (JAUC). The program was led by Mr. Katsuo Takeda, Vice President of JAA.
    Even in the heavy rain, attendees stayed in front of the memorial monument in the Japanese cemetery and thanked the pioneers, wished for world peace and hoped to continue the bridge between Japan and the US. The ceremony began with Rev. Earl Ikeda from the Buddhist Church and Rev. Kazu Takahashi from JAUC. Participants offered incense and flowers to the pioneers who had contributed so much to the Japanese and Japanese American community. JAA President Ms. Susan J. Onuma and Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi expressed their appreciation to the Japanese pioneers. Mr. Noboru Kojima, a newly appointed Principal of the Greenwich Japanese School of NY, spoke of his hope that students from their respective schools will become leaders for a peaceful future. Mr. Toru Okamoto, Principal of the Japanese Children’s Society, and Mr. Nobuo Miki, president of the Japanese American Lions Club, gave heartfelt speeches. MIS unit member Mr. Kaz Yamaguchi was among the 100 people in attendance.
    We appreciate the students of Japanese Children’s Society for their display of Japanese and American flags. Thank you to members of JAA and Japanese Lions Club for the cleanup of the cemetery on the days before and after the event.

    11th Annual Japan Day @ Central Park

    This year the JAA calligraphy class participated again in the 11th Annual Japan Day @ Central Park on May 14. 1,800 people crowded the JAA booth all day and enjoying Japanese calligraphy. Many took photos of the "Thank you Mom" strips that were painted by JAA calligraphy class members. We appreciate everyone in calligraphy class who volunteered all day. Thank you for your hard work.

    Volunteers from JAA and Consulate General cheered on
    athletes in the Achilles International Walk on June 25, 2017

    A big thank you to the JAA members (David Hiromura, Akira Imai-san, Kumiko Seki-san and Urushihara-san) who volunteered with the Consulate to cheer for athletes in the Achilles International 1.5 mile walk yesterday! We formed a small but high-powered cheer zone for the more disabled athletes who couldn’t participate in the main 4-mile race. Inspiring to see the youngest participants and one man, wheelchair-bound for 17 years, walk across the finish line in an exoskeleton, with the support of friends and family.. Please join us next time!

    Achilles International encourages disabled athletes worldwide to compete and has regular weekly practices in the city: https://www.achillesinternational.org

    Young Professional Networking Event by JAA/HAA
    on June 27 at FLORA BAR in the Met Breuer

    JAA/HAA’s Young Professionals Networking Event on June 27 at FLORA BAR in the Met Breuer
    Our first networking mixer for the year brought together a vibrant crowd of JAA mentors and young professionals interested in making connections, volunteering, Japanese culture and being active in the JAA/HAA community here in NYC. With nearly 70 attendees, we filled up the pretty posh space! Please tell your youthful networks – and pressure your kids 😉 – to join us for the next one!
    A JAA/HAA Young Professionals Facebook page will be set up soon with info on upcoming mixers and community events.
    Arigatou to Yuki Kaneshige and Jasmine Maika Wilson as co-chairs, and special thanks to Fred Katayama, Mia Wilson, Sophie Spiegel, Julie Azuma, Sakura Yagi, Kenshiro Uki, Nozomi Terao, Yumi Higashi and Camryn Sugita of MUFG, Masaru Sato and Ayako Ohsaki of the Japanese Consulate’s Japan Information Center, Atsushi Muramoto of the UN, Yuji Horimoto of HAA, Ken Aragaki, Jaime Sugino, Jona Higa, Andy Scharzer of JETAA, among others!

    May is Asian American Heritage Month!

    JAA proudly represented the Japanese/JA community with JACL – New York Chapter and Japan Society at The Asian American Heritage Festival on May 21st in Chinatown. The festival celebrates the richness of Asian cultures in NY with performances, food and information about community activities. It was great to be with other Asian organizations in the midst of Chinatown, where many people expressed interest in Japanese cultural events. Our kabuto hat-making was a hit for kids of ALL ages! It was led by JAA President Susan Onuma and George Hirose, with special support from JAA Honorary President Gary S. Moriwaki, Japan Society President Motoatsu Sakurai, and Kimberly Woodward. And special thanks to Virginia Myung of Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans!


    JAA 110th Anniversary Dinner Party
    This event will be held on December 1st (Fri.) at Metropolitan Club, 1 East 60th Street. Maestro Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the NY Philharmonic, will be our main guest. We will contact you as soon as details are finalized.

    The 24th JAA Charity Golf Tournament
    The annual JAA Charity Golf Tournament will be held at Haworth Country Club on October 2nd (Mon.). Among the luxury prizes are All Nippon Airways Business Class NY – Tokyo round-trip air ticket. Participation fee $ 270 (with a $ 100 tax deduction)


    Suki Terada Ports has done it again! Our JAA Vice President has been honored as a groundbreaking Asian American community leader by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in a photo exhibit at the State Capitol. She was recognized for her many years of fighting to advance racial and gender equality rights and expanding social services for Asian Americans, especially for the Japanese/Japanese American community. Congratulations, Suki!!
    The exhibit recognizes five Asian American trailblazers in the fields of leadership, civic engagement, community health, law, higher education and science. On May 2 Governor Cuomo unveiled the exhibit and announced that May is Asian American and Pacific Islander month. The exhibit, "Asian Americans in New York: United Our Voices by Speaking Together," depicted the history of Asian Americans in New York, their ability to overcome misconceptions and wrongful stereotypes, and to ultimately improve the lives and communities around them. The exhibit was located in the War Room on the second floor of the New York State Capitol and ran through the end of May.

    New name for JAA Women’s group
    "Business Women Committee" has been renamed to "JAA Women in Business (JWB)". We are currently creating a new website.

    The longevity has increased among JAA members.

  • Mr. Haruo Ito became 105 years old on April 15th. A celebration party was held at Peking Duck House.
  • Mrs. Yoshie Fujita turned 97 years old on February 2. A celebration party was held at Isabella and at the Buddhist Church.
  • Mrs. Chieko Inagaki celebrated 90 years on January 12th, and a celebration party was held at Mount Fuji on March 4th.

    Members News

  • On January 6, twin babies, Steve and Noah were born to our member Mrs. Aki Arakawa.
  • A longtime JAA member Mrs. Michiko Otsuki returned to Japan in April.

  • Tanabata Festival

    The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will partner JAA, JACL, JAJA, and the Origami Therapy Association to hold the second annual star gazing Tanabata Festival on Friday, July 7 from 7:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. at Riverside Park (116th Street Overlook). AAA members with telescopes will show guests the night sky and tell the folk tale of Tanabata, the story of the deities Princess Orihime and her lover, Hikoboshi. Guests can fold origami and write their wishes on tanzaku, which will be tied to branches. For more information, visit www.aaa.org.

    Social Service Committee

    Keirokai-Luncheon for Seniors
    April 20:
    The April Keirokai was part of the Sakura Health Fair. Seniors enjoyed Kuni Mikami’s jazz piano and Japanese popular songs with the Iwaki Band. We celebrated Mr. Haruo Ito, who turned 105 on April 15, with other senior birthdays.
    No Keirokai in May & June due to the construction work of our building.

    Mr. Ito and Happy birthday for April


  • Mrs. Chizuko Yamaguchi, teacher of Japanese Weekend School, passed away on April 24, 2017 in Florida. She was 70 years old. Her memorial service was held on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at JAA Hall.
  • Ms. Yuriko Tomita, a journalist, passed away on May 1, 2017 at Isabella Home. She was 92 years old.
    Her memorial service was held on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at Japanese American United Church.

  • Former member Ms. Midori Sakamoto died at Isabella House on May 20, the day before her 90th birthday.