14th JAA Sakura Matsuri

Our 14th Sakura Matsuri was held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday, April 21st with beautiful cherry blossoms. Guests included Ambassador and Madame Reiichiro Takahashi, Consul-General of Japan in NY; New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm (25th District) 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 guest performers: Soh Daiko, traditional Japanese Taiko; the JAA Chorus led by Ms. Motomi Tanaka; Tenri Children’s Marching Band; NY Okinawa Club, Okinawan Dance and Sanshin; and the Japanese Folk Dance Institute. A tea ceremony was held on the lawn. We held the ceremonial planting of a Weeping cherry tree to honor Council Member Daniel Dromm for creating legislation to establish the Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.
300 bento and expenses for performers were donated by Mrs. Inagaki and catered by BentOn. We greatly appreciate the donation of $5,000 from Mrs. Inagaki and teas from ITO EN (North America).

The Sakura Committee Chair was Susan Hamaker, Advisor was Suki Terada Ports, and the volunteers were Mike Aida and Tomoko Abe from the Japanese Lions Club, David Hiromura, George Hirose, Masao Katagami, Yuki Kaneshige, Kaori Eda, Hikaru Aonno, Rie Hattori, Keiko Nakanishi, Hiroko Shimizu, Motoe Yakiyama, Kuni Mikami and Michiyo Noda.

The 48th JAA Scholarships

Since 1971, The Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. has awarded scholarships to graduating high school students of Japanese descent living in the New York tri-states area who are applying to United States institutions of higher learning.

JAA Scholarships awarded in the range from $1,000.00 to $10,000.00, with airline tickets to Japan certain scholarship awards. This year, due to the generosity of the John and Miyoko Davey Foundation, five additional scholarships of $5,000 each will go to graduating high school students with focused studies in the area of science, engineering, economics and/or music. Mrs. Davey and her late husband, John, are devoted to encouraging and supporting the next generation through these scholarships. In addition, in memory of her late father Haruo Ito, who died at the age of 105, Riki Ito has established a scholarship of $5,000, and Dr. Tatsuji Nammba has also established a scholarship of $5,000. The JAA Scholarship Committee will review the applications, and our 48th JAA Scholarship Award Presentation Dinner will be held on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at the Harvard Club, 35 West 44th St. New York City. Our keynote speaker will be Ms. Karen Korematsu of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute.

The scholarship application form is available on
the JAA website www.jaany.org/general_scholarship.html
and at the JAA office. The deadline is at noon on May 14, 2018.

JAA Annual General Meeting

Our Annual General Meeting was held on January 31, 2018. We did not have our no New Year Party dues to a snow storm. New Year greetings by Consul Hayato Ishizuka and 5th term address by JAA President Susan Onuma were followed by the financial report and the introduction of the Honorary Officers and JAA officers for 2018, along with new Vice Presidents, Ms. Susan Hamaker and Ms. Yuki Kaneshige, and Committee Chairpersons.

2018 Honorary Officers, Officers, Directors and Chairpersons
Honorary Officers

  • Honorary Advisor:Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Consulate General of Japan in New York
  • Honorary Members:Shingo Ueda, President of Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York
     Hidemoto Mizuhara, President of the Nippon Club

  • Life Trustees:Robert K. Emy, M.D., Toshio Kiso, Noboru Sato
  • Honorary Directors: Kiyoshi Egawa, Tetsuya Fujita, Yusuke Iwasaki, Cobi Nobuko Narita,
     Aileen Yamaguchi

  • Honorary President:Gary S. Moriwaki


  • President: Susan J. Onuma
  • Vice Presidents: Yuzuru Anzai, M.D., Julie Azuma, Susan Hamaker*, David Hiromura,
    Shunichi Homma, M.D., Keiko Ishida, Riki Ito, Makoto Iwahara, M.D., Yuki Kaneshige*,
    Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Satoru Murase, Hiroko Onoyama, Joe Oshima, Suki Terada Ports,
    Kamal Ramani, M.D., Koji Sato, Katsuo Takeda (* new vice president)
  • Secretary: Koji Sato
  • Assistant Secretary: Julie Azuma
  • Treasurer: Joe Oshima
  • Assistant Treasurer: Masaki Shimomura

    Yuzuru Anzai, M.D., Julie Azuma, Tak Furumoto, Susan Hamaker, Kumiko Hasegawa, David Hiromura,
    George Hirose, Shunichi Homma, M.D., Keiko Ishida, Hayato Ishizuka, Riki Ito, Makoto Iwahara, M.D.,
    Yuri Kaneshige, Shuji Kato, Nobuko Kodama, Emiko A. Lindsay, Kuni Mikami, Tsuneko Mitsunaka,
    Gary S. Moriwaki, Satoru Murase, Michiyo Noda, Toru Okamoto, Hiroko Onoyama, Susan J. Onuma,
    Joe Oshima, Seiko Oshima, Suki Terada Ports, Kamal Ramani, M.D., Yoko Sasaki, Koji Sato,
    Matsuko Shibuya, Masaki Shimomura, Michi Tahara, Katsuo Takeda, Nozomi Terao*,
    Shuji Bon Yagi, Robert Yanagisawa M.D
    37 directors

    Committee Chairpersons

  • Standing Committees
  • Planning & Finance: David Hiromura, Katsuo Takeda
  • Membership-Corporate: Satoru Murase
  • Membership-Individual: Julie Azuma
  • Communications (JAA News, Brochure & Web): Susan Hamaker, Yuki Kaneshige (Face book),
     Michiyo Noda

  • Archives: Julie Azuma, Michiyo Noda
  • Social Service: Riki Ito, Suki Terada Ports, Yoko Sasaki
  • Scholarship: Kazuhiro Gomi (NTT America), Satoru Murase
  • House: Gary S. Moriwaki
  • Legal: Koji Sato

    Special Committees

  • External Affairs: Shunichi Homma, Suki T. Ports, Katsuo Takeda
  • Audit: Kumiko Hasegawa, Masaki Shimomura
  • Honjo Scholarship: Gary S. Moriwaki
  • Music: Hiroko Onoyama, Joe Oshima, Matsuko Shibuya, Kuni Mikami
  • Art Exhibition: JAA Office
  • Sports & Baseball Tournament: Shuji Kato, Kamal Ramani
  • Memorial Day Service: Katsuo Takeda
  • Japanese Language: Nobuko Kodama
  • Charity Golf: David Hiromura, Michi Tahara
  • Bazaar/Flea Market: JAA Office
  • Sakura Matsuri at Flushing Meadows Corona Park: Susan Hamaker
  • Committee on Aging Issues: Susan Onuma, Michiyo Noda
  • Business Women’s Committee: Keiko Ishida, Tsuneko Mitsunaka
  • Apple Kids: Hiroyuki Takenaga
  • Young Professional Committee: Yuki Kaneshige

    Special Events

  • 111th JAA Gala Dinner 2018: Julie Azuma, Susan Onuma
  • Japanese Heritage Night: George Hirose, Susan Hamaker
  • Holiday Party honoring JAA Volunteers : Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Kuni Mikami


  • Executive Director: Michiyo Noda
  • Staffs: Naomi Miyakita, Kuni Mikami

  • Inaugural "NYC Fred T. Korematsu Day of
    Civil Liberties and the Constitution" on Jan. 30

    Ms. Karen Korematsu (center)

    On January 30, 2018 at City Hall, New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm announced and celebrated that January 30th is "the Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution" in New York City with Ms. Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred T. Korematsu, and leaders of Asian community and Islamic community. Suki T. Ports, Julie Azuma, Tak & Carolyn Furumoto, George Hirose, Susan Hamaker, Michiyo Noda and many JAA members attended the 1pm press conference in cold weather.

    Later that evening, at NYU Cantor Film Center, Karen Korematsu, NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm and students from the ASAP Youth of Coalition for Asian American Children and Families(CACF) spoke on " Stand Up for What is Right", Fred Korematsu’s motto. The theater was filled with people from all communities.

    On March 26 at JAA Hall, Mr. Tom Ikeda gave the lecture: World War ⅡJapanese American Incarceration and why it matters today"

    Ikeda is the founding Executive Director of Densho, which is a Japanese term meaning "to pass on the next generation" or to leave a legacy. He discussed how immigration bans and discriminatory laws affected his family and the relevance of that history to today.

    With the anti-immigration order led recently by the Trump regime, it was a timely and important discussion of the experiences of Japanese Americans.

    JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund

    Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A), Inc.

    Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A), Inc. outgoing President & CEO Mr. Yasushi Takahashi with employees’ runners in 2017! Year 3 of the Mitsui "Running for Tohoku Initiative" Mitsui USA Foundation Matching Volunteers donated $3,375.00 in support of the Japanese American Association of New York’s ever-continuing efforts to assist Tohoku, Japan.

    Five Students from Tohoku visited JAA

    JAA supported the Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese (NECT) in bringing 5 high school students from Tohoku to New York. They visited JAA on March 16th with Mr. Kazuo Tsuda, President of NECT. They spoke in English about their experiences and their future plans. Mr. Katsuo Takeda and Ms. Suki Terada welcomed them.

    March 11 Community Volunteering
    with the Consulate

    Led by the Consulate General of Japan in New York and JAA, this annual day of community service in remembrance of 3.11 included 50 volunteers from HAA (the Hoshuko Alumni Association), JETAANY, JACL – NY, HAA, Japan Foundation, Mitsui and other Japan – related organizations and families. For the first time, volunteers served food at two locations, Bowery Mission and St. John the Divine, on the 7th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    The 27th Nippon Club’s New Year Party for Seniors

    This 27th annual "New Year Party for Seniors" was hosted by Nippon Club and supported by Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in NY on January 25th.

    Traditional New Year delicacies were beautifully arranged on for the 80 senior guests. Mr. Motohiro Satoh, Executive Secretary of Nippon Club, gave New Year greetings to all in attendance. Guests enjoyed the performance of Nippon Club Women’s Chorus.

    JAA President Ms. Susan Onuma gave a thank you speech and presented flowers to Mr. Satoh. 30 packaged lunches were delivered to JAA and JASSI seniors who were unable to attend.

    (l to r)Ms. Onuma, Amb. Takahashi, Mr. Ueno
    and Mr. Mizuhara

    2018 New Year Reception
    at the Nippon Club

    This annual event sponsored by the Consulate General and co-sponsored by JAA, Nippon Club and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of NY was held on January 12th at the Nippon Club with more than 250 people in attendance. Greetings were given by Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Mr. Shingo Ueno of JCCI, Mr. Hidemoto Mizuhara of Nippon Club and our President, Susan Onuma.

    Spring Flea Market

    Our Flea Market was held on Saturday March 31st. We raised $8,500. JAA deeply appreciates the hard work of all the volunteers and kitchen crew.

    The 33rd JAA Foreign Minister Cup Baseball League.

    Starting April 29, 16 teams will battle it out in Central Park and Randolph Fields.
    Please visit: www.jaabaseball.blogspot.com


  • Ms. Saori Kawano, a member and strong supporter of JAA, was awarded the Foreign Minister Commendation by Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi of the Consulate General of Japan in New York on January 31st, 2018. She is the founder and President of Gohan Society and Korin and was honored for her advancement of culinary and cultural exchanges and pioneering promotion of Japanese cuisine.

  • Ms. Hiroko Onoyama, Vice President of JAA, was awarded for her over long time support of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City / YPC Boys and Girls Chorus at the 30th Anniversary Gala Celebration at JAZZ at Lincoln Center on March 5th, 2018. Ms. Onoyama’s friend, Ms. Saori Kawano, was awarded a corporate contribution award.

  • JAA member and Ikebana International of New York branch’s Honorary Adviser Ms. Julie Setsuko Hata received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays from Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Consul General of Japan in New York on March 7th, 2018 at Nippon Club. She has been supporting Ikebana International’s activities for more than 50 years in the United States and has contributed to the popularity of the art of Japanese flower arrangement " Ikebana" throughout the U.S.

  • JAA Vice President Ms. Suki Terada Ports, received two major awards from esteemed organizations: the life time achievement award at AAFE’s 44th Annual Lunar New Year Banquet on March 29th and, two days later, the 2018 National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Community CATALYST AWARD for her years of works on HIV/AIDS prevention and family support activities.

  • JAA Social Service Committee

    February Kerokai on Feb. 8 and 22.
    Hinamatsuri Keirokai was held on Feb. 22nd. Mrs. Chizuko Korn arranged flowers beautifully, and Mrs. Shizuko Kato and Ms. Kumeko Kageshima displayed JAA’s traditional Ohinasama Dolls in JAA Hall. Seniors enjoyed unagi chirashi and Japanese songs with Iwaki Band.

    Happy birthday for Jan. & Feb.

    March Keirokai on March 8 and 22
    Even after a snow storm, more than 90 seniors attended the March 22nd luncheon. As always, participants enjoyed Japanese songs with the Iwaki Band and special guests Rakugo by Master Tosanro Yanagiya. Members of the Iwaki Band are K. Iwaki (violin), Kuni Mikami (piano), Koji (piano and singer), Michiko Oguri (ukulele, singer), Dai Miyazaki (percussion), and singers: Kazuharu Aono, Kunio Iizuka, Bo Kato, Reiko Ohsumi, Ken Sato, Akira Suzuki, Yasushi Suzuki and Akio Shirakawa.

    Happy birthday for Mar.

    Master Tosanro Yanagiya

    Ms. Kyoko Onishi

    Renewal of Membership for 2018

    JAA membership renewal forms were mailed out in January. We are requesting information from our members to have a list of contacts and to upgrade our services. Kindly complete the renewal form if you have any changes to make; otherwise, please return the form with your membership fee. Members’ information will be kept confidential. If you haven’t received your renewal form by now, please contact the JAA office at (212)840-6942.

    We have been sending JAA News and information updates via email. It’s much quicker and less costly than regular mail. If you would like to receive the JAA Newsletter and other information by email, please send your email address to info@jaany.org

    Schedule in 2018

    2018 JAA Activities
    Regularly scheduled events & programs

    ○Senior Luncheon: Twice a month 2nd & 4th Thursday
    ○Apple Kids (www.applekidsnyc.org) and
     JAA Women in Business (www.jwb-ny.org) will have monthly events.

    Free Consultation
    JAA provides free consultations by professionals for all the people in the community.
    ○Free Legal Consultation on wills and other topics
     by Helen Irie, Esq. and Reiko Takikawa, Esq. on 4th Thursday of odd Months
    ○Free Legal Consultation (excluding Immigration law)
     by Reiko Kasano, Esq.  on 2nd Thursday of even months
    ○Free Legal Consultation on Immigration Law
     by Keiko Kato, Esq., Katsumi Miki, Esq., and Mami Terai, Esq.
     on 3rd Thursday of every month
    ○ Free Consultation on Affordable Care Act /Obama Care
     by Japanese Navigators – Kumiko Seki and Takako Hara
     on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays
    ○Free Consultation on Taxes (in February)
     by Joe Oshima, CPA

    Free Hair Cut Service
    ○This volunteer service is donated by hairstylists Michi Tahara, Shige Kosuda, Nori Sasaki,
     Toshi Kubota and Yasuko Tsuda
     on the 2nd Monday of each month.

    Schedule in 2018
    ■March 14 (Sat.) : Spring Japanese Language Workshop
    ■March 31 (Sat.): Spring Flea Market
    ■April 6 (Fri.) -April 29 (Sun.): the 10th Sakura Health Fair
    ■April 21 (Sat.): the 14th Sakura Matsuri @ Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    ■April 29th to August on Sunday mornings: the 33rd JAA Foreign Minister’s
    Cup Baseball Tournament
    ■May 3 (Thurs.) to 12 (Sat.): the 23rd Art Exhibition
    ■May 13 (Sun.) Japan Day @ Central Park – JAA will host a Calligraphy booth
    ■May 20 (Sun.): Asian Heritage Month Festival
    ■May 28 (Mon.): Memorial Day Services at Japanese Cemeteries at Mt Olivet Cemetery
    ■June 6 (Wed.): the 48th JAA Scholarship Dinner
    ■July 7 (Sat.): Tanabata Festival at Riverside Park
    ■August 4 (Sat.): Summer Flea Market
    ■September 8 (Sat.) – October 6 (Sat.): Autumn Health Fair (formerly called "Senior Week")
    ■October 2 (Tues.): the 25th Charity Golf Tournament
    ■October 20 (Sat.): Japanese Language Fall Workshop
    ■November 3 (Sat.): Annual Bazaar
    ■November 30 (Fri.): the 111th JAA Gala Dinner
    ■December 13 (Thurs.): End of the Year Keirokai
    ■December 20 (Thurs.): Holiday Party and Volunteers Thank You Party


    Mrs. Tokiko Miura passed away on January 21st at the age of 90. She was a long time member of the New York Buddhist Church and was a member of JAA’s handicraft club, selling her work at bazaars and flea markets and contributing proceeds to JAA. The handicraft club members attended the memorial service at the Buddhist Church on March 18th.

    Former JAA Vice President, Mr. Haruhisa Mozart Ishizuka, passed away at White Plains Hospital on March 5th. He was 88 years old. On March 10th, his friends from JAA, Lions Club, Kendo, Go group, Japanese companies joined his memorial service at McMahon Funeral Hall on White Plains. Mr. Ishizuka loved music as nicknamed Mozart Ishizuka. He established the JAA Music Award in 1985 and served as Chairman for a long time. After WW11, he graduated from Gakushuin University in Tokyo, came to the U.S. and became the first Japanese certified public accountant in New York. He was a partner of Ernest & Young. He served as Vice President of JAA from 1987 to 2004, and was President of both the NY Japanese Lions Club and the East Kendo Federation. He was 6-Dan kendo expert.