Disaster in Japan

The devastating Earthquake hit the northern part of Japan on 3/11
at 2:46PM. More than 27,000 people have died or are missing after
a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the region.
Some 15,000 survivors are still living in evacuation centers as
a series of aftershocks keep rocking the country.
JAA has established the "JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund"
for collection of donations to help the victims. Please send you
check to JAA or you can donate on-line ( As a part
of many charitable activities, JAA held a "Unity & Hope"
concert at JAA hall on March 31 attended by 150 people. The concert
began with the JAA chorus (Mr. Reona Ito, conductor ) and was
followed by a silent prayer conducted by Rev. Hoshu Matsubayashi
of the NY Buddhist Church. Greeting were then given by Gary S.
Moriwaki, JAA President and Deputy Consul Mamoru Shinohara of
the Consulate General of Japan. Nine groups gave beautiful musical
We raised more than $7500. In addition, Mr. Katsumi Oneda, JAA
Vice President donated $100,000.00.
In response to the disasters in Japan, the Japanese American Association
of New York is facilitating and assisting in relief efforts in
collaboration with numerous NPOs and other organizations in NYC
and the surrounding area. Here is a partial listing of events
and activities:

March 25 Benjamin Steak House held a fund raising dinner

March 29 Art for Japan fundraiser at ISE Cultural Foundation,

March 31 Fundraiser sponsored by Manhattan Borough President,
Scott Stringer at the Circle Nightclub
April 4 Town Hall at the Asia Society featuring panel discussion
including, among others, Gerald Curtis, Carol Gluck, and Gary
S. Moriwaki
April 27 "Gathering Hopes" art exhibition by
young artists at JAA Hall
June 18 Fundraiser sponsored by Bobby Valentine in Stamford,
CT , time and location TBD

So far, JAA has received donations of about $380,000. On April
7, we sent $100,000 to the Fukushima Rescue Relief Fund. On April
26, the Miyagi Kenjinkai, represented by Mr. Kenjiro Sasaki (President)
and Mr. Ryo Abe, donated $64,818. 00 to Mr. Gary Moriwaki, JAA
sent this donation to the Miyagi Prefectural Government’s victim
aid account. The JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund Committee will
continue to research NPOs in Japan which are working to support
the victims in the Tohoku area.

41st JAA General Scholarship Award

Since 1971, The Japanese American Association of New York, Inc.
has awarded scholarships to graduating high school students of
Japanese descent living in the tri-state area who are applying
to United States institutions of higher learning. The scholarships
to be awarded this year generally range from $1,000.00 to $6,000.00
in addition to a Japan Airlines round-trip ticket between New
York and Japan for one winner .The JAA Scholarship Committee will
review the applications, and the awards will be presented at the
Annual Scholarship Dinner which is scheduled to be held on May
26th at the Harvard Club in Manhattan.. Our Keynote Dinner Speaker
is Mr. Hugh Patrick, Director, Center on Japanese Economy and
Business and Professor Emeritus of International Business ,Columbia
University Guide Line and Application forms are available at
This year JAA has established a "JAA Special Tohoku Area
Scholarship Fund" to be given to a student(s) affected by
the earthquake and its aftermath in the Tohoku Area.
If you wish to contribute to this special fund,
please contact JAA Office 212-840-6942 or
100% of your gift will go to the recipient(s) who will be selected
at a later date.?

of Japanese and
Japanese American Artists Active
in the New York Area 2011

The 16h annual Art Exhibition (Chairperson Yoko Sasaki) by the
"Japanese and Japanese American Artists in New York"
will take place for 10 days from 5/3 to 5/12. Artworks of 33 artists
will be displayed at the JAA Hall with 50% of the proceeds going
towards the JAA Charitable Fund.
Amb. Shigeyuki Hiroki and artists will attend the opening reception
on May 5, 5pm-7pm. We will do a silent auction for JAA Japan Disaster
Relief Fund on May 5. Supporters include the Consulate General
of Japan in NY, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Nippon Club, Shukan NY Seikatsu and Yomitime.

Photo by kenji Mori

Photo by kenji Mori

Photo by kenji Mori

Sakura Memorial Gathering

for the Community

On Saturday, April 23rd, this year?s Sakura Memorial Gathering
for the Community was held in the rain at Flushing Meadows Corona
Park. We renamed it in recognition of the earthquake and tsunami
disaster in Japan instead of what would have been our seventh
Sakura Matsuri. We planted a Shidare Sakura tree near the Unisphere
at our annual ceremonial cherry tree planting in memory of those
who lost their lives or are still missing. We also planted trees
in honor of Robert Zappala, who nursed the seeds brought from
Japan by Mr. Shigeru Inagaki for ten years until they were big
enough to plant out of doors at Flushing Meadows Corona Park and
planted a third tree in honor of Madame Estelle Cooper for her
dedication to diversity and welcoming our Sakura Matsuri each
year. The three trees were added to the over 200 trees we have
donated to Flushing Meadows Corona Park through the years. These
trees are a symbol of the ties between Japan and New York.

Among the guests were the Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul-General
of Japan in New York, Mr. John Liu, Comptroller of the City of
New York, Mr. Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of New York City Parks,
Ms. Dorothy Lewandowski, Park Commissioner of the Borough of Queens,
Madame Estelle Cooper, Deputy Commissioner and Administrator of
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, NYC Parks and Mr. Peter Koo, Queens
Council Member. In addition were many JAA members, including JAA’s
President, Gary Moriwaki, JAA Honorary President Susan J. Onuma,
Mrs. Chieko Inagaki, widow of former JAA President Mr. Shigeru
Inagaki and her son Mr. Takashi Inagaki and Mr. George Yuzawa
and his family. The program started with the traditional Japanese
Drum performance by "Soh Daiko", followed by performances
including the song "HANA" by the JAA Chorus, Hula Dances
by Kane Shimabukuro, Grandson of Committee member Earl Shimabukuro,
and Japanese Folk Dances by Momo Suzuki and her Hanagasa Dance
Group. The rain let up so many people joined for the finale. Three
chartered buses brought JAA members and friends to the program
which ended with everyone enjoying the 300 box lunches delivered
from Jersey and served by many volunteers. A generous gift from
Mrs. Inagaki supported the Sakura Matsuri again this year.
Sakura Committee Co-Chairs were Julie Azuma, and Suki Terada Ports
with members:Earl Shimabukuro, Marianne Yoshioka, and Gene Yuzawa.

Photo by kenji Mori

Flea Market

The Annual Spring Flea Market was held on Saturday, April 9. As
usual at 10am, a long line of prospective shoppers were waiting
for the JAA doors to open and when it did, the Hall was immediately
filled. The eager shoppers flocked to the various areas, i.e.
sampling the wares, the apparel corner with spring and summer
clothes, the food table with its choice of goodies, and the second-hand
book area. JAA would like to extend it’s appreciation to all those
members donating goods and to those helping in the setup. The
final gross was $10,000.00.

26th JAA Foreign Minister Cup
Baseball Tournament

This year?s tournament began with 18 teams at Central Park and
Randall?s Island on May 1st. Please come and watch these exciting
games. The game schedule is available at JAA office. Opening Ceremony
was held on Sunday, May 1 at Randall?s Island Park. Games will
be played from May to August .

from JAA Committee on Aging Issues
The 3rd Sakura Health Fair

The 3rd Sakura Health Fair at JAA was Co- Sponsored by JAA Committee
on Aging Issues and JAMSNET, and supported by the Consulate General
of Japan in New York.
This event was held at JAA Hall from April 15 to April 24 with
over 40 events for all ages with over 1,000 participants. The
themes for this event were "Eating & Health" and
"Mental Health During Crisis Time". Ambassador Shigeyuki
Hiroki brought warm greetings to over 100 seniors and Ms. Fumi
Matsuki Raith spoke on "Mental Health at Crisis" and
Mr. Hideji Asanuma spoke on "Health Eating in America".

It was a splendidly successful event.


This year, Japan Day will be held on May 22 at Central Park. This
year?s event will send the message of “GANBARE!JAPAN” to the people
in Japan through the "Japan Run" on May 8th and “Japan
Day Festival” on May 22. See
for more information.

the Date
2nd Japanese Heritage Night
@ Mets Citifield
will be held on June 21.

The 2nd Japanese Heritage Night at Mets Citifield will be held
on Tuesday June 21st, 2011 when the Mets play the Oakland A’s
with Hideki Matsui in attendance. This is a fundraising event-a
portion of each ticket sold will go to Japan Relief Efforts.

Social Service Committee

March 10: People enjoyed "Curry rice, salad, ice
cream". After enjoying the delicious lunch, Ms. Mika Ono
gave a book reading. Entertainment was provided by Mr. K. Iwaki
who performed violin music with Michiru, on piano and Ichida,
on percussion.

March 22: After a"Beef on Rice, Sesame Broccoli
and Apple Cake" lunch, two young samisen players from Japan,
Yutaka Oyama & Masahiro Nitta performed and K .Iwaki bands
performance followed.

April 21: this keirokai was an event as part of the of
Sakura Health Fair, Mr. Hideji Asanuma spoke on "Eating
Healthy in America" followed by "Mental Health During
Crisis Time" by Ms. Fumi Raith. It was very useful information.
Menu was "Chicken, green peas & eggs on Rice, Salad".


A second reminder to members to pay their dues will be sent out
in June. If you remain delinquent at the end of June, you will
not receive further notices or Newsletters. You’re warned! Also
JAA is now delivering our Newsletters on-line. Please mail us
( your request.
All information of our members is confidential.

Language Committee of the JAA

The Spring Workshop of the Committee was held on March 19 at the
JAA Hall with some 50 Instructors of the Japanese language with
students and others in attendance. Professor Kazuo Tsuda of United
Nations School gave a lecture. Two lectures then followed by Professor
Shinji Sato of Columbia University and Professor Masahide Tanaka
of U.N. School. Ms. Mayumi Nishida served as M.C. The Chair person
of this committee is JAA Director Ms. Nobuko Kodama.


To JAA Committee on Aging Issues
Japanese American Lions Club $500.00

Report from Membership Committee
From 2/9/11- 4/20/11
Individual members

Gold ($1,000.00): Robert Emy, Noboru Sato, Shunichi Homma
SILVER ($500.00): Kozo Osaki
SUPPORTING ($300.00): Tetsuya Fujita, Kenichiro Hayashi,
Yuji Kaneko,
Matsuko Shibuya


Kazuko Inoue was born in Kudamatsu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan.
She came to New York in 1966 and received a Bachelor of Music
degree in piano from Manhattan School of Music. In 1982 she established
the Inoue Chamber Ensemble (I.C.E.) with co-director Masaoki Inoue
and community supporters, including George Yuzawa, Karl Akiya
and George Shone. As artistic director and pianist of the Inoue
Chamber Ensemble, she organized more than 220 concerts and commissioned
more than 50 works. For many years the Inoue Chamber Ensemble
received ongoing support from the New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts as well
as The National Endowment for the Arts. After becoming an American
citizen in 2000, Kazuko became fascinated with the evolution of
the Japanese American community and focused on the experiences
of its multiple generations and the growing new immigrant community.
She was extremely proud and grateful for the continued support
she received from the Japanese and Japanese American community.

In the summer of 2008 Kazuko was diagnosed with advanced cancer.
For two and a half years she faced the myriad challenges of her
illness as she continued to give concerts and make future plans.
She bravely dealt with each disappointment. Finally in the early
morning hours of March 10, 2011, Kazuko passed away at home, as
she had wished, having been surrounded by friends and supported
by wonderful home health aides, social workers and the Visiting
Nurses Service Hospice Care team. Memorial Service was held at
the NY Buddhist Church on March 19.

KAYO BIGELOW long time member of the JAA, passed away on
April 6, 2011 at the age of 96. The celebration of the Life of
Kayo Bigelow was held at her home on 4/17 where many friends gathered.
She came to NY to attend the World Fair in 1939 at Flushing Meadow
Corona Park, Since then she had lived in NY. She was one of persons
interviewed for the history of Japanese and Japanese-American