(L to R) Honorary President Susan J. Onuma and Foreign
Minister Koichiro Genba
One Year after Japan Disaster
In response to the disasters in Japan, the Japanese American
Association of New York has been facilitating and assisting
relief efforts in collaboration with numerous NPOs and other
organizations in NYC and the surrounding area. In 2012, one
year after the disaster, many events were held in NYC.
Honorary President Susan Onuma visited Tohoku as a member of
this year’s Japanese American Leadership Delegation sponsored
by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March and stayed on
through the one year anniversary event. On March 12 she attended
a reception given by Foreign Minister Gemba where she also had
a chance to catch up with former Ambassador Nishimiya. While
she was disappointed to see that many areas still had much work
to be done due to extensive physical damage, she was heartened
to learn that many young people were eager to get involved in
Japan’s recovery effort, as volunteers or young entrepreneurs.
The overwhelming support and interest from foreign countries
has also sparked a renewed interest among Tohoku students and
young professionals to study abroad and/or enter fields where
they can help others and also prevent future disasters. She
met many such young students at the benefit dinner for the NPO
Among some of the 3/11 Anniversary events held:
March 10 – TOGETHER FOR 3.11 First Anniversary Memorial
was held with 1100 people attending at Christian Science Church
in Manhattan. The memorial started with opening remarks by Ambassador
Hiroki followed by message from Tohoku residents, and reports
by Dr. Kamal (JAA Director) who went to Japan to help and support
medical needs and Mr. Motoatsu Sakurai, President of the Japan
Society where a one day open house was held on 3/11 "One
March 11 –Six prefectures in Tohoku held Memorial and
Japanese American Lions Club held memorial events.
16-year old high school student and
pianist, Mr. Ryo Kono
March 18 – A special fund raising concert "Heart
for Japan" was held at JAA Hall. This was organized by
16-year old high school student and pianist, Mr. Ryo Kono, who
heard about Tohoku’s disaster from his brother who worked in
Fukushima. Soprano Sherry Zannoth, Violinist Steven Zynszajn
and Pianist Steven Graff joined this concert. The concert was
both excellent and uplifting and raised $1,500 for JAA Japan
Disaster Relief Fund.
One American boy, King High School student CMera made his presentation
of Tohoku at his school. It was quite an impressive presentation.
Please see it at http://youtu.be/SdpqFtiutbo
March 28 – JAA had a warm welcome reception for ten
high school students visiting the New York area from Tohoku
Most of the students had lost family members and friends from
the 3/11 disaster and made presentations and talked about their
experiences. They were invited by the Northeast Council of Teachers
of Japan /NECT (president, Mr. Kazuo Tsuda) for exchange program
to meet American students and people in the U.S. Those attending
the reception were quite moved (and impressed with the students’
English speaking ability).
(L to R) Ms. Noda and Br. Bon Yagi
"Dine Out for Japan" was held from March 7 to March
11 with 34 Japanese Restaurants in the New York area participating
A total of $17,852.02 was raised as of 4/30 for JAA’s Japan Disaster
Relief Fund. Of the monies raised, Mr. Bon Yagi, President of
T.I.C group (Sakagura, Sobaya, Shabu-tatsu, Robata and others)
donated $5,500. In addition, TIC donated $2,500 for JAA’s general
JAA has been accepting application forms for 42nd JAA Scholarship.
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 will again range from $2,000.00 to $6,000.00.
JAA members and friends are urged to encourage high school seniors
to apply immediately. The awards will be presented at the Annual
Scholarship Dinner which is scheduled to be held on Thursday,
May 31, 2012 at the Harvard Club in NYC. The Keynote speaker will
be Kiyo Matsumoto, United States Federal Judge, Eastern District
of New York.
Requirements and more details are on www.jaany.org.
or call JAA office.
ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED
BY MAY 14, 2012.
JAA SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE
Makoto Iwahara, MD, Chairperson
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
100% of your gift will go to the recipient(s) who will be selected
at a later date.
8th JAA Sakura
100th Centennial Celebration
( L to R) Mr. Peter Koo, Ms. Suzan Onuma, Mr. Janice Melnick,
Mr. John Liu, Mrs. Chieko Inagaki and Ambassador Shigeyuki
Hiroki. (Photo by Katagami)
JAA’s, “21st Century NY Cherry Blossom Project” began
on Arbor Day, April 24th, 1992
On Saturday, April 21st, Sakura Matsuri was held in the bright
sun at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Guests included Ambassador
Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul-General of Japan in NY, Mr. John Liu,
Comptroller of NYC, Mr. Peter Koo, Queens City Council and Acting
Administrator for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Janice Melnick.
Many JAA members came including JAA Honorary President Susan J.
Onuma, Mrs. Chieko Inagaki, widow of former JAA President Mr.
Shigeru Inagaki and her sons Tsutomu & Takashi. The Program
included Soh Daiko, playing traditional Japanese Drums, the Tenri
Marching Band, the JAA Chorus, and Folk Dances by Momo Suzuki
and her Hanagasa Dance Group. A special Centennial tree was planted
in recognition of the first cherry trees brought to America. Buses
brought JAA members and friends to enjoy the program and the 300
obento served by many volunteers. Mrs. Inagaki was again a generous
The Sakura Committee Co-Chairs were Yusuke Iwasaki Suki Terada
Ports and Katsuo Takeda with members Julie Azuma, Shuji Kato,
Marian Yoshioka and Gene Yuzawa. The Parks Department staff once
again worked very hard setting up the tents, chairs, loudspeaker
system, and Norman Chan’s beautiful photographs of the Sakura.
As Director of Special Events he was the coordinator.
Japan – U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial 1912 – 2012
Symbolizing friendship between the USA and Japan, 3,000 Sakura
trees were presented to Washington, D.C. The First Lady, Helen
Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador
to the U.S. planted the first Sakura in 1912. One hundred years
later, First Lady Michelle Obama and the Ambassador of Japan,
Ichiro Fujisaki and Madame Fujisaki, Secretary of the Interior,
Ken Salazar and President Taft’s great grandson, William H. Taft,
IV planted a Sakura sapling. Japan also gave 2,000 Sakura to NYC,
planting thirteen in Claremont Park, now renamed Sakura Park.
One hundred years later, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki presented
six Sakura saplings, genetic descendents of the original gift.
He stated, "Our affection for the U.S. is as deep rooted
as the roots of these trees in American soil – a living testament
of the friendship our two countries share". Parks Commissioner
Adrian Benepe stated, "In the cherry blossom’s shade, there’s
no such thing as a stranger". He quoted Kobayashi Issa, "When
I look out at you today, I only see friends".
JAA’s, "21st Century NY Cherry Blossom Project" began
on Arbor Day, April 24th, 1992 at City Hall Park, when Yamazakura
and Somei-Yoshino cherry tree seeds, donated by the Cherry Association
of Japan were presented by Shigeru Inagaki, then President of
JAA, to NYC. On April 3rd, 2001, 168 cherry trees, raised in Van
Cortland Park greenhouses by gardener Bobby Zapala were big enough
to be planted at Flushing Meadows Park by JAA volunteers including
George Yuzawa and Kan Damato augmenting 40 trees of other varieties
purchased by JAA. Since the first Sakura Matsuri started April
12, 2003 with the close cooperation of Parks and Madame Estelle
Cooper, new trees are added to the Sakura Grove.
from JAA Committee on Aging Issues
The 4th Sakura Health Fair
The 4th 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 13 to April 25 with
over 50 program sessions covering a variety of topics from Yoga,
Baby Massage, Child Education to Senior Living. It was for all
ages and had over 1,600 participants. It was deemed a huge success
by those who attended. Many thanks to all the volunteers and speakers
who provided informative and expert advice.
Urasenke Tea ceremony
Miyamoto speaks on
Divorce in NY state
CPR by Dr. Kano,
Dolls by Old Kimono
Dr. Hatakeyama speaks on
Counselor Okada speaks on life
The Annual Spring Flea Market was held on Saturday, April 7. As
usual by 10 am, 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 who donated goods and to those who helped to setup and
sell the goods. The final gross was $11,000.00.
of Japanese and
Japanese American Artists Active
in the New York Area 2012
The 17h 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 34 artists
will be displayed at the JAA Hall with 50% of the proceeds going
towards the JAA Charitable Fund.
We will have an opening reception on May 3, 5pm – 7pm. Supporters
include the Consulate General of Japan in NY, the Japanese Chamber
of Commerce and Industry, the Nippon Club, Shukan NY Seikatsu
27th JAA Foreign Minister Cup
This year’s tournament began with 18 teams at Central Park and
Randall’s Island on May 6th. Please come and watch these exciting
games. The game schedule is available at JAA office. Games will
be played until August.
Speaking of baseball – please SAVE THE DATE – June 15 will
be our 3rd Japanese Heritage Night at Mets Citifield.
DAY @ CENTRAL PARK 2012
This year, Japan Day will be held on May 13 9:30am-2:30pm at the
Central Park Band Shell.
for more information.
Language Committee of the JAA
The Spring Workshop of the Committee was held on March 31 at the
JAA Hall with some 30 Instructors of the Japanese language with
students and others in attendance. Professor Kazuo Tsuda of the
United Nations School gave a lecture, followed by Professor Shibata
of Princeton University and Professor Hideko Shimizu of Colorado
University. The Chair person of this committee is JAA Director
Ms. Nobuko Kodama.
Social Service Committee
・March 8: After enjoying the delicious lunch "Three
Color rice, salad, ice cream". Mr. Reona Ito gave a lecture
on music and Dr. Kinnichi Shibutani talked on Health matters.
Entertainment was provided by Mr. K. Iwaki band.
・March 22: After a "Beef on Rice, Sesame Broccoli
and Tea Jello" lunch, Cappuccino Hirano sang and K. Iwaki
band performance followed.
Happy Birthday in April, Director Soda
and Mr. Shirakawa at screening "PEACE"
・April 19: this keirokai was an event as part of Sakura
Health Fair. Menu was Chirashi & Matsukaze-Yaki. Dr. Kinichi
Shibutani spoke on "How to use Pain killer medicines"
It was very useful information. Roses were presented to those
who were born in April included Mr. Haruo Ito (100 years old)
and Dr. Shibutani (85 years) on 4/17. K. Iwaki Band and Ms. Yoko
Furuta played music and movie "PEACE" was shown at 2pm.
of the Members
・JAA member and artist, Mr. Masaaki Noda‘s new work of
stainless steel entitled “the Future is Now” was installed at
the Fukuyama Station Square in Hiroshima, Japan. The opening ceremony
was held on 3/29.
・JAA member Momo Suzuki, director of the Japanese Folk
Dance Institute of New York, Inc. celebrated their 20th anniversary
at Theater of the Riverside Church on May 4th.
Thank you very
much for your support of JAA !
T.I.C. Group (President Bon Yagi) $2,500.00
42nd JAA Scholarship
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. $7,000.00
Bingham McCutchen Murase $6,000.00
Miyoko & John Davey $3,000.00
Special Scholarship for Tohoku
Satoru Murase, DRL Books, Kenta Hasui, Hugh Patrick, Nozomi Terao,
Ann Curran, Keiko Lacis,
Yukari Edamitsu and TABATA OXFORD Personell LLC. And pledge $5,000
from Cook Pine Capital LLC.
Report from Membership Committee
From 2/7/11- 4/20/11
Bingham McCutchen Murase
JFC Int’l Inc.
ITO EN (North America)
Kawasaki Heavy Industries (USA)
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, Inc.
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
Orient Corp. of America
Sojitz Corp. of America
Tokyo Marine Management
SILVER ($500.00): Shunichi Homma, Seiichi Shimomura
SUPPORTING ($300.00): David Chou, Yumi Kuwana, James Nolan,
Kamal Ramani, Matsuko Shibuya
*Benefit Concert for Young Talent (Harmonia Opera Company, Inc.)
on 4/14 at The Center at West Park. 8-tickets donated by Mr. Noboru
*Tamagawa University Taiko Performance on 4/9 at Miller Theatre,
Columbia University. Many tickets were donated by Mr. Cappuccino
Mrs. Akiko Sato
Wife of Mr. Makoto Sato passed away on February 29, 2012 at the
age of 80. She lost her consciousness right after she celebrated
her 80th Birthday Party with her family on 2/23. The celebration
of the Life of Akiko Sato will be held at the Japan Society (333
East 47th Street) on 5/19.
Rev. Dr. Arthur Kamitsuka passed away April 4 at Isabella
House. More information will be announced later.
We pray for them and their families.