JAA on the move…

We are pleased to announce that we will be moving to new quarters just one block away in the fall. We look forward to everyone’s support as we fundraise to make it possible to continue to serve the Japanese and Japanese American community of New York.
Our new office will be located at 49 West 45th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10036 (same building as Book-Off)

Three Years After

On February 22, 2014, along with Satoshi Kitahama of the Kizuna Foundation, I made a trip to visit several towns in Iwate prefecture. Over the past three years we have worked very closely with the Foundation on several projects in and around the town of Ofunato, which suffered greatly during the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Being a community based organization, JAA sought to find local partners with whom it could establish a long lasting and productive partnership. With the guidance of Kitahama san, we were able to help local fishermen and fishing cooperatives get back on their feet. The photos you see here show how JAA’s funding helped the cooperative raise the pier, which had sunk by one meter after the earthquake. Now it has been restored to its original height, and you can see that the fishing boats are back and that there is renewed activity in the port. The other photos show what a beautiful region it is; forest covered mountains coming down to the blue ocean, with its abundant life that sustains local businesses. We are honored to have been a part of this project, which is one of the bright spots in the Tohoku region.
We continue our work in the region. In early August, we will bring a team of young baseball players from the US to play with their counterparts in Tohoku. The team will be led and managed by Bobby Valentine, who has been a tremendous partner of JAA. Our plans again center around Ofunato. Close to 80 players from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures are expected to participate. We have connected with local baseball groups, sponsors, and fans. By coincidence, a team from San Diego will also be in Ofunato, and we are coordinating our efforts with them. If you’d like to assist in this project by contributing funds or your time and energy, kindly let us know.

I attended The TOGETHER FOR 3.11, the Third Anniversary Memorial for Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Victims on March 9, 2014 with Ambassador Sumio Kusaka and Amb. Motoatsu Sakurai, president of Japan Society.

(Reported by Mr. Gary Moriwaki, Honorary President)

Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund
On April 4th, Mr. Shuji Kato, JAA director brought a last check of $5,000 to New York Cares.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Relief Fund
We raised $6,895.00 as of the end of March, 2014. We sent a check of $6,000 to Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK). Our donation will be directed to their relief and recovery efforts in their partner communities in Capiz and neighboring provinces that have been devastated by Tyhoon Haiyan. Depending on the need of the school supplies, rebuilding of classrooms, and livelihood projects to provide much needed income.

10th JAA Sakura Matsuri

(L to R) Mrs. Chieko Inagaki,, Ambassador Sumio Kusaka and Mrs. Kusaka, Ms. Dorothy Lewandowski, Mr. Liam Kavanagh, Ms. Janice Melnick, Ms. Hiroko Onoyama, Ms. Suki Terada Ports and Ms. Susan J. Onuma (All photos by Masao Katagami)

Soh Daiko

JAA Chorus

Oyama Karate students

Hanagasa Dance Group

Tea Ceremony

On Saturday, April 19th, JAA members and friends enjoyed the 10th Sakura Matsuri held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Guests included Ambassador Sumio Kusaka, Consul-General of Japan in NY, Mr. Liam Kavanagh, Acting Commissioner of New York City Parks and Recreation, Ms. Dorothy Lewandowski, Commissioner of Queens Parks and Ms. Janice Melnick, Administrator for Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Over 500 people attended including JAA President Susan J. Onuma and Mrs. Chieko Inagaki, widow of former JAA President Mr. Shigeru Inagaki. It was an exceptionally beautiful Sakura Day, highlighted by Madame Kusaka’s lovely sakura patterned kimono.

The Program included Soh Daiko, playing traditional Japanese Drums, Oyama Karate students, the JAA Chorus, and Folk Dances by Momo Suzuki and her Hanagasa Dance Group. Tea Ceremony was held on the lawn. Two trees commemorating the 75th Celebration of the 1939 World’s Fair and 50th Celebration of the 1964 World’s Fair were planted.

The Sakura Committee Co-Chairs were Hiroko Onoyama and Suki Terada Ports with members Julie Azuma, George Hirose, Yusuke Iwasaki, Shuji Kato, Michiyo Noda, Sakura Yagi, Marianne Yoshioka and Gene Yuzawa. The Parks Department staff, led by Mr. Danny Miller, Director of Special Events, once again worked very hard setting up the tents and equipment and ensured a seamless program.

The 6th Sakura Health Fair

The 6th 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 12 to April 27 with over 55 program sessions covering a variety of topics from Yoga, Flower arrangements, Child Education to Senior Living. It was for all ages and had 1881 participants, well over the 1,600 participants we had last year. It was deemed a huge success by those who attended. Many thanks to all the volunteers and speakers who provided informative and expert advice.

Tea Ceremony

Social gathering with pregnant women

CPR for children and infant

About Japanese history

How to spend your final stage

The board meeting of JAMSNET World

About the Hague Convention

Flower arrangements

Japanese calligraphy

Report for intercultural marriage

How to make "Temaki-sushi"

How to communicate with your pets

Exhibition of Japanese and Japanese American Artists
Active in the New York Area 2014

Photo by Masao Katagami

The 19th annual Art Exhibition (Chairs: Yoko Sasaki & George Hirose) by the "Japanese and Japanese American Artists in New York" took place for 10 days from 5/1 to 5/10. Artworks of 37 artists were displayed at the JAA Hall with 50% of the proceeds going towards the JAA Charitable Fund. Four new artists, Reina Kubota, Shu Ohno, Enrico Isamu ?yama and Akemi Takeda were added this year. We had an opening reception on May 1 with many guests. Supporters include the Consulate General of Japan in NY, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Nippon Club, Shukan NY Seikatsu and Yomitime.

Spring Flea Market

The Annual Spring Flea Market was held on Saturday, April 5th. 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 of clothes, accessories, foods and books. Delicious foods were sold out by 1pm. 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 $12,000.00!
Our next Flea Market will be held on August 2nd.

The 29th JAA Foreign Minister Cup Baseball Tournament

The 29th JAA Foreign Minister Cup Baseball Tournament will begin with 17 teams at Central Park and Randall’s Island on May 4th, and continues on every Sunday Morning until August. Committee chair is Mr. Shuji Kato. The game schedule is available at JAA office.

Our senior members were invited to the Ambassador’s residence
Ambassador and Madame Kusaka invite our senior members to Ambassador’s residence
On March 25th, our seniors who were over 80 years were invited to the Ambassador’s residence. Amb. Kusaka and Madame Kusaka welcomed their guests and served delicious delicacies. All seniors enjoyed and felt at home. Their generosity was much appreciated.

2014 Scholarship Program

JAA has been accepting application forms for 44th 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 applying to United States institutions of higher learning. Scholarships range from $1,000.00 to $6,000.00 and include a special award honoring former Ambassador Nishimiya. We are pleased that this year, All Nippon Airways is an official sponsor and will provide two economy class roundtrip tickets to be awarded to certain scholarship recipients. 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 June 3rd (Tue.) at the Harvard Club. Our keynote speaker will be former baseball player and Manager, Mr. Bobby Valentine.
Requirements and details are on www.jaany.org/general_scholarship.html or call JAA.

JAA Social Service Committee

March 13:

Menu was "Three Color Rice, Salad and Ice Cream". As usual seniors enjoyed Karaoke by K. Iwaki band.

March 27:
After a "Beef on Rice, Sesame Broccoli and Sweet Azuki soup" lunch, JAA chorus sung beautiful songs and K. Iwaki band performance followed.

April 17:
This keirokai was an event as part of Sakura Health Fair. Menu was Chirashi & Matsukaze-Yaki. Dr. Kinichi Shibutani talked about "Lyme Disease" then K. Iwaki Band played "Happy Birthday" for JAA members who were born in April and to Mr. Haruo Ito who celebrated his 102 year’s birthday. The award winning 11 year old Miss Enako Matsumoto performed Scottish Fantasy on violin.

Our new lunch fee is $5/ JAA members and $8 / non members.

JAA Business Women’s Committee
Dr. Shinichi Fukuoka, biologist was a guest speaker for the meeting on 4/7. His informative lecture was enjoyed by 100 attendants.

JAA Japanese Language Committee
Professor Kayo Nonaka (NYU) and Mr.Kazuo Tsuda (U.N. School) lectured at the Spring Workshop which was held on 3/22.

Apple Kids
"Kanji is Fun!" was held on 4/27 with Ms. Tomoko Nakano who is a principal of the Brooklyn Nihongo Gakuen.


This year, Japan Day will be held on Sunday, May 11, 9:30am-4:00pm at the Central Park Band Shell. See www.japandaynyc.org for more information.

News of the Members

Saeko Ichinohe: After 44 years of operation Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company closed. Saeko came to the U.S.A. on a Fulbright scholarship. She studied with Martha Graham and founded her own company in 1970, creating pieces that merged Japanese dance with western style. She became the first Japanese winner of choreographic awards in the U.S., acquiring a great reputation. "I’d like to continue to choreograph if people ask me to do so." Saeko said. The closing event was held on February 23rd in a Chelsea loft presented by Cobi Narita.

George Mukai: He was awarded the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the President of the French Republic, Mr. Francois Hollande. This prestigious distinction underlines the deep appreciation and gratitude of the French people for George’s contribution to the liberation during the World War Ⅱ. He was in the 442nd Battalion. The official ceremony to be held at the Consulate General of France in New York on May 9th. George is 94 years old now.


Mrs. Yoshie Murase: Passed away on February 22nd at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. She was 88 years old. She came to New York and studied at Parsons School of Design when she met Mr. Jiro Murase. They were married and moved to Washington D.C., where she worked at the Japan Embassy. She visited Japan frequently and learned many artistic skills such as flower arrangement, tea ceremony, Mataro Doll making, Calligraphy and taught them in the U.S. She was active with Japan American Women’s Club, the Japan Club, Japan Society and JAA.

Mrs. Asako Kaneda: Passed away on February 20th at Roosevelt Hospital, she was 63 years old. She settled in New York in 1975 and married her husband, Toshiyuki. They opened the Japanese restaurant "Taste of Tokyo" in the West Village.

Ms. Miyano Hiraki: Passed away on February 20th at the Bellevue Hospital. She was 83 years old.

Hisayo Asai: Passed away on February 25th. She was 93 years old.

We pray for them and their families.

Thank you very much for your support of JAA !

General Account
T.I.C. Group (President Bon Yagi)$2,500.00
Mayumi & Kenichi Takeshita$2,000.00

JAA Scholarship Fund
Kinichi Shibutani $3,000.00

Sakura Fund for Sakura Matsuri
Chieko Inagaki, Hiroko Onoyama, Pasona NA, Inc. , A. M. , Kikuko Hosono,
Mary Ito, Julie Hata, Mabel Tsufura, Irene Kawamura, Akio Shirakawa & Florence Iwamoto
Total $6,960.00

Report from Membership Committee From 2/15/14-4/30/14
Corporate an Group

Ikebana Int’l Inc. & Sojitz Corp. of America

Individual members
SILVER ($500.00): Fusako Ota, Tamiko Sato, Kumiko Yoshii
SUPPORTING ($300.00): Keichiro Hayashi, Keiko Kato, Masaki Noda,
Robert Norton, Alice Shimomura, Mieko Tahara, Katsuo Takeda,
Kazuo Yamaguchi, Reizo Yoshida, Kayoko Hirota

Tickets’ Donation
*10 tickets of "TOKYO PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA 100th Anniversary World Tour" at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on March 11 were donated by Ms. Hiroko Onoyama

*10 tickets of "Tamagawa University Taiko Dance Performance" on 4/3 at Miller Theatre, Columbia University were donated by Mr. Cappuccino Hirano.

Thank you very much!

Tadashi Tsufura
Educator, Administrator

Tadashi "Tad" Tsufura was born in Los Angeles, California, on September 17, 1930, the youngest of three sons. His father, a Buddhist minister, and his mother, a schoolteacher, were both born in Japan. In 1936, the family moved to Parlier, California, and did migrant labor on farms to supplement the parents’ incomes. On his twelfth birthday, Tsufura and his family were uprooted and sent to Canal, one of the two relocation camps at the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona.

At Canal, Tsufura and his family lived in barracks where the floors were made of wood, which quickly shrank in size in the dry desert heat. Whenever there was a sandstorm, they had to keep their faces covered even inside the barracks. At the camp school, Tsufura remembers having to share outdated books and to use leftover supplies provided by the government. He had a teacher from Tennessee who hit him for being a "crazy rebel" in class. Tsufura often played hooky: "The Military Police guards didn’t really care if we went outside the camp because we were in the middle of nowhere. The barbed wires were there for token reasons. I mean, even if we escaped, we couldn’t hide anyway, we were Japanese!"
Tsufura and his family were released from the camp in 1944. His two older brothers had left Canal. Fourteen-year-old Tsufura moved to Seabrook, New Jersey, to work in a factory at Seabrook Farms. His mother was soon admitted to a mental hospital in New Jersey, suffering from deep depression. Eventually, his mother passed away. His father would like to have visited Japan but never had the opportunity nor the means to do so.
Tsufura was drafted into the army during the Korean War and served from 1951 to 1953. Upon his return to civilian life, he attended Cleveland (formerly Fenn) State College, majoring in chemical engineering. He became a math teacher at I.S. 70M in New York City, where he taught for 16 years. Eventually, he applied for and was appointed principal of P.S. 41M in Greenwich Village in 1976, the first Asian American principal in New York City. He faced many obstacles in securing the appointment because "I was too outspoken and refused to bow my head and keep my opinions to myself." He adds, "The districtofficials didn’t think Asians would make good supervisors.
They wanted me to fail so badly." In the end, it was the power and collective voice of the parents that made his appointment possible. Tsufura transformed the school into a child-centered, democratic place of learning, breaking rules if those rules broke children.

After serving eight years, as Principal of P.S. 41M, Tsufura became Deputy Superintendent of New York City District 3, comprising 23 schools. He retired in 1988.