48th Annual JAA Scholarship Dinner
12th Honjo Scholarship Awards

Photos by Masao Katagami

On June 6, 2018, JAA’s 48th Annual Scholarship Award Ceremony honored outstanding high school and graduate students in the community for scholastic achievement and youth leadership. To further encourage them in their educational and personal pursuits, keynote speaker Ms. Karen Korematsu spoke of the importance of activism, as the daughter of a Japanese American whose actions were honored by the establishment of an annual citywide Fred T. Korematsu Day on January 30th.

Held at the Harvard Club, more than $100,000 in total was awarded to five graduate school students focused on US-Japan cross-cultural studies by the Honjo International Foundation in its 12th year of granting scholarships through JAA, and to sixteen graduating high school recipients to prepare for their college years at Yale, Cornell and Binghamton Universities, among other U.S. institutions. Additionally, three awardees received round-trip air tickets from ANA and Delta Air Lines for travel to Japan.

As Co-Chairs of the JAA General Scholarship Committee, NTT America, Inc.’s President and CEO, Mr. Kazuhiro Gomi, and Mr. Satoru Murase expressed gratitude to longtime corporate donors which included MUFG, Delta Air Lines, Orient Corporation of America, Toyota, TV Japan and ANA. Significant new family scholarships were created this year by Ms. Miyoko Davey of the John and Miyoko Davey Foundation, and by Ms. Riki Ito, JAA Vice President and New York Japanese American Lions Club President, in honor of her father, Haruo Ito. This adds to the private funding of JAA scholarships by the Dr. Tomikawa, Dr. Namba and the Murase family.

Special guests included Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Consul General of Japan in New York; UN Ambassador and Madame Yasuhiro Kawamura; Honorable Denny Chin, Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Honorable Toko Serita, Judge, Criminal Court of the City of New York, Queens County; former keynote speaker, actor and community activist George Takei as well as 134 donors, awardees, their families and members of the JAA corporate and not- for- profit community.

Remarks came from JAA President, Ms. Susan J. Onuma, about how the scholarship program has evolved since she was a JAA scholarship awardee, not only in terms of the amount of awards given but the diverse nature of the awardees; and Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, who provided the audience with a thought-provoking, personal story about being inspired by foreign movies as a youth.

The evening’s keynote speaker, Ms. Karen Korematsu, Founder and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, stressed the ongoing importance of speaking out, based upon her father’s challenges of the constitutionality of Japanese American incarcerations during WWII. Building upon this, awardees were asked to reflect upon and hold true to their ideals of being uniquely American by Chair of the JAA Honjo Scholarship Committee and Honorary JAA President, Gary S. Moriwaki.
Following the awarding of scholarships, Miss Minori Aoki, a recipient of the JAA Dr. Soji Tomikawa Scholarship, and Mr. Hyoseak Stephen Choi, a recipient of the JAA Honjo Foundation Award, gave compelling acceptance speeches on behalf of their respective groups.

JAA’s Scholarship Alumni Network:

Keynote Speaker
Karen Korematsu

Karen Korematsu is the Founder and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute and the daughter of the late Fred T. Korematsu. In 2009, on the 25th anniversary of the reversal of Fred’s WWII U.S. Supreme Court conviction, Karen established the Fred T. Korematsu Institute. Since her father’s passing in 2005, Karen has carried on Fred’s legacy as a civil rights advocate, public speaker and public educator. She shares her passion for social justice and education at K-12 public and private schools, colleges and universities, law schools, teachers’ conferences and organizations across the country.

One of Karen’s most significant accomplishments was working with Assembly Member Warren Furutani to successfully establish in 2011 a perpetual "Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution" for the state of California on January 30. Fred Korematsu is the first Asian American in U.S. history who has been honored with a statewide day. Since then, the states of Hawaii, Virginia and Florida have followed and this year, the City of New York has also done so.

Karen is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for her passion and dedication to advocating for civil liberties and social justice for all communities.

Karen has been interviewed on radio, podcasts and TV and her Op/Ed’s have appeared in the NY Times, February 17, 2017 and Washington Post, December 4, 2017.

2018 48th JAA General Scholarship Committee
Kazuhiro Gomi, Satoru Murase
Members: Yoroku Adachi, Yuzuru Anzai, Yuki Kaneshige, Susan J. Onuma, Katsuo Takeda

2018 12th JAA Honjo Scholarship Committee
Chairperson: Gary S. Moriwaki
Members: Kazuhiro Gomi, Makoto Iwahara, Frederick Katayama, Satoru Murase, Susan J. Onuma,
Katsuo Takeda

2018 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
NTT America, Inc.

48th JAA Scholarship Awardees (for graduating high school students)

  • Dr. Soji Tomikawa Scholarship
    ($10,000 plus Round Trip Air Ticket to Japan, courtesy of All Nippon Airways) @
    Minori Aoki@U.C. Berkeley

  • JAA Murase Scholarship ($7,500)
    Zakiyy Morgan@Cornell University

  • Delta Air Lines Scholarship($5,000 plus Round Trip Air Ticket to Japan, courtesy of Delta Air Lines)
    Taiyo Myrthil @Stanford University

  • MUFG Scholarship@($5,000)
    Genki J. Ono@Yale University

  • John & Miyoko Davey Scholarship ($5,000) x5
    Mizuki Hayakawa@the Juilliard School
    Shuzo Katayama@Amherst College
    Naotaka Kinoshita@Cornell University – College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), with a major in Biometry and Statistics
    Makoto J. Okamoto@Rutgers University School of Engineering
    William Makoto Quinn@Northwestern University

  • Haruo Ito Scholarship@($5,000)
    Hanna Iruka Hall@Yale University

  • Tatsuji Namba Scholarship@($5,000)
    Elliot Ichiro Kodama Urgent@Brown University

  • Orient Corporation of America Scholarship ($3,500)
    Ayuko April Ichikawa@Binghamton University

  • Toyota Scholarship ($3,000)
    Lisa Cynthia Nagahama@Tufts University

  • TV Japan Scholarship ($3,000)
    Nami Camellia Nitta@Georgetown University

  • Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya Scholarship ($3,000)
    Sara Yoshida Baldwin@Binghamton University

  • ANA Japan Travel Scholarship ($1,000 plus Round Trip Air Ticket to Japan, courtesy of All Nippon Airways)
    Carolyn Miu David@Lehigh University

    12th JAA Honjo Scholarships Awardees (for graduate students)

  • Hyoseak Stephen Choi ($9,000)
    Stephen Choi is a PH D candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Culture at Columbia University. He is researching the role of children’s literature in shaping modern Japanese society and culture. The title of his Master’s thesis is "Losing the War, Winning the Pooh."

  • Yoka Tomita ($9,000)
    Columbia’s School of Public Health and is a doctoral candidate there.
    Her interest is in end of life issues, dying with dignity and how that topic has been addressed by Americans and by Japanese. She hopes to be a cross cultural educator in this important field.

  • Shoko Hirose ($6,000)
    Shoko Hirose is working towards her Masters at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her studies focus on diversity in the workplace: how a business enterprise benefits from diversity and how best to implement effective strategies to foster diversity.

  • Xochitl Honoria Romo ($3,000)
    Xochitl Honoria Romo is attending Columbia Law School, where she will concentrate on preparing herself to be an advocate for women’s rights, children’s rights, and promoting mental health awareness in a cross cultural setting.

  • Sophie May Kikue Spiegel ($3,000)
    Sophie Spiegel has been inspired on many fronts to work on behalf of the Japanese and Japanese American community and is working towards her Masters in Social Work at New York University. She has a particular interest in how adoption is viewed by society in the United States and in Japan.

  • The 10th Sakura Health Fair

    Japanese American Lions Club presents
    "Happy life with Pets"

    JMSA New York Life Science Forum Kids

    Advices for people who are planning to
    return to Japan

    Medical System by SHARE

    Immigration issues and Tax considerations

    Breast Cancer symposium by BC Network

    Rhythmic Class with parents and children

    Free Hair Cut for Seniors

    Sogetu Ikebana

    Teeth Care for Parents and Children
    by JAA Apple Kids

    Demonstration of Urasenke Tea Ceremony

    Educational lecture

    About Home Care

    Dementia lecture in English

    The 10th 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 6 until April 29 with more than 50 programs covering a variety of topics from yoga, flower arranging, and safety measures in New York in addition to various programs related to general health and healthy living. 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.

    The 12th Autumn Health Fair.

    JAA is now accepting programs for the 12th Autumn Health Fair. This year will be 12th year of this popular event. Originally known as "Senior Week," the name was changed to "Senior Month" and is now called "Autumn Health Fair." JAA is accepting proposals for projects targeting not only seniors but also children, families, and adults.

    Save the dates!

    JAA 111th Gala dinner will be held on November 30th (Fri.) at Harvard Club. We will contact you as soon as details are finalized.

    The 25th JAA Charity Golf Tournament will be held at Harbor Links Golf Course North Hempstead, New York on October 1st (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)

    Exhibition of Japanese and Japanese American Artists in New York 2018

    Photos by Masao Katagami

    The 23rd JAA Annual Art Exhibition of Japanese and Japanese American Artists in New York was held from May 3 untill May 18. We extended this exhibition from May 12 to May 18 because of the very good response we received from community. Thirty-two artists displayed fifty-eight works at JAA Hall. 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 200 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.

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

    Memorial Day Services (Bosankai) were held on May 28, 2018 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. In front of the memorial monument in the Japanese cemetery, attendees thanked the pioneers, wished for world peace and hoped to continue to be the bridge between Japan and the US. The ceremony began with Rev. Earl Ikeda from the Buddhist Church and Rev. Akio Iyoda from JAUC. Participants offered incense and flowers to the pioneers who had contributed so much to the Japanese and Japanese American community. Deputy Consul General Yasuji Abe expressed his appreciation to the Japanese pioneers, and Mr. Noboru Kojima, 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, talked about the great contributions of Dr. Jokichi Takamine and Dr. Toyohiko Takami in early 1900s. Mr. Michiharu Aida of the Japanese American Lions Club, Vietnam veteran Mr. Stanley Kanzaki and MIS unit member Mr. Kaz Yamaguchi were 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.

    The 33rd JAA Foreign Minister’s
    Baseball Tournament

    The tournament started on April 29, with 16 teams at Randall’s Island and Central Park’s North Meadow. The six weeks of preliminaries on early Sunday mornings have always been competitive. In Group A, last year’s championship team Niko Niko won 5 games, Junks kept the Group B lead with 5 wins. Please see the most recent scores as well as photos and rankings at
    www.jaabaseball.blogspot.com and www.Facebook.com/jaabaseball

    12th Annual Japan Day
    @ Central Park

    This year the JAA calligraphy class participated again in the 12th Annual Japan Day @ Central Park on May 13. Even in the heavy rain 1,400 people crowded the JAA booth all day 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 on this cold rainy day. Thank you for your hard work.

    May is Asian American Heritage Month!

    JAA proudly represented the Japanese/JA community with JACL – New York Chapter, HAA, JANM and Japan Society at The 39th Asian American Heritage Festival on May 20th 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 Toshiko Kobayashi, Julie Azuma, Yuki Kanashige, Susan Hamaker and George Hirose. And special thanks to Ito En (North America) and Sunrise Mart for their donations!

    Volunteers at "KidZone" and "Achilles International"

    Volunteers at "KidZone"

    We received Thank you letters from Ms. Yuki Kaneshige on behalf of the Consulate General of Japan in New York.

    "Dear KidZone Volunteer,
    Thank you for making time to volunteer at Father’s Heart Ministries’ KidZone program, serving food and teaching origami to families appreciative of community support. Hope everyone is feeling ogenki after working so hard, and enjoyed the one-on-one interactions with children, as well as with each other as active members of the Japanese and Japanese American community in New York.
    KidZone program: https://www.fathersheartnyc.org/kidzone"

    "Dear Achilles International Volunteer,
    Thank you for your time early on a Sunday morning giving energetic support to Achilles International’s athletes at their annual Hope & Possibility race in Central Park! With members of the Japanese Consulate, the Hoshuko Alumni Association and USJC, JAA volunteers showed some great Japanese/JA spirit in helping disabled athletes as walking/running guides, and as a mighty cheering squad! Special thanks to JAA members: Katsuo Takeda, Sakura Yagi, Suzanne Okada (new) and David Hiromura. Achilles’ volunteer opportunities:

    Best wishes, Yuki Kaneshige, Speechwriter/Public Affairs Specialist, Consulate General of Japan in New York"

    Request for Your Help and Assistance for a Survey on aging issues of the Japanese and Japanese Americans living in the Metropolitan NY Area.

    The purpose of this survey is to investigate the awareness of elderly issues, including any future plans, among Japanese and Japanese Americans, who reside in NY, NJ, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, with a focus on "home care". This survey is being sent to the members of various Japanese organizations and to individuals who are willing to participate in this study. For any assistance in survey completion, please contact JAA Committee on Aging Issues. This survey is to be completed on a totally voluntary basis. All the information collected will be kept confidential. After the statistical analysis, actual survey forms will be kept securely. For any questions, please contact JAA Committee on Aging Issues: 212-840-6942, info@jaany.org. Primary Investigator: Itusko Toyama (Professor, Momoyama Gakuin University and Graduate Institute).

    JAA Women’ in Business (JWB)

    May 7th:
    A lecture given by Ms. Kyo Kasumi, who produced Best Fight-Weapons Award winning film "First Samurai in New York". Ms. Keiko Tsuyama was the moderator.

    June 11th:
    "How to create the attractive writings" was a title lectured by Ms. Eri Kurobe, who is an author of more than 30 novels for teen-agers. 120 attendees were busy taking notes of her useful information.

    Screening of the Movie "A BITTER LEGACY"

    Ms. Claudia Katayanagi’s film was shown at JAA Hall on June 13th. Subtitled as "Stolen Civil Rights", the movie is about Japanese and Japanese American internment camp during the WW‡U. The attendees learned many unknown facts. JAA will continue to show films about the history of Japanese Americans.

    To celebrate the 25th Anniversary Minbu-Za

    To celebrate the 25th Anniversary Minbu-Za (Led by Ms. Momo Suzuki), "the Festival of Japan Drums + Dance" was held at Abrons Arts Center Playhouse Theatre on April 14th with Sukeroku Taiko and Katsuhiro Chiba from Japan. Ms. Suzuki began to study Japanese dance when she was 6 years old in Yamagata. Came to the US in 1983 and organized the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York in 1992. The group has been performing at numerous cultural festivals, including our Sakura Matsuri.

    Ms. Riki Ito was elected 2nd Vice District Governor

    Our member Ms. Riki Ito was elected 2nd Vice District Governor for District 20-R2 of Lions Club International at the NY State and Bermuda Convention in Rochester, NY. This will be a 3-year commitment starting July 1st.

    Social Service Committee

    Keirokai-Luncheon for Seniors
    April 19th:
    The April Keirokai was part of the Sakura Health Fair. Seniors enjoyed chirashi sushi and Japanese popular songs by the Iwaki Band. We celebrated birthdays of seniors who were born in April.

    Happy birthday for April
    and Ms. Ito

    May 10th & 24th:
    On the 24th, Reverend Earl Ikeda of NY Buddhist Church gave a nice speech. Seniors enjoyed Hawaiian music with Rev. Ikeda played by the Iwaki Band.

    Happy birthday for May

    Rev. Ikeda

    June 14th & 28th:
    Singer Mr. Shigemasa Nakano joined Iwaki Band and made an exciting music show. Mr. Iizuka sang a song with his son, Leo, who came to visit him from Japan. Ms. Riki Ito, JAA Vice President and chair of Social Service Committee is the MC at the regular Keirokai.

    Happy birthday for June

    Iwaki Band with
    Mr. Nakano and Mr. Iizuka


    Mrs. Kimiyo Ko passed away on April 7, 2018. She was 85 years old.
    •Mrs. Susan Sterquelle passed away on June 8, 2018. She was 88 years old. We miss her JAA Senior Luncheons.
    Mr. Toshiteru Tada passed away on June 27, 2018. He served as JAA’s director from 1994 until 2017.

    The 59th Convention of Nikkei & Japanese Abroad and
    The 150th Anniversary of GANNENMON
    by Mrs. Michiyo Noda

    Mrs. Michiyo Noda, Executive Director of JAA, attended the 59th Convention of Nikkei & Japanese Abroad and Commemorating the 150th anniversary of GANNENMON at the Sheraton Waikiki in Hawaii on June 6 & 7, 2018.

    The Japanese government started the convention in 1957 as a way to show its appreciation to the Nikkei and Japanese, some who where held in internment camps, who offered support and supplies through Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia (LARA) in the aftermath of WWII in Japan.

    This year more than 300 people from 15 countries participated. Prince Akishinomiya addressed the audience on both days. Mr. Cesar Yoshiro Nouchi, a third generation Japanese Peruvian spoke about his grandfather, Oscar Yokichi Nouchi, who immigrated to Peru 1917 and became the first Mayor of Machu Picchu. Cesar opened the Oscar Nouchi Memorial Museum in Fukushima and is supporting the education of children in Peru.

    GANNENMONO is the immigrants of the founding/first year from Japan to Hawaii. They arrived during the first year of the new Meiji era in Japan in 1868. They had been recruited to work in the Kingdom of Hawaii, signing 3-year contracts for a monthly wage of $4. It is the root of Japanese American history. The Japanese Culture Center Hawaii has 150 years of Japanese American history and many historical materials on display.
    It is our goal for JAA to collect more historical materials to document the Nikkei Legacy in New York.