(from left) Mr. Akizawa, Mr. Valentine,
JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund
Report from President Gary S. Moriwaki
At the end of September 2011, Mr. and Mrs. Eiich Kuwana, Bobby
Valentine and I visited with Jidai no Souzou Koubou (JSK), Peace
Boat and the Japanese Organization for International Family Planning
(JOICFP). We presented checks to them for $125,000; $100,000 and
$125,000 respectively. During the same trip we met groups focusing
on entrepreneurialism including Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative
Communities (ETIC) and All Hands, represented by Eiich Kuwana’s
friend, Henry Takata. We also visited Ishinomaki City and witnessed
the tremendous progress they have made on the clean up and relief
effort fronts. However, we also saw how far the area has to go,
particularly in respect to business rejuvenation. For example,
although shops are cleaned up, many of them remain closed or are
only getting business from the volunteers in the area. JAA has
focused more on business and jobs since business revival is the
primary long term solution for the Tohoku area, benefiting everyone,
young and old.
On November 28th and 29th we visited Tohoku again. We attended
a fundraiser with Bobby Valentine one evening to raise funds for
Tohoku area kids to enable them to have a travel abroad respite.
The next day we accompanied him to Sendai, where we visited with
officials of Tohoku Daigaku Hospital. Two on-the-ground Americares
staff joined us, as well as physicians and officials from the
hospital. We had an excellent exchange of ideas.
During the first week of December, the Kuwanas and I met with
Diet members, Peace Boat, ETIC, Henry Takata, Keiko Kiyama of
Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN) and Japan Platform. Of particular
concern to many, aside from economic issues, was the mental and
physical well being of the displaced elderly, young children and
unemployed workers who are suffering from the effects of the triple
We are now thinking about how to coordinate our efforts to plan
symposia, other awareness and fundraising events during and around
the first anniversary, March 11th, 2012. Our work goes on. We
will have a Committee Meeting of the JAA Japan Disaster Relief
Fund on Dec. 22nd, 2011.
(from left) Amb.Hiroki, Mr. Ito, Mr. Moriwaki,
Ms. Riki Ito (daughter of Mr. Ito)
Mr. Haruo Ito – 100 years old – April 2012
Amb.Hiroki, Mr. Ito, Mr. Moriwaki,Ms. Riki Ito (daughter of Mr.
Ito) On December 15th, 2011, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki presented
an award and gift from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to Mr. Yoshio
Ito for his 100th Birthday. A longtime resident of New York City,
Mr. Ito enjoys JAA’s senior programs.
54th Annual JAA Year End Dinner
On the evening of December 2nd, JAA held its 54th Annual Year-
End Dinner Dance Party with over 120 guests at the Crowne Plaza,
Times Square. Following Chairperson Ms. Seiko Oshima’s opening
remarks, was a welcome from JAA’s Honorary President, Ms. Susan
Onuma and an introduction of Mr. Shinji Kokuma, a member of the
House of Councilors and Mr. Katsuji Seno of the Blue Sky Project,
both representing Fukushima. They expressed their appreciation
to JAA and New Yorkers for their generous disaster relief efforts.
All of the attendees participated in a candle light service to
pray in silence for the victims of Tohoku and for our JAA pioneers,
Ms. Mitsu Kurahara, Mr. and Mrs. George Yuzawa, Mr. Francis Sogi
and Mr. Steve Wada and others who passed away recently. Dinner
began with a “Kanpai-toast” by former president Mr. Toshio Kiso.
Wines at each table were generously donated by Mr. Katsumi Oneda.
Mr. Katsuo Takeda, MC for the dinner, introduced Ambassador Shigeyuki
Hiroki of the Consulate General of Japan in NY. He appreciated
JAA’s effort for Japan Disaster and encouraged JAA to continue
their activities and announced the plan for the 2012 of “Centennial
Celebration of the Gift of Trees” to commemorate the 100th anniversary
of Japan’s gift of planting Sakura trees in US. Dr. Kinichi Shibutani
was presented with this year’s award for his long time devotion
and support of JAA and especially for his volunteer lecture presentations
and for his free consultations at Keirokai. Kuni Mikami and “The
Swing Five Band” played familiar old stand-by songs for dancing.
Also, many people enjoyed the TANKO BUSHI led by Momo Suzuki.
Raffle drawings began at 9:30pm. Grand prizes of AA Domestic tickets
for two donated by IACE Travel won by Ms. Masako Hontani and Ms.
Tomiko Taylor won other Grand Prize of the China Airlines NY/Osaka
round trip ticket. Mr. Masuo Ichida’s auction gift followed. More
than 60 door prizes were given to the lucky winners. Again this
year, Mr. Oneda invited 10 Keirokai volunteers for this event.
(from left) Ms. Susan Onuma,
Dr. & Mrs. Shibutani, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki
Photos by Masao Katagami
（from left）Ms. Ishida, Ms. Hontani, Ms. Taylor、Ms. Chang
All of the attendees participated in a candle light service
People enjoyed the "TANKO BUSHI" led by Momo Suzuki
Photo by Masao Katagami
On November 5th, the JAA Annual Grand Bazaar was held at the JAA
Hall with eager shoppers waiting at the door before 10am! We raised
$14,486! The Grand Prizes of the raffle, American Airlines US
Domestic tickets went to the lucky winners Ms. Nancy Alexander
and Mr. Akio Shirakawa. Thank you to all our volunteers, donors
and eager shoppers.
Special Night for Friends and Supporters of JAA
Jake Shimabukuro at the Dinner
A special Fundraiser was held on November 16th, 2011 at the Sony
Club attended by Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, his daughter Rumi,
Mr. & Mrs. Mitsuhiko Kawai (Mitsui & Co., U.S.A.), Mr.
Masaaki Tanaka (Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Bank), Mr. Hiroyuki Watanuki
(Tokio Marine Management Inc.), Mr. Yosuke Honjo (Ito En North
America), Mr. Tsutomu Karino (JCCI) and 90 other guests enjoyed
the evening. Everyone was impressed by the performance of the
genius ukulele player, Jake Shimabukuro, a 5th generation Japanese
American from Hawaii. This year JAA had a Silent Auction. The
successful fund raiser raised $65,000. We are grateful for the
kindness of Ms. Hiroko Onoyama, the Sony Club and its staff. The
Dinner Committee: David Hiromura, Gary S. Moriwaki, Michiyo Noda,
Hiroko Onoyama, Susan Onuma and Suki Terada Ports. Jake Shimabukuro’s
signed CD, "Peace Love Ukulele" was given with our sincere
thanks to all of our guests.
(All Photos by Masao Katagami)
of Officers and Directors for 2012
At the General Election meeting of November 28th, officers and
directors for the year 2012 were nominated and elected. Mr. Gary
Moriwaki was re-elected as President. This will be his 5th term
as President of JAA. Ms. Julie Azuma and Mr. David Hiromura were
elected as new Vice Presidents. Vice President, Mr. Katsumi Oneda
and Director, Mr. George Horishige resigned. JAA thanks them for
their long years of dedication.
Our Officers for 2012
President: Gary Moriwaki
Vice Presidents: Julie Azuma, David Hiromura,
Keiko Ishida, Makoto Iwahara,
Yusuke Iwasaki, Tsuneko Mitsunaka,
Satoru Murase, Joe Oshima,
Seiko Oshima, Suki Terada Ports,
Koji Sato, Katsuo Takeda
Secretary: Koji Sato
Assistant Secretary: David Hiromura
Treasurer: Tetsuya Fujita
Assistant Treasurer: Kenichi Komeno
The complete listing of all directors will appear in the next
issue of the JAA News.
Annual General Meeting & the New Year Get Together Party
will be held on February 1, 2012. Further details will be announced
of Membership for 2012
JAA membership renewal form has been sent to you in the end of
December. We are organizing information of our members for emergency
purposes and to upgrade our services. Kindly complete the renewal
form if you have had any changes, otherwise, please just return
the form back with your membership fee. Members’ information will
be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to outsiders except
in an emergency.
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 your newsletter and other information by e-mail,
please send your request to email@example.com.
Don’t forget to include your full name when you Email us.
November 10th, Thanksgiving Day Keirokai
A total of 160 delicious Thanksgiving dinners were prepared and
generously donated by Chef Takayoshi Kato who spent three days
in preparation at JAA’s kitchen. The tender roast turkey and creamy
delicious pumpkin pie were enjoyed by all. After the lunch, Ms.
Yoko Furuta sang some beautiful Japanese songs and Kokatsu Mimasuya
gave a performance of Rakugo-Story telling. K・Iwaki band played
music and sing along songs to end this happy event.
December 15th, Year End Keirokai
Toshikoshi Soba and Osechi were served at the Year End Keirokai.
180 obento boxes were prepared by our volunteers who worked for
three days for Osechi. Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki awarded Mr.
Haruo Ito with the 100 year old celebration gift from Japanese
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. He will be 100 years old in 2012.
Dr. Kinichi Shibutani talked on "Season & Health"
and the K. Iwaki Band played popular music of USA and Japan.
Shopping Coupons of $50 from Sun Rise Mart’s President, Tadao
Yoshida were presented to JAA members. Through out the Keiro-kai,
K. Iwaki band brought beautiful music and Karaoke. Mrs. Michiru
Oguri, member of K. Iwaki Band has been sick. We hope she will
have a speedy recovery and come back to join us at Keirokai in
Thank you very
much for your support of JAA !
We wish you every happiness this Holiday Season and Throughout
the Coming Year!
54th JAA Year End Dinner
Eiko Aono, Namie Suzuki Appelbaum, China Airlines, Daiei Trading,
Ken Egawa, Reiko Seo Hsia, IACE Travel, Masuo Ichida, Chieko Inagaki,
Masayoshi Ikuta, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, KOKORO, Chizuko Korn,
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, Yoshie Mooney, Cobi Narita,
Katsumi Oneda, Hiroharu Okamoto, Motoatsu Sakurai, Sakura Shoji,
Masako Sakai, Yoko Sasaki, Kinichi Shibutani, the Takeshige Family,
Setsuji Uematsu and Teruko Yamagata.
Nov. 16 Fund Raising Dinner:
Benefactors ($10,000 and up)
Mr. & Mrs. Shigeo Kida
Patrons ($5,000 and up)
Japanese Medical Society of America, Inc.
ITO EN (North America) Inc.
Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry
NRS Logistics Inc.
Susan J Onuma/Gary S. Moriwaki
Tey Enterprises, Inc. (川廷秀敏)
Supporters ($1,000 and up)
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
Cook Pine Capital LLC
Different Roads to Learning,
Robert K. Emy
David & Lisa McCullagh
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
NHK Cosmomedia America
Tokio Marine Management
Friends ($500 and up)
Gregory Fukutomi, Ann Harakawa, Kimiko Inouye, Keiko Ishida,
Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Michiyo Noda, Fusako Ohta, Kozo Osaki,
Hazue Tamura Rogers, Nobuko & Motoatsu Sakurai,
Maysuko Shibutani, Michi Tahara & Kenji Yoshikawa
Tetsuya Fujita, Mary Ito, Toyokazu Matsumoto, Fumi Raith
Silent Auction donors:
American Airlines, King Pacific Lodge, Shinichi Doi, Wine of
Japan Import, Inc./Robb Report
Sophia Grineva, Katya Grineva, Ito-en (North America), Inc. Kikuichi
New York, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Bon Yagi, Hiroko Onoyama, Susan J. Onuma
Donations to General Fund
$1,000 from Tomiko Sakazume
$1,000 from Mr. Haruo Ito
$661.00 from Ms. Michi Tahara
Corporate Supporters as 12/20/11 *
Ajinomoto North America
Brother Int’l Corp.
Canon USA, Inc.
EISAI USA Foundation
Ito En (North America), Inc.
JFC Int’l Inc.
Kawasaki Heavy Industry
Mitsui & Co., (U.S.A.), Inc.
Orient Corp. of America
Sojitz Corp. of America
Sumitomo Corp. of America Foundation
Toshiba America, Inc.
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
Donation in memory of Mr. George Yuzawa
Alyce Matsumoto, Louise & Gershon Locker
Donation in memory of Mr. Francis Y. Sogi
Julie Azuma, George Mukai, Yumoto, Ota & Miyazaki Law Office,
Sanyo Corp. of America, Dr. Camilo T Uy, Kelley Drye & Warren,
YKK Corp. of America
Donation to Hartman Sakazume Scholarship Fund
$4,000 from Tomiko Sakazume
･20 tickets donated by The New York Mixed Chorus’s Annual Concert
on Nov. 19 at New York Society for Ethical Culture Concert Hall.
･20 tickets donated by the Men’s Glee Club of New York 12th Concert
on Dec. 3 at Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church
of the Members
Mr. Shinichi Doi, former Conservator of Metropolitan
Museum of Art was honored with the Order of the Rising Sun,
Gold and Silver Rays for his outstanding contributions to the
promotion of Japanese culture through art. The ceremony was
held on September 6th at the Ambassador’s Residence.
Ms. Saeko Ichinohe, founder, Director, Choreographer
and dancer of Ichinohe & Co., held the 40th Anniversary
Performance on December 3rd, 2011 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater.
It was a very successful night.
Our members Mr. George Mukai, Mr. John Yoshinaga, Mr. Kaz
(from left) Mr. Yoshinaga, Mr. Mukai,
Yamaguchi, Ralf Iwamoto and Mr. Yoshio Ito were honored
with the Congressional Gold Medal, presented to members of the
100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and
the Military Intelligence Services by the United States Army
on November 2nd, 2011 at Emancipation Hall, of the United States
Capitol Visitor Center.
We are thankful they all survived and are a part of our history
of Japanese Americans in WW11. We thank them and honor their
JAA Archive’s committee will schedule the film "Go for
broke!" so we can see the brave history of the 442nd.
Congratulations to all of you!
Mr. George Yuzawa passed away on October 8th at age
96, and his wife Kimi passed away on November 26th, at
age 94. Their celebration of life was held on November 28th
at the Japanese American United Church and JAA Hall and on the
29th at the Isabella home. Please see more information in "George
Mr. Francis Y. Sogi passed away on November 3rd in
Hawaii, at age 88. He was President of JAA from 1976-79. He
was very active at the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles.
His bio will be in the next JAA News.
Mr. Yoshio Ito passed away on November 15th at Isabella,
age 88. He was born in Brooklyn. He served in Italy and France
as a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and won a Purple
Heart when his leg was wounded. After WW11, he learned watch
mechanisms and finally owned his own jewelry shop in the Pan
Am Building, 200 Park Ave. after he made money as a yellow cab
driver. He met his wife Mary in Toronto in 1960. He was unable
to attend the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony. They lived
at Isabella House.
Mrs. Kazuko Lily Kamitsuka, wife of Reverend Arthur
Kamitsuka, passed away peacefully in her Isabella home at age
Mr. Nobu Yamaguchi passed away at Isabella on December
6th at the age of 97. He was a close friend of George Yuzawa.
We pray for them and their families.
(February 21, 1915 – October 8, 2011)
(March 21, 1917 – November 26, 2011)
George Katsumi Yuzawa, New York City, originally of Los Angeles,
CA, passed away peacefully on October 8, 2011 at the age of 96.
Shortly thereafter, his wife of seventy-one years, Kimiko “Kimi”
(Hattori), age 94, also passed away on November 26th. Loving parents
of Gene (Wyckoff, NJ) and Pat Yuzawa-Rubin (Wilmette IL); in-laws
to JoAnne and Jack; grandparents to Seth and Emiko Rubin, and
George was born in 1915, the eldest of two children of a successful
florist in the Los Angeles area. Influenced by his father, George
participated in numerous school and community programs. George
and Kimi (from Boyle Heights and from a family of five children)
wed in 1940. The WWII evacuation of Japanese Americans forced
the Yuzawa family to move to the Amache Relocation Center in Granada,
Colorado. There, George acted as education liaison and helped
develop the Center’s school system. In 1944, he was released from
“camp” and volunteered for the US Army(MIS), serving in Tokyo
until his discharge in 1946. He returned to the States, moved
his family to NYC and established a florist business with his
father. He owned Park Central Florist until he retired in the
1980s. Busy as he was, he always found time to continue his community
service. George was instrumental in the formation and nurturing
of many organizations such as: the JAA; the JACL NY (charter member);
JAHFA, Asian American Mental Health, West Side Federation for
Senior Housing, Asian Americans for Fair Media, the Nisei Investors
of NY, the Japanese American Lion’s Club of NY, and the Special
Ministry to the Japanese. George introduced many of our senior
members to the Isabella residential services, and helped establish
an exchange program between Isabella and eldercare professionals
from Japan. In 1981, George served as a member of the East Coast
Japanese Americans for Redress and helped organize the commission
hearings in NYC.
Along the way, George served the JAA in many capacities: vice
president, board member, and committee chair, as well as organizing
numerous Japanese cultural, educational, and preservation activities
in New York City. He helped establish the annual spring Sakura
Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at both the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
and Flushing, NY. In the late 1960s, George also helped design
the interior of the Japanese American United Church building,
where he also provided years of leadership as chair, member of
the board of directors, and, later, as one of its elders.
George received recognition and many commendations for his years
of service, including being named JACL (NY) “Man of the Year”
(’75) and receiving its Lifetime Achievement Award (’01); named
a consultant to the U.S.Commission on Civil Rights (’80,) resulting
in an invitation to the White House by President Jimmy Carter;
recognized and decorated by the Emperor of Japan, (receiving the
Order of the Sacred Treasure, fifth class, for his service on
behalf of both Japanese and non-Japanese people, ’83); receiving
the Isabella Geriatric Center’s leadership/Lifetime Achievement
Award (’97); and the Governor’s Award for Excellence from NY Governor
George Pataki for work in the Asian American Community.
George and Kimi resided in NYC until the mid-1950s when they moved
their family to Dumont, NJ. They lived there for almost fifty
years. Throughout the years, Kimi always supported George’s numerous
and varied activities while caring for work, home and family.
In 2005, they moved Isabella.
As the year comes to a close, we are saddened to say goodbye to
our friends, George and Kimi. JAA honors them both.