Senator Daniel K. Inouye (1924-2012)

Senator Daniel K. Inouye made us proud. Proud to be Americans, proud to be Japanese, and proud to be Japanese Americans. He was an example for all of us: how to be heroic yet humble, gentle yet with a core of steel, how to compromise yet never compromise one’s principles. We need not enumerate his accomplishments but we are forever grateful for them. We are especially grateful he was able to participate in our Centennial celebration. Senator Inouye had a vision of what role one should play not just on the local stage of Hawaii, but the broader stage of international relations. He lived that vision and we encourage everyone to adopt it.

Dan left behind so many friends and supporters who loved, honored and respected him. He was a man of the world but also a man of the people. To those who were lucky enough to meet him he would say, "Call me Dan." We will keep the faith and continue his good work.

He also left behind his family – wife Irene, son Ken, step daughter Jennifer, daughter in law Jessica, and grandchild Maggie. Let us always be there for them.

Aloha Dan

Gary S. Moriwaki

JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund

Mother Nature seems quite angry, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who have suffered enormously from Hurricane Sandy. Sandy reminds us of the destructive powers of nature, and even 20 months after the earthquake and tsunami hit Eastern Japan, lives of many have still yet to return to normal. I spent a recent Saturday in Fukushima City, which is located roughly 60 kilometers (a little less than 40 miles) from the crippled nuclear facility. The prevailing wind on March 15, 2011, when the explosion at Daiichi Nuclear facility took place, carried radioactive particles up towards the city of Fukushima, which has a population of roughly 290,000.

It must certainly be odd to be living in the midst of "radioactivity measuring stations", one of which is depicted in an attached photograph.
Citizens visit these stations to scan their bodies and food for radioactivity. Workers at these radioactivity measuring stations spend ample time educating people on how to avoid contaminated food. These privately sponsored measuring stations have become necessary, partly due to Fukushima residents’ mistrust of government officials.

Caught in between, unfortunately, are children of Fukushima. According to a recent survey of 4 to 5 year olds in the area, the average weight gain for the year ending in June was 1.29 pounds, as opposed to 4.96 pounds during the same period in previous years. The main reason cited for this is due to children not being able to play outdoors from fear of coming into contact with radioactive weeds and ground. As a result, the children lack in physical activity that is critical for growth. We are currently in discussion with a number of non-profit organizations that transport children to radioactive-free areas far removed from Fukushima for a weekend or longer, so that kids can run freely outdoors, unencumbered by fear of radiation. Your continued support will help fund this and other initiatives to help victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

I have created a website that chronicles the trips that I have taken to date to the Tohoku area. Please take a look when you have a moment to spare.

With gratitude,
Eiich Kuwana

Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts

As all of you know, the damage of Hurricane Sandy was massive and some members of JAA were evicted to shelters and friend’s homes. JAA prays for a quick recovery. JAA opened the office on Oct.30th and went ahead to hold the Grand Bazaar. After the Bazaar, we donated clothes to EDEN11 in Staten Island, the Community Church of Douglaston in Long Island and Star of the Sea. JAA has established the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund and has started accepting donations. One doctor in Chiba, Japan sent $30,000.00 for the JAA Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund with an appreciation note for what we did for the people in Tohoku. Members of the NY Japanese American Lion’s Club and JAA members, Mr. Shuji Kato and Mr. Nobuo Miki started the "Tomodachi (friends) Project" to assist in the recovery effort in Queens and Staten Island.

JAA 105th Anniversary Gala Dinner

The Japanese American Association held our 105th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, November 17th at the elegant space, Apella, which is located in the Alexandria Center above the East River Drive. Our 150 guests were surrounded by an all windowed space with a spectacular view of the bright lights of our city. We enjoyed delicious food provided by Tom Coliccio’s kitchen, good conversation and each other’s company.

Fred Katayama presided as the master of ceremonies. President Gary Moriwaki welcomed us with a brief history of the Association. Honorary President, Susan Onuma gave a touching tribute to the late Ambassador, Consul General Shinichi Nishimiya, a great friend to our community. She also read a heartfelt note from his widow, Yukiko and announced the establishment of the JAA Nishimiya Scholarship Award which will be awarded starting next spring.

The Consul General, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki congratulated JAA for its long history in supporting the Japanese and Japanese American community and led our 105th Anniversary toast.

Unfortunately, the late Senator Inouye, who was to be our keynote speaker, could not attend, nor could our scheduled Singer, baritone Kurt Kanazawa due to illness.

In lieu of the key note speech, a discussion panel was created involving the importance of the Asian American community gaining access to the political system in the US. Fred Katayama did a great job moderating a diverse and stellar panel comprised of Kaz Yamaguchi, native New Yorker who served in WWII in the MIS for which he received the Congressional Gold Medal, Dr. Jeanette Takamura, Dean of the Columbia University School of Social Work, Kaoriko Kuge, journalist and anchor for Fujisankei TV in New York and Nate Shinagawa, a young politician ( Democrat) , vice chair of the Tompkins County Legislature who just narrowly lost in his bid for the Congressional seat in the newly designated 23rd Finger Lakes-Southern Tier District.

The discussion was lively with insightful remarks ranging from the past into our collective future. They included comments which came back to the need for an organization such as JAA to support the community in all of its diversity.

The dinner ended with announcement of silent auction results and round trip business class tickets to Japan donated by Delta Airlines was won by David Hiromura.

We wish to thank our generous sponsors and donors who joined us for the evening and/or made generous contributions to JAA and our silent auction or raffle. Last but not least, our appreciation goes to all who worked so diligently on the Gala and our wonderful volunteers who always make our events look effortless and filled with great joy through their hard work.
(Please see below list of donors.)

55th Annual JAA Year End Dinner

ifore-center) Ms. Cobi Narita (Photo by Masao Katagami)

(l-r) Ms. Helen Irie & Ms. Ishida
iPhoto by Masao Katagamij

On the evening of December 7th, JAA held its 55th 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 President, Mr. Gary Moriwaki. All of the attendees participated in a candle light service to pray in silence for the victims of Tohoku, Hurricane Sandy and for our supporters and friends who passed away in 2012. 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. Amb. Hiroki announced that Ms. Seiko Oshima received the Emperor Award (Jokun) and photos which was taken at the award presentation on Nov. 9, 2012 in Japan at the Imperial Palace. Dinner began with a "Kanpai-toast" by Dr. Kinichi Shibutani. After dinner, President Moriwaki presented to Ms. Cobi Narita the JAA Award for her long time devotion and support of JAA and especially for her volunteer work for the Jazz community in New York. Kuni Mikami and "The Swing Five Band" played familiar old standard songs for dancing.

The Grand Prize of the raffle, Delta Airlines US Domestic ticket for two went to the lucky winner Ms. Helen Irie who is a volunteer lawyer for JAA’s free consultations.
Many guests enjoyed the dancing, raffle, auction and door prizes.
(Please see below list of donors.)

(l to r) Mr. Moriwaki, Ms. Oshima and Amb. Hiroki


Ms. Seiko Oshima (Vice President and Chairperson of JAA Social Service Committee) has received The Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays from the Japanese government. For more than 25 years, she was the New York Branch President of PPSEAWA of the United Nations as well as a dedicated volunteer for JAA. Born as the eldest daughter of Professor, Yutaka Oshima, she was studying in the U.S. for more than 10 years before moving to France and marrying to Mr. Koji Ichida in Paris.
The couple went back to Japan in 1966, but in 1973 Seiko and Koji with three children moved to the U.S. again. For the reception on November 9th, she had the honor to meet Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace.

Annual Grand Bazaar

In spite of the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, JAA decided to hold the JAA Annual Grand Bazaar on November 3rd, eager shoppers waited at the door before 10am! Many people came from areas where there was no public transportation or no power, but they enjoyed hot noodles, curry rice and other comfort food and most of all, enjoyed seeing and chatting with their friends.

They appreciated JAA’s Bazaar and JAA being open a few days after Hurricane Sandy. We raised $9,000. The Grand Prizes of the raffle, an American Airlines US Domestic ticket which was donated by IACE Travel went to Mrs. Toshiko Inoue and an American Airlines New York/Haneda economy class round ticket went to Mrs. Taka Murata Vangelakos. Thank you to all our volunteers, donors and eager shoppers.

Election of Officers and Directors for 2013@@@

At the General Election meeting on November 28th, officers and directors for the year 2013 were nominated and elected. Mr. Gary Moriwaki was re-elected as President. This will be his 6th term as President of JAA. Mr. Joe Oshima was elected as Treasurer and Ms. Julie Azuma was elected as Assistant Treasurer. Mr. George Hirose was elected as a new member of the board of director. Mr. Noboru Sato will become as a JAA Life Trustees.

Long time JAA Treasurer, Mr. Kenichi Komeno, and directors Masaharu Isogai, Rev. Hoshu Marsubayashi, Mr. Shigetaka Ogihara and Dr. Hiromi Shinya resigned. JAA thanks them for their long years of dedication.

Our Officers for 2013
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: Joe Oshima
Assistant Treasurer: Julie Azuma

The complete listing of all directors will appear in the next issue of the JAA News.

Social Service

Thank you to all our volunteers

Mr. kato

November 15th, 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 KEIwaki band played music and sing along songs to end this happy event.

December 13th, Year End Keirokai

Toshikoshi Soba and Osechi were served at the Year End Keirokai. 180 lunch dishes were prepared by our volunteers who worked for three days for Osechi. Shopping Coupons of $50 from Sun Rise Mart (President, Tadao Yoshida) were presented to JAA senior members. Ms. Tomoko Hayakawa sang the Japanese traditional Minyo songs with Ms. Mihoko Goto’s accordion accompaniment. Ms. Midori Ichikawa played beautiful music on Marimba. The K. Iwaki Band played popular music of USA and Japan.


Thank you very
much for your support of JAA !

55th JAA Year End Dinner
Year End Dinner table sponsors are

Mrs. Chieko Inagaki
Japanese Medical Society of America
Gary Moriwaki/Susan Onuma
Nobuko Cobi Narita
Joe Oshima

Eiko Aono
Julie Azuma
Daiei Trading Co. Inc.
L. Hamanaka
Chisako Haratani
IACE Travel
Masuo Ichida
Yusuke Iwasaki
Japan Stone Arts
Chizuko Korn
Yumiko Morimoto
Hiroko Onoyama
Rinri Tomono Kai
Sakura Shoji
Midori Sasamoto
Kyoko Shinozuka
Sushi ZEN
Michi Tahara

JAA 105th Anniversary Gala Dinner
We wish to thank the following companies, organizations and individuals for their generous support of the JAA.
ITO EN (North America) INC.
Shigeo Kida
Yoko Makino/Gary S. Moriwaki
Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)

$5,000 and above
J.C.C. Fund at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York
Japanese Medical Society of America NRS Logistics
Hiroko Onoyama
Onuma J. Susan/ Kelley Drye & Warren
Orient Corporation of America

$2,000 and above
Cook Pine Capital LLC
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

To $1,000
Roy Ashikari, M.D.
Asian American Federation
Asian Americans for Equality
Julie Azuma
Yasuko Bell
Ann Harakawa
Kumiko Hasegawa
Saeko Ichinohe & George Horishige
IACE Travel
Isabella Foundation
Masaharu Isogai
Mary Ito
Japanese American Citizens League
Kozo Osaki
Kawasaki Heavy Industries (USA),Inc.
David Lin
Alyce Matsumoto
Toyokazu Matsumoto
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, Inc.
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
Tsuneko Mitsunaka
Nobuko Cobi Narita
NHK Cosmomedia America
New York Asian Women’ Center
Setsuko Nishi
Michiyo Noda
Shoko Noguchi
Joe Oshima
Suki Terada Ports
Hazue Tamura Rogers
Nobuko & Motoatsu Sakurai
Masaaki Shimomura
Patrice Aiko Tanaka
T.I.C. Group
Toyota Motor North America
Yasuko Tsuyuki
Jeanette Takamura
Grant Ujifusa
VELTRA Inc. (Tetsuzo Nagashima)
The Yuzawa Family

For silent auction: David Bouley, Jaime Graves, Yaemi Hagiwara,
Kumiko Hasegawa, David Hiromoto, Isao Hirooka, Ito En,
Japan Stone Arts, Inc, Kikuichi New York, Inc., the King Pacific Lodge,
the Kitano Hotel, Yoshiharu Muto, Hiroko Onoyama, Susan Onuma,
Suki Terada Ports, Kamal Ramani, MD,
Sony Corporation of America, Kay Yoshiya.

Other Donations
$1,000 from Ms. Tomiko Sakazume
$3,000 from Mrs. Miyoko Davey
$1,287.00 from free hair cut by Ms. Michi Tahara,
Mr. Shunsuke Takahashi, Shige Kosuda,
Yumi Abe and Taeko Satoh

Thank you very much for your support of JAA !
We wish you every happiness this Holiday Season and Throughout the Coming Year!


Mr. Masayoshi Ikuta passed away on August 15th in Tokyo, Japan. He was 90 years old. He served as a member of the board of director.

Dr. Setsuko Matsunaga Nishi, professor emerita of sociology at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center, died on Nov. 18 at the age of 91. Dr. Nishi was a pioneering scholar of Asian Americans and multiracial relations


Nobuko Cobi Narita has been working as a volunteer in the New York Jazz community since 1969, when she arrived from California. Cobi was born in Los Angeles on March 3, 1926. She has been blessed with seven children, thirteen grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.

In 1989, she married Paul Ash (owner of the Sam Ash Music Stores). She and Paul live in Oyster Bay, Long Island, with two dogs, two cats and a frog.

Cobi founded a jazz service organization in 1976, called Universal Jazz Coalition, Inc. Now 86 years old, she is still very active, publishing a newsletter which goes to 3,000 people each month, producing concerts, helping other organizations with their events, and publicizing the activities of her more than 500 members. And she started New York Women’s Jazz Festival in 1978 with 7 days of music, workshop, jam sessions, and conferences. The festivals feature women leaders, both renowned and emerging, and hundreds of musicians take part.

For several years, Cobi was a member of then New York Koch’s Advisory Committee on the Music Industry; she sat for three years on both the Jazz Organizations Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Presenting Organizations Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts. She was also a Music panelist for the City Department of Culture Affairs and for Art Connection/Art Exposure.

Due to Cobi’s leadership, in May, 1996, Cobi was honored by the Kennedy Center as the 1st recipient of its prestigious Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Award at their 3-day Women’s Jazz Festival and other awards.

She loves the music called Jazz, and has devoted her time, energy, and cash to support the efforts of its artists. Cobi has served on JAA committee for Annual Year End Dinner & Dance and giving her expertise in Music. Cobi always appreciates husband Paul’s support.