Remarks from JAA President Susan J. Onuma
Warmest wishes for a wonderful new year!

After twenty years at our old location, we just completed our first year at our new home. I hope you have all had a chance to visit our new office space and community center, which has been bustling with activity since our move.

Our Community Center is the home of more than 50 different groups and holds hundreds of events in the course of each year. It reflects all of us – our common goals, our interests and our culture. Many people think that because of our name in Japanese – "Nikkeijinkai" – that we are an organization only for Japanese Americans but in reality, for more than 100 years, we have provided services to Japanese and their descendants who first came to the United States for study, marriage or business opportunities. After World War II, JAA supported Japanese living in Japan through LARA Bushi and Japanese Americans who were released from US internment camps and decided to resettle in the NY area rather than return to the West Coast. Currently, there is a great musical on Broadway called "Allegiance" (playing until February 14, 2016) which describes the conflict, challenges and injustices faced by many Japanese living in the US when the US and Japan went to war.

Wherever possible, we try to collaborate and coordinate with other organizations. In addition to our annual Sakura Health Week in the spring and Senior Week in the fall (both of which run for almost 4 weeks and have over 1,500 participants), we have held a joint panel discussion with Nippon Club and the Japanese Medical Society of America and a joint JAA-Hoshuko Alumni Networking event among others. As we approach the 5th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, we are proud to be one of the few organizations still continuing to support NPOs in Tohoku.

As we all go through life-changing challenges or events, the importance of a place like JAA-NY becomes even more important as we reflect on what is important in life – our health, friends and family. I hope that each of you will participate and contribute towards the future of our Community Center. We will have our "shinnenkai" at our Community Center on January 27, 2016. We are very excited to host a new year of activities, programs and events for our community – not just for seniors but for our next generation! Please join us!

A huge thanks goes to our staff and our volunteers who help keep our activities running so smoothly and to all our members, donors and sponsors who help support our activities and mission. We are so grateful to all of you!

Thank you and warmest wishes for a healthy and happy 2016!

Susan J. Onuma, President

Election of Officers and Directors for 2016

At the General Election meeting on December 2nd, officers and directors for the year 2016 were nominated and elected. Ms. Susan Onuma was re-elected as President for the third year. Dr. Yuzuru Anzai was elected as a new Vice President and Mr. Masaki Shimomura and Mr. Bon Yagi as new directors.

Our Officers for 2016
Susan Onuma
Vice Presidents: Yuzuru Anzai, Julie Azuma, David Hiromura,
Shunichi Homma, Keiko Ishida,
Riki Ito, Makoto Iwahara,
Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Satoru Murase, Hiroko Onoyama, Joe Oshima,
Seiko Oshima, Suki Terada Ports, Kamal Ramani, Koji Sato, Katsuo Takeda
Secretary: Koji Sato
Assistant Secretary: Julie Azuma
Treasurer: Joe Oshima

New Vice President:
Yuzuru Anzai, MD

Dr. Anzai is a practicing OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist) in New York. He graduated from Chiba University School of Medicine in 1984 and has been in practice for 31 years. He completed a residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Anzai also practices at NYU Medical Center in New York. He is President of NY Midtown OBGYN, Assistant Professor at NYU Langone Medical Center and President of Japanese Medical Society of America (JMSA).
He said, "I will do my best for JAA and JMSA to grow together."

New Directors:
Masaki Shimomura

Mr. Shimomura moved to the US in 1990, enrolling in Millersville University in Pennsylvania to study accounting and finance. After graduating, he started his career as a CPA in New York, then in 2002, he established his company Shimomura & CO., CPAs. He said that he really appreciates our community’s pioneers for their efforts toward bettering the community. He would like to follow in their footsteps.

Bon Yagi

Mr. Yagi moved to New York in 1975 and started a business in the East Village. His company grew quickly, and he now operates more than a dozen Japanese restaurants serving ramen, sushi, curry, sweets and more. Always generous with contributions, he says he will continue to work for our community.

JAA welcomes our new directors!
We will announce new honorary directors in upcoming issues.

JAA Annual General Meeting & New Year Reception will be held on January 27 (Wed.), 2016 at 6:00PM. New officers and directors will be introduced. Music will be performed by the awardees of the JAA Music Awards. Fee: $50

JAA 108th Anniversary Gala Dinner

We celebrated our 108th Anniversary on Friday, December 4th at the Harvard Club. President Susan Onuma gave a welcome speech, and Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi congratulated JAA for its rich history in supporting the community and for our JAA Community Center. We received congratulatory messages from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocator Letitia James, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, among others. 170 guests enjoyed delicious food, good conversation and great company. The Gala began with Christmas songs by Lindsay Bogaty and was hosted by Emcee Keiko Tsuyama. Entertainment was provided by award-winning jazz Pianist Senri Oe and violinist Erika Mitsui. At the closing, our Vice President Dr. Kamal Ramani said that JAA would like to continue to support the Japanese and Japanese American community in the greater New York area. A grand silent auction was curated by Hiroko Onoyama, who ended the evening with the results. We wish to thank our sponsors and donors who joined us for the evening and made generous contributions to JAA and our silent auction.

Gold table: Mitsubishi Corp. (Americas)
Silver Table: Japanese Medical Society of America
Bronze tables: Toshio Kiso, Gary Moriwaki, Hiroko Onoyama, Masaki Shimomura and Bon Yagi
Donation: JCC Fund, Daiei Trading, NTT America, Inc., Kokoro Foundation

Four Students from Tohoku

The Northeast Association of Secondary Teachers of Japanese (NECTJ), led by Kazuo Tsuda as President, invited four high school students from Japan who had been visiting New York to meet students of the same age group and to discuss their experiences of the disaster in 2011. One student talked about his experience as a volunteer in Onogawa, Miyagi, and his future vision to establish an NPO in underdeveloped countries. Another student was 12 years old when the tsunami struck her hometown of Namie-cho, Fukushima. She described that cold, frightening day and what it was like after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant disaster. She and her family still live in Miyagi prefecture, and they don’t know when they can return. She and her classmates made an illustrated book to describe their experiences of March 11, 2011, stating that there aren’t as many documentary films about Fukushima. Witnessing the tragedy and receiving help from volunteers inspired these students to work for their communities. We were very impressed by the sincerity and strong will of these students. This event was made possible by the "Kizuna Project" of NECTJ, which JAA has supported the last four years.


Through generous funding from the Honjo Foundation, JAA is looking for qualified candidates for its 2016 JAA – HONJO Scholarships. This is open to students who will be enrolled in a full time course of graduate study (except music, arts and medicine) at an accredited U.S. university in the Greater New York area in the academic year 2016-2017. The student should be able to demonstrate an interest in and ideally is already involved in furthering U.S. – Japan relations. Candidates don’t have to be JAA members or Japanese descendants. Due to Presidents’ Day Holiday, deadline for JAA- Honjo Scholarship has been extended to February 16, 2016 noon.

Farewell Party for Consul Aoyagi

JAA held a farewell party for Consul Yoshikatsu Aoyagi, who supported the relationship between JAA and the Consulate General of Japan in New York. He held many lectures on Japanese citizenship and offered advice about safety in New York at Sakura Health Fair, Senior Week and other events. JAA President Susan Onuma presented a "Certificate of Appreciation," a Tiffany’s Crystal Apple and a cookbook for his dedicated service to the community during his tenure of three years and seven months in New York.

We will introduce his successor, Consul Hayato Ishizuka, to our members at our New Year Reception on January 27.

Japanese Language Fall Workshop

26 people attended our language workshop on October 24th. The theme was "Teaching of Japanese Language with Japanese Traditional Arts." Guest speakers gave informative speeches regarding their teaching methods using Rakugo, Noh and Haiku.

JAA Grand Bazaar!

Our Annual Grand Bazaar was held at JAA hall on November 7th with eager shoppers waiting at the door before 10 am! We raised more than $11,000. We held a raffle drawing at 1pm, and Mr. Kiyoshi Morikuni won the grand prize of a pair of Delta Air Lines tickets in the US. Thank you to all our volunteers, donors and shoppers.

JAA-HAA Networking Party

JAA and HAA ( the Hoshuko Alumni Association ) hosted a special networking event for bilingual young professionals in New York on December 16, 2015 at JAA Hall. HAA is a non-profit alumni organization incorporated in 2004, consisting of students who have attended any "Hoshuko" (Japanese schools typically offered to K-12 students on weekends in addition to their American School English curriculum) within the U.S. The event was conceived as an opportunity for young professionals to meet and make connections with business professionals. Over 50 people enjoyed making new connections over delicious food and drinks.

56th JAA Year End Holiday Party

A Holiday Party was held at JAA on Dec.18th. Buffet style food was served to 100 people, most of whom are our members and volunteers. President Onuma gave a speech of appreciation to the JAA volunteers. The opening music was by the JAA Chorus, and all guests enjoyed music performed by Ms. Aki Saijo, Ms. Katya Grineva, and NY Ya Cent.

The JAA Certificate of Appreciation Awards were given to those who volunteered for Senior luncheons/Keiro kai, our mailings, haircuts for seniors and baseball tournament.

(l to r)Ms. Tanaka and Ms. Mitsunaka

(l to r)Mr. Takahashi、Ms. Bolster,
Mr. Kato and Ms. Onuma

Volunteers for lSenior luncheons/Keiro kai

Haircuts for seniors

JAA Chorus


Recipients of Certificate of Appreciation
on December 18, 2015.

The volunteers who contributed more than 50 hours of their time in 2015.

For Keirokai
Masako Tanaka, Rie Shirakawa, Yoko Sasaki, Keiko Nakano, Hiroko Shimizu,
Namie Suzuki Appelbaum, Fumiko Kasama, Ryoko Kittaka, Rie Hattori, Nobuko Katayama,
Kyoko Hunter, Megumi Takahashi

For Baseball
Shuji Kato has worked for JAA Baseball teams for more than 30 years.
Shunsuke Takahashi

For Free hair cut for seniors
Michi Tahara, Shige Kosuda, Shunsuke Takahashi, Nori Sasaki, Toshi Kubota

For mailing
Katsuko Bolster, Haruko Sakurazawa, Ritsuko Takashima, Michi Otani

Thank you for the JAA Volunteers
at Sakagura

On December 16, 2015, Mr. Bon Yagi gave a special luncheon of Toshikoshi Soba to the JAA volunteers in appreciation of their dedicated service to JAA at his restaurant Sakagura.

We thank the following organizations and individuals for their generous support!

•50 tickets from The Men’s Glee Club of New York at New York Society For Ethical Culture on Set. 21, 2015
•20 tickets from The New York Mixed Chorus at the Church of the Holy Trinity on Nov. 21, 2015

Social Service

November 12th, Keirokai
Beef stew, salad and ice cream were served and all seniors enjoyed popular and some nostalgic Japanese songs which were performed by the JAA chorus and Iwaki band. Ms. Yuko Utada showed Kamishibai and Ms. Toshiko Kobayashi held an origami workshop. 90 people participated and 30 lunch boxes were delivered.

Happy Birthday in November

December 10th, Year End Keirokai
Osechi dishes were served at the Year End Keirokai. 165 Osechi lunch boxes were prepared by our volunteers, who worked for three days. 150 gift coupons of $50 and donation of $2,500.00 (total of $10,000.00) from Sunrise Mart’s President, Tadao Yoshida, were presented by Ms. Erina Yoshida to Ms. Onuma, JAA President. The Iwaki Band played Christmas songs and popular music from the US and Japan. Sachiyo Ito & Company performed beautiful Japanese traditional dances.

Happy Birthday in December

(l – r) Ms. Yoshida and Ms. Onuma

JAA Volunteers

Sachiyo Ito & Company

Sachiyo Ito & Company


JAA member Yoshiko Sakuma passed away on November 25, 2015, at age of 86. She served as Keirokai volunteer.

Renewal of Membership for 2016

JAA membership renewal form was sent to you at the end of December. We are organizing information about our members for emergency purposes and to upgrade our services. Please complete the renewal form if you have had any changes then return the form with your membership fee to JAA. Emergency contact information is very important and necessary, especially for those living alone; please make sure to write your most recent information. 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 e-mail. It’s much quicker and less costly than regular mail. Please join our e-mail network.

Allegiance (C) Matthew Murphy

Broadway Show "ALLEGIANCE"

Join us on Broadway! An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, Allegiance follows an American family, the Kimuras, as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden love. Inspired by his true-life experience, George Takei ("Star Trek," "Heroes"), stars alongside Tony winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Aladdin) and Telly Leung ("Glee," Godspell) in this enthralling and epic new musical.
(Discounted tickets for Performances through 2/5/16) From $39 to $89. Visit or call 212-947-8844 and use code ALBWFAN109 or bring a printout of the offer to the Longacre Box Office, 220 West 48th Street. (playing until February 14, 2016)

Kabuki, Noh & Kyogen at Carnegie Hall

The Japanese top performers from Grand Kabuki, Kanze Noh and Kyogen will be together on one stage on March 1st, 2016. The sponsor’s tickets ($5,000 and up, half of ticket price is tax deductible) and regular tickets (from $50 to $500, not tax deductible) are available through JAA. Please contact JAA for your tickets reservations.