President’s Remarks
Warmest wishes for a wonderful New Year!

I hope you have all had a chance to visit our new office space and community center which have been bustling with activity since our move two years ago.

Wherever possible, we collaborate and coordinate with other organizations, including the Consulate General of Japan. In addition to our annual Sakura Health Month in the spring and Senior Month in the fall (both of which have been expanded over the years from one week to 4 weeks and now have more than 3,500 participants), we have raised funds for Kumamoto and continue to provide funds to Tohoku. This year, we were thrilled to have Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife, Mrs. Akie Abe, join our special keirokai luncheon in September.

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 Busshi 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. Our mission is to serve and support Japanese living in the New York area – whether they were born here, reside here or just passing through.

As we embark on our 110th Anniversary in 2017, the importance of a unique and diverse organization such as ours becomes more relevant during this time of political uncertainty. We can never forget that 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated almost 75 years ago by the US government. The talk about the necessity of a Muslim American registry using the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II as a "precedent" is alarming as anti-immigrant sentiment and racism comes out in full force, not just against Muslims but Asians and all minorities. I hope that each of you will join us to work together to create a stronger community. Please join us at our "Shinnenkai" on January 25, 2017. 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!

I wish to thank all of our volunteers and our staff, without whom this organization could not operate, and our generous members, donors and supporters who help support our activities and mission. We are so grateful to all of you!

Warmest wishes for peace, joy and good health in the New Year!

Susan J. Onuma, President

Report from Mr. Gary S. Moriwaki,
chairman of JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund
Mr. Bobby Valentine’s visit Ofunato
on Oct. 29 & 30, 2016

On October 29, on a chilly day, we traveled to Ofunato with Bobby Valentine and Satoshi Kitahama (of the Kizuna Foundation) to reconnect with our friends from Ofunato. Two years ago, Bobby V visited Ofunato with a team of fourteen 15-year-olds, along with their coaches and parents, who participated in a baseball camp and games with their compatriots from the Tohoku region. That visit was embarked upon to encourage the survivors of the 3-11 disaster. The Mayor and other town officials expressed their thanks to Bobby, Satoshi and JAA for their efforts in 2014. October 30 also marked the start of a new seniors team based in Ofunato. Bobby intends to bring that team to the US next August to continue our goodwill efforts and to demonstrate to our friends in Tohoku that they are not forgotten. Please stay tuned for further details.

JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund
Mitsui Road Runners donated $3,625 to JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund

Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A), Inc. President & CEO Mr. Yasushi Takahashi with employees and their families Cheering for all NYC Marathoners.

Year 2 of the Mitsui "Running for Tohoku Initiative" resulted in 19 employees on 26 NYRR (New York Road Runners) race dates running 123 races during 2016, coordinated by Mitsui Road Runners, and 22 Mitsui employees with family cheering at the NYC Marathon. (12 Mitsui employees ran and finished the Marathon that day!) Mitsui USA Foundation Matching Volunteers donated $3,625 in support of the Japanese American Association of New York’s ever-continuing efforts to assist Tohoku, Japan.

Earthquake Relief Fund

As of Oct. 31, 2016, JAA raised $87,000 for the Kyushu Earthquake Relief Fund, which included $58,000 from May 15th event organized by Kyushu no Kai, led by Mr. Yoroku Adachi, chairman of CANON U.S.A. Inc. On November 14, 2016 at our monthly Keiorkai, we presented $30,000 to NPO Kumamoto through popular singer Kiyoko Suizenji, who was born in Kumamoto and visited New York for the fundraising concert "Together for Kumamoto with Chita" (Suizenji’s nickname). See more details in the November Keirokai section.


Through generous funding from the Honjo Foundation, JAA is looking for qualified candidates for its 2017 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 2017-2018. 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. The deadline for applications is 2/15/2017 noon.

JAA 109h Anniversary Gala Dinner

We celebrated our 109th Anniversary on Friday, December 2nd 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 victims of the earthquakes in Tohoku as well as in Kumamoto and Oita. We received congratulatory messages from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocator Letitia James, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, among others. 160 guests enjoyed delicious food, good conversation and great company. The Gala was hosted by Emcee Nozomi Terao, who became JAA’s new director in 2017. Live music was provided by jazz pianist Kuni Mikami and actor/singer Mr. Rob Narita, José Adán Pérez performed special opera songs accompanied by pianist Ms. Michiyo Morikawa. At the closing, our Vice President Julie Azuma said that JAA would like to continue to support the Japanese and Japanese American community in the greater New York area. She announced the results of our sold-out silent auction. We wish to thank our sponsors and donors who joined us for the evening and made generous contributions to JAA and our silent auction. The list of supporters is below.

Election of Officers and Directors for 2017

At the General Election meeting on November 30th, officers and directors for the year 2017 were nominated and elected. Ms. Nozomi Terao was elected as a new director.

Our Officers for 2017
President: 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
Long-time board members : Mr. Ken Egawa, Mr. Tetsuya Fujita, Mr. Keiichiro Hayashi,
Mr. Takayoshi Kato, Ms. Nobuko Cobi Narita and Ms. Aileen Yamaguchi resigned.
We really appreciate their many years of volunteer service to JAA.

New Director:Nozomi Terao is the Founder and Executive Director of MSTERIO, an organization in the US and Japan that uniquely connects young people around the world, through giving and collaboration. Born and educated in Japan, Nozomi worked at the American Embassy in Tokyo, Fuji Television’s morning show, Itochu International in New York, and Morgan Stanley for 18 years, retiring in 2006 as an Executive Director. Nozomi began MSTERIO, first in Japan in 2001 and in the US in 2011. She devotes her full time to MSTERIO and several other charity organizations as a board member of Ashinaga USA Inc, Engaged Asia, Inc., and Music for Hearts in Japan.

JAA Grand Bazaar

Our Annual Grand Bazaar was held at JAA hall on November 5th with eager shoppers waiting at the door before 10 am! We raised more than $10,000.
Volunteers’ names are below.
Thank you to all our volunteers, donors and shoppers.

57th JAA Year End Holiday Party

Mr. Fujitaisecond form leftj

Ms. Yamaguchiicenterj


Ms. Tanaka

JAA Chorus

A Holiday Party was held at JAA on Dec.16th. Buffet-style food was served to 100 people, most of whom are our members and volunteers. Our Vice President Suki Ports gave a speech of appreciation to the JAA volunteers. The JAA Chorus provided the opening music, and all guests enjoyed jazz piano music performed by Kuni Mikami. The JAA Certificate of Appreciation Awards were given to Ms. Aileen Yamaguchi and Mr. Tetsuya Fujita for their long-time support of JAA.

Japanese Language Fall Workshop

About 30 participants attended the Autumn Japanese Language Education Committee on October 29, and it was a great success. The theme was "Subculture and Japanese Language Education." The morning lecture was given by Ms. Kazue Kurahara, who is teaching manga classes at Japan Society. These classes teach students to read manga, feel expression from the context, and perform. Next, we announced the essay written by Ms. Nana Komatsubara and Mr. Garrett Kono of the United Nations International School. In the afternoon session, Yuniya Kawamura, professor of sociology at Fashion Institute of Technology, gave a lecture on "Sneakers’ Subculture from the View of Sociology." She discussed how the sneaker subculture developed in the US. It was a meaningful workshop to better understand subculture.
Kodama Nobuko

JAA Women Business Committee

Ms. Yano

Ms. Kuris

Ms. Kobayashi

Monthly meeting
October 12th

A lecture was given by Ms. Rie Yano, Representative Director of Material World, an online fashion trade-in service company. More than 100 people, mainly young people in the fashion business and entrepreneurs, participated. Ms. Yano talked about her own experiences of being an entrepreneur.

November 21st
The lecturer was Ms. Yoshiko Kurisu, who runs "Sora," a business coaching company in Japan. Ms. Kurisu discussed her own theory and practice of "Anger Management" and the science of emotion.

December 14th
Invited guest speaker was Ms. Teruko Kobayashi, a pioneering Japanese make-up artist and founder of the research institute Be•Fine Co Ltd. She gave an informative lecture about encountering our true enchantment and what defines beauty.

JAA Annual General Meeting & New Year Reception will be held on January 25 (Wed.), 2017 at 6:30PM. New officers and director will be introduced.

Renewal of Membership for 2017

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 and 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.


There has been a scam involving calls from fake Con-Ed Employees. A Con-Ed phone number may appear on your caller ID, but they are in fact scammers. Call Con-Ed back to see if the call is legitimate.

Social Service

October 13th, Keirokai #1
Beef on rice, green vegetable and ice cream were served. Seniors enjoyed singing with Iwaki band.
October 27th, Keirokai #2
Rice with mushrooms, soup, sesame broccoli and orange jelly were served. Japanese Noto chopsticks were donated by Seventh Sense Productions. All seniors enjoyed popular and some nostalgic Japanese songs which were performed by the JAA chorus and Iwaki band.

Happy birthday for October

November 14th, Keirokai
On November 14th, famed Japanese singer Ms. Kiyoko Suizenji visited JAA for Keirokai and a ceremony for the Kumamoto earthquake relief funds. 120 members from 65 years old to 104 years old gathered. Mr. Masaki Shirata, representative of NPO corporation "9/11 Circle Wind Memorial Concert," and Mr. Nobuyoshi Kimoto of Kyushu no Kai also participated. JAA President Susan Onuma and Mr. Kimoto presented a check of $30,000 from the Kumamoto Earthquake Relief Fund to Ms. Suizenji. Mr. Shirata also gave donations that were collected at the previous day’s charity concert. Ms. Suizenji will visit Kumamoto after returning to Japan. After eating, everyone sang "March of 365 Steps," one of Ms. Suizenji’s most popular songs.

JAA President Susan Onuma and Mr. Kimoto presented a check of $30,000 from the Kumamoto Earthquake Relief Fund to Ms. Suizenji.

December 15th, Year-End Keirokai
Osechi dishes were served at the Year-End Keirokai. 180 Osechi lunch boxes were prepared by our volunteers, who worked for three days. 150 gift coupons of $50 from Sunrise Mart’s President, Tadao Yoshida, were presented by Ms. Takuya Yoshida to Ms. Onuma, JAA President. The Iwaki Band played Christmas songs and popular music from the US and Japan. Mr. & Mrs. Toyoharu Nagamoto performed beautiful Japanese songs and dances.
Your Special Birthday Foundation presented Nippon Club lunch coupons to five birthday people for each month. Thank you very much!

Mr. Yoshida (left) and Ms. Onuma

Happy birthday for December


We wish to thank the following companies, organizations and Individuals for their generous support of the JAA.

$2,702.00 from tip of free hair cut for seniors
by Ms. Michi Tahara, Mr. Shunsuke Takahashi, Mr. Shige Kosuda, Mr. Toshitsugu Kubota, Mr. Nori Sasaki and Ms. Yasuko Tsuda.

109th Anniversary Gala Support
We wish to thank the following companies, organizations and individuals for their generous support of the JAA.

> Shigeo Kida Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)

> ITO EN (North America), Inc.
> J.C.C. Fund at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York
> Japanese Medical Society of America, Inc. > Toshio Kiso > Kita Capital Management
> Hiroko Onoyama & Ken Sugawara > SHIMOMURA & CO., CPAs > T.I.C. Restaurant Group

> DIFFERENT ROADS TO LEARNING, INC. > Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll Bertolotti LLP
> Gorgeous Entertainment, Inc. > Japanese American Social Services Inc.
> Kawasaki Heaby Industries (U.S.A.), Inc.. > Toyokazu Matsumotoo > Mitsui Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
> Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, Inc. > MUFG Union Bank, N.A. > M & Chelsea Corp.
> Gary S. Moriwaki > Nobuko Cobi Narita > NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc. > NTT America, Inc.
> Susan J. Onuma > Orient Corporation of America > Mr. & Mrs. Motoatsu Sakurai
> Sanyo Corporation of America > Tabata Oxford > Taylor & Taylor Associates, Inc.
> Tokio Marine Management, Inc.

Donors for Silent Auction
> America Ootoya, Inc. > Julie Azuma/DRL, Inc. > BENJAMIN > Go! Go! Curry!
> KOKORO Korin Japanese Trading Co. > Kyoko Stained Glass Art Studio > Masaaki Noda
> Hiroko Onoyama > Sakura Shoji Inc. > Sony Corporation of America > Stylism Ltd.
> T.I.C. Restaurant Group > Toto Washlet > Kyoko Tokuhiro

2016 JAA Corporate members:
> All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. > Canon U.S.A., Inc. > DAIEI TRADING Co., Inc. > Delta Air Lines, Inc.
> Eisai USA Foundation, Inc. > Fujisankei Communications Int’l, Inc. > IACE Travel
> Ikebana International NY Chapter > ITO EN (North America), Inc.
> Kawasaki Heavy Industries (U.S.A.), Inc. > Mitsubishi Corporation Americas
> Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, Inc. > Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation > Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
> MUFG Union Bank, N.A. > NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc. > Nippon Express USA, Inc.
> NRS Logistics Inc. > NTT America, Inc. > Orient Corporation of America > ORIX USA Corporation
> Pasona NA, Inc. > Sony Corporation of America > Sojiz Corporation of America
> Sumitomo Corp. of America Foundation > T.I.C. Restaurant Group
> Tokio Marine Management, Inc. > Toyota Motor

2016 JAA Corporate members:
›All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.›Canon U.S.A., Inc.›DAIEI TRADING Co., Inc.›Delta Air Lines, Inc.
›Eisai USA Foundation, Inc.›Fujisankei Communications Int’l, Inc.›IACE Travel
›Ikebana International NY Chapter›ITO EN (North America), Inc.
›Kawasaki Heavy Industries (U.S.A.), Inc.›Mitsubishi Corporation Americas
›Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, Inc.›Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation›Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
›MUFG Union Bank, N.A.›NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc.›Nippon Express USA, Inc.
›NRS Logistics Inc.›NTT America, Inc.›Orient Corporation of America›ORIX USA Corporation
›Pasona NA, Inc.›Sony Corporation of America›Sojiz Corporation of America
›Sumitomo Corp. of America Foundation›T.I.C. Restaurant Group
›Tokio Marine Management, Inc.›Toyota Motor

Our volunteers for Flea market & Bazaar 2016;
Antique items, accessories and bags: Matsuko Shibuya, Chieko Yamamoto,
Shizuko Kato, Fusako Ota, Eiko Aono, Kikuko Hosono, Sachiko Suzuki, Kazue Yoneyama,
Keiko Freehauf, Kazuko Stone, Toshiko Hagihara, Terue Saito,
Library: Naomi Miyakita, Takako Johnson, Tomoko Lee, Yukie Clark, Sachiko Tokuda
Clothes: Kazuyo Wilder, Yuri Ishizuka, Naomi Fujiwara, Naomi Kono, Machiko Sanada, Ritsuko Suzuki
Odds and Ends: Etsuko Takahashi, Suki T. Ports, Aileen Yamaguchi, Beverly Mastropolo, Hilda Ohara,
Frances Matsuo, Chinas and Glasses: Kiyoshi Morikuni, Yoshiko Kurihara, Yoko Kagami, Fusako Harada
Handicraft: Taka Murata, Yaemi Hagiwara, Hiroko Homma, Tokiko Miura, Tsuneko Smith, Risa Tashiro
Clothes, shoes and toys: Shuji Kato, Okiko Cartridge, Haruko Sakurazawa, Akira Suzuki, Hideo Nakamura
Foods: Masako Tanaka, Rie Shirakawa, Yoko Sasaki, Keiko Nakano, Hiroko Shimizu, Namie Suzuki,
Fumiko Kasama, Akane Enoki, Ryoko Kittaka, Keiko Nakanishi, Mari Morimoto, Madoka Hasegawa,
Rie Hattori, Kyoko Hunter, Miho Negron, Masako Kageayama, Hikaru Aono, Chizuko Korn

• 50 tickets to a charity concert at Symphony Space on November 13th to support disaster areas affected by the Kumamoto earthquake from "9 /11 memorial Kaze-no-Wa".
• 20 tickets to the concert on November 19th at the Church of the Holy Trinity from the New York Mixed Choir.
• 10 tickets to the 16th Regular Concert at The Church of the Holy Trinity on December 3rd from the New York Male Choir.
• A mystery-suspense book written by our member Mr. Hideo Dan was donated to the library.
Thank you very much.
JAA really appreciates their continued support. Thank you very much!

In Memoriam

  • Ms. Momoko Chino, the owner of the Chino Gallery in Manhattan, passed away at Isabella Nursing Home on October 8, 2016 at the age of 95. She came to NYC in 1957 and taught at Manhattan Community College as an associate professor.
  • JAA member Tamiko Tanno passed away at Isabella Nursing Home on November 11, 2016 at the age of 92
  • JAA member Masa Shirato passed away on October 31, 2016 at the age of 100. She studied the pipe organ and Christian music at Tokyo University of the Arts and came to NY in 1941 to marry Columbia University Professor Ichiro Shirato.
  • JAA member Masaji Matsuzaki passed away at home on December 2, 2016 at the age of 83.
    JAA extends our deepest sympathies and condolences.