President’s greeting

Warmest wishes for a wonderful new year! We just completed our 110th Anniversary year by celebrating at the Metropolitan Club on December 1, 2017. It was a wonderful and festive event.

As we embark on our 111th year, I am honored to serve as your President for another year. The importance of a unique and diverse organization such as ours becomes more relevant during this time of political uncertainty and rising anti-immigrant sentiment and policy and acts of racism. We can never forget that 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated 76 years ago by the US government. I am proud to announce that on December 19, 2017, the New York City Council unanimously approved the establishment of January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. While the day honors a Japanese American who resisted Executive Order 9066 during World War II, the day symbolizes the importance of speaking up to fight against injustice, protecting our civil liberties and upholding the US Constitution. The passing of this resolution was truly a community effort with many organizations and individuals writing letters of support and appearing at the hearings.

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, 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. We are a grassroots volunteer organization. Wherever possible, we try to collaborate and coordinate with other organizations, including the Consulate General of Japan. Our Community Center is home to more than 50 different groups and holds hundreds of events in the course of each year. Both our Apple Kids Program (for families with young children) and JAA Women in Business Group have expanded
in membership. Our Senior Week, which started ten years ago as a one week public program during "Keiro no Hi" in September, has evolved into two six-week programs in the spring and fall focusing
on not just senior/aging issues but healthy living for all ages, drawing over 3,500 participants.

Our annual Sakura Matsuri will be held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on April 21, and we have started a new Tanabata Festival tradition at Riverside Park together with the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Both events continue to grow in popularity each year.

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! However, your support and participation are what keeps JAA going. I hope that each of you will join me to work together to create a stronger community in 2018.

To keep up with our activities, please visit our Facebook page. Please also join us at our "shinnenkai" on January 31, 2018.

With warmest wishes for a healthy and happy new year!
Susan J. Onuma, President

Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution

On December 19, 2017, the NYC Council unanimously passed Resolution 792A spearheaded by Councilman Danny Dromm, establishing January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in NYC. It honors a Japanese American who challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066 which ordered the removal and incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry in concentration camps throughout the United States during WWII. His case began with defiance of the curfew set for only people of Japanese descent, and symbolizes the ongoing need to safeguard civil liberties.
Many thanks go to the amazing dedication and hard work of JACL (the Japanese American Citizens League) – New York Chapter, supported by members of JAANY, and the many community and civil rights organizations that came out in full support of this effort.
Mark your calendars for January’s inaugural commemoration of Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in NYC on January 30th, 2018, and we will update you on planned activities.

For more information on Fred Korematsu:

For photos of Resolution 792’s passage:

Election of Officers and Directors for 2018

At the General Election meeting on December 6th, officers and directors for the year 2018 were nominated and elected.

Our Officers for 2018
President: Susan Onuma
Vice Presidents: Yuzuru Anzai, Julie Azuma, Susan Hamaker, David Hiromura, Shunichi Homma,
Keiko Ishida, Riki Ito, Makoto Iwahara, Yuki Kaneshige, Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Satoru Murase,
Hiroko Onoyama, Joe Oshima, Suki Terada Ports, Kamal Ramani, Koji Sato, Katsuo Takeda
Secretary: Koji Sato
Assistant Secretary: Julie Azuma
Treasurer: Joe Oshima
Longtime board member Mr. Toshiteru Tada resigned.
We really appreciate his many years of volunteer service to JAA.

JAA Annual General Meeting & New Year Reception
will be held on January 31 (Wed.), 2017 at 6:30PM. New officers and director will be introduced. Fee: $30.

JAA 110h Anniversary Gala Dinner

(l to r)Ms. Onuma, Amb. Takahashi, Mr. Takahashi and Mr. Gilbert
(All Photos by Masao Katagami)

Ms. Onuma and Mr. Takahashi

Mr. Gilbert

Mr. Kato and Mr. Valentine

Ms. Ports

JAA volunteers



We celebrated the 110th anniversary of the Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. with 240 guests at a spectacular Gala at the Metropolitan Club on Friday, December 1st. Ms. Ailyn Pérez, Soprano for the Metropolitan Opera, gave a dazzling performance, accompanied by noted pianist Mr. Ken Noda. We were proud to honor Maestro Alan Gilbert, acclaimed Music Director of the New York Philharmonic and newly appointed Chief Conductor Designate of Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie. Maestro Gilbert was the 1987 recipient of the JAA Music Award.

For the first time, we had a Corporate Honoree, Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., an organization that has contributed to JAA’s community and senior initiatives for more than 50 years. We are grateful to Mitsui USA for their generous support of the JAA Keirokai (Seniors’ Luncheons), Committee on Aging Issues, Apple Kids Group, and JAA’s continuing recovery efforts in Tohoku. Several longtime JAA volunteers received recognition as well. Five Keirokai volunteers – Mrs. Yoko Sasaki, Mrs. Rie Shirakawa, Ms. Keiko Nakano, Ms. Hiroko Shimizu, and Mrs. Namie Suzuki-Appelbaum – have all served on the Keirokai Committee for more than ten years. Mr. Shuji Kato, a JAA member since 1976, established the Japan Foreign Ministers Cup Baseball Tournament in 1985, organizing around 20 teams and more than 250 players every summer. Prominent community activist Mrs. Suki Terada Ports has served on various projects as a JAA Board member and Vice President, most notably our Scholarship and Sakura Matsuri Committees.
Thank you to all who attended our 110th Anniversary Gala. You made it a special night to remember!

The list of supporters is below.

Japanese Language Fall Workshop

The autumn workshop of the Japanese Language Committee was held on Saturday, October. 21st with 25 participants. The theme was "Japanese manga / animation and Japanese language education" and analyzed manga and animation literature. In the morning, Professor Shigeru Suzuki from Baruch College talked about the history of manga and the difference between Japanese and American cartoons. He also introduced manga that can be used as a teaching material in class. In the afternoon, Professor Tsuchiya of Vassar College gave a lecture on the effective use of cartoons and comics. Participants also learned about ghosts in Japan as a specific subject in animation. It was a good opportunity to understand animation in a historical and cultural perspective. (Nobuko Kodama)

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 $9,000.

Thank you to all our volunteers, donors and shoppers.

JAA Women in Business

November 18th "JAA Women in Business," formerly known as "JAA Business Women’s Committee," held its second lecture meeting at JAA hall. Ms. Harumi Ikezaki, president of "From Thirty," explained her "Happy Talk Training," which she devised "by choosing words that will make your own happy life." The lecture progressed to an actual training, and the participants were able to experience her method.

Volunteer activities in JAA calligraphy class

Following their participation at Japan Day in May, the JAA Calligraphy class visited 40 Japanese language students at Hunter College at the request of Mr. Akiyo Furukawa of the school’s Japanese Culture Department on November 9. They did a brush writing demonstration of Japanese characters, and students enjoyed calligraphy and a lively cultural exchange.

(Back l to r) Mr. Kubota, Ms.Iwata, Ms. Tahara, Mr Ishizu and (Front) Mr. Takahashi

Free haircut for seniors

Free haircut for seniors by Ms. Michi Tahara, Mr. Shunsuke Takahashi, Mr. Shige Kosuda, Mr. Toshitsugu Kubota, Mr. Nori Sasaki, Ms. Yasuko Tsuda, Tomomi Iwata and Kazuhiro Ishizu. Mr. Shunsuke Takahashi moved to Japan in Oct. We appreciate his ten years services for seniors’ haircut.

The KidZone Program

Thank you to all the energetic JAA members who came out on November 14th to volunteer with children in the KidZone program at Father’s Heart Ministries with the Consulate General of Japan in New York, JAJA, JACL – New York Chapter, and other J/JA organizations! It involved a lot of hard work, but serving free meals and teaching kids about a different culture in the form of origami lessons brought many smiles and enthusiasm all around.

Special thanks to Rich Kameda for his magical talent which delighted the kids, a warm welcome to first-time volunteers Caroline Tofflemire and Shigeru Noguchi, and all our amazing volunteers: Shoko Noguchi, Hideyuki Ishii, Kenji Nagafuchi, Tomofumi Horiki, Jesse Taylor, Yuji Horimoto, Nozomi Terao, Mika Kirihara, Mari Matsumoto, George Hirose, Kenji Nakano, Kumiko Seki, Katsuo Takeda, Yoko Kitahara, Emily Yuri and Yuki Kaneshige.
Please join us next time!

JAA/HAA Networking Young Professionals

JAA and HAA, the Hoshuko Alumni Association, held a fun fall networking mixer for Young Professionals on October 20th. Many thanks to HAA President Jasmine Maika Wilson, Jamie Sugino and Momoko Nakayama for finding the terrific venue, Le Reve restaurant hidden away in midtown. Please join us next time, TBA!

Social Service

October 12th, Keirokai #1
Rice with mushrooms, soup, sesame broccoli and milk jelly were served. Seniors enjoyed singing with Iwaki band.
October 26th, Keirokai #2 

Chirashi sushi, green vegetable, soup and ice cream were served. All seniors enjoyed popular and some nostalgic Japanese songs which were performed by Iwaki band.

Happy birthday for October

Ms. Hanter

November 9th, Keirokai
120 members gathered at JAA. Beef on rice, salad, soup and ice cream were served. November’s Birthday Party was followed by Iwaki band’s music. The rakugo of Sanyutei Ryuraku, who was visiting the United States from Japan, made attendants all smile.

Happy birthday for Nobember

Sanyutei Ryuraku

December 14th, 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. Mr. Takuya Yoshida presented 200 gift coupons of $50 from Sunrise Mart’s President, Mr. Tadao Yoshida, to Susan Onuma, JAA President. 50 of the gift coupons were given to JASSI. The Iwaki Band played Christmas songs and popular music from the US and Japan. Guests also enjoyed the December birthday party and Mr. Shigemasa Nakano’s singing. It was a day to enjoy festive meals and entertainment. Thank you very much!

Mr. Yoshida

Iwaki Band and Mr. Nakano

Happy birthday for December

58th JAA Year-End Holiday Party

A Holiday Party was held at JAA on Dec.15th. Buffet-style food was served to 80 people, most of whom are our members and volunteers. Our President Susan Onuma gave a speech of appreciation to the JAA volunteers. The JAA Chorus provided the opening music, followed by a performance by Ms. Mari Takagi (piano) and Ms. Motomi Tanaka (soprano). All guests enjoyed the music of Iwaki Band and Mr. Tsuyoshi Minamoto.

Congratulations to Mr. Shuho Bon Yagi

Prime Minister Abe and Award Winners

Mr. Yagi and Mr. Sato

Mr. Shuho Bon Yagi, who runs 16 Japanese restaurants in the New York area and also serves as a director of JAA, was chosen as one of five people worldwide as a "Japan Food Overseas Popular Achievement Award Winner." Mr. Yagi was invited to the award ceremony in Japan with Prime Minister Abe in attendance. This award is given by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to recognize people who have made a great contribution to the introduction and dissemination of Japanese food culture abroad. Congratulations, Mr. Yagi!


Through generous funding from the Honjo Foundation, JAA is looking for qualified candidates for its 2018 JAA – HONJO Scholarships. Applications are 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 2018-2019 academic year. The student should be able to demonstrate an interest 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 2/15/2018 at noon.

Renewal of Membership for 2018

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.

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

$3,283.00 from tip of free haircut for 279 seniors by Ms. Michi Tahara, Mr. Shunsuke Takahashi, Mr. Shige Kosuda, Mr. Toshitsugu Kubota, Mr. Nori Sasaki, Ms. Yasuko Tsuda, Tomomi Iwata and Kazuhiro Ishizu. Mr. Shunsuke Takahashi moved to Japan in Oct. We appreciate his ten years services for seniors’ haircut.

110th Anniversary Gala Support
We wish to thank the following companies, organizations and individuals for their generous support of the JAA Anniversary Gala Dinner
$20,000 and above
○ITO EN (North America), Inc.
○Korin Japanese Trading Corp.
$15,000 and above
○Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc.
○MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group)
○T.I.C. Restaurant Group
$10,000 and above
○Canon U.S.A., Inc.
○Shigeo and Akiko Kida
○Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
○Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
○Orient Corporation of America
$7,500 and above
○Hiroko Onoyama and Ken Sugawara
○Susan J. Onuma
○Shimomura & Co., CPAs
○Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP
$5,000 and above
○Dr. Robert Emy
○Chieko Inagaki
○Japanese Medical Society of America Inc.
○Teruhiko Kawase
○Toshio KisoSuki Terada Ports
$1,000 and above
○Anonymous○Julie AzumaSusan Hamaker ○Kumiko Hasegawa
○Japanese American National Museum○Japanese American Social Services, Inc. ○Roy Kirsh
○Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, Inc. ○NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc.
○NIPPON STEEL & SUMITOMO METAL U.S.A., INC. ○Nobuko Cobi Narita ○Masaki and Erika Noda
○Michiyo Noda ○Joe Oshima ○PASONA NA, Inc. ○Motoatsu and Nobuko Sakurai
○Samuel and Junko Snyder ○Matsuko Shibuya○Sony Electronics Inc.
○Taylor & Taylor Associates, Inc.
○Nozomi Terao and Joshua Levine ○Tokio Marine America
○TOP-NY, Tabata Oxford Personnel LLC ○Pat Yuzawa-Rubin
to $999.00
○A and Z Construction and Associates LLC ○Eiko Aono ○Arysta LifeScience America, Inc.
○David C. Chou ○David Hiromura ○Honda Graphics LLC ○Gorgeous Entertainment
○George Hirose ○Reiko-Seo Hsia ○IACE Travel ○Keiko Ishida ○Yuri Ishizuka ○Mary T. Ito
○Riki Ito ○Sumiko Ito ○Japanese Folk Dance Institute of N.Y., Inc. ○J Press ○Kumeko Kageshima
○Eiko Kato ○Shizuko Kato ○Kawasaki Heavy Industries (USA), Inc. ○Nobuko Kodama
○Chizuko Korn ○Mari, Morimoto ○Toshiko Matsukawa ○Kiyo A. Matsumoto ○Mitsui Foods, Inc.
○Tsuneko Mitsunaka ○The New Otani America, Inc. ○New York Buddhist Church
○New York Japanese-American Lions Club ○New York Seikatsu Press ○Shoko Noguchi
○David Okada ○Fumi Matsuki Raith ○Restaurant Nippon ○Yayoi Saito ○Yoko Sasaki ○Mizue Sawano
○Mathew Solo ○Sumitomo Corporation of Americas ○Michi Tahara ○Jeanettee Takamura
○Katsuo Takeda ○Tatsuro Tanaka ○The Nakauma Family ○Tsugie Watanabe ○Kazuko Wilder
○Yomitime, Inc. ○Pat and Gene Yuzawa

Silent Auction Donors
○All Nippon Airways ○Julie AzumaBenjamin Restaurant Group ○Delta Air Lines ○Japan Airlines
○Korin Japanese Trading Co. ○MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) ○Hiroko Onoyama
○Susan J. Onuma ○Suki Terada Ports ○Restaurant Nippon ○Sakura Shoji ○Sony Electronics
○STYLISM, Ltd. ○The Tokyu Hotels ○T.I.C. Restaurant Group TOTO USA

2017 JAA Corporate members:
○All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. ○Canon U.S.A., Inc. ○Delta Air Lines, Inc. ○Eisai USA Foundation, 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 (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) ○NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc.○NRS Logistics Inc.
○NTT America, Inc. ○Orient Corporation of America ○ORIX USA Corporation ○Pasona NA, Inc.
○Relo Redac, Inc. ○Sanyo Corporation of America ○Sony Corporation of America
○Sojiz Corporation of America ○Sumitomo Corp. of America Foundation ○T.I.C. Restaurant Group
○Tokio Marine Management, Inc. ○Topcon Medical Systems, Inc. ○Toyota Motor

○20 tickets to the November 11th concert 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 9th from the New York Male Choir.
○Donation from the ANA New York Senior Association Charity Golf Tournament
Half of the revenue of "ANA Senior Association Charity Golf Tournament" held on June 26 was donated to JAA. President Susan Onuma visited the ANA New York branch office on October 30th and received a $3500 check from Senior Vice President and the Americas General Manager Mr. Hideki Kunugi, who is also the Honorary President of ANA Senior Association. JAA appreciates ANA’s donation.

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

Haruo Ito
(April 15, 1912 – October 3, 2017)

Mr. Haruo Ito passed away at his home on October 3rd, 2017 at the age of 105. He was born the second son of Jihyoe and Kume Ito on April 15th, 1912 in Seattle.
He was raised by his grandparents in Ichinomita City, Aichi Prefecture, until high school, when his father asked him to return to the U.S. because he worried about the safety of Japan after the Manchurian Incident. During WWII Haruo entered Manzanar Internment Camp in California where he met Mary Meriko Uyehara, his future wife.
After two years in the Camp, he moved to New York at age 32. He worked very hard with his younger brother, Mitsuo, at restaurants in the city. He made enough money to open his own coffee shop, Tokyo Coffee, near Times Square. He and Meriko worked hard at this small 10-seat shop that was always packed with customers, and the hamburgers and hot dogs were very popular. They moved the shop to lower Manhattan, and when the World Trade Center took over the site, they moved again to the Wall Street area.
Haruo retired at 65 years of age. He and Meriko enjoyed traveling and visited many foreign countries. After Meriko passed away, his joy was talking with people at the JAA Keirokai. He is survived by his daughter, Riki.