President Remarks

I hope you have all had a chance to visit our new office space which we are so happy and excited about. A huge thanks goes to our Executive Director Michiyo Noda, staff members Naomi Adachi and Kuni Mikami and special volunteer Stephanie Kato for their hard work before and after the move. Special thanks to all our regular volunteers who have helped get our activities such as keirokai and our upcoming Holiday Bazaar get off the ground and running so smoothly!

After twenty years at our old location, we are embarking on a fresh new start for the JAA-NY. As you may know, we debated whether to just rent office space or to rent space large enough to hold our many community events. In the end, we opted for the larger space because we felt it was important for our members and the community at large. Our Community Center is the home of over 50 different groups and holds hundreds of events in the course of each year starting with our 8th Annual Senior Week which is going on from November 8 – 23, 2014.

We believe this move will emphasize that the Japanese American Association is the center of our community. But we cannot continue to do this without each of your help and support. On December 5th, we are going to celebrate our 107th year of serving the JAA-NY community. Due to time constraints, this year, our year- end holiday dinner will be combined with our annual fundraiser. It will be a festive event at the Harvard Club. Please join us! And on December 13 we will be holding our Holiday Bazaar – just in time for your holiday shopping.

The Community Center reflects all of us, our common goals, our interests and our culture. It’s a continuing celebration of our community and each of us. As several of us, including myself, have gone through some health or life changing challenges or events this year, the importance of a place like JAA-NY becomes even more important as we reflect on what is important in life. I hope that each of you will participate and contribute towards the future of our Community Center.

Thank you and warmest wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season!

Susan J. Onuma, President

community hall
(over 125 people capacity)


consultation room

bright useful kitchen

JAA’s New Home

On September 19 and 20, 100 boxes, 150 chairs and 20 tables and desks were brought over to our new home, 49 West 45th Street, 11th Floor.

As we combed through boxes filled with records from around 1935 to now, one very important record were the minutes of the first meeting of the New York Japanese American Community for Japan Relief in hand written Japanese. It was interesting and heartwarming to see that JAA’s core mission – to serve our community – was the same then as it is now even with the passage of many changes over the last 100 years.

Special appreciation goes to our JAA staff and volunteers : Naomi Miyakita and Kuni Mikami, and Suki T. Ports, Noriko Hayashi, Sachiko Tokuda, Shuji Kato, Akira Suzuki, Namie Suzuki, Stephanie Kato and group of Keirokai volunteers and JAA Chorus.

Our new home: community hall (over 125 people capacity), library, consultation room, office and bright useful kitchen.

Michiyo Noda, Executive Director

JAA 107th Anniversary Gala Dinner

We will celebrate our 107th Anniversary "Fund Raiser for our new JAA Community Center" on Friday, December 5, 2014 at the historical Harvard Club. Our dinner speaker is Professor Shin-Ichi Fukuoka, award winning author and scientist and performance by José Adán Pérez, Baritone. Dinner for an individual is $500.00, Gold- One table (10 people) and full page B/W Ad is $10,000, Silver – One table (10 people) and full page B/W Ad is $7,500, Bronze-One table (10 people) $5,000 and half page Ad. Your support for this event will be highly appreciated!! Additional Ad space for the Journal is available for your congratulatory wishes for our new office and community center. Please contact JAA office for more information.

JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund

This year, JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund supported many organizations: Global Giving Foundation, Peace Boat, Ashoka Japan, Kizuna Foundation and International House of Japan which invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as entrepreneurship and leadership programs, for a total $90,000.00.

KASHMIR Disaster Relief Efforts

In September 2014 massive flooding affected large areas of the Kashmir region. Many portions of populated areas remain submerged, and there is loss of life together with a massive destruction of residential and commercial property. Hard hit were hospitals, other health care facilities, schools and the communications network. There is a growing risk of water borne diseases and with the advent of winter, there is the danger of starvation and additional loss of life.
Please help by clicking on this website:

Dual Nationality of Children: Current & Future

Workshop for Dementia

The 8th Senior Week

The 8th Annual Senior Week has been held from Nov. 8 to Nov. 23 at the new JAA Hall. This event is developed by the JAA Committee on Aging Issues and co-sponsored by JAMSNET (Japanese Medical Support Network) with support from the Consulate General of Japan in New York. Our community reputation has been on the rise, many made reservations from the very beginning. Programs will be Dual Nationality of Children, Tips on Getting One’s Affairs/Documents in Order, U.S. tax treaty between Japan and USA, Japanese nationalities and welfare in Japan, Pre mama club, Estate Planning & Medicaid Planning & Consultation on Wills and other programs for all ages.

JAA 21st Anniversary Charity Golf Tournament

(l to r)Mr. Moriwaki, Mr. Hirako
Mr. Hayakawa and Mr. Hiromura

Mr. Sakamoro(r)

four super seniors

Mr. Shigeno (r)

(l to r) Ms. Ishida and Mr. Hiromura

Our Annual Charity Golf Tournament was held on Sept. 15, 2014 at Haworth Country Club in NJ with 107 eager players. The tournament started under the new Peoria Rules at 9:30 am with beautiful weather. Mr. Frank Hayakawa won for a 2nd time (first time in 2009) at our tournament. He received the JAA champion trophy from golf committee co-chair David Hiromura and ANA Business Class Air Ticket from Mr. Yuji Hirako, Vice President of the Americas of ANA. Mr. Makoto Sakamoto took 2nd Place and 3rd Place went to Mr. Tom Shimura. We gave special awards to four super seniors. The Grand prize of the raffle, ANA Business Class Air Ticket went to Mr. Yohei Shigeno. The Raffle raised $4,500.00. Donations to this Tournament received from individuals and corporations are listed below.

Members of the Golf Committee are: David Hiromura and Michi Tahara (Co-chairs), Kiyoshi Egawa, Kazuhisa Enokida, Shige Kosuda, Sho Suzuki and Casey Taniguchi.

ACT 2015

As the coordinator of an ad hoc Japanese Community Committee supported by Project CHARGE of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, Mrs. Suki Terada Ports, Bd member of JAA, announced a 2015 project to provide answers to questions from people in the Japanese and Japanese American community on November 22 and Dec. 1, 2014 at JAA Hall.
Navigator Ms. Minja Hong, Director of the ACA Project at the Korean Community Services Public Health and Research Center (KCS) will provide again the information.

NY State’s Program is called,
The New York State of Health at 855-355-5777 or
If you want to enroll through NY State’s Marketplace please call a NY Navigator near you or call KCS Navigators at 212-463-9685 for help and info.

New Jersey residents should call 800-318-3596 or
Connecticut residents should call 855-805-4325 or

JAA Japanese Language Committee Workshop

The 2014 Fall Workshop was held on October 25th with two presentations by Ms. Nobuko Kodama from FIT and Ms. Tomoko Graham from Noble and Greenough School, with a and discussion on Development of ICT. A Creating Curriculum discussion was led by Mr. Kazuo Tsuda, UNIS. 30 Japanese language teachers attended.

Year End Holiday Party will be held at JAA Hall on December 17, 2014.

Holiday Grand Bazaar will be held on Saturday, December 13, 2014 from 10 am – 2pm.


★Midori Ann Iwama, recipient of JAA scholarship Hiroshi & Michiyo Wada Award in 2009, graduated Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Art in May and started to work as actress/talent, her first national commercial of Liberty Mutual is on air now. By her grandmother Mrs. Midori Iwama

★Barney Lawrence Soskin, recipient of JAA Scholarship-Mitsui USA Foundation Award in 2005, is engaged to Rachel Weislow, a lawyer and a teacher and plan to wed next September. He earned a BA in Biochemistry and a master in Medical Sciences. Currently, Barney is in his third year of medical school at Boston University of Medicine where he is deeply committed to do not only caring for ill patients but working toward improved and more effective treatment. By his grandmother, Mrs. Chieko Inagaki.

REONA ITO, founder, music director, The Reona Ito Chamber Orchestra and Chorus, has achieved 3rd place nationally in the professional orchestra division of The American Prize in Conducting in October, 2014. Maestro Ito was selected from applications reviewed this year from all across the United States. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts.

Apple Kids

"Playing with parents" will be held on November 14. Applekids library was opened with two carts with over 200 books. Discussion of administration system of New York City Middle school will be held on December 7. More details will be announced later.

Social Service

Last Keirokai at old office
on September 11th

Our volunteers made delicious Obento for all seniors, some brought them home because we were packing for our move.

First Keirokai at new office
on October 23rd
First keirokai was held with Obento, Iwaki band’s music and celebration of October birthdays.


Sue Yasue Kubo passed away on August 18th 2014 at home in Brooklyn, New York. She was born Yasue Sumida on January 2, 1920 in Seattle, Washington. During WWII, she and her family were interned at Tule Lake, and after the war, she moved to Chicago. There she was the executive secretary to the president of the Blackstone Hotel. She married Gene Seigo Kubo of Tacoma and later moved to New York City where she gave birth to 4 sons. She is survived by her sons, Ken, Kerry, Kelvin and Karson, as well as many nieces, nephews and grandchildren. Her memorial service was held on Sunday, September 14th 2014 at 3pm at the Japanese-American United Church (255 7th Ave) in Manhattan.

Hideki Kubota passed away on September 19th of a stroke. Funeral was held at C.C. Van Emburgh Funeral Home on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by his daughter Nina Kubota.

Thank you very much for your support of JAA !

$1.308.00 from the 5th Annual Japanese Heritage Night which held on July 11, 2014 at the New York Mets to JAA Committee on Aging Issues.

Special thanks to the following Sponsors for JAA Charity Golf tournament

○ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS/ANA ○ANA Gift Service ○ANA Trading ○A.Ryuji Funakoshi Hair Salon
○Arysta LifeScience America Inc. ○Brother International ○Canaletto Restaurant
○Caddie’s Corner Golf, Inc. ○Chung, Norman ○Crystal Spring Resort ○Daiei Trading Co.
○East 53 St. Chiropractic Center ○Egawa International ○Fujita, Tetsuya ○Furumoto Realty
○Hajime Restaurant ○Hatsuhana Restaurant ○Haworth Country Club ○Hiromura, David
○IACE Travel ○Imperial Hotel ○Ito En (North America) ○Kirin Brewery of America
○Kitano New York ○Kiteya SOHO New York ○Land of Plenty Chinese Restaurant
○Momotaro Beauty Salon ○Michi Beauty Salon ○Milbon USA ○MiNGEL ○Nippan Daido USA
○Nishimoto Trading ○NRS Logistics Inc. ○Onoyama, Hiroko ○Onuma, Susan
○Orient Corp. of America ○Pete’s Golf ○Prince Hotel ○Pinewild CC of Pinehurst
○Richardson, Ambrose M. ○Sakura Shoji ○Sanada, Machiko ○Sapporo Beer USA
○Sasaki, Yoko ○Sea Fire Grill, The ○Shiseido Americas Corp. ○Shizuka New York
○SOBA TOTTO ○Solera Restaurant ○Sushi-Den ○Sushi Tsushima ○Suzuki, Kazu
○Takaokaya ○Tao Consultants ○Taylor & Taylor ○T.I.C. Inc. (Hasaki & Sobaya)
○Tokyu Hotels ○Toyota Motor North America, Inc. ○Trend Pot NY (Japion)
○Tsukushi Restaurant ○Wave 55 Hair Salon ○Weekly Business News Corp.
○Windels Marx Lane & Mittendrof, LLP ○Yomitime Inc.


Leading, Legal Counsel to "Japan Inc." and
A Pillar of the Japanese Community in New York
Jiro Murase

Jiro Murase, 86, Second generation, Japanese American Attorney, passed away on August 5.

Mr. Murase was born in 1928, right before the Great Depression, as a second son of Kuro and his wife, Miyo in New York. His father, Kuro Murase came to America to learn modern medicine on ophthalmology at a New York City medical school in 1911 because he served as a military doctor during the Russo-Japanese War without anastesia on the battlefield.
Jiro witnessed the Great Depression when he was four years old in New York. Throughout his life, he never forgot that sight of children wrapped in rags begging in the streets.
Due to his father’s great wish to educate his son in Japan, Jiro along with his mother took a ship to Japan from San Francisco in 1936. On the day WWII ended, he was living in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, where his mother’s family lived. He was a student at Ashiya Middle School.  
He returned to the USA in 1947, joined the US army after which, he went to Georgetown University Law School to become an attorney.
He started his law career in 1958. After Japan hosted its first Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, Japan’s economy grew. Along with the growth, economic conflict between Japan and the USA became a serious political issue. Jiro Murase became a member of the President’s advisory committee on trade under former President Carter’s administration from 1977 to 1981. He also served on the State Department’s advisory committee on multinational corporations, the Trilateral Commission and others. He was an enormously successful attorney with key influences in both political and business circles in the United States.
Those consulting Mr. Murase included Shintaro Abe, father of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Sony’s founder, Akio Morita who met him during the 1950′ in Washington DC. They shared a friendship for the next 40 years as did the Abe and Murase families for generations. Jiro Murase was essentially the legal counsel to "Japan Inc." during Japan’s economic growth period.

In the New York community, he served as a board member of the Japan Society, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Nippon Club. He was a member of JAA since 1975, serving as a board member until 2013. He served as the President from 1996 to 1998 and became a Lifetime Trustee in 1999, always maintaining his continued support for JAA.
He led the Japanese and Japanese American community for more than 50 years.
He was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star, one of Japan’s highest honors, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to increased understanding and friendship between the United States and Japan.
Mr. Murase was more than a witness to the US Japan relations after World War II, he was an active participant in the strong bond between our countries.

On August 5, the 86-year-old Japanese American lawyer quietly drew his last breath in a New York City hospital. He passed away 5 months after his 88-year-old wife Yoshiye had passed on February 22. He is survived by their son, Satoru and daughter Miwa and three grandchildren.