JAA Relief Fund Activities
JAA Japan Flood Relief Fund
We established the JAA Japan Flood Relief Fund to support the rebuilding of the hardest hit areas of Hiroshima, Okayama, Ehime Prefectures following heavy rain on July 6th, 2018. By August 30, 2019, we donated $14,000 to Network Okayama.
JAA Hokkaido Earthquake Relief Fund
On September 6, 2018 Atsuma Town in Hokkaido was hit by a magnitude 7 earthquake that triggered landslides. Soon after, we established the JAA Hokkaido Earthquake Relief Fund with Hokkaido Yukari no kai. We have donated $10,000 to NPO Atsuma Shinrin Musubi-no-kai.
We received thank you letters from both organizations. Many thanks to all of the donors.
The Autumn Health Fair 2019 @ JAA
The 13th Autumn Health Fair was held from September 8th through October 6th at JAA Hall. JAA co-sponsors this event with JAMSNET (Japanese Medical Support Network) and the Consulate General of Japan in New York and with the collaboration of many local experts. More than 2,000 participants attended 70 programs for all ages. The programs included workshops on social welfare, estate planning, health, nutrition, safety, culture, herbal medicine and wellness.
The 26th JAA Charity Golf Tournament
The 26th JAA Charity Golf Tournament was held on September 30 at Harbor Links Golf Course in Long Island. The tournament began at 9:30a.m. under occasionally sunny and breezy weather. There were 72 participants with Amb. Kanji Yamanouchi and Mr. Shigeru Hattori, General Manager of ANA.
The champion, Mr. Kazuyuki Suzuki, received the JAA Champion Trophy and an ANA Business Class JFK-Tokyo round-trip ticket. Mr. Ken Urushihara placed second, and Mr. Yoshiaki Furuta placed third. The Best Gross Score went to Mr. K.H. Wayang and Ms. Kee Beak. Mr. Keita Sato won the first-place raffle prize of an ANA Business Class JFK-Tokyo round-trip ticket. The first prize of a U.S. Domestic Travel Ticket sponsored by IACE Travel went to Mr. Kenritsu Hamasaka. To conclude this fun and important event, Chairperson David Hiromura expressed appreciation to participants, sponsor companies, and individuals.
The $ 4,280 in raffle sales and part of the participation fee will be used for JAA’s activities.
Chairpersons: David Hiromura and Michi Tahara. Committee members: Kazuhisa Enokida, Keiko Ishida, Shige Kosuda, Kimihiko Oishi, Koji Sato, Masaki Shimomura, and Casey Taniguchi.
26th JAA Charity Golf Tournament Special thanks to the following Sponsors
○ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS/ANA ○A. Ryuji Funakoshi Hair Salon ○Arysta LifeScience America Inc.
○Asahi Beer USA ○Benjamin Steak House ○Brother Int’l Corp. ○Castle Hotel & Spa
○Caddie’s Corner Golf, Inc. ○Central Trading ○Daiei Trading Co. ○53rd Wellness Studio/Kenko Do
○Hatsuhana Restaurant ○IACE Travel ○Ito En (North America) ○Japan Solution
○JFC International, Inc. ○Kyodo Trading ○Momotaro Beauty Salon ○Milbon USA ○MiNGLE
○MSS-New York, Inc. ○New York Mutual Trading ○Nippon Restaurant ○Okada, Tadao
○Orient Corp. of America ○PRESIDIO ○Sakura Shoji ○Salon Wave ○Sanda, Mitsuharu
○Sapporo Beer USA ○Shimomura & Co. CPAs ○Shizuka New York ○Tao Consultants
○the rice factory New York ○T.I.C. Inc. (Sakagura & Sobaya) ○Tokyu Hotels ○UOGASHI New York
34th JAA Foreign Minister Cup Baseball Games
This year’s JAA baseball games began on Sunday, April 28, and the final game was played at North Meadow Field in Central Park on Sunday, August 18th. Niko Niko won its third consecutive title. The Radiators placed second, and the Piggees finished third. JAA Sports Committee Chairman Mr. Shuji Kato and Vice-Chairman Mr. Kasei Chen worked hard to prepare for the final game. The awards ceremony took place after the final, with Mr. Kato and Mr. Kasei as the MC. Dr. Kamal Ramani, a Vice President of JAA, made closing remarks on behalf of the organization. We received support from many people and were able to finish the 60 games with 16 teams safely without any accidents.
TANABATA Festival @ Riverside Park
JAA held the 4th Tanabata Festival this year at Riverside Park on July 13. People wearing yukata joined residents who live around the park. Ms. Suki Ports and Ms. Julie Azuma brought a Sdelicious pot luck. We decorated bamboo branches by writing wishes on origami and strips of paper. @K4, a rock ‘n’ roll band organized by Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi, entertained the crowd with cover songs of The Beatles. As it grew dark, people enjoyed the stars in the night sky with telescopes under the guidance of Mr. Stan Honda and Mr. Thomas Haeberle of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. It was great to see 200 people of all ages there with Manhattan Borough President Ms. Gail Brewer. Please join us for Tanabata next year on July 11th!
JAA Volunteer Activities
★Beautifying Central Park
A huge thank you from JAA for hoeing and shoveling and clearing out a clean, weedless path along the eastern stretch of Central Park’s reservoir on Saturday, August 24th. Together with the Japanese Consulate and the NY Japanese American Lions Club, we made a contribution from the local Japan-related community to the home of hundreds of sakura trees and Japan Day. We welcomed the energetic efforts of JAA Scholarship Alumni, Janet Kanzawa (JAA Honjo Scholarship, Class of 2017) and Ami Yokoyama (JAA Toyota Scholarship Award, Class of 2011).
Please see JAA’s Facebook page for more information and photos: www.facebook.com
★ 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance
From JAA and the Japanese Consulate, we send our warmest thanks to volunteers for making September 11th a day of positive action. With members of other Japan-related organizations in the city, we try to honor the memories of those lost on that date by helping others, but it’s also a day filled with friendship, generosity, and gratitude.
This year at JAA, volunteers made 400 origami cranes which we gave out on 9/11 to Food Bank For New York City and Bowery Mission clients alongside meals, and decorated their dining areas. That evening, we joined 4,000 other volunteers on board the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum as part of the 9/11 National Day of Service in a massive meal-packing event to feed Americans in crisis.
We thank all the warmhearted volunteers from these great organizations: the Japanese Consulate, Origami Therapy Association (especially Toshiko Kobayashi), JET Alumni Association of NY (Karen Zhu), JETAA USA (Monica Yuki), the Hoshuko Alumni Association, JAJA (Japanese Americans & Japanese in America), NY Japanese-American Lions Club (Kenji Nakano and Mari Morimoto), U.S.-Japan Council, the Big Root podcast (about “everywhere Japaneseness,” started by two JAA members, Toshiki Nakashige and Susan McCormac), JapanCulture•NYC, Mitsui & Co USA Inc. (especially Sandra Kenny) and Mitsubishi Corporation Americas (especially Tracy Austin and Alice Davis).
Please see JAA’s Facebook page for more information and photos:
Thank you for joining these collaborative volunteer efforts in the Japan-related community of New York led by JAA and the Consulate, and we hope that you can join us for the ones to follow (onigiri-making on November 17th!).
Very best wishes,
Masanari Taniai, Yuki Kaneshige, Consulate General of Japan in NY
Toshiki Nakashige, JAA Group Volunteer Coordinator
JAA Scholarship Alumni Picnic
JAA hosted its first JAA Scholarship Alumni Picnic at Great Hill in Central Park on a warm and sunny afternoon on Sunday, August 18. Ten scholarship alumni representing a range of cohorts attended, including two students from the Class of 2019, several who have graduated college in the past ten years, and of course, JAA President Susan Onuma (Class of 1971). Members from the Consulate General of Japan (who had just come from JAA baseball) as well as NYPD Captain Naoki Yaguchi also attended. The picnic included light refreshments, musubi, and networking. JAA started awarding scholarships to high school graduates in 1971 and administered 19 awards this year. With more than 400 scholarship recipients, including 20 postgraduate students awarded the JAA Honjo Scholarship, we are working to create a network of alumni. JAA member Toshiki Nakashige organized the picnic, the first of many events to foster the JAA Scholarship Alumni Network. Next year marks the 50th Annual Scholarship Dinner, and we look forward to inviting back past recipients and welcoming the next cohort of scholars in the community. Organized and Reported by Toshiki Nakashige.
The Summer Flea Market
The Summer Flea Market was held on the beautiful day of August 3rd at JAA Hall. We raised about $7,500. Thank you to those who donated the goods, who visited us, who helped from setup to tidying up, and who cooked a delicious meal. Thank you for your cooperation and hard work. Our next Grand Bazaar will be on November 2nd.
JAA Archive Committee
Ms. Hanako Wada had been cataloging JAA archives collection with Ms. Eiko Aono, Ms. Akemi Takeda, Ms. Yu Endo and Miss. Amy Watsky. In August, Ms. Wada returned to Japan and Amy was back to Princeton University. We thankful for their hard work for JAA Archive!
Films of Remembrance
The Nichi Bei Foundation, an educational nonprofit organization, will present “Films of Remembrance New York” on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 3:15 to 11 p.m., at Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, 43A West 13th Street. Tickets are $10 each screening / $33 All-Day Pass / FREE for students with ID. Proceeds benefit the Wayne Maeda Educational Fund.
“Films of Remembrance” is a one-day showcase of films commemorating the signing of Executive Order 9066, which set in motion the forced relocation of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry into American concentration camps during World War II.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.nichibei.org/films-of-remembrance-NY or e-mail email@example.com.
JAA Member News
★Hamilton-Madison House honored JAA member Mr. Yoshio Kano with the Distinguished Humanitarian Award at its Japanese Mental Clinic Seventh Annual Benefit Dinner on September 24, 2019.
★JAA Vice President Ms. Suki Terada Ports will be awarded the 2020 Smith College Medal for lifetime achievement. This is the highest honor given to alumnae by Smith College, one of the best liberal arts colleges in the U.S. The school recognizes Ms. Ports’s legendary activism and community contributions such as co-founding the Apicha Community Health Center and Iris House, both of which provide HIV/AIDS healthcare programs, and her work as an education advocate on both local and national levels.
★Ambassador & Mrs. Kanji Yamanouchi invited Mrs. Chieko Inagaki and the JAA Sakura Matsuri Committee to his residence on July 11, 2019 for their appreciation of Sakura Matsuri in New York City. It is very important for us to keep the relationship between Japanese and American communities.
★Mrs. Reiko Matsushima, a longtime JAA member who now lives in Tokyo, donated $25,000 for JAA activities through Helen Irie, Esq.
JAA greatly appreciates your generous support!
★$1,200.00 was donated from the 14th Kenjinkai Charity Golf Tournament, which was held on May 4th this year.
★$3,000.00 was donated from the 19th ANA Senior Charity Golf Tournament, which was held on June 30th.
★10 concert tickets of Fumiyoshi Kobayashi at Carnegie Hall were donated from the IACE Travel, which was held on October 5th.
JAA greatly appreciates your generous support!
July 11th : Tanabata Keirokai, July 25th : The Unagi Keirokai, Senior enjoyed our post popular menu, “eel lunch box”. Mr. Kuni Mikami held a jazz concert, and the Iwaki band performed. We also celebrated the July birthdays.
August 15th: The Summer Keirokai with Bon dancimg!, We celebrated the August birthdays
September 19th : Grand Keiroka: There were 180 participants including the lunch delivery and volunteers at this Keirokai as a part the JAA Autumn Health Fair. They enjoyed Japanese songs with the Iwaki Band.
●Ms. Michiko Otsuki passed away on July 7th in Tokyo. She was 90 years old. She was a member of JAA for very long time and had recently moved back to Japan.
●Ms. June Kuniko Kito (neé Kawada) passed away on August 23rd at age 92. June was born in Kobe, Japan, where her father was a physician. June went to Tokyo Jyoshi Idai at a time when women didn’t go to medical school. She did an internship at Juntendo Hospital, and one of her uncle’s students who came to visit was Charles Tamotsu Kito. They married and after the war went to Chicago, Illinois, where Charles was in grad school. June did her OB-GYN residency at the Chicago Maternity Center. June had to return to Japan for 2 years because of immigration laws. Because of Charles’s work as a journalist, the Kito family then moved to New York. June kept busy: She learned German; helped keep student medical records at Queens Lutheran School; and learned Japanese flower arranging, nihon-ga painting, and more. At the age of 59, she obtained a bi-lingual position in the General Affairs Division of Sakura Bank (now Sumitomo-Mitsui), and eventually she retired as a vice-president. She was a treasurer of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society – NYC Chapter.
She is survived by her husband, Charles, and her children, Nancy and Peter. On August 23rd, a memorial service was held at Grace Lutheran Church where she was an active member.
Finding the Beauty in Life Through Art
Michi Itami (81 years old)
Michi Itami was born in 1938 to kibei (born in the US, raised in Japan) parents. Her father, Akira Itami, was the head interpreter of the War Crime trials in Tokyo following World War II. Michi and her mother, Kimi, were placed in Manzanar, but her father’s volunteer efforts with the US Army secured their relocation out of the camps.
Michi spent part of her childhood in Japan, recalling her time sitting in on the War Crimes trials in which her father participated. Following her father’s suicide on Christmas Day in 1950, Michi and her mother were given 30 short days to pack up and go back to the US. To cope with the loss of her father, Michi turned to Catholicism, finding comfort in the community.
Despite Akira’s passing, his legacy lived on in the many books and movies published in his honor, most notably the novel Futatsu no Sokoku (Two Homelands), written by award-winning writer Toyoko Yamasaki, which recently was made into a movie for NHK.
Michi graduated from UCLA in 1959 with a degree in English literature, and she went on to study both Japanese and English literature at Columbia University for her graduate studies. She received her Masters degree from UC-Berkeley in 1971.
She taught at the San Francisco Art Institute as well as The City College of New York. Her presence in New York and in the Asian American community was particularly felt through Godzilla, a coalition of Asian American artists. She values the fight for civil rights and women’s rights.
Michi specializes in printmaking and painting, and she spends her days in her home studio. She lives in Sag Harbor and cherishes her time with her two daughters and five grandchildren.
Information gathered and edited by Amy Watsky for the NY Japanese American Oral History Project.
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Phone: (212) 840-6942, 6899 / Fax: (212) 840-0616 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org /