JAA Scholarship Dinner of the 39th Scholarship Awards
and the 3rd Honjo Scholarship Awards
The 39th JAA Scholarship Awards Dinner was held at the
Harvard Club on May 29, 2009. We were honored to have Secretary
Eric Shinseki as the keynote speaker. Ambassador and Mme.
Nishimiya, Mr. and Mrs. Motoatsu Sakurai, Dr. Jeanette Takamura
and Gary Moriwaki, President of JAA headed the list of 150
guests and members who attended the event. Thirteen high
school recipients (total of $43,000 and two Japan Airlines
tickets) and four graduate school recipients (total of $20,000
from the Honjo Foundation) were honored.
Photo by Masao katagami
The ceremony began with a welcome by JAA President Moriwaki,
followed by keynote speaker Secretary Shinseki. Secretary
Shinseki gave a wonderful speech that inspired not just
the students but all who were present. He gave a moving
story about both of his parents who had to give up finishing
high school for financial and family reasons but instilled
the importance of education in their children. (His mother
raised her eight siblings at the age of 12). He imparted
what his own father told him - that when you enter the race,
in order to win, you either have to start earlier or run
faster. No matter what you do, try to be the best in your
field and like what you do.
After dinner, Ambassador Nishimiya gave a warm and heartfelt
welcome to the awardees. Satoru Murase, Chairman of the
Scholarship Committee, then presented the awards. Riku Moriguchi,
recipient of the Bingham, McCutchen, Murase Award, spoke
on behalf of the other high school recipients, expressing
his gratitude to JAA and his parents. Ayako Takamori concluded
the evening as she represented the Honjo Scholarship recipients
and expressed her appreciation in receiving the award.
The Scholarship Committee consisted of Chairman Satoru Murase,
Frederick Katayama, Gary S. Moriwaki, Satoru Murase, Robert
Norton, Susan J. Onuma, Joe Oshima, Suki Terada Ports. Members
of the JAA Honjo Scholarship selection committee consisted
of Susan J. Onuma (Chair), Gary S. Moriwaki, Joe Oshima
and Katsuo Takeda.
Dinner table Sponsors:
Bingham McCutchen Murase LLP, Cook Pine Capital LLP,
Fox Rothschild LLP, Yosuke Honjo (Ito En North America,
J.C.C. Fund, Susan J. Onuma.
Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
Retired U.S. Army General Eric K. Shinseki was sworn
in as the seventh Secretary of Veterans Affairs on
January 21, 2009. Secretary Shinseki served as Chief
of Staff, United States Army, from 1999 to June 11,
2003, and retired from active duty on August 1, 2003.
During his tenure, he led the Army during Operations
Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and integrated
the pursuit of the Global War on Terrorism with his
Army Transformation initiative.
Prior to becoming the Army's Chief of Staff, Secretary
Shinseki served as Commanding General for several
major NATO and Army commands. Early in his Army career,
he was twice wounded in combat in Vietnam, first in
1966 while serving as an artillery forward observer
with the 25th Infantry Division, again in 1970 while
commanding a squadron of the 5th Cavalry Regiment.
Secretary Shinseki holds a Bachelor of Science degree
from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a Master
of Arts degree in English literature from Duke University,
and is a graduate of the National War College. He
was born and raised on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.
He is a third-generation Japanese-American and the
first American of Asian ancestry to wear the four
stars of a full general.
39th JAA Scholarship Awards
1： Bingham McCutchen Murase Award
($6,000 plus Trip to Japan, courtesy of Japan Airlines)
Riku Morigichi, Syosset High School
Attending Cornell University, the College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences
2： Dr. Soji Tomikawa Award ($5,000)
Kei Ota, Ridgewood High School
Attending New York University
3： Dr. Soji Tomikawa Award ($5,000)
Cynthia Mai Kanno, Eastchester HS
Attending Princeton University
4： Cook Pine Capital Award ($5,000)
Kanako Morimoto, Greenwich HS
Attending Columbia University, the Fu Foundation of Engineering
5： Mitsui USA Award ($3,500)
Mariko Anne Vienna Curran, River Dell Regional HS
Attending the College of New Jersey
6： Dr. Seiichi Shimomura Award ($3,500)
Kei Okochi, Stuyvesant High School
Attending University of Pennsylvania
7：TV Japan Award ($3,000)
Kimi Matsumoto Lee, Saint Ann's School
Attending Stanford University
8：Toyota Motor North American Award ($2,500)
Ayaka Nonaka, Horace Mann School
University of Pennsylvania
9：Orient Corp. of America Award ($2,500)
Hajime Nishikori, Paramus High School
Attending Emory University
10: Sanada Award for Arts ($2,000)
Mari Iwahara, The Dalton School
Attending Rhode Island School of Design
11: Michiyo & Hiroshi Wada Award ($2,000)
Midori Ann Iwama, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional HS
Attending Rutgers University (Mason Gross School of the
12: JAA Special Award ($2,000)
Yukari Kristine Nishi, Fort Lee HS
Attending Berklee College of Music
13: Japan Airlines / Furumoto Realty Japan Travel Award
Daniel Nakamura Aguisky, Horace Greeley HS
Attending Rice University
- Honjo Scholarship Award
for Graduate Students
In 2007, in honor of JAA's Centennial, the Honjo Foundation
asked JAA to help select suitable candidates for its Honjo
Scholarship Award for graduate students. While the Honjo
Foundation is based in Japan and has its own scholarship
programs, in the U.S., the Honjo Foundation has similar
joint scholarship programs with the Japanese Medical Society
of America, University of Hawaii and University of Southern
The JAA - Honjo Scholarship is currently limited to full-time
students attending graduate school in the New York area
(NJ, CT and PA) who can demonstrate how he or she plans
to help further US - Japan relations through their selected
course of study. It is up to the discretion of the Scholarship
Committee to choose one or more candidates to receive the
$20,000 award. This year the award was given to the following
four students equally:
Jeffrey Friedman - PhD candidate at New York University,
Graduate School of Education - dissertation topic: "Very
Excellent": the Problem with State Sponsored English
education in Japan; BA, Brandeis University, MA, Columbia
Keisuke Jinno - PhD candidate, Graduate School and
University Center CUNY, History Dept. - dissertation topic:
comparison of the history of job/work sharing in the U.S.
and Japan; BA, MA Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo)
Minori Nakamura - MA, Columbia University, School
of Social Work - focus of study: contemporary social issues
- plans to develop/start a social work agency in Japan that
would provide services to historically marginalized groups
- immigrants, children, women and the elderly; BA, California
State University, Long Beach
Ayako Takamori - PhD candidate, New York University,
Department of Anthropology - dissertation topic: "Native
Foreigners: Japanese Americans in Japan"; BA, Smith
College; MA New York University
Day Ceremony at the Japanese Cemetery
in Mt. Olivet Cemetery
On a beautiful day, Memorial Day Services (Bosankai) were
started from 11 AM on May 25 at the Japanese Cemetery at
Mount Olivet Cemetery in Queens. The affair, sponsored by
the JAA with the support of the New York Buddhist Church
and the Japanese American United Church was conducted by
JAA Director Shigeaki Nakanishi
First, Rev. Kenjitsu Nakagaki of the Buddhist Church, read
from the Sutra while incense and flowers were offered to
the pioneers who had contributed so greatly to the present
standing of Japanese and Japanese American Community.
Ms. Susan J. Onuma, JAA Honorary President gave greeting
and expressed our appreciation to our pioneers who were
buried here. The following veterans who were in attendance,
Mr. Eiichi Kuwayama, Mr. Kazu Yamaguchi and Mr. George Mukai
(442) were then introduced. Rev. Nakagaki and Rev. Yugo
Suzuki of Japanese American United Church each performed
services. Following greetings by Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya
of Consul General of Japan in New York, Mr. Tomoyuki Mitsui,
principal of Greenwich Japanese School of NY and Mr. Toru
Okamoto, principal of the Japanese Childrenﾕs Society each
gave a heartfelt talk. JAA members, Teachers and pupils
from the Greenwich Japanese School of New York and parents
were also present, making a total in attendance of some
Wreathes were offered by the Consulate General of Japan
in New York, Nippon Club, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and
Industry in New York, Japanese Lions Club and three organizers.
Japan Day @ Central Park
On a beautiful Sunday, May 31, 2009, 40,000 people were
gathered at East Meadow in Central Park for the third annual
Japan Day. The 4 Mile Japan Run started at 8A.M. with Yoko
Shibui, Japan's World Championship Women's Marathon runner
and other 4856 runners (sponsored by NY Road Runners Club).
The gates were opened at 10A.M. Taste of Japan corner had
several long lines for free foods of Chow Mein, Gyoza, Gyudon
and noodles. On the Stage, people were entertained by continuous
performances, such as Taiko drumming, martial arts, Japanese
Folk dances and jazz music on the stage, all introduced
by Sandra Endo, CNN Correspondent. Among many performances,
JAA Chorus led by Reona Ito sang beautiful nostalgic Japanese
songs. At the fields, there were many activities, such as,
Calligraphy, Go, Origami, Kabuki Face Painting, Robot Sumo,
Yo-Yo, Tea Ceremony and etc. Volunteers from JAA calligraphy
class (Instructor: Fusako Otsubo) demonstrated their beautiful
and skillful brush work to 2,500 New Yorkers. The booth
was so popular that we ran out of ink! "Japan Day"
was held to express gratitude towards New York City for
their hospitality towards the Japanese community residing
in the area. With beautiful weather, a wonderful time was
had by all who attended.
Business Women Committee (BWC)
"My Turning Point and Hope for Japanese Women"
by Mitsu Kimata & Panel Discussion on Empowering Japanese
On June 9, at the Nippon Club, about 90 women and a few
men gathered to listen to the lecture of Ms. Mitsu Kimata,
JAA BWC Honorary President.
She spoke on the need for womenﾕs empowerment in Japan and
related issues through her experiences at the Ministry of
Labor, as Ambassador to the UN, President of the Body Shop,
Japan and Director-CEO of her own NPO "Empowering Women
, Empowering Society".
After her lecture, there was a panel discussion with panelists
Mrs. Nobuko Sakurai and Ms. Kumiko Hasegawa in addition
to Ms. Kimata . They each gave a frank discussion about
their own turning points, their role models and mentors
and their advice and hopes for young Japanese women working
in a global environment. Ms. Kimata's powerful talk and
panel discussion inspired and invigorated all the guests
to do their best to overcome the many challenges facing
Japanese women. The lecture was also a good opportunity
to expose the JAABWC to a new group of women.
Best of all, Ms. Kimata became a JAA member and donated
$1,000 towards BWC.
Exhibition of Japanese and
Japanese American Artists in New York 2009
14th annual Art Exhibition (Chairperson Yoko Sasaki) of
the Japanese and Japanese American Artists in New York were
held from May 8 to 16. The 32 artists (three new artists,
Reiji Kimura, Yoko Motomiya and Mayumi Terada) displayed
their 63 art works at the JAA Hall. Supporters include the
Consulate General of Japan in NY, the Japanese Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, Nippon Club, Shukan NY Seikatsu and
The opening reception was held at 5 P.M., on the 7th, attended
by Deputy Consul Kimio Numata, Mr.& Mrs. Motoatsu Sakurai
of Japan Society, Mr. Tsutomu Karino of JCC and Nippon Club,
the artists and JAA members and guests. The attendees enjoyed
delicious food which our social services volunteers made
and drink, with much happy conversation surrounded by unique
international art works,.
Artists included Gen Hikage, Shigeno Ichimura, Kunio IIzuka,
Takeshi Kawashima, Reiji Kimura, Risaburo Kimura, Kenji
Kojima, Yukimura Konishi, Momoji Matsumoto, Hiromitsu Morimoto,
Yoko Motomiya, Hitoshi Nakazato, Masaaki Noda, Tomomi Ono,
Kazuma Oshita, Seiji Saito, Noriko Sakuyama, Shunji Sakuyama,
Kenjiro Sasaki, Masaaki Sato, Misue Sawano, Hiroshi Senju,
Sho Shimotsugu, Noriko Shinohara, Ushio Shinohara, Mayumi
Terada, TOMI, Steve Wada, Kensuke Wakeshima, Keico Watanabe,
Junko Yoda and Toshihisa Yoda.
Sixteen artworks were sold and the amount of $10,010 was
donated to the JAA. The donors included Tokiko Goto, Tsutomu
Karino, Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Takehumi Nishijo, Yayoi Saito,
Motoatsu Sakurai, Noriko Sengoku, Susan, J. Onuma, Hiroshi
Sasaki, Yoko Sasaki and Ryuji Yamasaki.
On Monday, May 11, Mr. Tadao Fujimatsu conducted his "Tea
Time Talk Show". A pleasant afternoon was had by 50
Health Fair - Sponsored by JAA Committee
on Aging Issues and JAMSNET
Sakura Health Fair was held at JAA Hall and Consulate General
of Japan from April 16 to April 28 with 27 events for all
ages with 1200 attendance which included those attending
Sakura Matsuri. It was splendidly successful.
ecture of US Citizenship and VISA
Senior Week will be held from September 15 for two weeks
for all ages. More events will be scheduled.。
2009 JAA Baseball Tournament
The 24th JAA Foreign Minister's Cup tournament which started
on April 26 has been progressing smoothly on five fields
in New York and New Jersey. Results up to the six week of
the preliminaries are very competitive, A block is led by
Boko Boko with victories from the start, Shinsengumi and
Junks, B Block is led by Jokers, Nikoniko, and Hamakko.
This year's committee: Honorary chairman Shuji Kato, Chairman:
Shig Nakanishi, members: Shunsuke Takahashi, Takashi Kawaguchi,
23, This Keiro Kai was one of the events of Sakura Health
Fair Lunch menu was Chicken Teriyaki and Wine Jelly. Programs
included Piano Solo by Yumiko Watanabe, lecture on Pain
by Dr. Kinichi Shibutani, and Final concert, music from
movies of Chaplin by K. Iwaki band, members Violin and leader
K. Iwaki, Piano Michiko Oguri, Percussion Tsutsumi Asada
and Koji Ichida. Monthly Birthday was celebrated with Zaiya's
Strawberry Cake. .
Once a month at the fourth Thursday's keiro kai, we celebrate
each month's birthday, so please call if you will be a young
birthday person that month.
May 28, May's Keiro kai, Bamboo Shoot Rice Harusame
Salad Vinegar taste and ice cream. Artist Risaburo Kimura
spoke on his New York and as always last program of Keiro
kai, K. Iwaki Band entertained those in attendance with
*June 11, 1st Keirokai in June. Curry over rice which
has been very popular at Bazaar will be enjoyed by all.
of Chamber Music at JAA Hall
On the evening, of May 5, the 5th Chamber Music Concert
was held, performers were last year's Music Award recipients,
Chihiro Fukuda, Viola, Miho Saegusa, Violin, and Laura Metcalf,
Cell and their friend Hiromi Fukuda, Piano. All in attendance
enjoyed their music.
**Benefit Fundraising Concert for Young Talents of Harmonia
Opera Company held on May 29, 2009 at Christ & Saint
Stephenﾕs Church 10 tickets by Emiko Iinuma were donated
For Your Information
* Julie Azuma, Director of JAA was honored at Asian Pacific
Island Heritage on May 5, 2009 at Flushing Town Hall. Ms.
Julie Azuma is chairperson of Asian Women in Business and
President of Different Roads to Learning, Inc.
Mr. Shigeichi Matsukawa passed away on May 1, 2009. He was
a JAA Director and leader of the Okinawa Kenjinkai. He served
as assistant treasurer of JAA with Mr. George Hara in 1970's.
He had helped Bosankai every year.
Ms. Yumie Saito passed away on June 5, 2008. JAA received
donation of $5,000 from estate of Yumie Saito in June, 2009.
She was a member of JAA, She enjoyed Taichi.