Annual JAA Scholarship Dinner of the 39th Scholarship Awards
and the 3rd Honjo Scholarship Awards

Photo by Masao katagami
  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.
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, Inc.),
J.C.C. Fund, Susan J. Onuma.

The 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.

The 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 and Sciences

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 Arts)

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

JAA - 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 California.
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 University

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
Memorial 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 150.
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.
3rd 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.
JAA Business Women Committee (BWC)

 Lecture "My Turning Point and Hope for Japanese Women" by Mitsu Kimata & Panel Discussion on Empowering Japanese Women
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

 The 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 Yomitime.

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 attendees.
Sakura Health Fair - Sponsored by JAA Committee
on Aging Issues and JAMSNET

ecture of US Citizenship and VISA
 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.
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, Shin Shinohara.
Social Service Committee

*April 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 Karaoke.

*June 11, 1st Keirokai in June. Curry over rice which has been very popular at Bazaar will be enjoyed by all.
Evening 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 to JAA.

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.