JAA Centennial Gala Report


The Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. is celebrating its 100th Anniversary from April 2007 to May 2008. It recently held its Centennial Gala fundraiser on September 29, 2007 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, the new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.


This was JAA's first major fundraiser. Thanks to the strong positive response from the corporate sector and local community the Gala was a big success. The sold out event was attended by 400 people dressed in black tie, evening wear and Japanese kimono. Outside its enormous two-story windows, a luminous full moon hung in the sky, illuminating the Manhattan skyline and Central Park throughout this magical evening. Guests entered the amphitheater like Allen Room to the sound of dramatic drumming by taiko performers from Soh Daiko.


Throughout the evening, guests were also entertained by musicians from Asian Artists in Concert, Inc., The Young People's Chorus and main performer of the evening, jazz pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi.


Special guests included United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Ambassador Ryozo Kato (Ambassador to the United States from Japan), Ambassador Motoatsu Sakurai (Consul General, New York), Ms. Irene Hirano (President, Japanese American National Musuem), Dr. Richard Wood (President, Japan Society) and New York City Councilman John C. Liu.


The dinner program was smoothly and humorously emceed by master and mistress of ceremonies Fred Katayama (Reuters, Inc.) and Kaoriko Kuge (Fujisankei Communications). Greetings of welcome were given by Gala co-chairman Gary S. Moriwaki and celebratory toast given by Dr. Robert Emy.


During dinner, a video of JAA's history and the history of the Japanese presence in the New York area over the last 100 years was shown. Much of the commitment and energy that continues within JAA today can be traced back to its founder Dr. Toyohiko Takami. It was a great tribute to JAA and its founder that twenty six members of the Takami family flew from across the country to attend the Gala, including grandson, Dr. Tadataka Yamada who was recently knighted by the Queen of England. Past JAA presidents, Noboru Sato, Dr. Robert Emy and Toshio Kiso were also present as was Mrs. Chieko Inagaki, recent widow of long time JAA President Shigeru Inagaki.


Current JAA President Susan J. Onuma gave her greetings thanking many for their support and emphasizing the need for Japanese and Japanese Americans to work together and the importance of JAA's role to serve as a bridge between the two groups. After her greetings, a special Certificate of Commendation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan was presented to JAA by Ambassador Motoatsu Sakurai in recognition of JAA's many achievements over the last 100 years.


Following in the vein of enhancing relations between Japanese and Japanese Americans, Ambassador Kato and Senator Inouye were presented with the JAA Centennial Leadership Award for dedicating their lives to public service and for working closely together to bring mutual understanding to the Japanese and Japanese American community. Both recipients gave very moving and inspiring acceptance speeches from their respective experiences and viewpoints.


The backbone of any not for profit organization is its corps of volunteers. JAA has been particularly blessed with having so many dedicated volunteers who have generously given their time for so many years. At the Gala, five people were presented with the JAA Centennial Volunteer Award for their many years of past and current service - George Yuzawa, Sanko Kajihara, Dr. Seiichi Shimomura, Dr. Robert K. Emy and Seiko Oshima. Also recognized was Ms. Michiyo Noda, JAA's only full time employee - who has been working for JAA for twenty years.


After a spectacular performance by world renowned Toshiko Akiyoshi (with surprise appearance by Lew Tabackin on saxophone), the evening ended with a raffle drawing and closing remarks by Gala Co-chair Hiroko Onoyama.


It is JAA's hope that many of you will take the time to get to know JAA, participate in our programs and visit the JAA office so that you can also come to appreciate the breadth and depth of the services and activities JAA provides to the community and the dedication of the volunteers and staff of JAA.


JAA sincerely thanks everyone for their support as it commences a new century of community service.



JAA 100th Anniversary events

We are celebrating JAA's 100th Anniversary

April 14(Sat.)   Spring Flea Market

April 21(Sat.)   3rd Sakura Matsuri

at Flushing Meadow-Corona Park where JAA donated 250 Cherry Trees in 2001. Enjoy the beautiful cherry trees and Japanese culture- Performances by TAIKO MASALA drum players, Sakura Sakura and other Japanese music by Kuni Mikami with JAA Chorus, Japanese Dance by Soke Fujimaryu Ichifujikai, Koto by Yumi Kurosawa and Hanagasa Ondo parade led by dancers from Japanese Folk Dance Institute.

Please visit and enjoy the Spring in the Park!

April 29   Sport Committee
The 22nd JAA Foreign Minister Cup Baseball Games.

League: April 29- July 29; Every Sunday
at Randall's Island.

Tournament: Aug. 5 - Aug. 19; Every Sunday
at Central Park North Meadow.

Championship JAA Baseball Games: Aug. 26 (Sun.)
at Staten Island-Yankees Stadium

May 10, 2007 to May 26, 2007   12th JAA Art Exhibition
Japanese and Japanese American Artists in New York 2007.

Works by 31 artists, ( Guest Artist are Hiroshi Senju, Takeshi Kawashima, Risaburo Kimura, Masaaki Noda, Masaaki Sato, Mizue Sawano, Ushio Shinohara and others) will be shown. Fifty percent (50%) of the proceeds will go to the JAA Charitable Fund.
Reception will be held on May 10, ( 5pm - 7pm) at JAA.

May 28th (Mon)   Memorial Service

at Japanese Cemetery at Mt.Olivet in Queens which was established in 1912 and Cypress Hills. It is a meaningful event to pay annual tribute to our pioneers.

May 30 (Wed.)   the 37th JAA Scholarship Dinner at the Harvard Club    JAA Scholarship Program

See attached General Scholarship Guidelines and Application forms. This year marks the 37th year that JAA has been awarding scholarships to Japanese and Japanese American students entering colleges. There will be 14 scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

Sept. 18 (Tues.)   The 14th JAA Charity Golf Tournament

Grand Prize is ANA Air Ticket (Executive Class) NY to TOKYO for Two
The 14th JAA Charity Golf Tournament will be held at Canyon Country Club, 568 Bedford Rd., Armonk, NY 10504, tel (914)273-9300, on Tuesday, September 18, 2007. This will be a shotgun tournament by the New Peoria System. All golfers will tee off simultaneously.
Entry fee is $250.00 ($100 of which is tax deductible). Your fee includes a light lunch, buffet dinner party plus green fees & Cart.


Itinerary for the Day

9:00 AM - 10:30   AMGolfers Arrive at Golf Course (Please be on time)

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM   Orientation

11:00 AM   Play Begins by Shotgun

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM   Dinner Party & Awarding of Prizes

* Except for severe rain, tournament will remain open

* Soft Spikes Required

If you have any questions, please contact JAA (212) 840-6942.


Download JAA Charity Golf Tournament Reservation Form :



9/29 (Sat.)   JAA Gala Dinner at Lincoln Center

Saturday, September 29, 2007 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center (Broadway at 60th Street, New York City)

Cocktails at 6pm, Dinner at 7pm

Black Tie or Festive Attire

Please reserve your tables and journal ad space now


Download JAA Gala Dinner Reservation Form :

Oct. 20 & 21   Japanese Language Education Workshop

Special Lecture of "Japanese Language Learners' Kanji / Vocabulary Learning" for children

10/20 & 21   Photo Exhibition "100 years of Nikkei in NY"

We need your support! If you have some photos before WW II, please contact JAA.

Nov. 3 (Sat.)   Grand Bazaar 10am-2pm

We have many gift items, delicious Japanese food, clothes, chinaware, etc.

Dec. 5 (Wed.)   Annual JAA Year End Dinner

More detail will be announced later.


Activities of the Japanese American Association of New York, Inc.(JAA) In 2007


The schedules and costs are subject to change.
Please call JAA for confirmation.

Classes at JAA Hall

Monday 3pm-6pm Rhythmic Class for children

Tuesday 10:45am -11:45am Taichi

Tuesday 1:00pm- 3:00pm Calligraphy & Sumie

Tuesday 3:00pm- 4:00pm Calligraphy for children

Wednesday 3pm-4pm Japanese Folk Dance

Wednesday 3pm-7pm Japanese Abacus Class

Friday 1:15pm-2:15pm JAA Chorus

Every 3rd Wednesday 10:30am-2:30pm "Chef Kato's French Cooking Class"

Social Service Programs

Social Service Day - 2nd & 4th Thursday

Dr. Robert Emy and Ms. Aileen Yamaguchi are available for consultation on matters of Medical and Social Welfare.

2nd Thursday of Odd months

Free Legal Consultation on Will and other legal matters by Attorney Gary S. Moriwaki

3rd Thursday every month

Free Legal Consultation on Immigration Law by James Nolan Law Office.

Jan. - March Free Tax consultation

by Mr. Joe Oshima, CPA.

Keiro-Kai, Luncheon for Seniors

2nd & 4th Thursday Luncheon for seniors

Japanese lunch will be served by JAA Social Service volunteers. After lunch, entertainment (Rakugo, Chorus, Piano, Dance etc.) and seminars will be scheduled. Lunch delivery is available for bedridden seniors.

"Summer-Doyo no Ushinohi Keiro-Kai"
This year marks the 20th Annual luncheon of Eel Kabayaki over rice.

December 6, Thursday 12pm-"Xmas Luncheon for seniors"

December 20, Thursday "Year End Keiro-Kai"
We will serve toshikoshi soba and osechi which are traditional Japanese food for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and to celebrate our health and happiness.

JAA Committee On Aging Issues

The Committee on Aging Issues was formed in May 2005 under the umbrella of the Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. for the purpose of studying and improving the social welfare of Japanese and Japanese American elderly in the NY area, including NJ, CT and PA. In this connection, the Committee will survey and assess the needs of the elderly population, raise awareness and educate the public regarding such issues and cooperate, coordinate and support programs and services that will help the elderly lead a more healthy, enjoyable and productive life as they age.

Feb. 22, (Thurs.):Seminar "Facilities for the Seniors"
March 6 (Tues.): Visit to the Senior Facility the Village 46th & 10th St.
May 8 (Tues.): Visit to the Flushing House
May 24 (Thurs.): Seminar "Medicare"
In June: "Visit to the Isabella Geriatric Center"

Apple Kids Program

Please visit website http://www.applekidsnyc.org/ or Call JAA office for more details.

JAA Music Scholarship Program

The Guidelines and Application forms for the 12th JAA Music Scholarship Awards will be available in Nov. 2007. The awards will be given to the players of String Instruments and Piano in 2007-08. The Recital will be held at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in 2008.