2019-2020 Officers and Directors
Past and Current Presidents
President: Mike Miyahira
1st Vice President: Dwayne Mukai
2nd Vice President: Lincoln Ashida
Secretary: Jane Miyasaki
Treasurer: Susie Dill
Japanese Secretary: Naomi Menor
Auditor: Lilian Watanabe
Immediate Past President: Ivan Nakano
Directors: Sadao Aoki, Amy Aoyagi, James Arakaki, Jon Arizumi, Janet Fujioka, Tommy Goya, Reiko Hamano, Jan Higashi, Roland Higashi, Arnold Hiura, Naohiro Hotta, Yuko Kakazu, Kenji Kawai, Delbert Nishimoto, Junichi Noumaru, Alan Okinaka, Allan Onishi, Paul Sakamoto, Aya Shehata, Hiroshi Suga, Art Taniguchi, Lillie Tsuchiya, Jere Usui
Honorary Directors: Dorothy Horita, David Ikawa, Larry Isemoto and Hiroshi Shima
The Japanese Community Association of Hawaii UCAH) traces its origins to 1971, when a committee was formed by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii with the purpose of perpetuating the Japanese culture and maintaining good relationships with Japan through the Consul-General's office in Honolulu. The organization received its official charter in 1974 as the Hawaii Island Japanese Community Association.
In 1999, the corporation formally changed its name to Japanese Community Association of Hawaii.
The association's bylaws, states that that the purpose of this organization is "to encourage, promote and implement programs and activities for the welfare and betterment of the community; to promote and preserve Japanese culture and to foster harmony and fellowship within its membership in the County of Hawaii."
Today, it is best known for sponsoring a number of cultural events, such as the biennial Bunka No Hi Uapanese Culture Day in Hawaii) and Kodomo No Matsuri (Children's Day Festival). Other projects presented by the association include: Hakubi Kimono Shows, Sake Sushi & Shakuhachi, and concerts by Taiko Project and San Jose Taiko. Washi Chigiri-e classes have been offered since 2007 through co-sponsorship with the Hakubi Chigiri-e School of
Japan and is taught by Lily Nakao of Oahu. Other classes include Nuno Zouri,
Newspaper Corsage, and other workshops during the biennial Bunka No Hi. The organization coordinates the annual Friendship Golf Tournament with the various kenjinkais.
In January of 2014, a Nikkei Kigyo (enterprise of Japanese ancestry) Banquet, recognizing long-standing, multi-generational Japanese American businesses, in East Hawaii was held, honoring two century old companies, I. Kitagawa & Co., Ltd. and Suisan Co., Ltd., formed in 2005 and 2007 respectively. The event will be continued as one of our special projects. Proceeds will be used to award scholarships to students whose major or minor will be Japanese studies with priority given to JCAH member families.
The association also coordinates the annual lreito Memorial Ceremony at Alae Cemetery in August. The ceremony is held at the impressive monument which was dedicated in 1939 through the efforts of the late Senator Sanji Abe to honor deceased Japanese immigrants. The marble monument was cast in Japan and weighs around 1 5 tons. Participants include local churches, kenjinkais, the Consul General of Japan and the Mayor of Hawaii County and other dignitaries.
1971-1975 Susumi Yamashita
1976-1978 Masaichi Uemura
1979-1980 Taro Nakamoto
1981-1982 Teruo Togashi
1983-1985 Richard Taniguchi
1986-1987 Tomoo Okuyama
1988-1989 Arthur lsemoto
1990-1991 David lkawa
1992-1993 Shizuo Murashige
1994-1995 Albert Nishimura
1996 Jitsuo Niwao
1997 Larry lsemoto
1998 Thomas Hirano
1999 Yasuo Kuwaye
2000 Yukio Takeya
2001 Herbert Segawa
2002-2003 Roland Higashi
2004 Keith ldeue
2005-2006 Arthur Taniguchi
2007-2008 Tom Goya
2009-2010 Glenn Hirata
2011-2012 Kenji Kawai
2013-2014 Hiroshi Suga
2015-2016 Janice Higashi
2017-2018 Ivan Nakano
2019- Mike Miyahira
(Imperial Medal of Honor recipients)