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JCAH holds 2015 Ireito Memorial Service


2015 Ireito Memorial Service was held on a beautiful hot summer Sunday at the Alae Cemetery on August 23 at 2 pm.  Mrs. Pat Abe, a family member of the late Senator Sanji Abe who had erected the memorial monument, Ms. Clarysse Nunokawa, County of Hawaii Executive Assistant, who represented Mayor Kenoi, Ireito Trustee Mr. Tommy Goya, various reverends from the local Buddhist, Shinto, and other Japanese religious sects, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii President Darren Nishioka, Subaru Telescope Director Nobuo Arimoto, several Kenjin-kai Presidents and members, United Junior YBA members, JCAH members, delegates from our sister city Sumoto, delegates from Miyako Town in Fukuoka Prefecture, and UHH Professor Masafumi Honda and his friends from the Chuo University of Japan attended the event.  The Rimban of the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, Jeffrey Soga officiated the service. 

After Tommy Goya, Ireito Trustee, gave a history of the Ireito Memorial Service, each representative of the participating organizations offered incense and floral bouquets at the magnificent Ireito Monument.

On behalf of the County of Hawaii, Ms. Clarysse Nunokawa thanked all in attendance and the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii for making the memorial service possible and perpetuating our gratitude toward the first generation Japanese immigrants who cultivated better living in the tropical paradise through their hard work for us and the future generations.  The newly appointed Consul General of Japan, Honorable Yasushi Misawa, sent a message read by Tommy Goya, in which he commended organizers and participants for honoring Japanese legacy.  Our JCAH President’s message was read by the 2nd Vice President Jon Arizumi stressing the organization’s important duty to perpetuate the Ireito legacy for the generations to come.

After the service, graves of the two Japanese Training Ship cadets who passed away during their voyages to Hawaii were visited by the reverends and the participants.  There were short services at the grave sites. JCAH past President Glenn Hirata chaired the event.  The Master of Ceremony was Mr. Keith Yamakawa, the Big Island Buddhist Federation Chairman, and the Hilo Hongwanji Fujin-kai provided delicious desserts and refreshments.

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