Community Focus – Dean Asahina Installed as United Japanese Society President

Community Focus – Dean Asahina Installed as United Japanese Society President

Photo of outgoing UJSH president Cyrus Tamashiro (right) presents the president’s gavel to his successor, Dean Asahina.

The United Japanese Society of Hawaii installed its 2016-2017 officers on June 25 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. Kenny Endo and Taiko Center of the Pacific presented the “call to celebration” with a thunderous taiko number. It was followed by several celebratory dances — the Japanese “Kotobuki Samba,” performed by Cindy Kimoto and Jerre Tokairin of the Hanayagi Mitsusumi Dance Studio, and the Okinawan dance, “Umi nu Chinbora,” performed by Kimberlie Arakaki, Katelynn Arakaki, Ashli Lum and Cali Asato of Tamagusuku Ryu Senjukai Hawaii. The program also featured several contemporary dances and hula by young performers Kupono and Pomai Nakakura and Seth and Grace Jansson.

Besides installing the new president, the installation banquet is also traditionally the UJSH’s opportunity to recognize people who have advanced and supported the UJSH’s mission through programs such as the Kenjin Kai Outstanding Member awards. Selected by their own kenjinkai were: Bruce Shimada, Central O‘ahu Kumamoto Kenjin Kai; Yuji Ogai, Hawaii Ehime Kenjin Kai; Kendrick Settsu, Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjin Kai; Chizuko Kawaji, Hawaii Kagoshima Kenjin Kai; Dr. Shigeo Natori, Hawaii Miya-
gi Kenjin Kai; Mitsuko Mikuni, Hawaii Oita Kenjin Kai; Mark Higa, Hawaii United Okinawa Association; Martin Matsuura, Hawaii Yamagata Kenjin Kai; Kazuo and Janice Ouchi, Hawaii Yamanashi Kyoyu Kai; June Motokawa, Honolulu Fukushima Kenjin Kai; Nancy Shimamoto, Honolulu Hiroshima Kenjin Kai; Miyoko Nishioka, Honolulu Kumamoto Kenjin Kai; Muriel Masumura, Honolulu Niigata Kenjin Kai; Roy Ota, Honolulu Yamaguchi Kenjin Kai; and Jack Tsujihara, Wahiawa-Waialua Hiroshima Kenjin Kai.

June Motokawa spoke on behalf of the honorees, thanking UJSH for recognizing their work. “We have learned much from our mentors,” she said. Motokawa said they are all committed to perpetuating the legacy of those who came before them and to sharing the mission of the UJSH throughout Hawai‘i.

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Photo of Onoe Kikunobukazu (Howard Asao) dancing “Shirasagi no Shiro,”

Onoe Kikunobukazu (Howard Asao) dances “Shirasagi no Shiro” in honor of his sensei, Onoe Kikunobu, who received the UJSH Award for Contributions to the Japanese Community and Hawaii.

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