President's Message

By Michael Kaleikini, President


Welcome to the Year of the Dragon! 


People born in the year of the Dragon  2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916 and every 12th previous and future years, tend to be perfectionists, impulsive and brimming with self-confidence and enjoy being in command.  Some of the more famous Dragon people include Joan of Arc, Freud, Raquel Welch and Bruce Lee.  Do you know any Dragon people?

The 61st year of our Chamber is moving along rather quickly.  We have progressed past the halfway mark with several wonderful events have took place in January.  On January 21st, I had the privilege of representing our Chamber at the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii, 41st Annual New Year's Banquet.  The Banquet was held at the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Sangha Hall.  This years theme was the Year of the Dragon.  Dignitaries in attendance,  JCAH President, Kenji Kuwaye introduced myself to The Honorable Yoshihiko Kamo, Consul General of Japan who was also accompanied by Honorary Consul General, Mr. Art Taniguchi.  The Vice Mayor of Shibukawa City, Mr. Hiromi Iizuka and Mr. Sanuemon Chigira, Immediate Past President, Ikaho Hot Springs Tourism Association were also in attendance.  

On Sunday, January 22nd, I also had the honor of participating in the Hui Okinawa Shinnen Enkai & Keirokai (ceremony honoring the revered elderly).  This years celebration was highlighted by the acknowledgement of four Kajimaya recipients.  Kajimaya is a special Okinawan traditional celebration of a person's 97th birthday.  The characters written in Japanese for Kajimaya is Kaji (Kaze in Japanese) meaning "wind" and Maya (Mawaru in Japanese) which means "to spin".  A special dance using kazeguruma (pinwheels) is used in the celebratory dance.  Mayor Billy Kenoi, Consul General Yoshihiko Kamo and Honorary Consul General Art Taniguchi also participated in the event.

January 25th proved to be one of our busiest day of January.  The first General Membership meeting of 2012 for our Chamber was held during a luncheon at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku'ola Room.  Mahalo to Randy Kurohara, and Carol Van Camp with coordinating the panelist format.  Four panelists participated, starting with Howard Ainsley, CEO of Hilo Medical Center who shared a video on Healhtcare Reform in regards to healthcare costs, the U.S. has the world's highest costs per capita.  Dr. Sharon Vitousek presented on the Health Disparities on Hawaii Island.  It was duly noted that Hawaii County has the highest suicide rate in the State.  Susan Hunt, the Hawaii Island Beacon Community CEO.  Ms. Hunt provided an update of the status of the work being done with the Beacon grant.  It was interesting to note that Hawaii County was only one of a select few counties nationwide that were awarded federal funding for this project.  Dr. Mike Sayama, HMSA Vice President elaborated on Healthcare costs, the effect on our local businesses and briefly discussed future model option for handling health care.  Overall, the panelists were very informative as I came away with a much greater appreciation and understanding of the Healthcare situation in our State and Country.  This is a top four priority topic that the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii will continue to monitor and report back to our members with updates.


Mahalo to Ivan Nakano and the wonderful staff of Kamaaina Nissan.  Ivan and his team really put on an evening of great company and hospitality for our first Goji Kara event of 2012.

January 28th marked the 26th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, that occurred in 1986.  Our thoughts go out to the Ellison Onizuka 'ohana.  Barry Mizuno, Tito Agbayani and I attended the 2012 Ellison Onizuka Science Fair held at UH Hilo.  Besides NASA Astronaut Mike Fricke, our Mr. Community (Tommy Goya) was there assisting with delivering lunches to all of the participants.  This time Tommy was with the Hilo High School Kiwanis Club.

The next two months promises to be filled with more events of interest to our members.  There will be an Energy related presentation on February 16, 2012.  We have our annual Golf Tournament on March 7, 2012.  Then we are planning to have Mayor Billy Kenoi speak on the Economic Outlook of Hawaii County.  Mahalo nui to Randy Kurohara, Lei Fujiyama and many others for making these events happen for our membership.

Looking forward to working with all of you in continuing our Chambers mission.....To promote the well-being of our community through business and personal relationships through the values of Kahiau and Okage Sama De.


Domo Arigato Gozaimasu  































New Year's, Japanese Tea Ceremony
By Jon Arizumi, 1st Vice President 
Urasenke Hilo Association held its New Year's Tea ceremony at Liliuokalani Park Tea House on Sunday, January 29.   It was an honor and privilege to represent the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii at this private gathering.  
The distinguished ladies of the Urasenke Hilo Association, dressed in their beautiful silk kimonos created a welcomed setting for the honored guests.  What a pleasure to share this experience and fellowship with Honorable Billy Kenoi and Mrs. Kenoi, Mr. Russell Oda - President Urasenko Hilo Association, Mr. Art Taniguchi - Vice President Urasenko Hilo Association / Honorary Consul General of Japan, Mr. Larry Isemoto, and Mr. Hiroshi Suga  - Vice President of the Japanese Community Association Hawaii. 
As we gathered in this authentic tea house which is occasionally opened a few days during the year and bears the name "Shoroan", meaning Pine Ocean House like the old teahouse, we witnessed the ceremonial preparation and presentation of Matcha (powdered green tea) which was delectable to the palate.  The manner in which it was performed was exquisite!  Adding to its flavor was a course of confection and a light meal.  What a pleasurable cultural experience to partake in beautiful Hilo, Hawaii.
Did you know.........
The meaning of Chanoyu, "hot water for tea", literally translates as "hot water (-yu) for (no) tea (cha)."  The entire practice of what is called Japanese "tea ceremony" is not merely hot water suitable for tea drinking, it's a simple, yet complex practice.... a way of life, and a spiritual manner in the Buddhist sense of mental, spiritual and physical training.  In Japanese, "Chanoyu" also means; "The Way of Tea."



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Goji Kara at Kamaaina Nissan
By Carol VanCamp 



Chamber members help celebrate Kama'aina Nissan's 3rd Anniversary.


Nearly 60 Chamber members and their guests joined JCCIH member Ivan Nakano and the staff at Kama'aina Nissan in a celebration of the dealership's 3rd anniversary on  January 25th.  The Goji Kara was held at the dealership on Kalanianaole Avenue, and was hosted by Bill Wilson, General Manager. Festivities included great food and sake, as well as great door prizes for Kama'aina Nissan services.  The dealership opened in 2008, and has been a very successful addition to the Kama'aina Motors family of businesses. Our thanks to the entire team at Kama'aina Nissan for their hospitality, and best wishes for continued success!


GK at Kamaaina Nissan 1



GK at Kamaaina Motors 



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Animals in the Wilderness
By Dr. Saeko Hayashi, Astronomer, Subaru Telescope




Cities are in a sense a great wilderness where creatures can find lots of hidings for shelter and feeding opportunities. In a Walt Disney movie "Ratatouille", the main characters easily sustain their lives without going much far from their residence. So long as they are satisfied with what they can get, criticizes the main character and he sets out to reach the best food that city can offer.

Some humans go opposite way - visit the wilderness at the expense of foregoing the variety of meals and the comfort the city life can provide. I was one of those fortunates to be able to stay in a beautiful setting in this island this past weekend, where one can bathe in a clear stream instead of shower. The trees and flowers dominate the daytime view, while the crisp stars fill the nighttime sky. And the cooking was fun and everything was delicious!

Now where are the animals? We did not have to worry about four legged creatures roaming around to mess up with the leftover food in this island. With similar scenery, I would expect a couple of big animals if I were in the mountainside of Japan. Most common are the Saru (monkey). They learned things from the human beings and applied their dexterity for their benefit - wash fruits and potatoes in the ocean or river for better taste, dip in hot springs in cold weather. They can sneak upon the campsite and grab the best tasting food.

Kitsune (fox) and Tanuki (raccoon) are common as well. They are sometimes spotted at the towns' periphery. Deep in the forest, you may encounter Kuma (bear), though you don't want to run into. Black ones in the main island are a little milder than the red-brown ones with larger size in Hokkaido Island. In northern Japan, Kamoshika (serow, a goat-antelope) jumps between rocks on the steep mountain slopes. They are quite conspicuous after the trees lose leaves in autumn. Shika (deer) started to come out from the forest and frequent into the suburbs in northern Japan as well, and they can cause serious snags in the traffic. However I do not think opossums hitch a ride in the subway over there, since they are not from around.

Now, back to the campsite. There were a variety of birds instead of four legged creatures (except a few mongeese). Some fly solo, some in a group. They gracefully flapped or glided by. When night falls, I still see things criss-crossing the sky, besides the airplanes. Far above the Earth's atmosphere, those are the modern day carrier pigeons, the man-made satellites delivering messages or information.



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Journey through the Universe


Journey through the Universe 2012 


We Invite you to celebrate Journey Week!

Meet and greet National Science Team members plus the many astronomers and educators who are deliverying this fantastic educational program to our K-12 schools.


Astronomy Educators Reception

Sponsored by Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii and Hawai'i Island Chamber of Commerce


Monday, March 5, 2012

5pm to 8pm  Hilo Yacht Club

  • Pupus 
  • No Host Beverages
  • Door Prizes
  • JCCIH & HICC Members $25
  • Non Members & Guests $30


Click Here to Register and for Information



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Words of Wisdom & Thoughts for Today

By Tommy Goya



The most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in."  Abraham Lincoln March 9, 1832.  Never, never stop learning and educating.    




Big Island Candies 13th Annual Golf Classic Tournament

By Craig Shiroma and Russell Arikawa

 Big Island Candies


Isn't it interesting how great events follow one another? Take for instance Christmas and the New Years' comes back to back. We then have the Pro-Bowl and Super Bowl, which was a great game by the way! Then we come to the JCCIH Golf Classic! 

This year we are very pleased to announce that Big Island Candies has graciously accepted the "Yokuzuna" sponsorship, thus naming our tournament the Big Island Candies, 13th Annual Golf Classic Tournament. Domo Arigato to Allan Ikawa and Big Island Candies for your generosity and continued support of JCCIH.

This year's tournament will be held at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course on Wednesday, March 7th, with a shotgun start promptly at 11:00am. There will be great prizes that include mainland and inter-island tickets, plus a chance to win $5,000 for a hole in one and much, much more!  Also, due to popular demand the awards banquet will be at the AJA Hall immediately after the tournament. I'm sure you remember the ono pupus and wonderful refreshments served last year.


Your participation allows JCCIH to support educational, community and commerce/trade projects in Hilo and on the Big Island. Because of your support, last year we were able to use part of the proceeds to help with the recovery efforts in the aftermath of the Japan Tsunami.


If you haven't already entered, please contact Lei Fujiyama at the JCCIH office for an entry form. Also, please contact Lei if you're interested in participating as a sponsor or volunteer.


See you all at the Big Island Candies, 13th Annual Golf Classic Tournament!





Birthday Celebration of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan

By Jon J. Arizumi


On December 14, 2011, I had the honor to represent the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii at a reception to celebrate the Birthday of His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan, and the 22nd Anniversary of His Majesty Accession to the Throne at the Consulate General of Japan at Honolulu. 

Many dignitaries both civilian and military attended this beautiful venue.  What an honor it was to have the Consul General of Japan Mr. Yoshihiko Kamo and his wife greeting their guests as we entered the residence.  Representing the Big Island of Hawai'i -Honorable Billy Kenoi and Mrs. Kenoi, Mr. and Mrs. Art Taniguchi - Honorary Consul General of Japan, Mr. and Mrs. Hiroshi Suga - Vice President Japanese Community Association of Hawaii, Representative Clift Tsuji and Mark Nakashima.


Consul General 2012 pic 1 


Listening to the harmonious melodies of the Royal Hawaiian Band and witnessing the special presentation of Consul General's Commendation Awards, this elegant event was blessed by the sprinkles of Nuuanu Valley. 

Definitely a "Night to Remember ... Under the Honolulu Stars".......

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!


 Consul General pic 2


ICA's Ruling on the CMP
Office of Mauna Kea Management
By Barry K. Taniguchi, Chair of Mauna Kea Management Board
What does the title of this column mean? Too often, important discussions regarding Mauna Kea turn into an "alphabet soup" of acronyms that makes it hard for most members of the general public to appreciate what is really going on at the summit. It is helpful, therefore, to have the opportunity to comment on developments affecting the mountain on a regular basis via this Oshirase column.

On January 25, for example, it was reported that the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) had issued its ruling on an appeal by those opposed to the Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) of the Third Circuit Court's decision that, "a contested case hearing on the Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) was not required by law under statute, rule or constitutional due process. Because a contested case hearing was not required, the circuit court did not err in dismissing Petitioners' appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction." The circuit court's final judgment, in other words, was affirmed, and the validity of the CMP confirmed.

The CMP is the result of years of research and hard work by OMKM. It will serve as the principal blueprint that will guide management of UH's managed lands on Mauna Kea, including the Mauna Kea Science Reserve going forward. And, even throughout the lengthy court proceedings, OMKM, with guidance from the MKMB, had begun implementation of the CMP's policies and recommendations. Now, we can continue this important work and proceed without the fear of further court action.

In her last Oshirase column, OMKM Interim Director Stephanie Nagata reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had removed the wekiu bug as a candidate for federal status as an endangered species. This important development-which held the potential to curtail or even shut down many human activities at the summit-is directly related to the work of OMKM, its Mauna Kea Ranger program, and the development of the CMP and subplans, including the Natural Resources Management Plan. Also playing a key role in the decision were the various studies coordinated and funded by OMKM to establish a solid scientific baseline, where only rumors and speculation existed in the past.

It's hard to express how much credit I feel is due to the efforts of Stephanie in coordinating and completing the CMP despite many challenges and differing points of view. I have to admit that at times I have grown impatient as I watched Stephanie and members of the board having to spend their valuable time and resources defending every action against the legal challenges lodged by plaintiffs. We have so much work to do that I wish our time could be spent in ways which directly help us achieve our mission of managing and protecting the mountain's resources, rather than always trying to deal with costly and time-consuming legal challenges. We welcome everyone's involvement in the process-and we continue to hope that others will choose to work with us to achieve a positive and balanced future for Mauna Kea.


Hawai'i Community College Update

By Chancellor Noreen Yamane


As Hawaii Community College welcomes approximately 3, 500 students to the campus this Spring semester, we also welcome a new administrator, staff in the Office of Continuing Education and Training and faculty in the Applied Technical Education Department.  Please feel free to contact them to see how they can work with Japanese Chamber members and the business community.

Maui native Jason Cifra, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, graduated from University of Hawaii at Hilo and served in various leadership positions in higher education in Nevada for 10 years.  He's happy to be back in Hilo and wants to use his skills and experiences to improve the graduation rate, focus on student leadership, and find opportunities for Hawaii Community College students to explore career tracks.  This summer he is planning a Summer Leadership Academy for the students and plans to tap the expertise of the community, including Chamber members.  

Donna DeLuz-Marcelino replaces Clyde Kojiro as an instructor for the Architectural, Engineering and CAD Technologies program.  She worked in drafting before lecturing in blueprint reading and teaching non-credit AutoCAD classes for Hawaii Community College.  She is looking forward to having the program provide printing services for working drawing prints and 3D modeling for the community.

Electronics instructor, Melanie Higa, returns back to Hilo after working in California at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and at SafeNet Inc.  She is excited to share some of the skills and knowledge to Hawaii Community College students that she learned throughout her engineering career as both an electronics engineer and software engineer.  Melanie hopes to reevaluate the Electronics Technology program and possibly restructure it to better fit the needs of the island's workforce.  She sees the need to keep students interested in electronic technology and plans to do outreach to local schools with robotics programs so she can possibly incorporate this into her program.

The Rural Development Project under the Office of Continuing Education and Training has two new faces-- Graceson Ghen and long-time Waipi`o Valley taro farmer, Jim CainGraceson Ghen is a Sustainability Coordinator who is working with 5 programs to incorporate sustainability and green concepts into their curriculum.  Graceson has worked as a carpenter since high school and has experience in many green building practices including photovoltaics, solar thermal, grey water collection, solar tube lighting, and reused/recycled building materials. He is eager to help Hawaii Community College, Hawaii County and the State move towards a sustainable future by helping in our pursuit of self sufficiency in energy, food, and water.

Jim Cain is working in Honokaa as a coordinator in the Center for Agricultural Success, a program to ensure the success of small-scale diversified farms.  Jim hopes to use his farming and entrepreneurial experience to help existing and new farmers succeed.  Beginning in April, Hamakua-North Hilo Ag Coop members, recent graduates of area high schools, college students, and interested community members will be able to apply for the New Farmer Training Initiative.  The goal is to provide new farmers with the skills necessary to consistently and sustainably produce and market crops for a profit, utilizing Hamakua's available agricultural lands and water.

Hawaii Community College is in the process of planning a Big Island Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Review and Workforce Development Conference in late April and hopes to have Chamber members attend to give input to the College.  Clusters will be identified (may include energy, healthcare and agriculture)and faculty, staff, administrators, and business and community groups will exchange ideas and facilitate discussion to improve timing and direction of identified based workforce needs.  Information from this conference will be used in curriculum development or to strengthen current programs around current workforce needs.       



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Thirty Meter Telescope Update  

By Sandra Dawson, Community Affairs Manager, TMT

Sandra Dawson


TMT's planned education fund-The Hawaii Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund was founded with the goal of inspiring educational excellence in the core areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).The THINK Fund is part of TMT's larger comprehensive community benefits package centered on improving educational opportunities for Hawaii Island students and enhancing their preparation as the workforce for the science and technology economy of the 21st century Hawaii. 

The Hawaii Island Economic Development Board brought together a team of Hawaii Island community leaders who worked together with TMT to establish the fund's framework and governance. Out of this volunteer effort the Organizing Committee established roles, governance structure and initial operating polices. TMT appreciates the dedication of these committee volunteers including Roberta Chu, Dr. Gregory Chun, John DeFries, Richard Ha, Jacqui Hoover, Duane Kanuha, Bob Saunders, Riley Smith, James Takamine and Ross Wilson

The Thirty Meter Telescope has committed $1 Million annually for the life of its (planned) Mauna Kea lease to the THINK Fund. Funding will commence with the start of construction. 


After considerable study the committee recommended that a three-pronged fund be pursued. Scholarships, grant-making and the establishment of an endowment will ensure THINK's sustainablility and optimize the impact of TMT's philanthropy.


It was also recommended that there be an emphasis given to improving opportunities for STEM education for Native Hawaiian students, not an exclusive preference but an emphasis that helps address the needs of the host culture. 

In conducting its due diligence, it became evident to the committee that the fiduciary, legal, and administrative requirements of implementing the THINK Fund will be immense and complex. The committee recommended that TMT utilize a third party administrator experienced in philanthropic management services. After evaluating several options it was recommended that TMT engage the services of the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Ke Ali'i Pauahi Foundation to establish and manage the various components of the THINK Fund. Each organization has its own strengths that would serve to ensure the optimization of the THINK Fund's impact over the long-term.

As we continue to move forward in 2012, TMT looks forward with great anticipation to the educational opportunities that will be realized for Hawaii Island students through the implementation of the THINK Fund.  





February 2012 

In This Issue
President's Message
New Year's Japanese Tea Ceremony
Goji Kara at Kamaaina Nissan
Nihongo - Seasonal Event
Preserving Our Island Heritage
13th Annual Golf Tournament
OMKM Year in Review
HawCC Update
TMT Update
2011-2012 JCCIH Leadership
Welcome New Members


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What's Happening


February 16, 2012
Ku'oko'a Energy Presentation
Encore Restaurant
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Lunch Buffet
February 21, 2012
Executive Meeting
Chamber Conference Room, 12:00 pm

March 1, 2012
Golf Committee Meeting
Encore Restaurant, 5:00 pm

March 5, 2012
Journey Through the Universe
Hilo Yacht Club
5:00 - 8:00 pm

March 6, 2012
Golf Committee Meeting
Encore Restaurant, 5:00pm

March 7, 2012
Golf  Tournament
Hilo Municipal Golf Course
10:00 am Registration
11:00 am Shotgun Start

March 8, 2012
Joint Chamber Event
Pohakuloa Military Presentation
Encore Restaurant
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

March 8, 2012
GAC Committee Meeting
Chamber Conference Room, 5:00 pm

March 12, 2012
Board Meeting
Encore Restaurant, 11:30 am

March 15, 2012
General Membership Meeting
Hawaii County's Budget & Economic Outlook with Mayor Billy Kenoi
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku'ola Room
11:30 am - 1:30 pm





Big Island Toyota 2011 

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2011-2012 Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

Michael Kaleikini, President

Jon Arizumi, 1st Vice President

Carol VanCamp, 2nd Vice President

David Honma, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Darren Nishioka, Treasurer
Donn Mende, Assistant Treasurer

Ivan Nakano, Auditor

Randy Kurohara, Immediate-Past President



Directors - term expiring 6/30/12
Jason Hayashi
Merle Lam
Stephen Ueda
Marcia Sakai

Directors - term expiring 6/30/13
Barry Mizuno
Kimo Lee
Howard Ainsley
Chad Ogata
Ka'iu Kimura
Seth Murashige
Eugene Nishimura
Dwayne Mukai 


Directors - term expiring 6/30/14
Phoebe Lambeth
Marvin Min
Tommy Goya
Russ Oda

Arthur Taniguchi    

Oshirase Newsletter  

Nico Leilani Verissimo, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama, Executive Assistant 

Welcome New Members!   

Mark Nakashima 
State Legislator








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2011 Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai'i


714 Kanoelehua Avenue
Hilo, Hawai'i 96720-4565
Phone: 808-934-0177
Fax: 808-934-0178 


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