President's Message

By Michael Kaleikini, President


 Aloha mai kakou.

What an exciting and heartwarming experience this past year has been.  It has truly been an honor and privilege to have served as the President during the 61st year of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai'i.  Thanks to all of you, our valued members who continue to make our Chamber as successful as we have been.  Everyone of you has contributed in one way or another to our mission of promoting the well-being of our community through business and personal relationships through the values of Kahiau and Okage Sama De.


Kahiau, giving without expecting anything in return and Okage Sama De, I am what I am because of you.  These are the two values that we have and will continue to perpetuate among our membership.

When I look back on our 61st year, several events come to mind  worth mentioning.  In August, our Chamber was represented at the Blessing of the UHH Science and Technology Building and we also participated in the Ireito Memorial Service at Alae Cemetary.  October was quite exciting with the Higashi Hiroshima Sake Festival, the Aloha UH Faculty Reception at Wailoa State Park and one of our signature events, Taste of Hilo.

Our Holiday Party in December at 'Imiloa was a blast and it was a great way to close out the calendar year.  The New Year, which happens to be the Year of The Dragon, kicked off with the Japanese Community Association of Hilo's in January.  Little did I know that there would be several more New Year's celebrations with the various Kenjin Kai and other Japanese organizations in Hilo.  The highlight of the second half of the year was our annual Golf Tournament held in March.  It provided a time for all to have some fun and fellowship folks from our island as well as from some of the neighbor islands.


As I reflect on several of our Chamber's priorities for the 61st year, the economy, energy, agriculture, healthcare and education.  It is clear to me that these priorities will continue to be important to us.  This past few years will undoubtedly go down as some of the toughest economic times we have experienced on local, statewide, nationwide and global levels.

Looking ahead, we are blessed to have such involved and caring members.  Our 62nd year as a Chamber will be exciting.  I am looking forward to assisting our Incoming President Jon Arizumi in continuing success for our Chamber and having as much fun as we possibly can.  Jon and Carol VanCamp have been working with other Hilo business organizations to put on a Mayoral's Debate in early July.  Should be fun and educational to listen to Dominic Yagong, Harry Kim and Billy Kenoi.  The event will be on July 5th at Sanga Hall. Hope to see you there.

Lastly, I must again state that it has truly been a privilege serving as the 61st President for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai'i.  But most importantly, the success of our organization is  due to the collective efforts of every hard working voluntary Chamber member.  There are so many I am thankful for that I would be remiss if I tried to name everyone.  However, I must share a special Mahalo Nui to Lei Momi Fujiyama for being the focal point of our organization and for all of the dedication Lei provides to the JCCIH.

See you all at the 62nd Installation Dinner.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!     




A Taste of Hilo


A Taste of Hilo




 14th ANNUAL
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Sangha Hall, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Ticket sales kick off during the
JCCIH 62nd Annual Installation Dinner
Entry to a drawing for a delicious prize with every Taste of Hilo ticket purchased at the Installation Dinner.
Tickets on sale for $40 ($60 value)



Yukio Okutsu State Veteran's Home Hosts Goji Kara
By Carol Van Camp


Yukio Okutsu State Veteran's H ome rolled out the red carpet for JCCIH with a backdrop of Taiko drums and live entertainment at the state's only Veterans home for a Goji Kara celebration on May 2nd.

The Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo, which is part of the East Hawai'i Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) hosted a fun-filled celebration to update Chamber members and guests on the wonderful things happening there.

Festivities included Taiko drumming, entertainment by Loeka Longakit and
John Tuli, great food, and lots of door prizes donated by businesses throughout the community.  Another highlight was a presentation on pain management by Dr. Smigel, along with  tours of the near-capacity occupancy Veteran's facility. 
Administrator Teana Kaho'ohanohanoo and her staff organized a successful silent auction featuring items donated by area businesses.  Many of the residents of the home also joined in the festivities, giving them the opportunity to meet Chamber members and enjoy the food and entertainment.
Mahalo to everyone involved who made the event truly memorable!


Joint Chamber Event Offers Members a Preview of Hospice of Hilo's New Care Center
By Carol Van Camp


Nearly 70 members and guests of the JCCIH and the Hawai'i Island Chamber of Commerce enjoyed a sneak preview of  Pohai Malama, a Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Care Center, during a joint Goji Kara-Business After Hours celebration at the facility on June 5th.

The new care center, located at 590 Kapi'olani Street in Hilo, is the first of its kind on a neighbor island, and will celebrate its grand opening on June 22nd.  The center will provide the comfort of short-term continuous care in a home-like setting for patients who are unable to receive Hospice care at home or whose pain, symptoms and special needs require a more acute level of Hospice care than is possible at home.

The center features 12 patient suites with private lanais, a full body spa for patients, dining room and kitchen, family room, children's room, and many other facilities for both patients and their families.  Brenda Ho, Hospice of Hilo Executive Director, noted that the building also includes the opportunity to add additional suites based upon patient demand.  The dream of having this facility become a reality dates back several years, but the process began when the state donated the land and other grants and donations were committed.  To date, about $9.2 million of the $10 million goal has been raised, so additional donations are still needed to finish the project.

Refreshments for the event were donated by KTA Superstores, and Jim Nakagawa, president of the Hospice of Hilo board and several other board members were on hand to guide guests through the center.  For more information about making donations or volunteering with Hospice of Hilo, contact them at 969-1733. 


Thirty Meter Telescope Update  

By Sandra Dawson, Community Affairs Manager, TMT

 Sandra Dawson

 No update yet on the project's Contested Case and as of this column's submission, the Hearings Officer has not yet issued issue a report and his recommendation. 

Summer is busy with several astronomy educational outreach programs getting underway.


TMT is hosting two Hawai'i Island students for the summer at TMT's Pasadena headquarters as part of the Akamai Workforce Initiative. Anthony Sylvester has begun his internship work alongside our team of scientists, engineers and project specialists. Chloe Frizelle will also soon begin her internship at TMT headquarters in July. These two bright, gifted students will each be assigned a specific problem solving task assisting with astronomy's next generation telescope.

TMT is again supporting the summer Akamai Internship Program here on Hawai'i Island. Akamai offers community college students and undergraduates who are attending college in Hawaii or who are from Hawai'i but studying on the mainland an opportunity to get involved in research and technology at the Mauna Kea observatories and other high tech enterprises. Each student is matched with a mentor and is integrated as a member of the mentor's group with daily guidance.


The Akamai Internship Program starts June 10 and participating students end their internship August 10 with detailed presentations given in an open-house format.

TMT is also a sponsor of the 2012 Pathways to Observatory Careers, a new curriculum in partnership with Akamai Workforce Initiative, UH Hilo and Hawai'i Community College. Sixteen students from five high schools, Hilo, Connections PCS, Waiakea, Nawahi and Kamehameha Schools are enrolled in this 2-week course at Hawai'i Community College. These promising high school students have the opportunity to explore the range of observatory careers and develop career pathways based on time spent with observatory personnel.

TMT is proud to be a part of these educational opportunities and looks forward to developing further educational avenues for our island students.






Government Affairs Committee 2011-12

By: Jon J. Arizumi, President-elect and Chair of the Government Affairs Committee


2011-12 was an exhilarating and constructive year.  The Government Affairs Committee (GAC) focused on

educating our members about several important

legislative issues.  

Some of this year's accomplishments included:  


  • Establishment of the chamber "Priority Issues"
  • Support of letters on legislature bills
  • Support of the TIGER Grant - Saddle Road Extension 
  • Educated and informed our members via Chamber of Commerce "Action Alert" system

In July, we will co-sponsor a joint Mayoral Forum

along with: 

  • Hawai'i Island Board of Realtors
  • Hawai'i Island Chamber of Commerce
  • Hawai'i Island Contractors' Association
  • Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai'i
  • Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association

Invited candidates include: 

  • Billy Kenoi
  • Harry Kim
  • Dominic Yagong

This members-only event will be held at the Honpa Honwanji - Sangha Hall on Thursday, July 5 from 6 to 8 pm and a limited number of tickets will be available.  A recent email blast requesting potential questions for the Candidates was sent to all members on June 5.  Questions will be reviewed by the Planning Committee and formatted for the forum.  Notification will be sent out to members in the upcoming weeks. 


Dates to remember: 

August 11, 2012 (Saturday) Primary Election

November 11, 2012 (Tuesday) General Election


Mahalo to our 2011-12 GAC members -  


Arigato Gozaimasu....until next year. 




What is your lucky number?

By Dr. Saeko Hayashi, Astronomer, Subaru Telescope


saekohayashiWhat is your lucky number? 

No, I am not talking about which number you most often use when you visit Vegas. The concept of lucky or preferred number seems to be deeply rooted in the tradition. 


According to my very casual observation, Japanese kitchenwear sets usually contain five units in a set, while here four is more likely. One of the readings of number four in Japanese is the same as the ultimate end; hence you never send a gift of four in a set. Numbers three, five, and seven are popular in Japan, as you might remember, Shichi (seven)-Go (five)-San (three) festival for children.


A rainbow has seven colors - violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. It looks like that the blue side has divided into extra color names so that the total can be seven. On the other hand, when you see the traditional dye for clothes in Japan, there are those vast varieties of different hue of blues.


Here the rainbow color is often referred as having six colors - violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Quite often we are blessed with not only one but multiple rainbows over the town or the mountain, especially in the morning. For me, the red side is easier to see. People might have different sensitivity in their vision detecting the colors. Whatever your vision is, rainbows are fascinating, aren't they?


Here comes another vision test. One of the most conspicuous stellar compositions in winter is Pleiades, I would like to say just as Seishonagon a female poet in the Japanese imperial house of ancient times praised. Referred to as Makali'i (little eyes), this cluster of young stars goes overhead when viewing from the Island of Hawai'i. The wayfinders used Makali'i in winter, Hokule'a in summer to find this island.


Makali'i is Subaru in Japan, referring to the verb form of Subaru meaning come together or get together. How many stars can you see in this gathering of stars? Well, of course this is summer and you do not see them. Just try to recall. Do you see six? Then you are Japanese. Do you see seven? You have good eyesight. More than seven? Great.


Subaru, the cluster of stars, are referred to as "group of six" in many local dialects throughout Japan, whether in a fishing village or in the farming community. It is such a remarkable formation that even in the mountain ranges it can be easily spotted. The atmosphere of Japan is wet and the sky is not that crisp clear. Thus people can only distinguish six stars, and that is why you see six stars in the emblems of certain automobiles, because that company originated from six factories merged together.


I hope you had a chance to witness the Transit of Venus in a safe manner. This could be a good test of your vision too, to spot a tiny speck of the shadow of Venus against the blinding light of the Sun. Remember, the next Transit of Venus is more than a century away. Such is the circle of life in the heaven.



HawCCHawCC Update

By Chancellor Noreen Yamane



The University of Hawai'i will feature and celebrate the best in indigenous culture and modern science, and demonstrate that the two worlds can and are being bridged through education and community outreach. The university is world famous for its excellence in the fields of astronomy, earth and ocean sciences, and marine biology. It serves as an incubator and teaching resource in perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and is fast becoming the "model indigenous-serving university" in the country, increasing access to higher education for Hawaiians and leading the effort to preserve Hawaiian culture, language and practices.

In that spirit, close to 90 delegates from the University of Hawai'i and the community it serves will travel to the nation's capitol to showcase their projects and programs.  Some of the exhibits will include traditional health and healing practices, lomi lomi demonstrations, traditional Hawaiian makahiki games, culinary arts, and various other activities.

Under the direction of Dr. Taupouri Tangaro, Hawai'i Community College will be represented by 25 Unukupukupu members of faculty, staff, students and administrators who will conduct various workshops and hula auana and kahiko performances throughout the festival.  Some of the workshops include lauhala weaving, lei hulu (feather-lei), kalai (wood carving) demonstrations as well as hands-on workshops for ukeke (stringed instrument), hei (string and chants) and basic hula lessons.

Hawai'i Community College's Unukupukupu has also been invited to perform at the Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium on June 26, 12:00 noon.  The event is free to the public.


The Smithsonian Folklife Festival will give the university and state of Hawai'i invaluable exposure to stimulate tourism and business. It also gives the university and its festival participants the unique opportunity to learn from other cultures and people. 


HawCC dedicated our 45th Model Home located in Keaukaha on May 10.  The success of this program is attributed to the collaborative efforts of the Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands, State and County agencies, private industry and businesses and our college.  In 1965, HawCC and then sponsor HPM Building Supply, began the program to provide students with skills and attitudes to thrive and prosper in our community.  We are the only community college in the state that has successfully endured a project of this complexity.  Commitment by the professors to the students, program, and college is the driving force that allows learning activities to closely simulate industry standards. Contributing to this Model Home Project are our HawCC students in Architectural Engineering and CAD Technology; Agriculture;

Carpentry; Diesel; Electricity; and Machine, Welding & Industrial Mechanics.



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Introducing Fritz Klasner
Office of Mauna Kea Management
By Stephanie Nagata, Director 


I am happy to announce the hiring of Fritz Klasner as OMKM's first Natural Resources Program Manager. Fritz's hiring marks an important step in OMKM's efforts to fulfill its long-term commitment to preserve and protect the rare and often fragile natural resources found within the Mauna Kea Science Reserve.

Arnold Hiura
Fritz Klasner

As detailed in the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan, there is much work to be done, so it is reassuring to have someone with Fritz's knowledge and experience on board to help coordinate OMKM's efforts. Prior to joining us, Fritz worked at the famed Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska for four-and-a-half years, serving as natural resource program manager for two-and-a-half years and resource manager for two years. Prior to his stint in Alaska, Fritz worked for five years as ecologist with the Pacific Islands Inventory and Monitoring Program at the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. In both instances, he had to work closely and with great sensitivity to indigenous cultural traditions and beliefs-a practice that is also vital to our work on Mauna Kea. 


Fritz earned his M.S. degree in Geography from Oregon State University and moved to Oahu in the late '90s. In 2000, he was working at the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park when the Mauna Kea Master Plan triggered highly emotional public debate here on the Big Island. Fritz was here and followed the Mauna Kea issue closely. He saw the UH Board of Regents adopt the 2000 Master Plan and the UH Hilo Chancellor establish OMKM, MKMB and Kahu Ku Mauna. Fritz may be new to OMKM, but he is no stranger to its history and mission.

Thus, while the task of developing and coordinating programs aimed at protecting Mauna Kea's vast natural environment is a daunting one, I am confident that Fritz is equipped to achieve our goals. For example, we both agree that we need to link the University's efforts-led by OMKM and MKMB-with the community at large. Fritz would like to make use of the University's resources to benefit all, as was demonstrated in the work conducted by UH entomologist Jesse Eiben on the wekiu bug.

I also like Fritz's practical approach, working with our Environment Committee and Kahu Ku Mauna to establish a clear set of priorities and find partners that can best help us to achieve our goals. He has stated his view that, "OMKM's role is to bring key people to bear on each subject. We need to gather useful information to broaden our knowledge base and focus our energies to achieve the greatest impact."

A good example of this is the Mauna Kea Rangers program. The rangers have contributed a great deal to improving management of Mauna Kea, but we also need to make sure their efforts are being utilized in the most efficient manner.

There is a lot of work ahead for OMKM, but we aim to take it one step at a time with the help of people like Fritz Klasner.

















By Jon Arizumi
Did you know?


The Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii owns an "Omikoshi"?

Well, some of you might be wondering "What is an Omikoshi"?

First of all the honorific form of "Mikoshi" is "Omikoshi." (In Japanese, O is a prefix that is usually added to the names of objects to make them sound polite,).  The Omikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine for the gods and spirits. It resembles a miniature temple building, with the roof usually holding a carved Phoenix.  (A phoenix is usually consider a symbol of re-birth)

Omikoshi are usually very heavy and require many folks to carry it on their shoulders by means of two or four poles.  On the day of a matsuri (festival), people carry the Omikoshi through the streets of their neighborhood.  They wear hapi (a special coat) and tabi (special socks) and shout out "wa shai...wa shai" over and over again.  It is said that kamisama (god) or the divine sprint enters the Omikoshi.  As the Omikoshi is parade in the neighborhood it brings fortune to homes and local business in the area.

On April 24, 2012, members of the chamber participated in a special event to clean and refurbish the Omikoshi.  At the temple Daijingo, where the Omikoshi is stored, we had the honor to have Hilo Daijingu Rev. Daizo Watanabe explain the significance of the Omikoshi within the Shinto religion. 

The event of fellowship was shared by our members: Dwayne Mukai - coordinator of the event, Pearl Kang, Allan Onishi, Shelly Ogata, Chad Ogata, Kenji Kawai, Reiko Hamada and daughter, Tommy Goya, and Jon Arizumi

See you at the next Social and Cultural Event! 







View from UH Hilo

By Marcia Sakai, Ph. D.

Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs


marciasakaiThose Oshirasae readers who know my column from last year may recall that I wrote from the perspective of the Dean of the UH Hilo, College of Business and Economics.  Those columns shared faculty and student doings, described CoBE initiatives, and shared the role of community advisory board members who helped us to advance.
For the past year, I've served in the position of UH Hilo Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, where I've had the great opportunity to work with Chancellor Don Straney and his executive team, and more importantly to learn about the business functions of the University.  I step into the position on a permanent basis beginning June 1, 2012.  My dad always said that I'd be a student forever (likely wondering when I'd get a job), and it looks like he's right!

Overseeing the functions of Administrative Affairs is like running a small city.   The office provides for the campus' security and environmental health and safety needs, oversees physical infrastructure, ranging from grounds and building maintenance to planning, design and construction of new facilities, oversees information technology infrastructure maintenance and development, and provides for the human resource management business functions, for the revenue receipt and payment disbursement functions, and for budget planning at the campus level.  

Energy costs emerged this year as a major factor constraining our flexibility to use revenues to advance our strategic goal of challenging each student to reach their highest academic potential.   A comparison of calendar year 2011 energy payments with calendar year 2010 energy payments showed that our payments had risen by 25%, year over year.  More astounding was the fact that 21% was due to increased energy-related charges, while the remaining 4% was due to increased usage.
UH Hilo's pro-active Facilities Planning and Construction office group had just completed installation of sub-meters on each of the major UH Hilo buildings, setting the stage for identifying building efficiency, but more was needed.  A team of four people, including myself, Lo-Li Chih, Kolin Kettleson, and Cam Miur, attended the Association of Energy Engineers', Comprehensive Training Program for Certified Energy Managers, co-sponsored by Hawaii Energy in Honolulu, to gain baseline knowledge in the field of energy efficiency and sustainability.   Jon Arizumi, incoming JCCIH president and HELCO representative, was our table partner.
We are now in the process of refining the scope of work for an Energy Master Plan for UH Hilo that will incorporate findings of current work on potential energy efficiency projects and examine opportunities for renewable energy development.  UH Hilo has been approached by a number of companies interested in helping us reduce our energy costs, and we are waiting for the completed Energy Master Plan to assist us in making these energy-related investment decisions.

Through the Campus Sustainability Committee,  UH Hilo is also taking direct action to educate campus users, not only about the impact of energy costs on all campus operations, both direct instruction and support functions, but how individually people can make a difference through the reduction of unneeded consumption.  Led by Cam Miur, the Committee worked with the student government association, UHHSA, on a recycling campaign and with students in Dawna Coutant's  psychology course, to produce poster designs with messages targeting our energy 'vampires'.  The Committee plans to continue efforts, enhancing its educational outreach with regular energy usage reports to the campus, on a building by building basis.  We may get some friendly competition going and will be reporting what we find!

Words of Wisdom

By Tommy Goya



  "Life is like a musical instrument.  It needs to be played well to gain the most benefit and satisfaction."



June 2012
June Kanji - Rokugatsu 
In This Issue
President's Message
Taste of Hilo
Goji Kara at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home
Joint Chamber Event-Hospice of Hilo
TMT Update
Government Affairs Committee 2011-2012
Nihongo Kizuna - a Year Later
HawCC Update
Office of Mauna Kea Management
Views from UH Hilo
Words of Wisdom
2011-2012 JCCIH Leadership
Welcome New Members














What's Happening


June 21, 2012
62nd Installation
'Imiloa Astronomy Center, Moanahoku Hall
5:30 pm Registration
6:30 Dinner
July 25, 2012
Joint Chambers (JCCIH & HICC)
University of Hilo Update
 Chancellor Dr. Donald Straney
Restaurant Encore
11:30am - 1:00pm
Registration information forthcoming






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!   


Tracey Kauahi

Clark Realty Corporation




Nobuo Arimoto

Nobuo Arimoto

Subaru Telescope




 Maile Young

Hawaii Island Adult Care, Inc.












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2012 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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