Newsletter Title
President's Message
By David Honma, President

Aloha Kakou!

It is hard to believe that three months have already passed since the start of our new fiscal year.  It sure seems like time just hurtles by when you're having fun.  

Since the start of our new year, your chamber officers, board of directors and committee members have worked very hard to perpetuate our Japanese culture and heritage and enhance your membership experience.    

In July, your chamber started off our new year by celebrating the First Annual Tanabata Festival at Subaru Telescope.  Tanabata is a symbolic festival celebrated each July in certain prefectures of Japan.  This festival is a time period to wish for good things and peace to occur and symbolically, strings of colorful paper cranes are hung on bamboo branches.  At the gracious invitation of Dr. Nobuo Arimoto and the employees of Subaru Telescope, chamber members and invited guests were entertained with Japanese cultural dances, ate fine sushi prepared by Ocean Sushi Restaurant, and sampled somen noodles from Fukushima, Japan flown in specially for this event.    

In August, I had the privilege to represent our Chamber at the Annual Irieto Memorial Service held at Alae Cemetery.  This service is in honor of our Japanese Issie descendants who came to Hawaii to make a better life for them and as a result paved the way for the lifestyle we enjoy today.  Attendees at this event included representatives from various Kenjinkai and churches in our community, Hawaii County officials, and the Consulate General of Japan, Toyoei Shigeeda.

In September, I was further privileged to attend a very special event, a Japanese Tea Ceremony at Liliuokalani Gardens.  Hosted by the Urasenke Hilo Association, this tea ceremony was led by Dr. Genshitsu Sen, a grand tea master and national treasure from Japan.  

In the area of membership enrichment, your chamber held two very successful Goji Kara events in the months of August and September.  Members and guests who attended the Goji Kara events at Hamakua Springs Country Farms and Big Island Trading Company not only toured the premise of each business but also learned first-hand about their operation.  Special thanks to Richard Ha of Hamakua Springs Farms and Ed Olson of Big Island Trading Company for hosting our chamber.  

This month in October, your chamber has hosted and supported two community events.  The events are our signatory Taste of Hilo at Sangha Hall and the "Go for Broke" exhibit at the Japanese Cultural Center.  We hope that you were able to join us and support these wonderful events.

In October, I will also represent our chamber as I travel to visit our two sister cities, Higashi Hiroshima and Yurihama.  The month of October is a very special time for our sister cities as the annual Sake Festival is held at Higashi Hiroshima, and October 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of Yurihama Town's creation.

In closing, I'd like to thank our chamber officers, board of directors and committees for their continuous hard work.  At the same time, I'd like to encourage all other members to maximize your chamber membership by joining a committee and attending our events.

Domo arigato gozaimasu.





General Membership Meeting & Holiday Party
JCCIH Social & Cultural Committee presents

2014 General Membership Meeting
Holiday Party

Thursday, December 4, 2014
Nani Mau Gardens & Restaurants, Garden Lanai
5:00 pm Registration
6:00 pm Dinner

More information forthcoming



Meet your Committee Chairs...
By Amanda Lee, Editor 

This month we are very proud to highlight two wonderful and dedicated men.  Currently co-chairing the Taste of Hilo committee, they have been sharing with the chamber invaluable leadership and experience over the years.  And with the 16th Annual Taste of Hilo event in October, we wanted to take this time to recognize the amazing committee that makes this special event possible!

russellarikawa Russell Arikawa

Born in Hilo, Russell graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in the field of Communications.  Russell is a retired Master Sargent with the Hawaii Air National Guard and also a retired Police Dispatcher Supervisor.  

Currently Russell is a realtor with Ginoza Realty, Inc.  He has been involved with the JCCIH Social & Cultural Committee for 13 years.  Russell co-chaired the Golf Tournament with Craig for 2 years, and this is the second year that they are co-chairing Taste of Hilo together.  Currently Russell is the chamber's 2nd VP.

Craig Shiroma Craig Shiroma

Born and raised in Hilo, Craig has been in the airline industry for over 35 years.  Most of his airline career has been with Hawaiian Airlines, and he has held various positions with the customer service department working on Kauai, Oahu, Kona and Hilo. He's currently the Sales Executive for Hilo and Kona, a position he's held for the past 21 years.
As an active member in the chamber for the past 18 years, he has chaired numerous committees including the Taste of Hilo, Social & Cultural and Golf Classic committees.  During his free time Craig enjoys traveling, golfing, running and hiking.

The Taste of Hilo committee is made up of many volunteers that have been involved for many years, and members who have more recently joined.  With the experience, motivation, and synergy of this team, the committee runs smooth and has a lot of fun doing it.  Members share that the committee is like one big family, and that they enjoy working with such a great group of individuals.  We want to recognize our Executive Assistant Lei Momi-Pillers, she does an amazing job of making this event a reality, and her efforts are much appreciated!

Russell and Craig invite you to see what this committee is all about, and come join in one of the meetings to see if this is something that you'd like to be part of!  If you are interested, please contact the chamber office, Russell, or Craig.



2014 General Election Endorsements
By:  Darren Nishioka, Government Affairs Committee Chairperson

Dear JCCIH Members,

The results of the membership candidate endorsement votes have been finalized.  There were 277 ballots mailed out with 124 votes received by the deadline, representing a respectable 44.76% member vote response rate.  The results are as follows:

Governor/Lt. Governor
David Ige/Shan Tsutsui

Brian Schatz

U.S. Representative Districts
District 1 - Mark Takai
District 2 - Tulsi Gabbard

State Representative Districts
District 1 - Mark Nakashima
District 3 - Richard Onishi
District 4 - Joy Sanbuenaventura
District 5 - Richard Creagan
District 6 - Nicole Lowen

State Senator Districts  
District 1 - Gilbert Kahele
District 3 - Josh Green
District 4 - Lorraine Inouye

County Council Districts
District 5 - Daniel Paleka
District 9 - Ronald Gonzales

Thank you for participating and supporting this important process.  The chamber needs to support electing officials who can best represent our interests.

Mahalo and Aloha!



16th Annual Taste of Hilo
By:  Craig Shiroma and Russell Arikawa, Co-Chairs

The 16th Annual - Taste of Hilo, a JCCIH signature event, was held at the Sangha Hall on Sunday, October 19, 2014, and it was a huge success!  Mahalo to the Committee Co-Chairs Russell Arikawa and Craig Shiroma, their dedicated committee, Executive Assistant Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, and all of the valued vendors, sponsors, and to everyone who helped make this event special!

Craig Shiroma and Russell Arikawa

There were over 30 food, dessert and beverage vendors.  We had new vendors as well as valued partners that have supported us since the beginning.  Every year the Taste of Hilo committee attempts to come up with a special treat, and this year's surprise featured item was nothing short of spectacular.

The featured chef this year was Chef Scott Hiraishi of The Feeding Leaf.  The Feeding Leaf is a new and exciting catering company, whose mission statement is, "Grown Local...-Experience Local".  Chef Scott obtained his culinary degree from UHH-West Hawaii, and was mentored by legendary Chef Sam ChoyScott has over 20 years of culinary experience and has worked at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa.  He prepared a dish with local grass fed beef that was raised at the Hawaii Beef Producers ranch.  This was served on Kapakahi rice along with a drizzle of Truffleyaki sauce.  Delicious!!!

Chef Scott Hiraishi of The Feeding Leaf with Jill Andrade Mattos of Hawaii Beef producers and RJ Ranch

A portion of the proceeds goes to support our Hawaii Community College.


Current Benefits for Members


Please check out the current benefits and discounts that you can take advantage of as a JCCIH member!   






Gina Tanouye, Allstate - Speegle Insurance Agency is dedicated to providing outstanding service with Aloha for your auto, home, renters, life insurance and financial service needs. Contact Gina Tanouye at [email protected] or 969-7767. For every referral the office receives, the member will receive a $10 gift card for allowing them to provide an insurance quote. 



Kagari Fujita, Ph. D, Big Island Wisteria, LLC is offering members translation services of Japanese to English, or English to Japanese at a discounted price. Contact Kagari Fujita at [email protected]   



Amelia Hayashi, Bob's Jewelers is offering members 30% off watches; 30% off gold jewelry (Po Son Hon collection excluded); and 30% off sterling silver jewelry.  Contact Amelia Hayashi at 935-8434. 


Diann Horita - With an office in Hilo, Eyewear Hilo has been serving Keaau, Papaikou, Kurtistown and Waimea for more than 4 years. Prior to beginning in Dec. 2008, the staff was employed by Eyewear Hawaii, Inc. and that same respected service is found at Eyewear Hilo.  When you desire superior cutting edge lens technology, call Eyewear Hilo at 935-1119. Members will receive a 20% discount. 


Joy Madriaga, Hawaii Petroleum, Inc., HPI offers dependable bulk fuel and lubricant delivery services to all districts of the island.  HPI's proprietary gas card program - Hawaii Fueling Network - provides a convenient, cost saving way for businesses and consumers to fuel. As a member, when you sign up with HFN, you will receive a discount on your gas purchase.  Contact Joy Madriaga at 969-1405 for further questions.  Applications are available at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii.  

Sandy Wilson, Wilson's Trophies, provides awards for sports and academics; signs and banners; corporate awards, gifts & recognition; custom and personalized products (made to order); wood and acrylic crafting (laser engraving and designs); special occasions (Valentine's, Christmas, etc.); jewelry items (earrings, pendants, hair picks and more). Members will receive awards discounts. Contact Sandy Wilson at 969-7077.   




Onsen - Healing Water
By Joji-san

"Onsen" - natural hot springs are numerous and highly popular across Japan.
Like Hawai'i Island, Japan is volcanically active, and has natural onsen, or hot springs, across the island.  There are many different types of hot springs, distinguished by the minerals dissolved in the water. Different minerals provide different health benefits, and all hot springs are supposed to have a relaxing effect on your body and mind.  Bathing in an onsen is healthful, rejuvenating, and leaves one refreshed and clean. It is said that the onsen waters have healing qualities.

Onsen baths come in many varieties, indoors and outdoors, gender separated and mixed, developed and undeveloped. Many onsen in Japan belong to a ryokan while others are considered public bath houses.  However, an overnight stay at an onsen ryokan is a highly recommended experience to any visitor of Japan.

What is Onsen Ryokan?

While in Japan an ultimate experience is spending a night at an onsen ryokan, a Japanese style inn with hot spring baths. This is not only a popular activity among the Japanese, but was highly recommended to any visitor of Japan.

Onsen ryokan are found in various sizes in hot spring resorts across Japan. Most onsen ryokan visits start with a bath before dinner. The beautifully arranged Japanese style dinner, featuring local specialties, is either served in your tatami room or in a dining hall. Many guests like to take another bath before sleeping and before breakfast in the next morning.

In many onsen ryokan there are "kashikiri" (private) baths which are available.  These private baths are sometimes also known as "kazokuburo" (family onsen).

Onsen Etiquette:

1.    Wash cCarefully
a.    Use lots of soap and the wash towel
b.    Conserve water if possible
c.    Rinse area when finished
2.    Entering the onsen
a.    Use the towel for modesty when walking
b.    Ease into the water - never splash of dive
c.    Place towel on head while in the water

So the next time you visit Japan, enjoy an experience of an onsen!










"Go for Broke" Exhibit
By: Gina Tanouye, Social & Cultural Committee Chairperson 

Gina Tanouye

On Oct 2nd, JCCIH members were hosted by the Hawaii Japanese Center to a special and touching exhibit that 
chronicles the history of Japanese American Soldiers from the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and lesser known Military Intelligence Service who served during World War II. 

2nd VP - Russell Arikawa, Social & Cultural Chairperson - Gina Tanouye and Education Chairperson - Audrey Takamine
Arnold & Eloise Hiura of the Hawaii Japanese Center hosted the exhibit and were also kind enough to provide behind-the-scenes tours of the special collection of Japanese books, the collection of the well-known Hilo Times publisher Mr. Kiyoshi Okubo, and also a collection of vintage items donated by people in the community ranging from typewriters to military uniforms to old Japanese movie posters all preserved for future generations at the Center. 

Our evening was catered by new member, Dawn Kanealii-Kleinfelder of Liko Lehua Cafe.  Everyone was amazed with her delicious food and all left with happy and full bellies.  Special thanks to Russell Arikawa for co-chairing this event.  It was an evening filled with fellowship, culture and history.  The Hawaii Japanese Center is an integral part in preserving the history of the Japanese in Hawaii, and we look forward to working with them in the future to bring more educational and cultural events to our JCCIH members.  


The next exhibit at the Center will be featuring art work from seniors at the Kamana Senior center.  The show will run until Oct. 30th, Tuesday - Friday, 10 - 1 pm and Saturday's from 10 - 3 pm. 








HawCC Update
By Chancellor Noreen Yamane





Hawai'i Community College is offering new accelerated, online certificate programs that quickly prepare students to succeed in the workforce. The classes are conducted using an online format or a mix of online classes with hands-on fieldwork in order to accommodate students' schedules and locations.

The new certificates are: Business Foundations, Business Essentials, Retail Foundations, Entrepreneurship, Virtual Office Assistant, Sustainable Construction Technologies, and Sustainable Lot Design, Preparation and Development.

Students also receive support services that include tutoring, academic counseling, and internship and job development support. In addition, students may be able to receive college credit for work experience and knowledge through the Prior Learning Assessment process.

Hawai'i Community College will host open house events around the island to present the new certificate programs, answer questions, and help with enrollment.

Events are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

*    W.M. Keck Observatory, Tuesday, Oct. 14 from 5 - 6:45 p.m. (65-1120 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kamuela)  
*    Kohala High School cafeteria, Thursday, Oct. 16 at from 5:30 - 7 p.m. (54-3611 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kapaau)
*    North Hawai'i Education and Research Center (NHERC), Tuesday, Oct. 21 at from 5-7 p.m. (Honoka'a)  
*    West Hawai'i Civic Center Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 5-7 p.m., (74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy. Bldg A)
*    Hawai'i Community College cafeteria, Oct. 23, from 5 - 7 p.m. (200 West Kawili St., Hilo)
*    Ainaloa Community Center, October 24 from 5-7pm at (16-303 Ainaloa Blvd, Pahoa)

Hawai'i Community College was one of four University of Hawai'i campuses to receive a Department of Labor grant to develop the classes. The grant aims to align academic programs with industry needs and increase the number of adults who attain certificates, degrees and other industry-recognized certificates; and to expand and improve education and training programs that can be completed in two years or less and that lead to high wage and high skill employment.

For more information about the certificates, visit our website at, or contact us at (808) 934-2800 or [email protected]

 Hawaii Community College logo

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Words of Wisdom 

By Tommy Goya


Tommy Goya


"Every effort is worthwhile." Anon  




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October 2014 
In This Issue
President's Message
General Membership Meeting & Holiday Party
Meet your Committee Chairs...
2014 General Election Endorsements
16th Annual Taste of Hilo
Current Benefits for Members
Nihongo...Onsen - Healing Water
Go for Broke Exhibit
HawCC Update
Words of Wisdom
2014-2015 JCCIH Leadership
Welcome New Members!












What's Happening



December 4, 2014

General Membership Meeting  

& Holiday Party

Nani Mau Garden's Restaurants

5:00 pm

More information forthcoming 


March 4, 2015

16th Annual Golf Classic Tournament

Hilo Municipal Golf Course

More information forthcoming






Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

David Honma, President

Darren Nishioka, 1st Vice President

Russell Arikawa, 2nd Vice President

Audrey Takamine, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Donn Mende, Treasurer
Ivan Nakano, Auditor

Carol VanCamp, Immediate-Past President


Directors - term expiring 6/30/15

Janice Bueltmann

Barbara Hastings

Randy Kurohara

Amanda Lee

Tracey Miura

Michael Miyahira

Allan Onishi

Debbie Shigehara

Nina Tanabe

Toby Taniguchi


Directors - term expiring 6/30/16
Nobuo Arimoto

Ross Birch

Laurie Correa

Charlene Iboshi

Michael Kaleikini

Ka'iu Kimura

Kimo Lee
Barry Mizuno

Steve Ueda

Nico Verissimo


Directors - term expiring 6/30/17

Jon Arizumi

Tommy Goya

Josie Kiyan

Phoebe Lambeth

Marvin Min

Dwayne Mukai

Russell Oda

Joseph Skruch

Arthur Taniguchi

Gina Tanouye

Jere Usui 

Oshirase Newsletter   

Amanda Lee, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, Executive Assistant    




Welcome New Members! 

Kimberly Ciez
Big Island Trading Company
General Manager
1672 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo, HI  96720
[email protected]

Andrew Hara
Ena Media Hawaii
82 Ponahawai St., Hilo, HI  96720
[email protected]

Amy Honda
Bank of Hawaii
Commercial Banking Officer
120 Pauahi St., Hilo, HI  96720
[email protected]

Rob Kelso

Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems

Executive Director

99 Aupuni St., Ste. 212-213, Hilo, HI  96720


 [email protected]  


Gareth Makino 

I. Yamada Furniture Store

Advertising Associate

340 Kinoole St., Hilo, HI  96720


[email protected]


Lucille Mossman

Public Notary

830-A Kilauea Ave., Hilo, HI  96720


[email protected] 


Tammy Spar

Wainaku Ventures, LLC.


26-238 Hawaii Belt Rd., Hilo, HI  96720

365-5384 & 895-6420

[email protected] 


John Sylvia

Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC.

President & CEO

One Embercadero Center, Suite 1320

San Francisco, CA  94111

415-230-4844 & 415-230-4846

[email protected]


Audrey Wilson


Big Island Wellness Solutions

P O Box 355, Volcano, HI  96785

985-7191 & 895-1176

[email protected] 




Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home


Kama'aina Motors 




Direct Link 2013-2014


Kama'aina Nissan

Creative Arts 2013-2014


HELCO 2013-2014
Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home


Kama'aina Motors 




Direct Link 2013-2014


Kama'aina Nissan

Creative Arts 2013-2014


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 
[email protected] 


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