Newsletter Title
President's Message
By Darren H. Nishioka, President
Darren Nishioka

I would like to extend a big Mahalo to all of our hard working members.  The board, committee chairs and members alike have been very busy planning the year and attending events.  Fiscal year 2015-2016 is gearing up to be an exciting one.

July 2015 started out with the 2nd Annual Tanabata Festival held at the Subaru Telescope Facility.  This festival is celebrated in July to promote goodwill.  Traditionally, wishes are written and then hung on bamboo trees along with beautiful decorations.  Dr. Nobuo Arimoto and the staff at Subaru provided wonderful company and entertainment.  Attendees were treated to a fun ice-breaker event, poetry reading, and song and dance by the Subaru staff.  Lunch included the traditional nagashi "flowing" somen prepared by Hilo Hongwanji volunteers and oishi sushi prepared by Ocean Sushi Deli. 

In addition to the cultural aspect in celebrating the Tanabata Festival, the event is intended to be a social event in which new friendships can be made with the Subaru staff.  I myself was able to make new friends and look forward to continuing this Tanabata Festival tradition.  A job well done goes out to the Social & Cultural Committee, the Education Committee, the Hilo Hongwanji volunteers and everyone who assisted and participated in making this event so successful.

I had the opportunity to meet with Takeshi Ogino, Consul for Defense Affairs, Naoki "Pepsi" Shirasaka, Lt. Commander, JMSDF and various community leaders of Hilo in the initial planning of an event in conjunction with the 2015 Japan Training Squadron.  The squadron, consisting of three naval ships, will be arriving at Hilo Harbor in October, as the final stop of the training mission, before heading back to Japan.  The purpose of the training mission is not only to develop seamanship, but to also promote mutual understanding and goodwill with the countries the training squadron visits.  More information is forthcoming on this event as visitation plans are finalized.

The month of July closed with a Goji-Kara event entitled "Made with Aloha".  Hawaii Island Gourmet and Engineering Partners hosted the event on Thursday, July 30, 2015.  It was a fun filled event featuring Hawaii Island Gourmet chocolates, Volcano Winery wine, delicious food and of course door prizes.  We had a great turnout and everyone had fun.  Thanks goes out to Nimr Tamimi, Nick Lancaster, Glenn Madaba and his staff for hosting our chamber.

There was a recent Goji-Kara event on August 6, 2015 featuring the Palace Theater.  This event featured a back-stage tour, educational information and the showing of the official trailer for "Message from Hiroshima", a film depicting life in Hiroshima before the atomic bomb.

The Goji-Kara events are put together by the Social and Cultural Committee and are intended to promote local businesses by providing education about their operations and showcasing their service or product.  We have many more events on the horizon.  Don't forget the 17th Annual Taste of Hilo happening on Sunday October 18, 2015. Tickets are on sale now.  This will be a sell-out event so if you would like to sample various local food and drink, buy your tickets early at the chamber office by contacting Lei Momi Pillers at 934-0177.

Once again, thank you to all our hard working members of the chamber.  Your dedication and commitment is truly valued and appreciated.  Kahiau and Okage Sama De.   Mahalo! 


JCCIH 65th Annual Installation

June 17, 2015

Hilo Hawaiian Hotel


>>>View event photos





New Member Orientation

By Audrey Takamine, Membership Committee Chairperson



New Member Orientation

Palms By the Bay

     80 Pauahi St., Hilo

Thursday, September 24, 2015

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

More information forthcoming!


We encourage our new Chamber members to attend the New Member Orientation.  This is an opportunity to meet some of the members from the Chamber, introduce your business, and familiarize yourself with the variety of services and benefits the Chamber offers.


Chamber committee chairs and officers will provide an informal presentation on what you need to know to start making your Chamber membership work for you.  It's a great way to start your Chamber connection.


By Joji-san

Japanese Green Tea

Do you know.......that tea is the most commonly drunk beverage in Japan and it is a very important part of the Japanese culture?

Green tea is the most common type of tea, and it is also the central element of the tea ceremony.  Green tea is the main type of tea that is produced and consumed in Japan.  Different growing conditions, processing, and harvesting times results in numerous varieties of green tea.  40% of Japanese tea is grown and produced in the Shizuoka prefecture.

Here are varieties of green tea that are popularly consumed in Japan:
Sencha (roasted tea) - The most common variety of Japanese green tea and is most likely to be served when visiting a Japanese home.  Sencha is noted for its delicate sweetness, mild astringency and flowery-green aroma. The quality of Sencha will vary depending on origin, time of harvest and leaf processing techniques. The early spring harvests, or first picking of the tea bush (known as ichi-ban cha), are considered to produce the highest quality sencha.
Gyokuro (gemstone dew) - Is regarded as the highest grade of tea made in Japan.  It is made only with the first flush leaf, and its special processing results in a tea with a sweet, mild flavor and fresh, flowery-green aroma. The tea bushes are grown in the shade for 20 days prior to harvest.  This process generates thiamine which enhances sweetness in Gyokuro tea.
Macha (powered tea)Macha (powered tea) - Is prepared from green tea leaves and grounded into a fine powder.  This tea is used primary in the tea ceremony.  Macha is also used in other teas to enhance color and flavor and known to be used in green tea ice cream. 
Bancha (course tea)Bancha (coarse tea) - Refers to a lower grade of sencha that is harvested during the second and third crops in the summer and autumn.  This tea usually contains larger leaves and upper stems, which are discarded during the production of sencha.  Bancha is known to be less aromatic and more astringent.  Due to its robust flavor and strong character, this tea goes well with food.
Genmaicha (brown rice tea)Genmaicha (brown rice tea) - Is a blend of bancha with well-toasted brown rice (genmai). The rice adds a slightly
nutty taste. The mild flavor of Genmaicha and its low caffeine content make it an ideal after-dinner tea. At times, small amount of Macha is mixed into this tea to enhance color.

Brewing Green Tea:


While brewing the better quality green tea, the lower the temperature of the hot water used, the sweeter the taste of the tea.  It is practice to let boiling water sit and cool slightly (~110 to 160 degrees) before pouring the water over the leaves in the teapot.


Enjoy the flavors of Japanese tea!



A Fun and Succesful 2nd Annual Tanabata Festival!
By Yu Yok Pearring, Education Committee Co-Chairperson

On July 7, some 80 members of JCCIH and staff of Subaru Telescope gathered at mid day to celebrate the annual Tanabata Festival at Subaru Telescope's facility in Hilo.

This 2nd Annual event was organized by the Education and Social & Cultural Committees, in partnership with Subaru staff to serve the following objectives:

* Promote better understanding of the Japanese culture
* Provide a positive social and educational relationship between the Subaru Telescope organization and the Hilo community
* Facilitate personal interactions between Subaru staff and JCCIH members
* Pave the way for further development of social interactions between Subaru staff and JCCIH members - to help Subaru employees assimilate with the local community

Tanabata Festival takes place each year on the 7th day of the 7th month. This festival traces its origins to the legend of the Cowherd Star (Altair) and the Weaver Star (Vega).  These 2 lovers, separated by the Milky Way, are allowed to meet just once a year on this date.  It is said that if it rains on Tanbata, they can't meet and will have to wait for another year.   In Japan, children and adults write their wishes on Tanzaku (colorful narrow
strips of paper) and hang them on bamboo trees along with other decorations.  They then pray hard for their wishes to come true.

Emceed by Mr. Dwayne Mukai, attendees were treated to a fun 'Helium Sticks' ice-breaker game led by Mr. Mike Miyahira, a wonderful slide presentation by Dr. Arimoto, and beautiful singing of Japanese songs by the Subaru Choir.  We were mesmerized by our own Mr. Hiroshi Suga, who entertained us with his singing as well.

Special thanks to all contributing members of the JCCIH Education and Social & Cultural Committees, Dr. Arimoto and his staff at Subaru Telescope, KTA Super Stores, members of Hilo Hongwanji (namely Mr. & Mrs. Miura, Mr. & Mrs. Shigeta) for a fun and successful festival! 

Please mark your calendars to join us next year at our 3rd Annual Tanabata Festival on July 7, 2016!


Goji Kara

Hawaii Island Gourmet  & Engineering Partners

By Carol Gristock, 

Social & Cultural Committee Member 


Aloha All!


I would like to thank everyone for the Goji Kara hosted by Hawaii Island Groumet and Engineering Partners.  I think what made this the best Goji Kara I have attended yet is the fact that I am getting to know a lot of our JCCIH members better and feeling a little more comfortable around everyone.  Not to mention, of course, all the great food and beverages.  Like the wines from Volcano Winery (my favorite was the sweet Guava/Grape white), and Papa Mu's, kalua pig and smoked meat from the only certified imu in the nation!  Yan's mini manapuas were the bomb! Of course, we all love Atebara's chips and the fire/ice mint chocolate with the chili pepper flakes was awesome!


Fellowship, however, that's the #1 reason that makes these events special!  Getting to know the JCCIH members has been wonderful, and also promoting our businesses together is a fantastic way to network.  Joining JCCIH has been the best business decision I have ever made.  It has allowed me to meet so many wonderful inspiring people!







Hawaii Community College Updates
By Chancellor Noreen Yamane

noreenyamane Despite job openings in the local process technology industry, there is a lack of local qualified job applicants. A pilot program at Hawai'i Community College's Office of Continuing Education and Training (OCET) is striving to change that.

This summer, a 16-week "Process Technology and Industrial Maintenance" class ended successfully with nine participants completing the program. Hands-on activities and classroom training led by co-instructors Brian Tomaszewski and Brian Sipery prepared students for jobs with food and beverage companies, electrical power generation/distribution, bio-diesel refineries and wastewater collection/treatment plants.

Four graduates of the program were hired after the completion of the training, of which two were in the process tech industry. One graduate was so excited about the skills he learned that he approached a local employer to share his new skills. He is now receiving a paid internship with hopes of filling a full-time position at the end of his six-month internship period.

Ormat Nevada Inc., the parent company of Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV), generously supported the program by offering tuition subsidies. The program was also funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration through a Rural Hawaii project.

This training was modeled after a Process Tech program offered at Leeward Community College Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development.  PGV, Pacific Biodiesel, Hawaii Electric Light Company, and Hawaiian Springs have been instrumental in serving as advisory to the college by giving feedback on the curriculum, serving as guest speakers, and donating unused equipment.

Modules in applied industrial math, safety, equipment, instrumentation, systems and troubleshooting prepared participants to be the best candidate when applying for jobs in the process technology industry. This training can be repeated or the curriculum can be modified if job openings are available.  Employers requesting future training should contact the OCET office at 934-2700.


Hawai'i Community College hosted a brand-new Summer STEM Camp in June in an effort to interest middle school students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

The STEM Camp was a partnership between Hawai'i Community College, the Hawai'i P-20 Partnerships for Education (P-20) and the Hawai'i State Department of Education's STEM Coordinator for the Hilo-Waikea Complex.

One of the goals of the STEM Camp is to encourage students at a critical juncture in their education, so if they are interested in STEM careers and fields of study they can be well prepared for the math and other skills they will need when they reach college.

The STEM Camp is aligned with a University of Hawai'i strategic direction that seeks to increase the number of STEM graduates in in Hawai'i in anticipation of career opportunities related to technical fields.

STEM Camp also is part of a broader effort at Hawai'i Community College called the STEM Enhancement Initiative that began during the 2014-2015 academic year. A committee has been meeting monthly since last October to explore ways the college can strengthen its STEM programs.

OMKM May 28, 2015 Open House
By Stephanie Nagata
Stephanie Nagata As OMKM continues to address and fulfill action items directed by the 2009 Comprehensive Management Plan for Maunakea, there has been a multitude of new monitoring and management plans, scientific studies, and other activities for us to talk about and share with the public. Our Open House on May 28, 2015 at the Visitor Information Station (VIS) Presentation Room on Maunakea was one recent opportunity for OMKM to share these activities about Maunakea management with the public in an informational, talk-story format. Poster displays and literature featured various aspects of ongoing OMKM management activities including resource monitoring and various field research projects.

Event collaborators included:
  • Dr. Jesse Eiben, UH-Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM), who shared his research on the wēkiu bug and arthropod biodiversity of Maunakea.
  • Nathan Stephenson, graduate student at UH-Hilo's Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Sciences, sharing work from the Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Labs (SDAV) to understand erosion processes on Maunakea; and the Big Island Invasive Species Council (BIISC).
The Open House also focused on the newly-approved Invasive Species Management Plan, aimed at preventing introduction of new species to the mountain, a unique and delicate ecological system. We rely on the public's assistance to ensure that persons, vehicles and belongings are free of visible, live critters and plant materials, and we are working diligently on public educational efforts to communicate the Plan. The Open House also featured children-friendly activities, including informational trading cards, species coloring sheets, and the ever-popular "Bug Box," showcasing insect specimens collected on Maunakea by OMKM staff.

Events such as this are also an opportunity for OMKM to have dialogue with the public to generate awareness of what we are doing to malama the mountain and, more importantly, learn of the public's concerns. What we find is that, despite the prominence of Maunakea in recent news, the general public has many basic questions about the mountain as well as OMKM's role in its management. As a result of the Open House, OMKM has been contacted by groups seeking to build relationships and who have great interest in joining one of the regularly-scheduled volunteer weed pull events. A schoolteacher at the Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo charter school also invited OMKM Resource Assistant Jessica Kirkpatrick to speak to 4th through 7th grade students about invasive species. Around the same time, Jessica participated in the Volcanoes National Park BioBlitz as an Entomologist Field Leader and was delighted at another opportunity to share knowledge about unique natural resources with young people. In recounting the experience with the Ka ʻUmeke students, Jessica said she was able to give them exposure to invasive species, natural resource management, and ecological interactions.

OMKM continues to seek out, listen and address concerns from the community about management of Maunakea. We thank you for your support and feedback, and encourage you to contact us at any time.

Phone, 808-933-0734
Visit our office at 640 North A'ōhōku Place, Hilo, HI 96720
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 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   



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.   




Words of Wisdom 

By Tommy Goya

Tommy Goya











"I began learning a long time ago that those who are happiest are those who do the most for others."


Brooker T. Washington 1856 - 1915



back to the top







In This Issue




Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

Darren Nishioka, President

Russell Arikawa, 1st Vice President

Audrey Takamine, 2nd Vice President

Stephen Ueda, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Joseph Skruch, Treasurer
Ivan Nakano, Auditor

David Honma, Immediate-Past President


Directors - term expiring 6/30/16

Nobuo Arimoto

Ross Birch

Laurie Correa

Charlene Iboshi

Michael Kaleikini

Ka'iu Kimura

Kimo Lee
Barry Mizuno

Nico Verissimo


Directors - term expiring 6/30/17

Jon Arizumi

Tommy Goya

Josie Kiyan

Peter Kubota

Phoebe Lambeth

Dwayne Mukai

Russell Oda

Nina Tanabe

Arthur Taniguchi

Gina Tanouye

Jere Usui 

Carol VanCamp

Directors - term expiring 6/30/18

Dean Fuke

Barbara Hastings

Ryan Kadota

Randy Kurohara

Amanda Lee

Joy Madriaga

Tracey Miura

Mike Miyahira

Chad Ogata

Allan Onishi

Francis Rickard

Rosie Sakane-Elarco

Debbie Shigehara

Toby Taniguchi


Oshirase Newsletter   

Amanda Lee, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, Executive Assistant    



Welcome New Members! 


Kim Auberson

Provision Solar

69 Railroad Ave., Ste A-7, Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  969-3281 


Deborah Beaver

One Gallery

186 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  961-2787   Cell: 430-4235


Brian Hall

P. O. Box 10367, Hilo, HI  96721

Ph: 756-7254


Colin Hashiro

Hawaii Gas

945 Kalanianaole Ave., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 933-0071   Fax: 969-9134   Cell: 315-0530


Janice Ikeda

County of Hawaii

2649 Waianuhea Pl., Hilo, HI  9720

Ph:  936-2268


Debra Ota

Hawaii Gas

945 Kalanianaole Ave., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  934-2337   Cell:  315-2441


Ruth M. Ohata, DMC Inc.

275 Ponahawai St., Ste. 204, Hilo, HI  96720

Cell:  895-2846


David Pettie-Jon

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home

1180 Waianuenue Ave., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  961-1513


Sharon Scheele

Inoue Hawaii Realty Corporation

101 Aupuni St., PH Ste. 1001, Hilo, HI  96720-4265

Ph: 935-2995   Fax:  935-8269  Cell:  989-5788


William Wilson

Kama'aina Nissan

471 Kalanianaole St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  930-6477   Fax:  930-6499   Cell:  896-7054

Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014

Kama'aina Motors 




Direct Link 2013-2014


Kama'aina Nissan

Creative Arts 2013-2014


HELCO 2013-2014
Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014

Kama'aina Motors 




Direct Link 2013-2014


Kama'aina Nissan

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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