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

It has been an incredible learning experience over the past three months as I become more immersed with chamber affairs. I have met so many people and made many new friends in such a short time. It's been my pleasure getting to know everyone a little more along the way. Thank you everyone for the support that has been provided to me.

The Big Island Business Council (BIBC) held an initial meeting on July 29, 2015 with local organizations to revive the BIBC in an effort to combine our individual organization voices into one unified voice addressing issues which we believe will impact our businesses, community and economy. This effort is in the early stages but is very promising. It makes sense to combine our efforts as a group rather than individually. Additional updates will be provided on this matter as more information becomes available.

A Goji-Kara was held on August 6, 2015 at the Palace Theater. Wendy Peskin, President of the Board of Directors and
Morgen Bahurinsky, Executive Director, hosted the event which featured refreshments, a tour and history of the theater and a sneak peek of films and events happening at the Palace Theater. If you did not know, Palace Theater is celebrating their 90th birthday. This historic location brings back some memories. I was glad to hear that the theater continues to bring award winning films and entertainment to Hilo. At the time of the event, Jake Shimabukuro was to perform the next night and a special showing was scheduled for the weekend entitled "Message from Hiroshima", a documentary narrated by George Takei, with Hiroshima digitally recreated to present what Hiroshima would have looked like prior to the atomic bomb. It was an educational event and Mahalo to Wendy and Morgen for hosting the Goji-Kara.

On August 23, 2015, I attended the Annual Ireito Memorial Service held at Alae Cemetery. This annual event is an opportunity to pay our respects to our ancestors who came before us and made it possible for our generation to prosper today. It was an honor for me to participate in this important memorial by presenting a bouquet of flowers on behalf of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii. Many organizations were in attendance to pay their respects as well. 2015 marks the 150th year since the erection of the memorial monument. It is an important piece of our history that should always be respected and remembered. I encourage all our members to join us at future memorial services. It is a reminder for all of us to not forget where we came from and to preserve our history.

On September 17, 2015 I was able to attend a workshop entitled "A Guide to Japanese Cultural and Business Etiquette". This workshop was put on by your chamber and our instructors were our very own members, Reiko Hamano and Miyuki Lee. I am very thankful to our presenters for helping me to prepare for future encounters with guests from Japan. I have learned many things to help ensure I treat our Japan guests correctly as well as represent the chamber well. I learned how to bow properly, how to enter a temple and even how to fold the toilet tissue for the next person. Mahalo to both presenters for educating us. Another Mahalo goes out to our member Dawn Kanealii, owner of Liko Lehua Café, who attended the event and donated some delicious foods for everyone to enjoy. 

On September 24, 2015, I was able to attend our New Member Orientation. I just wanted to say that it was a great orientation as four of our new members were introduced to existing members and the committees of the chamber. I welcome our new members and encourage them to actively participate in one of committees. We would love the help, but more importantly, I believe everyone can contribute and that we are stronger together. I would like to acknowledge everyone in attendance. All of our committees were represented, showing just how much we are dedicated to the chamber and to each other. Good job!

Once again, thank you to all our hard working members of the chamber. 

Your time and effort is truly appreciated. 



Mayor Billy Kenoi

Over the past few months, we have completed a number of projects while continuing to break ground on new ones. Since taking office, our administration has invested over $400 million in construction projects to improve infrastructure and public facilities around Hawai'i Island. These projects not only took advantage of low bid prices during a slow economy, but also kept people working and kept companies moving forward while completing needed work on time and on budget.

We have also embarked on projects to reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of doing business on Hawai'i Island - two in particular being our building permit process improvements to reduce time spent waiting for permit approvals, and a partnership to save energy costs for our water customers using wind power.

At the Lālāmilo Wind Farm, a public-private partnership will generate 3.3 megawatts of wind power to help the Department of Water Supply deliver over 5 million gallons of water a day to Kohala Coast customers from Mauna Lani to Kawaihae. At no capital cost to the County of Hawai'i, this project will reduce our dependence on imported energy, further diversify our renewable energy portfolio, and save rate payers $1 million a year.

None of these projects would be possible without the strong support and partnership of our island's business community. We're always happy to hear your thoughts - feel free to email us any time at And to find out more about what we've gotten done together, please read our Holomua newsletters at


Mayor Billy Kenoi

"Talk Story" with Suzanne Case, Chair of the State of Hawaii, Dept. of Land & Natural Resources
Presented by JCCIH Economic Development Committee

Thursday, November 5, 2015
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
'Imiloa Astronomy Center
Moanahoku Room
Lunch Buffet
JCCIH members: $30
Non member:  $35

  • New Community Engagement Process for Kanoelehua Industrial Area
  • Plans for the future of Banyan Drive area in Hilo
  • Various land issues - lease renewals, balance between conservation and development, hunting and game management, etc.
Remit by email to or fax to 934-0178 or call the office at 934-0177.


Goji Kara at
One Gallery
Presented by the Social & Cultural Committee

Thursday, November 12, 2015
5:00 pm to 7:00 PM
186 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo

JCCIH Member:  $10.00
Non member:  $15.00
Remit by email to or fax to 934-0177 or call the office at 934-0177.
Goji Kara


Japanese Culture Day in Hawai`i
MOTTAINAI "no waste"

Saturday, November 14, 2015
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sangha Hall

Sponsored by the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii and County of Hawaii.


Hawaii Community College Updates
By Chancellor Noreen Yamane


Hawai'i Community College is proud to be celebrating its 75th anniversary during academic year 2015-2016.

The college was founded in 1941 as the Hawai'i Vocational School with five trades programs and 183 students. Today we have over 3,000 students, 26 academic programs, and a brand-new branch campus that opened this fall in Kona named Hawai'i Community College - Pālamanui.

The college has continually evolved in the decades since it was established, but what has remained constant is the commitment to providing accessible, high-quality education that gives Hawai'i Island residents the opportunity to improve their lives and pursue their dreams.

Hawai'i CC will celebrate the 75th Anniversary during annual campus events throughout this academic year, including at the "Hawai'i Community College Alumni & Friends Scholarship Fundraiser and 75th Anniversary Celebration."

We cordially invite you to attend this event, which will take place Saturday, Nov. 7 at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo Sodexo Dining Room from 6 to 9 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The event will include a silent auction, door prizes, and entertainment, including a vintage fashion show by Hana Hou.

Net proceeds from the event will help Hawai'i CC Alumni & Friends establish an endowment that will provide student scholarships. 

For online ticket sales, please visit You may also contact Anne Chung at 934-2547 or 

Hawai'i Community College is proud to have been a member of the Hawai'i Island community for 75 years, and we look forward to celebrating this milestone during the coming year.


17th Annual Golf Classic Tournament

January 27, 2016
Hilo Municipal Golf Course
Registration:  10:00 am 
Shotgun:  11:00 am
Format:  2 person scramble

The golf tournament, normally scheduled for early March, is scheduled for late January for 2016 due to the Hilo Municipal Golf Course renovation project expected to be in progress commencing in February.

More information forthcoming!

JCCIH Golf logo in color


OMKM-PIPES intern organizes Aloha Art Festival at 'Imiloa Astronomy Center 
By Stephanie Nagata
Stephanie Nagata
On Sunday, August 2, 2015, visitors to the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo were welcomed by bright canopy tents on the front lawn. This was just the beginning to what event organizer Christian Kapono, Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) intern at OMKM, envisioned: "To give the community a voice about what was happening on Maunakea... I wanted to have a predictably positive outcome so [the event] had to be good. That's why art was the medium, to bring in the different perspectives and say whatever they had to say." 

Christian applied to PIPES to further her training in general conservation and community-based resource management and was assigned to OMKM. She was originally tasked with helping create interpretive content for the Maunakea Visitor Information Station (VIS). However, when the VIS closed indefinitely on June 25, 2015, Christian reworked her project concept and approached 'Imiloa Executive Director Ka'iu Kimura. Ka'iu, who embraced the revamped plans for a festival at 'Imiloa, graciously offered a family day with free admission to the Center for those participants submitting art.

Under the canopies, at each art creation station, participants from keiki to kupuna painted, drew, wrote, colored, and created collages using an assortment of media. Some attendees came with completed works in hand. Artistic themes of nature, culture, and science/technology reflected the interconnectedness of recent events. On the other lawn, Navigator Kalani Kahalioumi presented a double-hulled voyaging canoe, and inside 'Imiloa, guest-speakers including Luana Busby-Neff, Larry Kimura, Mark Chun and Michael Kumukauoha Lee shared their personal stories of Maunakea. Educational, family-friendly, hands-on booths and displays were also available for the public to explore.

Christian felt there have been great social, environmental and educational impacts throughout the community due to recent events on the mountain and also felt personally affected. She regards 'Imiloa as a tremendous resource for both the local and outside community, and, in contrast to the extreme physical conditions of the mountain itself, 'Imiloa is accessible to all ages. Christian expresses deep gratitude to her supervisor, OMKM Natural Resources Program Manager Fritz Klasner: "He is a fantastic mentor. He believed in me." OMKM believes in providing hands-on training to enable the next generation of natural resource managers, scientists and technicians. Mahalo nui to Ka'iu Kimura and 'Imiloa staff; representatives from Kapu Aloha, the UH Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization (SDAV) Labs, UH College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM), the Big Island Invasive Species Council, and Hawaii Ant Lab for the Festival's success.

About two hundred art pieces were submitted and have been on display at 'Imiloa. Judges from the community selected a top entrant for each category of "Keiki/Youth (Under 18)," "Adult, resident" and "Adult, non-resident." These will be displayed at the Maunakea VIS.

Clockwise from top left_ Keiki _under 18 years old__ Adult_ resident_ and Adult_ nonresident.


TMT Observatory 
By Sandra Dawson
We are so proud to be a small part of the STEM outreach and education here on Hawaii Island. As many of you already know, TMT is the title sponsor of VEX and VEX IQ robotics tournaments on the Big Island. The VEX tournaments are for middle and high school students while the VEX IQ robotic tournaments are geared towards both elementary and middle school age youth.

Getting our Hawaii Island youth excited about science, technology, engineering and math or STEM through robotics is indeed an investment in the young people of our island that the Thirty Meter Telescope supports. A robotics background will help these young people in a 21st century economy and hopefully a future where this next generation need not leave Hawaii to pursue their dreams. TMT salutes the organizers, coaches, parents and of course, students in the various VEX tournaments.

The next TMT Big Island VEX Tournament in East Hawaii takes place at St. Joseph High School Gymnasium on Saturday, November 21.

The upcoming TMT VEX IQ Tournaments for elementary and middle school student will be held in West Hawaii on Saturday, October 17 at Waikoloa Elementary School and in East Hawaii on Saturday, December 5 at Kamehameha Middle School. A 2016 Astronaut Onizuka Science Day TMT VEX IQ Tournament will be held on January 30 and hosted by the University of Hawaii Hilo.

In addition to VEX Tournament sponsorship, TMT is happy to have provided VEX IQ starter sets to new teams including Hawaii Technology Academy, Waiakea Elementary (2 teams), Hawaii Volcano School of Arts and Science, Mt. View Elementary, Pahoa Intermediate, Hawaii Tech Academy, Hilo Intermediate and Girl Scout Troop 254 this year.

On a different note, Thirty Meter Telescope T-Shirts are now available in four design choices (Imua, Discover, Imagine and Wonder), two colors and various sizes in both mens' and womens'. Quantities are limited so get your request in soonest.

If you would like a free TMT t-shirt contact Ashley Tanabe in Hilo at (808) 319-2221 to request a shirt and arrange a pick up. If you're located somewhere else on island and it's not convenient to pick up your shirt in Hilo just let Ashley know, and she'll put one in the mail to you.

And finally, TMT is extremely thankful to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii and the community for its support.


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. For every referral the office receives, the member will receive a $10 gift card for allowing them to provide an insurance quote.  Contact Gina Tanouye at 969-7767 or

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. 

Offering up to 25% off legal services depending on case.  Contact Al Konishi 960-4072.

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.
Members will receive a 20% discount.
Contact Diann Horita at 935-1119. 

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 for businesses and consumers to fuel. Sign up for membership with Hawaii Fueling Network (HFN) and receive a discount per gallon on your gas purchases at any of our 13 locations. Fuel Up Do Good when you buy Fuel at any of our eight Islandwide Ohana Fuels retail locations a portion of your purchase goes to a Non-profit that serves our community. Contact Joy Madriaga at 969-1405 for further questions. Applications are available at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii.

Bernard Balsis,  IEG Federal Credit Union.  Special only for members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) - 25 basis point (1/4%) reduction on regular consumer loans at IEG FCU (Independent Employers Group FCU). These include regular personal loans and vehicle loans.  Exclusions are but not limited to lines of credit, mortgage, business and Home Equity Loans. Usual loan qualifications apply. 
Contact Bernard Balsis at 961-6691

OFFER EXPIRES:  April 30, 2016

Jieyu Sheparo, Kitchen & Beyond, LLC., offering 5% discount on items in store.  Contact Jieyu Sheparo at 935-2167.

Dawn Kanealii, Liko Lehua Cafe, offering 15% off entire bill.  Contact Dawn Kanealii at 936-9823.

Save up to 60% off a core list of more than 650 commonly purchased items. Additional deep savings on over 3,000+ items in OfficeMax's "Work Essentials" catalog.  Most other items will receive a 5% discount both online and in the store (excluding furniture and technology). Contact Chamber office at 934-0177.

Sandy Wilson, Wilson's Trophies, provides awards for sports and academics; signs and banners; corporate awards and recognition, 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), also advertising promotional items. Members will receive awards discounts. C
ontact Sandy Wilson at 969-7077.   

Japanese Business & Cultural Etiquette 
By Russell Arikawa

On Sept. 17, 2015, Reiko Hamano of Reiko Aloha Services, and Miyuki Lee of St. Joseph School, held a class on "Guide To Japanese Cultural & Business Etiquette" at the Hawaii Community College. This terrific presentation was well attended by 28 members and from the response, everyone enjoyed it.

The key is to first understand the Japanese way of thinking. Reiko explained that one should first try to apply that understanding, then you should be able to understand if you are not sure on what to do in most situations. One of the basics of Japanese etiquette is "Enryo", which translates to respect, modesty and to be thoughtful. Along with this, the Japanese people apply the spiritual mind that we are part of the natural world and this is a humble attitude that we are allowed to co-exist with nature.
"Omotenashi" is to take care of your guests and anticipate the needs of others. This is a very important custom especially in a business relationship. Speaking of business, we also learned how to exchange business cards the proper way. Reiko and Miyuki taught us simple things to do when dining and drinking. Tommy now knows how to properly hold a sake bottle when pouring sake into the cup. Darren is now an expert in bowing as there are 4 levels of proper bowing.

The food that we had at the end of the class was donated by Liko Lehua Café. Owners Dawn and Matt Kanealii joined us for this interesting session, and Matt became a pro in exchanging business cards. By the way, Dawn is also a member of the chamber. Arigato to Liko Lehua Café for the delicious noodles and the broke da mouth roast pork. Oishii kata desu!

Many thanks to Reiko and Miyuki for helping us understand some of the Japanese culture. Also Mahalo to Lei, who brought the water and ice, and to Chad who provided the cooler.  

Ja Matane at the next Goji Kara!



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



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In This Issue




What's Happening

November 5, 2025
"Talk Story" with Suzanne Case
State of Hawaii, Dept. of Land & Natural Resources - luncheon
'Imiloa Astronomy Center, Moanahoku Room
11:30 am to 1:00 pm
November 12, 2015
Goji Kara at One Gallery
186 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

November 26 -27, 2015
Chamber office closed in observance of Thanksgiving holiday

December 24-25 and 31, 2015
Chamber office closed in observance of Christmas and New Year Eve holiday
January 1, 2016
Chamber office closed in observance of New Years Day

January 27, 2016
17th Annual Golf Classic Tournament
Hilo Municipal Golf Course
10:00 am Registration
11:00 am Shotgun
2 person scramble
More information forthcoming

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! 


Scott Achong

Big Island Honda

124 Wiwoole St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 989-8945



Patrick Aiona, Sr.

Aiona Car Sales, Inc.

134 Wiwoole St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 935-9991



Marie Bothof

Volcano Winery Hawaii

35 Pii Mauna St., Volcano, HI  96785

Ph: 967-7772   Alt. Ph: 333-8331



Kurt Corbin

Hilo Medical Center

1190 Waianuenue Ave., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 895-1290   Alt. Ph: 932-3103   Fax: 974-4746



Layne Funai

Business Insurance Services

1080 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 443-2498   Fax: 443-2474



Lisa Hadway

UH Hilo Conference Center

200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 974-7555   Alt. Ph: 938-7443   Fax: 974-7684



Randy Hu

Egdamin, Hu CPA, Inc.

301 Kinoole St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 935-3337   Alt. Ph: 333-1051



Jon Miyata

House Mart

2810 Paa St., Bldg. A, Honolulu, HI  96819

Ph: 895-2240



Michael Nagai

Title Guaranty

1150 C Puhau St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 640-5418   Alt. Ph: 933-2374   Fax: 969-6982



Dawn Onitsuka-Cabral

Sweet Thunder Product

811 Lanikaula St., #7, Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 987-0222



Kanoelani Puuohau

Hawaii SBDC Network

200 W-. Kawili St, Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 933-0778   Fax: 933-0778



Gail Takaki

Ku'ikahi Meditation Center, Inc.

101 Aupuni St., PH 1014, B-2, Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 935-7844 x9   Alt. Ph: 430-5898



Joni Tao

Kumon Math & Reading

P. O. Box 6673, Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 961-2526   Fax: 935-0900



Scott Thompson

Hawaii Nui and Mehana Brewing

275 E. Kawili St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 934-8211   Alt. Ph: 345-4534   Fax: 961-9261



Stacey Williams

Bank of Hawaii

646 Kukuau St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 937-4674   Alt. Ph: 854-2017   Fax: 854-2012



Shannon Jay Yadao

Pier 1 Imports

P. O. Box 1690, Pahoa, HI  96778

Ph: 339-5589



Garth Yamanaka

G&H Appraisals

1266 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 557-6379





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

Creative Arts 2013-2014



© 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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