The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce celebrated the arrival of the “Year of the Rooster” at its 72nd annual shinnen enkai (New Year’s banquet). The Jan. 6 event at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i attracted a sold-out audience of 410 people, including HJCC members, their families and friends. The shinnen enkai is traditionally a time for fun and fellowship as the newest “class” of “Shoko Shiranami Gonin Otoko” kabuki stars are introduced.

HJCC board chair Dave Erdman welcomed the guests with a boisterous “Shinnen akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!” “New Year’s is one of the most significant holidays in the Japanese culture,” said Erdman, adding that the shinnen enkai is an opportunity for everyone in the business community to greet each other in a positive way.

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