The East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai will celebrate the new year at its annual luncheon meeting to be held Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Sangha Hall. People with ancestral roots in Hiroshima or who have an interest in Japan are encouraged to attend the luncheon and join the organization.

President Tommy Goya will conduct a short business meeting at 10:30 a.m. The club’s Beiju honorees — members turning the auspicious age of 88 this year — will be recognized before the New Year’s luncheon. Fifteen men and women will be honored this year. They are: Hatsuno Fujimoto, Mae Hirano, Shinae Hirano, Kinue Ito, Shigeru Kataoka, Emiko Matsuoka, Ruth Matsuura, Helen Mishima, Russell Oda, Sally Seikaku, Masuko Shimizu, Doris Sumida, Satsuyo Taira, Amy Tanaka and Rosie Tatsuta.

The family of Kenneth Kitahata, the 2016 East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai scholarship recipient, will present a report on behalf of Kenneth, who is a freshman attending Oberlin College & Conservatory in Ohio. Reports will also be given by Jairus Iwasaki, Eve Nagareda and Caitlyn Tsuchiya, who were the East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai’s 2016 delegates to the Hiroshima International Youth Exchange Program. The international exchange program is sponsored by the Hiroshima Prefectural Government. It included a visit with Hiroshima governor Hidehiko Yuzaki; Japanese cultural activities; interaction with students from Hiroshima and delegates from Hawai‘i, the U.S. mainland and South America; and a homestay experience.

Hawaii Japanese Center and former Hawai‘i Herald editor Arnold Hiura will deliver the keynote presentation, “Our Roots — From Hiroshima to Hilo.”

Tickets to the New Year’s luncheon are $15 per person. For tickets or membership information, call Tommy Goya at (808) 989-5953 or Jon Arizumi at (808) 896-8172.


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