Members of the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation and their guests gathered at Waialae Country Club on July 23 for the organization’s annual general membership meeting and installation luncheon.

Outgoing president Irene Nakamoto thanked the 2016-17 officers and chairpersons for their service during the past year. She also highlighted the organization’s events over the last 12 months.

State Sen. Michelle Kidani installed the officers and directors for 2017-18. They are: Cathy Iwai, president; Melanie Takahashi, president-elect; Patty Matsuo, vice president; Susan Hirate and Sarah Kamida, secretaries; Patrice Fukada and Libby Lum, historians; Gerri Kaneshiro, treasurer and Irene Nakamoto, immediate past president.

Committee chairpersons are: Sheree Tamura and Lori Fujikawa-Casey, by-laws and policies; Debbie Huebler, communications; Ruth Matsunaga and Elaine Ushiro, community service; Jane Au and Amy Young, development; Suzette Lau Hee, membership relations; Mabel Yonemori, nominations; Kathryn Inkinen and Wendy Abe, programs and Janice Tashiro, scholarship/grants.

Scholarship and grants chairperson Melanie Takahashi introduced scholarship recipients Woori Bae and Matthew Oishi, who was unable to attend the event. The 2017 grant was presented to the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literature, represented by Dr. Tomoko Iwai and Miki Ogasawara.

Five new members were introduced during the program: Claire Ching, Marissa Chung, Sarah Kamida, Karen Shishido and Herbert Yanamura. Yanamura, a World War II Military Intelligence Service veteran, is the organization’s first male member.

A donation of $10,000 was presented to Gary Kajiwara, president and CEO of Kuakini Health Systems, to support Kuakini Home.

Sen. Kidani also presented Lillian Yajima with a Senate Resolution recognizing the third Sunday in May as “Adopt-A-Mom Day” on the state calendar. Yajima created the Adopt-A-Mom program for women residents of Kuakini Home whose families could not be with them on Mother’s Day. The event is held in the Hale Pulama Mau auditorium for all Kuakini Home residents and includes homemade lunch and entertainment.

Following a buffet lunch, guests were treated to a kimono dressing dance demonstration by Mutsuko Narumi-McConnell and shown variations of obi (kimono sash) tying techniques modeled by the 65th Cherry Blossom Festival Court.


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