Two Japanese American community organizations on Hawai‘i island offer scholarships to Big Isle seniors who are getting their high-school diplomas and hope to continue their formal education in colleges or universities this fall.

First, the East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai will award $1,000 scholarships to two graduating high-school seniors, whether from public or private schools, who will enroll full-time in the 2021-’22 academic year at an accredited college or university (that is, those who are registered for 12 credits or more a term). These scholarship moneys can go to tuition, room/board, books, travel or other expenses at that chosen school.

The deadline for applying is Saturday, April 17; application packets must be postmarked by or on this date. Eligible applicants are graduating seniors who are children of East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai members in good standing, with the parent’s or parents’ dues paid. Interested students can get forms and instructions at counselors’ offices at East Hawai‘i island public and private high schools. For more information, call the Scholarship Chair Lori Nekoba at (808) 938-6166; you can also contact Patsy Y. Iwasaki at (808) 640-0683.

The second funding source is the Hawaii Island AJA Veterans Legacy Association which will give $1,000 scholarships to two graduating seniors going on to attend college this fall. Applicants should be public or private high-school seniors on Hawai‘i island who will enroll full-time (12 credits or more/semester) in an accredited college or university for the 2021-’22 academic year.

Information on the application and forms can be gotten by contacting counselors’ offices in Hawai‘i-island high schools (public and private); and also by calling the AJA Veterans Hall in Hilo at (808) 959-4460 (and by leaving your name, phone number and email address on the voicemail). The deadline is also Saturday, April 17; the application packet, including the form, supporting materials and the essay (described below), must be postmarked by this date.

The sponsoring association, a non-profit [501(c)(3)] community organization that aims to honor and perpetuate the legacy of World War II veterans who were Americans of Japanese Ancestry, requires that an essay be included in the scholarship application packet. This essay should be 1,000 words or less and describe “the significance and role of Americans of Japanese ancestry in the 100th Infantry Battalion, Military Intelligence Services or the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II” (focusing on a minimum of one of these units) and these soldiers’ legacy, says the organization’s application instructions.

As with the other funding opportunity, funds from this scholarship can be used for tuition, books, room/board, travel or other expenses at the college/university in which the applicant is enrolled.

Actor Ken Watanabe speaks to a dairy farmer in Katsurao, Fukushima, on the impact of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake in the new NHK WORLD-JAPAN series premiering this month and running through April, “3.11 – Ten Years On: Great East Japan Earthquake.” (Photos courtesy of NHK WORLD-JAPAN website)


From March through April, NHK WORLD-JAPAN will air a number of original broadcasts to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the magnitude-9.1 Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011; the start of over 1,000 regional aftershocks which have especially wracked Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures, even up to the current day; the related series of tsunami waves in these prefectures as well as across the country generated from the quake and its aftershocks; and the subsequent nuclear-power-plant dangers (including the famous meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant) that these natural events had created.

“This exceptional compendium of programs serves as a compelling reminder — and cautionary tale — around the unprecedented mega-disaster, and captures the magnitude and emotions surrounding its occurrence and aftermath. The programs depict the ways in which the tragedy has affected the people of Japan, exploring their first-hand experiences, as well as their resilience and resolution to rebuild their country in ways that make it even stronger,” says NHK WORLD-JAPAN in a press release.

These TV and online premieres about the mass destruction that resulted from the most powerful earthquake in Japan’s recorded history are now broadcast and videorecorded online under the series title “3.11 – Ten Years On: Great East Japan Earthquake,” and can be viewed at

The shows include a documentary featuring the acclaimed international actor of films such as Godzilla, Batman Begins and The Last Samurai, in “Ken Watanabe – A Compassionate View: The Decade Since the Great East Japan Earthquake,” which shows the performer visiting people living in the former disaster zone and listening to the stories of those hardest hit by this impactful natural event.

Watanabe, says NHK WORLD-JAPAN, “used his notoriety to bring international attention to the disaster” by listening to (and sharing) the stories of more than 20,000 people in the decade since the earthquake. In this documentary, Watanabe visits Katsurao (Fukushima), Kesennuma (Miyagi), Rikuzentakata (Iwate) and Kamaishi (Iwate) to speak to victims of the disaster in these communities deeply affected. This 50-minute documentary is available on demand until March 6, 2022.

The two-part “3/11 – The Tsunami” series includes footage from NHK camera crews combined with mobile-phone and other video sequences captured by residents who were on the scene to witness the earthquake, tsunami and their aftermath as well as to record these regions’ recovery efforts in the following year. This documentary series includes “3/11 – The Tsunami: The First 3 Days” (48 min., 30 sec., available until Jan. 9, 2022) and “3/11 – The Tsunami: The First Year” (49 min., available until Jan. 16, 2022).

Additionally, acclaimed anime and stop-motion animation director Tomoyasu Murata will re-broadcast work themed to the tsunami in a special airing of Anime Supernova. This airing honors the victims of these disasters and their families, by featuring “A Branch of Pine Is Tied Up,” the third in Murata’s series of earthquake-themed works, following “Forest This Flower Blooms” and “AMETSUCHI.” “A Branch of Pine Is Tied Up” was originally produced in 2017.

Acclaimed stop-motion animator Tomoyasu Murata offers a special short film, “A Branch of Pine Is Tied Up” (2017), the third in Murata’s series of earthquake-themed works, as part of “3.11 – Ten Years On: Great East Japan Earthquake.”

“The story follows twin sisters affected by the tsunami — one who survives and the other who loses her life. The ghost of the deceased twin wanders to different locations of their shared childhood, searching for memories of her sister,” summarizes NHK WORLD-JAPAN. This 28-min. animated short will be available on the NHK site until March 13,2022.

NHK WORLD-JAPAN presents Japan-related content in 13 major U.S. markets through partnerships with those markets’ public TV stations, and also through DIRECTV (channels 322 and 2049). NHK WORLD-JAPAN is additionally available via Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV; you can access it too using a free downloadable app and streaming on the website


The Hawai‘i State Public Library System is sponsoring a FREE Genealogy Resources Speaker Series, offered virtually from March through April. Curious people can attend these online lectures to get information on how to go through research resources and repositories, and to refine search strategies, to help them find their family history.

To attend, interested people must register at

One of the virtual events for the Hawai‘i State Public Library System’s “Genealogy Resources Speaker Series,” to be held on Saturday, Mar. 27, 10 a.m., aids people in discovering genealogical resources at the Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives. (Photo courtesy of the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives Facebook page)

Upcoming speaker events and topics include:

Genealogy Resources at the Hawai‘i State Library” on Saturday, March 20, at 10 a.m., presented by Linda Sueyoshi, section head of the library’s Hawai‘i & Pacific Section. This event helps you “Find out about the local genealogical resources held at the Hawai‘i State Library” including databases and online resources.

Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives” on Saturday, March 27, at 10 a.m., presented by Kelsey Karsin, curator of archives/librarian at the Hawaiian Mission Houses. This event aids in discovering genealogical resources at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives, with information provided on how to search collections, conduct research using the site’s website and discuss on-site resources to facilitate genealogy research.

Mo‘oküauhau x ‘Äina (Genealogy and Land Research)” on Saturday, April 3, from 10 a.m., presented by Keahiahi Long of Nä Hawai‘i ‘Imi Loa which aims to “advance Hawaiian knowledge systems, services and research in the library and information science profession” ( Long describes this event as “He mamo na Häuloa. Genealogy research and land research go hand in hand. This presentation will showcase the kinds of genealogical information available in historical land documents. Learn how to search in Land Commission Awards and Native and Foreign Testimonies from the Mähele period to identify names, relationships, and activities of our küpuna.”

An earlier Mar. 13 workshop focused on genealogy research with Nupepa ‘Ölelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian-language newspapers), presented by Kawena Komeiji, Hawai‘i and Pacific resource librarian at the James and Abigail Kuaihelani Campbell Library.

The United Japanese Society of Hawaii’s much-anticipated book, “Renkyo no Ayumi,” is now available for purchase via online ordering and shipping. It will also be distributed at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i at 2454 S. Beretania St. in Honolulu for curbside pickup on Saturday, March 20, from 1-3 p.m. (if pickup is arranged in advance via the Society; call them at (808) 941-5889 to do so).

Members of the United Japanese Society of Hawai‘i team unpack and proudly hold the first copies of “Renkyo No Ayumi,” a widely anticipated record of the community organization’s history. (Photos courtesy of the UJSH Facebook page)

With its title translated as “Journey of the United Japanese Society of Hawai‘i,” the book can be bought at UJSH’s Square Sites for the price of $20 plus shipping for those who are not UJSH members at, or for $15 plus shipping for UJSH members at

Frances Nakachi Kuba, UJSH president, says, “‘Renkyo no Ayumi’ blossoms with the precious and proud journey of the United Japanese Society of Hawaii, from its establishment in 1958 to the present. Our book conveys our gratitude to members and pioneers who have dedicated their time and effort to advance the welfare of the Japanese community and maintain relations of goodwill with other communities and ethnic groups.”

UJSH has contributed much to the local community through its Legacy Projects including the Yosebaka, which provided a memorial service for the Kanyaku Imin or early Japanese immigrants who were interred at Makiki Cemetery; Nenchosha Ian Engei Taikai, which celebrated seniors who had reached 100 years old; Hanashikata, a Japanese-language achievement and speech ceremony involving student Nihongo presentations; and a celebration of King David Kaläkaua’s birthday on Nov. 16, according to Kuba.

“Despite the challenging time due to the unpredictable, long-continuing pandemic, we have dedicated ourselves to creating this treasured book to instill hope and unite the community. We hope it will inspire stories of the evolution of the Japanese community in Hawai‘i and of the efforts of pioneers who dedicated their lives to preserve and protect our culture,” she added.

For more information, see or search for the UJSH Facebook page.


The Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (aka the Matsunaga Peace Institute; see is offering online training for children and young people, especially girls, in the diverse skills of peacemaking, from spring through summer 2021.

First, the Matsunaga Peace Institute is co-sponsoring “The Adventure Begins,” the opening panel for “Adventures in Peer Mediation,” the institute’s popular conference of over 30 years that introduces young people to peer-mediation skills and mediation programs throughout Hawai‘i. From Wednesday, April 7, through Friday, April 30, registered conference attendees can participate virtually in this opening event, a variety of different mediation “skill workshops” online and a closing panel that ends the conference but that also encourages participants to continue their interests and skill-building in mediation.

The 34th annual “Adventures in Peer Mediation,” the institute’s first fully virtual version of this conference, is co-sponsored by the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans (aka Club 100), 100 Ceeds of Peace, Chaminade University of Honolulu, the Conflict Resolution Alliance, the UHM Educational Administration Dept. and many other educational and community organizations.

Explains the Matsunaga Peace Institute, “Peer mediation is problem solving by youth with youth. It is a process by which two or more students involved in a dispute meet in a private, safe and confidential setting to work out problems with the assistance of a trained mediator.” From developing, managing and training children/teens to be effective mediators in grades 3-12 of schools and in community organizations outside of the schools, the Matsunaga Peace Institute has helped generations of young people to help resolve differences between their peers. The first step: attending the opening panel and conference.

This Wednesday, April 7, opening session, that runs from 2-3:30 p.m., will feature moderator Kate Ranney of the Conflict Resolution Alliance and the Mediation Center of the Pacific, as well as panelists Noelani Anderson (West Hawai‘i Mediation Center), Shelley Andrews (Kailua High School), Susan Chang (MediationWorks) and Madijah Lebarre (Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center).

For other events in “Adventures in Peer Mediation,” children ages 8 and up, teens and adults that work with youth can register at, where they can page down to sign up for any one of the 16 skills workshops running from Thursday, Apr. 8, through Thursday,

Apr. 29. Those who attend any or all of the workshops should be sure to obtain one digital raffle ticket per skills workshop attended.

Participants who feel they might commit to a long-er-term path as a mediator (or who want payoff for those digital raffle tickets from the skills workshops!) can also register for the closing panel, “What’s Next? The Peer Mediation Adventure Continues,” to be held on Friday, Apr. 30, at 2 p.m. at At this event, raffles will be held for those in attendance; conference organizers will have gift cards in $25 and $50 increments to be raffled off for Amazon, Mana Up, Red Lobster, Starbucks and many more. Over $500 worth of gift cards will be raffled!

The second online training in peacemaking skills sponsored by the Matsunaga Peace Institute is the third annual “Girls Talk Back,” a summer leadership program co-sponsored by the Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i, AAUW Honolulu and Ceeds of Peace.

All girls statewide ages 14-18 are invited to apply for this FREE program that is split between two VIRTUAL cohorts, each running Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-noon over the course of four weeks.

Deadline to register is Friday, Apr. 30, at; applicants may participate in only one of the two cohorts:

COHORT 1: Jun. 1-25.

COHORT 2: Jun. 29-Jul. 23.

Parent/guardian permission for this program is required.

For information on either event, contact the institute at (808) 956-6433 or email


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