The East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai awarded two $1,000 scholarships to Waiākea High School seniors Tevin Atwal and Sienna Chanhmany for their excellence in academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular achievements.

A class valedictorian, Tevin Atwal served as the class Treasurer during his freshman, junior and senior years and was also captain of Waiākea High School’s Varsity Soccer team. He was an active member of the Student Government Association, math league, National Honor Society, Leo Club, and served as a delegate to the Hawaii State Student Conference in 2022 and was a student ambassador from 2019-2022. Outside of school, Atwal has served in leadership positions in the community as an active member of the Hilo Hongwanji Junior Young Buddhist Association, team captain of Rush Soccer Club and was very active in other various activities such as summer AYSO Soccer, Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Dharma School and the Hilo junior tennis club. Atwal has received numerous soccer awards and is also a multi-year recipient of the WHS Scholastic Athletic Achievement, Scholastic Achievement, and Outstanding Service awards.

Atwal is the son of EHHKK member Jill Atwal and Money Atwal and will be attending the University of California Santa Clara in the fall with a career goal of becoming a computer science engineer.

Sienna Chanhmany, also a Waiākea High School valedictorian, chaired the Waiākea High School Senior Class Memorial Day event and the Junior Class Homecoming Decorations committee; DECA Club Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Fundraiser; Compost group leader; and was co-chair of the freshman class end of year video. She was also active in the National Honor Society, DECA Club, Leo Club, Japanese Club, Animal Rights Club, Korean Club and was a member of the WHS air riflery and golf team. Chanhmany also participated as a Honpa Hongwanji Junior Young Buddhists Association member and served as Councilor and Treasurer. Chanhmany has received numerous awards such as the WHS Scholastic and Service Award, placed second at the 2023 Hawaii DECA Career Development Conference,and was a finalist at the same competition in the Retail Merchandising division. Most recently, Chanhmany was employed as a marketing intern with the Hawaii Public Health Institute and as the social media marketing executive of the WHS Warrior Outfitters store.

Chanhmany is the daughter of EHHKK member Nyssa Kushi and Scott Chanhmany and will be attending the University of San Francisco in the fall. Chanhmany’s career goal is to own her own business that focuses on green technology to help combat the climate crisis to secure a better future for those in her community and around the world.

The EHHKK scholarships are awarded to qualified East Hawaii public or private high school seniors who will be attending an accredited college or university, registering as a full-time student with 12 credits or more in the 2023-2024 academic year. Scholarships will be applied to tuition, room and board, books, travel or other expenses at the college or university of the applicant’s choice.

The applicant must be a child of an East Hawaii Hiroshima Kenjin Kai member in good standing (dues paid). Bonus points may be awarded to those applicants who demonstrate financial need and/or material/active participation in the EHHKK organization by the applicant, applicant’s parent(s) or grandparent(s).

For more information, please visit facebook.com/HonoluluHiroshimaKenjinkai.


The Japanese Women’s Society Foundation installed its 2023-2024 on Saturday, July 29 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i Generations Ballroom. The event’s keynote speaker, Rep. Jill Tokuda, delivered words of inspiration, reigniting the members’ passion for community work as they head full speed ahead toward 2024 – the 70th anniversary of JWSF.

Before the start of JWSF’s general membership meeting and luncheon, guests bid on silent auction items and shopped for handmade crafts and ono baked goods – including energy bars, candied pecans, furikake arare cookies, Aunty Clara’s butterscotch brownies, and kinpira renkon – made by members of JWSF.

Tokuda installed the 2023-2024 officers and directors: Carole Hayashino, president; Sarah Kamida-Nakagawa, president-elect; Candice Naito, vice president; Lauren Sugai and Naomi Kanna, secretaries; Suzette Lau Hee, historian; Rika Hirata, treasurer; Lori Fujikawa-Casey, past president; Lynn Araki-Regan, bylaws and policies; Jewel Mahoe, communication; Julie Shimonishi and Libby Lum, community service; Ashley Rae Nabeshima and Kathy Inkinen, development; Heather Furutani and Amy Young, membership relations; Irene Nakamoto and Sandy Takeda, nominations; Corday Feagins and Staci Yoshihara, program; Ruth Matsunaga and Mabel Yonemori, scholarship and grants; Melanie Takahashi, archives; and Christine Kubota, fashion show.

The emcee for the event was Christine Kubota, who guided guests through the program. Entertainment included a traditional Japanese dance titled “Horai” by Nishikawa Minokimi. There was also a mother-daughter dance performance by Hanayagi Mitsusumi and Sheera Tamura to “Nada Sousou” written by BEGIN and made popular by Okinawa J-pop vocalist Rimi Natsukawa.

A donation was presented to Kuakini Health Systems, represented by its president and CEO, Gary Kajiwara. Since its founding in 1954, the JWSF has donated more than $1 million to community organizations, with its main beneficiary being Kuakini Home for the elderly.

Colby Takeda received a scholarship from JWSF to pursue his studies in healthcare. Takeda is the CEO and co-founder of Pear Suite, which enables healthcare providers and community organizations to connect with older adults, helping them to learn new skills and access local resources. Since its launch in 2021, the cloud-based platform has trained dozens of health workers and volunteers and impacted over 20,000 lives, according to an article published in Hawaii Business Magazine (Feb. 16, 2023).

Colby Takeda (middle) received a scholarship from the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation. The scholarship was presented to him by Amy Young (left) and Heather Furutani. (Photo by Jodie Ching)
Colby Takeda (middle) received a scholarship from the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation. The scholarship was presented to him by Amy Young (left) and Heather Furutani. (Photo by Jodie Ching)

Tokuda inspired every person in the room with a question she asks herself everyday regarding the underrepresentation of women in government and leadership in general: “How am I opening that door [for young women]?” With a fiery resonance synonymous with Sen. Mazie Hirono and former Congresswoman Patsy Mink, Tokuda stated, “We have been raised to put the next generation first. We are seat warmers,” reminding us that the values represented by the phrase ‘Okage sama de’ is vital to our future. “We need Japanese values, now, more than ever.”

JWSF’s newly installed president Carole Hayashino, thanked Tokuda for being an inspiration to all women and to the outgoing president Lori Fujikawa-Casey and her board for passing the organization in a position poised to thrive in the next fiscal year. The cherry on the top of the delightful day was a $100 gift card to Nordstrom, which was generously and anonymously donated.

JWSF was founded in 1954 as an educational and service organization. Its mission is to promote culture and provide education and quality services to the community by responding to the changing needs of society.

Visit jwsf.org to learn more about the organization and its upcoming events.


Since the tragic wildfires that took place in Maui last month, the Maui Humane Society has been working daily to support affected families and animals. According to a Wednesday, Aug. 16 report, an estimated 3,000 pets were missing in the Lahāinā area and over a thousand of lost animal reports had been filed at the time of report. The Maui Humane Society is committed to the reunification efforts of all animals and provides information, supplies and medical treatment for the animals, and as of Tuesday, Aug. 22, 30% of pets were already back with their families.

If families are missing a pet, the Maui Humane Society recommends several options:

• Report on Maui Humane Society website at mauihumanesociety.org/services/lost-found-pets/file-a-lost-or-found-report

• Report at Pet Lost Love at lost.petcolove.org

• Call Humane Enforcement (ext. 222)

• Post on social media

• Talk to neighbors and post signs in the area If a pet is found, Maui Humane Society recommends:

• File a found report at mauihumanesociety.org/services/lost-found-pets/lost-pets/

• Upload a photo of the pet at Pet Lost Love at lost.petcolove.org

• Call Humane Enforcement (ext. 222)

• If the animal is safe at your home, hold on to it

• Walk around and speak to neighbors

• Post on social media

Those who have been affected directly or indirectly by the Maui wildfires can pick up pet supplies at the Maui Humane Society from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. For pet medical attention, families can go to the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa (200 Nohea Kai Dr.) in Lahāinā from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily. Services offered include: exams, microchips, medications, vaccines, deworming, flea medication and minor procedures. For those who leave Maui with their pet, the Maui Humane Society is also offering free health certificates for airline-approved kennels to help relocate their pets.

To help support the Maui Humane Society, several monetary donation options can be found on its website. As of print, The Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation pledged to match up to $1 million to assist in fire relief efforts. Maui Humane Society’s mission is to protect and save the lives of Maui’s animals, accepting all in need, educating the community, and inspiring respect and compassion towards all animals. For more information and to donate, please visit facebook.com/donate/327209503004154. Facebook takes care of the donation processing with no fees.

For more information, including how to foster pets and volunteer, can be found on its website at mauihumanesociety.org.


As the first Shin Buddhist high school in the United States, Pacific Buddhist Academy (PBA) is committed to honoring peace leaders in Hawaii at its annual Lighting Our Way Banquet. This year’s celebration takes place at the Prince Waikiki on Friday, Oct. 13, at 4:30 p.m. to recognize the selflessness and achievements of four individuals and one organization: Reverend Eric Matsumoto and Mrs. Tamayo Matsumoto; President and CEO of Hawai`i Gas Alicia Moy; President of the East-West Center Suzanne Vares-Lum; and non-profit organization Kupu.

As the 16th Bishop of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, the state’s largest Buddhist denomination, Reverend Matsumoto led the Shin Buddhist community through the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating discernment and leadership expertise. He was also instrumental in supporting PBA achieve a major school expansion in its building of the Pacific Buddhist Academy Weinberg Building in 2016. Mrs. Tamayo has been an inspirational leader in education for many years at Hongwanji Mission School and the former Moiliili Hongwanji Pre-School. She also served as the Honorary President of the Hawaii Federation of Buddhist Women’s Associations.

For this year’s Lighting Our Way Banquet, 100% of proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Maui Wildfire Disaster Relief Fund established by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii. As a fundraiser, the annual dinner also supports PBA’s program of enlightened learning. As an experiential learning opportunity for students at the school, the dinner itself is one element of that program. PBA seniors interview each honoree on-site at their homes and workplaces, compose short honoree portraits for the dinner’s program, perform tributes with other PBA students at the event, and introduce honorees to the audience during the dinner. In this way, the honorees continue to “light the way” for PBA students.

Those interested in coming to support the Lighting Our Way banquet should RSVP by September 22. Tickets can be purchased online at pacificbuddhistacademy.org. Contact Advancement Director Megan Lee at Megan.Lee@pbahi.org for more information.


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