TOMODACHI-Uniqlo Fellow and USJC Associate Kopi Akasaka was featured in Vogue! Mr. Akasaka is a designer in the 2016 Parsons School of Design MFA class and is now working on his own clothing line, KOZABURO. On September 7, his collection was featured in a runway show. Read more here.
One of KOZABURO's designs
Member of the USJC Board of Councilors Hiroko Kuniya has been involved in “The Art of Gaman” exhibit, which features artwork created by Japanese Americans during World War II. Included in this exhibit is a piece depicting an internment camp, painted by the late Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani, the protagonist of the documentary “The Cats of Mirikitani.” Mr. Mirikitani, who was born in the United States and raised in Hiroshima, lost family members in the Hiroshima bombing while he was interned at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center. The film follows an elderly Mirikitani as he continues to paint in the streets of New York, sharing his anti-war message. The film will be screened in Tokyo from August 27 through September 15 at Eurolive. Ms. Kuniya's article about Mr. Mirikitani and this documentary was featured in Nikkei Shimbun on August 17.
Council Leader Mark Mitsui, who currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges for the U.S. Department of Education, has been selected as the next president of Portland Community College (PCC) in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Mitsui has previously served as president of Washington state’s North Seattle College and was senior administrator and teacher at educational institutions across the Northwest. For more information and a Q&A with Mr. Mitsui, please see this announcement by PCC.
Council Leaders Carole Hayashino and Delphine Hirasuna have received the 2016 Japanese American of the Biennium Award, the highest public service award given by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Ms. Hayashino was involved in the national legislative effort for redress and reparations for Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. As President and Executive Director of the Japanese Culture Center of Hawaii, she worked to establish the Honouliuli Japanese American internment camp as a national monument—which came to fruition in February 2015.
Ms. Hirasuna, author of The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese Internment Camps, 1942-1946 and guest curator of the Art of Gaman exhibit, has allowed more than 120 artifacts from Japanese American concentration camps to receive mainstream recognition and has educated the public about the Japanese American internment experience.
Click on this link to learn more.
On July 26, Council Leader Jose Keichi Fuentes received the 2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Consul General Ken Okaniwa of Miami presented the award to Mr. Fuentes for facilitating mutual understanding between Japan and the United States, especially by developing the sister cities relationship between Miami and Kagoshima. Mr. Fuentes has served as Chairman of the Miami Kagoshima Sister Cities Committee since 2002, and recently led his third delegation of Miami high school students, accompanied by Miami Mayor Thomas Regalado, to Kagoshima. For more information, see this article by the Miami Herald.
USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye was selected as one of the "55 Leading Women in Japan" in the September issue of Forbes JAPAN. In it, Ms. Hirano Inouye discusses her career thus far, her inspirations and her goals. Please check it out if you are in Japan! (The article is only in Japanese.)
Board Member James Higa was recently featured in Asahi Shimbun. In the article, Mr. Higa discusses how the Silicon Valley Japan Platform is the "kakehashi" to connect and reshape Japanese companies into global powerhouses. (Click here or on the image below to read the piece.) This article was also published in Japanese.
On June 6, Council Leader Alan Nishio received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette from the Government of Japan. Consul General Harry Horinouchi of Los Angeles presented the award, recognizing Mr. Nishio's contributions to "promoting the status of Japanese Americans in the United States and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States." Mr. Nishio has worked at the Little Tokyo Service Center for many decades, and is now Chair of its Board of Governors. For more information, please see the announcement by the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles here.
On June 10, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors Royanne Doi and Board Member Tracey Doi will speak at the Asia Society Diversity Leadership Forum in New York. This annual forum provides a platform for companies to explore how to develop Asian Pacific American and Asian talent.