Year-End Celebrations Across the USJC Community

New York Regional Steering Committee’s End-of-Year Celebration

The New York region steering committee gathered for an early end-of-year celebration on November 30, which was joined by USJC Executive Vice President Fred Katayama. The event was hosted at Wokuni in Midtown and featured a delightful spread of Japanese cuisine.

Throughout the year, the steering committee demonstrated its dedicated efforts to connect with both existing USJC New York regional members and potential newcomers. Notable among their popular initiatives was the Setsubun Soiree at the Japan Society, where USJC Board Member and NY Regional Chair Terry Suzuki (ORIX Corporation) embraced the spirit of the occasion by donning an oni (Japanese demon) costume. He engaged in the traditional “oni wa soto” and “fuku wa uchi” ritual, adding a unique and festive touch to the event.

Looking ahead to 2024, the committee has exciting plans for multiple events, promising more enriching experiences for the community. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements from the region.

Special appreciation goes to Council Leader Susan McCormac (JapanCulture-NYC) and Sponsor Representative Miki Bruskotter (ORIX Corporation) for their efforts in organizing the dinner.

Hawaii Region’s Bonenkai

In early December, the Hawaii Region gathered for an end-of-year bonenkai. The event was hosted by Board Member Ann Teranishi (American Savings Bank). Attendees had the chance to watch Maui Strong, a video produced by Council Leaders Jan Yanehiro (Jan Yanehiro, Inc., JALD ’10) and Derick Yanehiro (ABC News) that highlights the strong support given to the residents of Lahaina, Maui by USJC members. A hula performance by USJC Associate Kristin Alm (Remedy Intelligent Staffing, ELP ’20) followed the showing.

The bonenkai was attended by Consul General KODAMA Yoshinori and nearly 60 members.

Special thanks to USJC Associate Courtney Takara (American Savings Bank, ELP ’20), who led the coordination of the event, along with Regional Chair Emi Au (HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union), Vice Chairs Kristin Alm (Remedy Intelligent Staffing, ELP ’20) and Mitch Noguchi (Noguchi & Associates Inc.) and Board Member Yoh Kawanami (Hawaiian Electric Company). 

Japan Region’s Bonenkai

On December 7, the USJC Japan region and the TOMODACHI Initiative co-hosted a Bounenkai in Shibuya, Tokyo. This event fostered invaluable connections across generations, uniting over 70 TOMODACHI alumni and members of the USJC Japan region for a night of celebration and future collaboration. The event was led by the Regional Representative of Tohoku, Rimpei Takahashi along with the Director of Programs and Partnerships, Kaoru Utada. The event started off with a message from USJC Japan Executive Director, Mark Ikeno who toasted “to the future!” and the upcoming new year.

New England Region’s End-of-Year Brunch

Members from the Boston region recently gathered for an end-of-year brunch. Special thanks to Region Co-Chairs Ginny Fordham (Berklee College of Music) and Christine Pilcavage (MIT) and incoming Chair Heike Boeltzig-Brown (University of Massachusetts Boston) for organizing the gathering. A fun time was had by all!

SoCal Region’s Bonenkai

Members from the SoCal region recently gathered for a bonenkai dinner. Special thanks to regional chair Ako Shimada (Ushio America, Inc), co vice-chairs Kenyon Mayeda (TDW+Co, ELP ’12) and Peter Shimamoto (Willenken LLP) and incoming Vice-Chair CyVan Yamamoto (Irresistible Foods Group, ELP ’22) for organizing the event and photos. Additional thanks to Council Leader Atsuko Kanai (Mutual Trading Co., Inc.) for the sparkling sake for kanpai.