JCCIH Office Hours:  8:30 am - 5:00 pm



President Message
By Russell M. Arikawa, President

Ogenki desu ka? Ikaga desu ka?

How are you? How are you doing?

Aloha Kakou! Since being installed as the Chamber's 66th president on June 8, I have been busier than a busy bee. We were very fortunate that members from our sister chamber, Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry, made the long trek to participate in this installation. This year they had 12 in their group. Vice-Chairperson Matsuki Okumoto, his wife, Midori, and long-time member, Executive Councilor Katsuhiko Muneto took in a round of golf at Mauna Lani North course with JCCIH sandbagger-artists-Past Presidents Eugene Nishimura, Jon Arizumi, Tommy Goya, and Japanese Secretary Naomi Menor. While I also participated, my score reflected that this golfer needs serious help and is not a sandbagger!

The second tour group was led by Immediate Past President Darren Nishioka and Second VP Stephen Ueda. They took seven of the HHCCI group to the Volcano area and Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. Our third tour group, headed by First VP Audrey Takamine, visited fabulous downtown Hilo then lunched at 'Imiloa.

Special thanks to Audrey, who chaired the installation committee, Gina Tanouye, chair of the always busy Social and Cultural committee, and Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, Executive Assistant. Their hard working group made this a very successful installation. The guest speaker, Sandra Dawson, manager-Hawaii community affairs for the Thirty Meter Telescope project, provided very useful information regarding the future of TMT on this island. Arigato to everyone!

I also had the pleasure of attending the installation banquets for the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce (HICC) and the Hawaii Island Contractors Association (HICA). Our Past President Michael Kaleikini was installed as the HICC president and Craig Takamine as the HICA president. Congratulations to both and wishing both organizations a great year!

On July 14, the JCCIH was one of the many organizations that sponsored the Mayoral Forum held at Sangha Hall. Over 200 people attended and heard four of the 13 candidates answer questions that were posed by Sherry Bracken. Thank you to all of our volunteers that helped with the setup and cleanup.

In early August we will have visitors from the County of Hawai'i's sister city, Yurihama, Japan and we are honored to have been asked to provide assistance and show them our beautiful island.

Coming up this October is the Chamber's 18th annual Taste of Hilo. Tickets can be reserved at our office at 934-0177 or by contacting any of the committee members. This year the chairperson's are Ryan Kajikawa and Craig Shiroma. I urge every one of you to attend this event and our future events.

Arigato gozaimasu!

18th Annual -  A Taste of Hilo
Ryan Kajikawa and Craig Shiroma, TOH Co-Chairpersons
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, Sangha Hall
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Tickets are available for purchase ONLINE; MAIL IN ORDER FORM with payment or simply call the Chamber office at 934-0177.

Pre-sale:  $50.00
Door: 65.00 
(subject to availability)
Ages 2 and under: Free

A Taste of Hilo  

Annual Tanabata 'Star' Festival: Growing Hope and Love
By Charlene Iboshi

Charlene Iboshi Three years ago, JCCIH and Subaru joined to provide a cultural experience that had three purposes:
  • Build lasting friendships between the Subaru staff, JCCIH membership and the community;
  • Create a "sampler" of food, activities, and history of this traditional Japanese "Star" Festival;
  • Build community interest to embrace traditional Tanabata activities, while highlighting the importance of the study of the stars.
We are accomplishing these objectives, while having fun.  July 7th was a beautiful day for JCCIH's 3rd Tanabata ' Star' Festival. This festival is recognized throughout the world, particularly in Japan.  The festival traces its origins to a legend that the cowherder Hikoboshi  (Altair Star) and weaver Orihime (Vega Star) were lovers separated by the Milky Way. These lovers were forbidden to meet by Orihime's father, the king. But later, her father realizing that they were committed to true love, allowed them to meet once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh month. Everyone likes a good love story.

Traditional Tanabata activities and food include writing Tanazaku Wishes, which are displayed on bamboo stalks for all to read and sharing Nagashi Somen, which means "flowing somen."

The Hilo Hongwanji Betsuin brought their Nagashi Somen crew, led by Toshi and Takako Miura, Alan and Sandy Shigeta, Jean Tung, Sandy Taniguchi, Bob Nishimoto, Jane Miyashiro, and master garnish and sauce preparer Yoshiko Kono.  They prepared, set-up, and orchestrated the "cold somen" running in mizu down the bamboo flume.  They explained how to catch the slippery somen.  Did you know that left handers and right handers should stand on different sides of the bamboo  flume?

JCCIH members, Thundering Sushi and AJ and Sons, provided a well-paired lunch of assorted sushi and local favorites, including miso salmon and kimpira. KTA Super Stores generously donated a beautifully decorated Tanabata-themed cake. Oiishii deshita.

Large arches of bamboo cut by Chad Ogata and Dean Fuke adorned the Subaru Telescope administration building.  Beautiful origami ornaments were made by many hands, led by Irene Nagao and Carol Gristock. Miyuki Lee guided her St. Joseph School's foreign students who made many ornaments, including a long origami ornament symbolizing the Milky Way.

Everyone was happy to know that many of these ornaments, which take time to make, would be used again at the Hawaii Japanese Center's and Project Dana's Tanabata Festivals. This re-using of useful items is a Japanese concept of mottainai (waste not).

An "ice-breaker" led by Mike Miyahira helped Subaru staff and JCCIH members work together as a team, in just a few minutes.  Many were familiar with each other from the Tanabata Festivals from the past two years.

The program was rich with cultural and scientific explanation of the Tanabata Star Festival.  Dr. Nobuo Arimoto blended science, folklore, poetry and with a visual experience that helped us to understand the importance of astronomy, culture and bitter-sweet love. Sometimes, a parent stops a love affair, but then later allows true love and passion to prevail.

Emcee Dwayne Mukai recognized that the Subaru staff provided a "cultured" entertainment program with viola played by Shintaro Koshida, piano by Christophe Clergeon and Kanako Okita, and vocal by Keiko Formanek, a former professional singer with Takarazuka Revue. Mrs. Miyako Arimoto, Subaru's karaoke expert and JCCIH's Hiroshi Suga performed a duet about "about peace and ever lasting love." The 3rd Tanabata Festival has built lasting friendships, while providing a great entertainment event.

russellarikawa JCCIH President Russell Arikawa thanked Dr. Arimoto, Director of Subaru Telescope, for the beautiful Subaru Telescope Facility's use and the help of his hardworking and incredibly talented staff to work with JCCIH's Education Nobuo Arimoto and Social and Culture Committees to plan and assist with the festival. Everyone concluded with the Tejime, a concluding tradition of rhythmic clapping with an enthusiastic exclamation " iyo`o." The group is now fastened together in common purpose.

The Education and Social and Cultural Committees thank everyone who helped to make the Tanabata Festival successful, including the Subaru staff coordinated by Dr. Arimoto, Keiko Formanek, and Yuko Kakazu; Subaru entertainers and staff that helped set-up and clean-up;  JCCIH's Dean Fuke and Debbie Shigehara who coordinated the food, Carol Gristock, Miyuki Lee's St. Joseph School students, Irene Nagao's helpers ( Portia Hara and Phyllis Shinno), Carol VanCamp and Ron, Russell Arikawa, Mike Miyahira, Dwayne Mukai, Jon Arizumi, Tommy Goya, Lynnette Uyesato, Hiroshi Sugai, Missy Miyashiro, Gina Tanouye with her masterfully prepared bamboo holders and Chad Ogata who braved the fire-ants to get the bamboo, Lei Momi Pillers, KTA Super Stores, and the Hilo Hongwanji Betsuin, led by Toshi and Takako Miura, Jane Miyashiro and Yoshiko Kono. A special thank you to Education Co-chair, Yu Yok Pearring, who coordinated the festival for the JCCIH.

Domo arigato gozaimasu.

Hawaii Community College Update - New Chancellor Emphasizes Sustainability
By Rachel Solemsaas, Chancellor

As a new member of this wonderful community, I have been drawn immediately to the local commitment to sustainability. The latter is not simply a buzzword; it is an all-hands-on-deck undertaking, with shoppers carrying their own bags and patronizing local product producers. Indeed, all sectors of our 'ohana - from government to education to business - are determined to achieve an environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable community.

Economic sustainability is a key part of the broader sustainability effort, and as the new Chancellor of Hawai'i Community College, I look forward to helping reach this goal.

I want to ensure the college is doing everything it can to provide all members of our community with the opportunity to create a comfortable and rewarding life for themselves and their families.

Hawai'i Community College's role in a sustainable local economy is to provide students with the skills and knowledge that allow them to become valued employees or innovative employers and entrepreneurs who are fulfilled as individuals and engaged in the future of our community and the world.

By doing so, Hawai'i Community College can help make it possible to build upon the fervor for "buying local" with a continued, collective effort to "hiring local" and fostering more "homegrown" products and services. This is essential if we are to sustain our local economy.

With our open-door admissions policy, lower tuition rates, unique programs, high-quality instruction and services, Hawai'i Community College is well positioned to contribute to this effort, and has been doing so for many years.

The college has made tremendous strides in attracting and educating students from populations that have traditionally been underserved by higher education, such as Native Hawaiians, Filipinos, Pacific Islanders, and students who are eligible for need-based Pell grants.

With our Early College program we have helped hundreds of high school students start college early, increasing the chances they will attend college and succeed there.

By opening the new Hawai'i Community College-Pālamanui campus last fall in West Hawai'i, we are now better positioned to serve that region of the island, which has never before had permanent facilities for higher education.

The college offers many high-quality academic programs and learning resources that are available nowhere else on the island.

But there is more for us to do to increase the number of post-secondary graduates and help the community reach its potential, including making sure we are delivering programs that are appropriate for the rapidly changing economic environment in which we live. Being responsive to the skills demand and employment needs requires our vigilance in reaching out and tapping into the collective knowledge about the Hawai'i Island workforce.

With your wise counsel and guidance, together we can address the skills gaps and design appropriate programs for our students. Together, we can keep our post-secondary education current and relevant and make sure it translates to livable-wage jobs and fulfilling career pathways for all.

Hawai'i Community College embraces the concept of kauhale, which traditionally means the Hawaiian village. Kauhale is an 'ohana of administrators, faculty, staff, students, their families, and the Hawaiʻi Island community that contributes to the success of the college's mission and outcomes.

I am thrilled to be joining this kauhale and look forward to learning more about the needs of the community and working together to create a thriving, sustainable Hawai'i Island economy.

More water discovered on summit plateau
By Stephanie Nagata, Director
Office of Mauna Kea Management  

Stephanie Nagata
Lake Waiau is indeed an enigmatic place.
Contrary to what is widely accepted, it is not the highest body of standing water on the Hawaiian Islands. A nearby cinder cone, Pu'upōhaku, has not only an ephemeral pond, but also a persistent body of ground water about eight feet deep, at an elevation that exceeds that of Lake Waiau.

Since basaltic lava is generally porous and cannot hold water to form such lakes or ponds, scientists at the University of Hawaii and the University of Western Australia collaborated to investigate several sites on Maunakea that were likely candidates for retaining water. In addition to the water body at Pu'upōhaku, they found that groundwater in Pu'uwaiau extends beyond the immediate lake bottom, and in some areas water-saturated sediments can be found uphill from the lake.

These are among the results of a scientific study recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research [ http://tinyurl.com/2016JF003853]. Electrical resistivity tomography, a non-intrusive geophysical technique, revealed a layer of water at Pu'upōhaku; and the unpublished field notebooks from 1966 to 1977 of former University of Hawaii scientist Alfred H. Woodcock (1905-2005) routinely mention water persisting in a pit at the center of the crater. But perhaps the most surprising discovery is a buried layer of high electrical conductivity immediately east of Lake Waiau. This is likely a layer of water-soaked fine-grained material, which explains meteorologists' observation that the lake level responds to prolonged drought only with a lag time.

The drainage area for Pu'uwaiau is more than 10 times larger than at Pu'upōhaku, and thus while these pu'u are unique sites even on Maunakea in that they have sediments that retain water, it is not surprising that Lake Waiau is better known as Hawaiiˋs highest lake. Previous research on Maunakea identified that precipitation from winter storms is the primary source of water into Lake Waiau. The source of groundwater at Pu'upōhaku is also from the occasional precipitation that falls on the pu'u given that it is the highest point in the immediate surrounding terrain.

The researchers also identified that neither Pu'uwaiau nor Pu'upōhaku are underlain by permafrost, which is, in a way, good news. Even with climate warming, the substrate these two water bodies are perched on will remain impermeable and continue to serve as indicators of wet periods and droughts. By integrating the historical work of University of Hawaii scientists with more recent research and state-of-the-art tools such as electrical resistivity tomography, a more complete picture of the interactions between geology, climate, and hydrology on Maunakea is emerging.

The shallow crater of Pu'upohaku in the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve holds an occasional pond, and 8 ft. deep groundwater. (Source: OMKM ranger photo from April 30, 2015)

This work was conducted under the auspices of research permits issued for work in the Natural Area Reserve and the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, in collaboration with the Natural Area Reserve System and supported by the Office of Maunakea Management.


TMT Observatory Update
By Sandra Dawson

Sandra Dawson
As many of you are aware, the Thirty Meter Telescope launched THINK (The Hawaii Island New Knowledge) Fund in 2014 to better prepare Hawaii Island students to master STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and to become the workforce for higher-paying science and technology jobs in the 21st century economy.

TMT's THINK Fund initiative benefits Hawaii Island students pursuing STEM endeavors through an annual contribution of $1 million. TMT selected two Hawaii foundations, Hawaii Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation, to administer THINK Fund distribution in scholarship and grant making platforms. TMT's annual $1 million contribution allocates $750,000 to THINK Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation and $250,000 to THINK Fund at the Pauahi Foundation. TMT has so far added $2 million to the THINK initiative.

I'm happy to report that 11 outstanding students from Hawaii Island have been awarded scholarships totaling $194,000 by the THINK Fund at Pauahi Foundation.

These 11 students join last year's 10 recipients in receiving scholarships that will provide support throughout their academic careers. The multi-year commitment to the students was designed to reassure students and their families of continued support and reduce the barrier of family finances limiting college attendance and long-term career success.

The scholarship students are all pursuing STEM-related degrees. They are a diverse group, planning careers in medicine, biology (including marine biology and microbiology), mechanical and civil engineering, aviation science, and ecopsychology. They come from public, charter and private high schools across the island and the colleges they have chosen mirror their wide-ranging choices of careers: University of Hawaii-Hilo, Hawaii Community College, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Linfield College, Grand Canyon University, University of Miami, Central Washington University, Stanford, and Cal State Sacramento.

One of this year's scholarship recipients wrote in his online application, "I've always loved science. From the age of 7 till now, I have always loved to learn of the unknown. Test out the waters of places in which we have yet to traverse. And to make sense to the mysteries of the world. Over the course of time I have always felt a connection to science. It was through these connections that I was actually able to form my goals."

While scholarships are the major focus of THINK Fund at the Pauahi Foundation some initial STEM grants went to programming including the highly successful Science Camps of America, a 10-day Hawaii Island summer session at Imiloa featuring Land & Sea and Air & Space focuses.

There's a lot more exciting THINK Fund news and I'll be reporting in the next Oshirase about STEM Learning Grants and additional scholarships from the THINK Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation.

Mahalo to the entire Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii membership for its support and kokua!


Current Benefits for Members

Please check out the current benefits and discounts that you can take advantage of as a JCCIH member!   


Gina Tanouye, Allstate - Speegle Insurance Agency is dedicated to providing outstanding service with Aloha for your auto, home, renters, life insurance and financial service needs. For every referral the office receives, the member will receive a $10 gift card for allowing them to provide an insurance quote.   Contact Gina Tanouye at 969-7767 or tgina@allstate.com

Amelia Hayashi, Bob's Jewelers is offering members 30% off watches; 30% off gold jewelry (Po Son Hon collection excluded); and 30% off sterling silver jewelry.   Contact Amelia Hayashi at 935-8434. 

Offering up to 25% off legal services depending on case.   Contact Al Konishi 960-4072.

Diann Horita - With an office in Hilo, Eyewear Hilo has been serving Keaau, Papaikou, Kurtistown and Waimea for more than 4 years. Prior to Dec. 2008, the staff was employed by Eyewear Hawaii, Inc. and that same respected service is found at Eyewear Hilo.  When you desire superior cutting edge lens technology.
Members will receive a 20% discount.
Contact Diann Horita at 935-1119. 

Joy Madriaga, Hawaii Petroleum, Inc., HPI offers dependable bulk fuel and lubricant delivery services to all districts of the island. HPI's proprietary gas card program - Hawaii Fueling Network - provides a convenient, cost saving for businesses and consumers to fuel. Sign up for membership with Hawaii Fueling Network (HFN) and receive a discount per gallon on your gas purchases at any of our 13 locations. Fuel Up Do Good when you buy Fuel at any of our eight Islandwide Ohana Fuels retail locations a portion of your purchase goes to a Non-profit that serves our community. Contact Joy Madriaga at 969-1405 for further questions. Applications are available at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii.

Jieyu Sheparo, Kitchen & Beyond, LLC., offering 5% discount on items in store.   Contact Jieyu Sheparo at 935-2167.

Dawn Kanealii, Liko Lehua Cafe, offering 15% off entire bill.   Contact Dawn Kanealii at 936-9823.

Save up to 60% off a core list of more than 650 commonly purchased items. Additional deep savings on over 3,000+ items in OfficeMax's "Work Essentials" catalog.  Most other items will receive a 5% discount both online and in the store (excluding furniture and technology).  Contact Chamber office at 934-0177.

Sandy Wilson, Wilson's Trophies, provides awards for sports and academics; signs and banners; corporate awards and recognition, gifts & recognition; custom and personalized products (made to order); wood and acrylic crafting (laser engraving and designs); special occasions (Valentine's, Christmas, etc.); jewelry items (earrings, pendants, hair picks and more), also advertising promotional items. Members will receive awards discounts. C
ontact Sandy Wilson at 969-7077.   


 August 2016


In This Issue






What's Happening

  Monday, September 5, 2016
Labor Day Holiday - JCCIH office closed

Monday, September 12, 2016
JCCIH Board Meeting
Hilo Yacht Club
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Sunday, October 16, 2016
18th Annual - A Taste of Hilo Event
Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, Sangha Hall
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tickets available at the chamber office.   Call 934-0177.

Monday, October 17, 2016
JCCIH Board Meeting
Hilo Yacht Club
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Friday, November 11, 2016
Veterans Day Holiday - JCCIH office closed

Monday, November 14, 2016
JCCIH Board Meeting
Hilo Yacht Club
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

Russell Arikawa, President

Audrey Takamine, 1st Vice President

Stephen Ueda, 2nd Vice President

Donn Mende, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Joseph Skruch, Treasurer
Ivan Nakano, Auditor

Darren Nishioka, Immediate-Past President



Directors - term expiring 6/30/17

Jon Arizumi

Tommy Goya

Josie Kiyan

Peter Kubota

Phoebe Lambeth

Dwayne Mukai

Russell Oda

Nina Tanabe

Arthur Taniguchi

Gina Tanouye

Jere Usui 

Carol VanCamp

Directors - term expiring 6/30/18

Dean Fuke

Barbara Hastings

Ryan Kadota

Randy Kurohara

Amanda Lee

Joy Madriaga

Tracey Miura

Mike Miyahira

Chad Ogata

Allan Onishi

Francis Rickard

Rosie Sakane-Elarco

Debbie Shigehara

Toby Taniguchi


Directors - term expiring 6/30/19

Ross Birch

Laurie Correa

Charlene Iboshi

Michael Kaleikini

Ka'iu Kimura

Mitchell Dodo

Donald Straney

Craig Shiroma 


Oshirase Newsletter   

Barbara Hastings, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, Executive Assistant  





Welcome New Members! 


Tracy Yamaguchi

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460 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: (808) 933-3526 Alt. Ph: (808) 936-3829

Email: tyamaguchi@tghawaii.com







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© 2011 Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai'i 

714 Kanoelehua Avenue, Hilo, Hawai'i 96720-4565
Phone: 808-934-0177     Fax: 808-934-0178 
Email:  jccih@jccih.org     Website:www.jccih.org