CJC and NCJAA Together Celebrate 2018 New Year
The Chicago Japanese Club (CJC) and the New Chicago Japanese American
Association (NCJAA) together celebrated the New Year on January 21 at
the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago - Arlington Heights, and about
160 people attended.
In his greeting remarks, CJC President Manabu Yoshiike
announced that Tatsu Aoki received the Foreign Minister’s Award and Jean
Mishima received the Emperor’s Award, the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver
Rays in 2017. He congratulated them and talked about their achievements
for the Japanese American and Japanese community. Mishima, President of
the Japanese American Historical Society and former Chair of the Chicago
Japanese American Council, was invited to the stage and received big flower
bouquets from CJC and NCJAA. Aoki was unable to attend the celebration
due to his concert in the Chicago area.
In her greeting remarks, NCJAA President Rie Katayama
reported her group’s activities including spring and fall concerts to
support young and talented musicians and holding Kimono Club to promote
wearing kimono dresses to revive one part of Japanese traditional culture.
Consul General Naoki Ito praised the activities of CJC
and NCJAA saying, “Organizing Chicago Japan Festival and other things
have made you essential to our community in Chicago,” and talked about
his Consulate’s plan to promote further cultural exchanges by focusing
on three areas. The first was Japan festivals, the second was Japanese
gardens, and the third was Japanese language education.
As a special guest of the New Year’s celebration, Thomas
Hayes, Mayor of the Village of Arlington Heights, welcomed Japanese and
JAs’ hospitality and friendship.
Kazume Mizuki, a Master of Japanese-traditional-dance
Mizuki School, danced a piece “New Year.”
After the luncheon, the entertainment started with koto music performance “Fujin” by the Chicago Koto Group followed by beautiful chorus of the Soyokaze Chorus Group.
Special guest performers, Emi Tanabe of violin, Guillermo Paolisso of guitar, Jun Takanarita of percussion, and Rie Katayama of castanet and flamenco dance, performed thrilling pieces of music and dances.
Children of the Chicago St. Matthew’s Eisah Team were invited to perform Okinawa dance with taiko drumming. The audience enjoyed their cute, yet valiant performance with smiles.
The finale of the gathering was a raffle prize drawing. The attendees swallowed hard every time Mrs. Susan Hayes drew a raffle ticket. An air ticket for a round trip to Japan and one-night stay at DoubleTree Hotel were big prizes among them. The attendees left the party with happy smiles
Participants make a toast for happiness and prosperity in 2018
|Rie Katayama||Manabu Yoshiike|
|Consul General Naoki Ito|
Arllington Heights Mayor
Soyokaze Chorus Group
Children of the Chicago St. Matthew perform Okinawa dance