JOIN US FOR OUR
37TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!
CELEBRATING OUR CULINARY COMMUNITY
SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2017 • 5 - 9 PM
SILENT AUCTION, COCKTAIL RECEPTION, DINNER & AWARDS PROGRAM
HYATT REGENCY LONG BEACH
200 SOUTH PINE AVENUE
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
BLACK TIE OPTIONAL | TICKETS WILL BE HELD AT THE DOOR
For information on tickets or sponsorships, please click here.
SUNTORY HOLDINGS LTD.
PACIFIC PIONEER AWARD
Suntory Group is a global leader in consumer packaged goods, producing and distributing a uniquely diverse portfolio of brewed teas, bottled water, carbonated drinks, ready to drink coffee, energy drinks and wellness products as well as premium spirits, beer and wine. Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, we are driven by our founder’s “Yatte Minahare” spirit–the spirit of bold ambition. Our 38,000 employees worldwide draw upon our unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets.
For more than 100 years, Suntory has maintained our legacy and promise of living in harmony with people and nature through our commitment to protecting water resources, nurturing our communities and fostering the arts. Our global tagline, Follow Your Nature®, invites our employees, partners and customers to be true to themselves, embrace the unknown, and give back more than they take. We believe that together, we can grow for good when we stay true to ourselves and pursue the paths that nature intended.
Suntory has had the honor to enjoy a long-time relationship with the JACCC, dating back to its founding. Collaboration is still active nowadays with examples such as the creation of the “Suntory Terrace” last year at the JACCC office.
JAPANESE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
The Japanese Restaurant Association of America was established in California on August 24, 1999 as a non-profit organization under the name Japanese Restaurant Association of Southern California.
Roots of the organization date back to 1997 when many establishments throughout Little Tokyo and the greater Los Angeles area faced questions and problems with fully understanding the various laws and regulations of regarding Immigration, Labor Board, Alcoholic Beverage Control, and Los Angeles County of Public Health. During this time, many members of the Little Tokyo community including Little Tokyo Business Association (LTBA), Japanese wholesale companies, Japanese hotels (such as Miyako Hotel and The New Otani Hotel), and Japan Food Manufacturers’ Association (Hichimikai), helped to provide a network of support to tackle the issues pertaining to the food and beverage industry. Mr. Teruo Imaizumi and Mr. David Kudo worked with these organizations to establish JRA, and became its first Chairman and Executive Director, respectively.
The Japanese Restaurant Association has received the support of and nurtured strong relationships with the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and various non-profit organizations such as the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California, Japanese Prefectural Association of Southern California, Japan Business Association, Japanese Food Culture Association, Nisei Week Foundation, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, and the LA Nebutabayashi Hozonkai. Currently there are approximately 25,000 Japanese restaurants in the U.S. and growing. We hope to continue to provide these restaurants with guidance that is relevant to the current regulations while also educating the American audience through Japanese cuisine.
COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD
Beth Fujishige is a dynamic leader and passionate volunteer. From her days as Undergraduate Administrative Vice President at UCLA to the present, she continues to promote Japanese culture through activities at Orange County Buddhist Church (Obon, Hanamatsuri, Girls’ Day, Project Kokoro) and serves on its Board of Directors. Beth played an active role in planning the Nihon Waso Gakuen Japanese Kimono Festival and coordinated Rotarians to participate in Walk the Farm to assist Japan farmers devastated by the Tohoku tsunami.
For ten years, Beth chaired the Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk National Japanese American Memorial in DC. Beth was the founder of Nen Daiko, Ekoji Buddhist Temple’s Taiko Drum Ensemble and was editor of Ekoji’s 25th Anniversary Cookbook, introducing Japanese dishes to an ethnically mixed congregation.. She also served on the JACL DC Chapter board. Most recently, Beth is the project manager for the Tomodachi Bento Project, an all-volunteer meals program serving Japanese and Japanese American homebound seniors in Orange County.
In her spare time, Beth is a Big with the OC Big Brothers Big Sisters program mentoring Jassmin, a 10 year old student that Beth hopes will someday be the first in her family to attend college.
KANJI SAHARA, phd
COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD
Dr. Kanji Sahara was born in Hiroshima and came to Los Angeles when he was half year old. During WWII, his family was in Santa Anita, Jerome and Rohwer. In 1945, his family resettled in Chicago. He received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and PhD from Northwestern University.
Dr. Sahara worked for General Dynamics in Pomona and was an Engineering Supervisor. He and wife Jane (Sakata) raised Richard and Judy in Claremont. Kanji was President of the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center.
Upon his retirement Kanji and Jane moved to Torrance. With his ukulele, he has been leading the Sing-A-Long at the Gardena Adult Day Care Center for 16 years. He received the Gardena Volunteer of the Year Award in 2013.
Kanji belongs to GLA JACL, NCRR, Manzanar Committee, Faith UMC and a JANM docent. He was Project Director of the Tuna Canyon Traveling Exhibit.
COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD
Evelyn was born in Denver where her family moved after serving time in the Poston Arizona concentration camp. When she was 4, they returned to L.A. moving into an apartment in Jefferson Park. Thanks to racial covenants being struck down by the Fair Housing Act, they were able to buy a house in the Crenshaw District where she grew up.
She came of age in the 1960s, fighting for Ethic Studies on campus in the 1960s. She joined others protesting abuses of redevelopment in the 1970s. And in the 1980s, she joined the fight against U.S. support for South African apartheid and for redress for World War 2 imprisonment helping pass the 1987 redress bill.
Today, she still works at Little Tokyo Service Center bringing other stakeholders together to maintain community control over the rapidly-gentrifying Little Tokyo.
She lives in Mid City with her husband, and near her daughter, son-in-law and 3-year-old grandson.
Learn more about the Community Spirit Award, its recipients over the years, and more here.
Click here for more information and a video about our 36th Anniversary Celebration that took place on June 11, 2016.