1/27/12 DISCLAIMER FROM JCCCNC:
Please be advised that our website has recently been compromised. Do NOT click on any of the photos on the LEFT hand sidebar. If you scroll over the image and see the words “Putty” and/or “Download,” do not click on this image, it will take you to an unauthorized site and possibly download a virus. The JCCCNC is actively working to fix this issue. Please note that all of the links within the JCCCNC website are safe to click on. If you prefer, please call us at (415) 567-5505 to obtain information on our programs, membership or events.
TAKAHASHI YOUTH AMBASSADOR FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
The Takahashi Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program (TYAFP) was created as a dynamic youth exchange program between the United States and Japan. The significance of a first-hand cultural experience is invaluable in helping a young person in the Japanese American community define his or her own identity and establish a greater connection to their sometimes seemingly distant heritage, as well as encourage continued interest in Japan, its people, culture and history.
The TYAFP will help initiate meaningful dialogue and goodwill exchange between the youth in Japan and Japanese American youth. It was also created to give the youth in our community the opportunity to develop and gain leadership and civic development skills to help them build a strong foundation for thieir future endeavors.
All participants who successfully complete the TYAFP will receive a certificate of Completion, as well as personal letters and certificates of commendations from government offices and dignitaries.
Goals of the TYAFP - To develop a deeper understanding and awareness of Japan, its culture, people and history as an international citizen ambassador; to develop lifelong leadership and civic skills; to provide an opportunity to visit Japan and participate in meaninigful exchanges with youth from Japan; to develop an appreciation and understanding of citizen-action and involvement through community and international volunteerism; to assist youth in obtaining admission to higher education, scholarships and future recognition through their participation in the TYAFP.
The Takahashi Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program is named in honor of The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Foundation who through the generosity of their foundation this program is possible.
2012-13 Takahashi Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program
2012-13 Takahashi Fellows (left to right): Andrew Kikkawa-Nielsen, Jessi Svoboda, Aislinn Ozawa-Burns, Tae Shimamoto, Kai Wong, Claire Nakamura, Tai Iwamasa, Rikki Eijima, Mika Osaki and Wesley Yee
These ten Takahashi Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program participants spent the summer of 2013 learing about Japanese American history, the San Francisco Japantown Community, how to work together on various projects and presentations, raised over $3,000 in a Udon Fundraiser that they successfully planned and implemented and began tracing their roots to create their personal family history book. This summer, they will continue participating in leadership development, team builiding and cultural workshops as they plan for their trip to Japan this summer.
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Interested in becoming a Takahashi Fellow?
We are not taking applicants for the 2014-15 program yet, but you can click below to access 2012-13 Program documents:
TYAFP Application Cover Letter
For more information, please email or call (415) 567-5505.
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2012-13 TYAFP Scholarship Information
The JCCCNC is pleased to announce the availability of two scholarships in memory of Roy Y. Ashizawa and Florence Kono Yamada. These scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, their participation and volunteerism in the community and an essay of how this scholarship opportunity will enhance their experience.
Roy Y. Ashizawa Scholarship ($2,000.00)
Roy Y. Ashizawa grew up in San Francisco's Japantown attending Morning Star School. After graduating high school, here in San Francisco, Roy was given the opportunity to travel to Japan to study - to improve his Japanese language skills and expose him to life in Japan filled with its rich culture and arts. Roy spent many days at the JCCCNC during his retirement participating in classes and volunteering.
By continuing his enthusiastic support of the JCCCNC and its programs, and recognizing the valued connections he had not only with the JCCCNC, but to San Francisco's Japantown, the many wonderful people, old and young, within its community, as well as his appreciation of Japanese culture and arts, his family is pleased to offer a scholarship to provide an opportunity to a participant in the 2012-14 TYAFP and encourage his/her growth as a future leader, cultural ambassador and global citizen.
Florence Kono Yamada Scholarship ($1,000.00)
Florence "Flo" Kono Yamada was a regular Japantown fixture and had an opinion about everything, in particular how important it was to preserve Japantown. Originally from Chicago, Flo and her sisters made Japantown their second home. Flo could be seen at the JCCCNC three or four times a week participating in classes, volunteering or just hanging out making people happy with her infectious laugh.
Flow believed in living life to its fullest, despite battling cancer for many years she never lost her enthusiasm for life and her love for the community. Her husband Kahn Yamada would like to offer a scholarship to someone in need of assistance and that will discover and embrace the Japanese culture and its beauty as he was able to do most recently on a JCCCNC cultural tour to Japan.
If you are interested in applying for one of the scholarships, please submit the scholarship application along with your essay. If you have additional questions, please contact Lori Matoba at (415) 567-5505 or email her.
Click here to download TYAFP Scholarship Cover and Scholarship form.
Introducing the Masako Martha Suzuki Scholarship (For TYAFP Alumni)
The JCCCNC is proud to announce the creation of the Masako Martha Suzuki Scholarship. Mrs. Suzuki was an ardent supporter of the JCCCNC’s programs to promote Japanese culture and history to all individuals. She had a special interest in making sure that younger generations were informed and proud of their Japanese American ancestral heritage and thus enjoyed learning about all of the activities the JCCCNC sponsored featuring young people.
This year, four scholarships will be available for youth who are previous participants in the TYAFP and will be entering or continuing college. Students will be required to submit a one page typed essay to the JCCCNC on what they feel can be their contribution to supporting the Japanese American community now and in the future. For more information, please contact the JCCCNC office.
For more information on the Masako Martha Suzuki Scholarship, please contact the JCCCNC at (415) 567-5505.
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2011 Takahashi Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program
The inaugural class of Fellows for the Takahashi Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program (TYAFP) departed on their 12-day journey to Japan from July 19-31, 2011.
From press release issued by the JCCCNC:
The Takahashi Fellows went to Japan not only to develop their leadership and civic skills, but also to gain a better understanding and appreciation of their culture and identity through their first-hand experiences. The Takahashi fellows learned about different aspects of Japan from international relations and government, history at the Tokyo Edo Museum, traditional farming at Kisen Waiwai Mura, culture through visits to cultural sights and areas, to how Japanese families live from their stay with their host family, how to put a smile on a child’s face trough games at an orphanage and learning about students their own age by sharing aspects of their daily life in Kobe. more...
2011 Participants: (school/grade for Fall 2011)
Mina Han, Senior, University High School, San Francisco; Owen Iwamasa, Junior, George Washington High School, San Francisco; Angeline Junaedy*, Junior, Abraham Lincoln High School, San Francisco; Grant Kawahatsu, Senior, Stuart Hall High School, San Francisco; Yumi Kobayashi*, Freshman, Albany High School, Albany; Kristen Koyama, Junior, Oakland Technical High School, Oakland; Danny Souza, Sophomore, Palma School, Salinas; Whitney Tamaki, Junior, Albany High School, Albany; Colin Wong, Senior, Campolindo High School, Moraga; Laura Yee, Senior, Skyline High School Oakland
Left to right: (front row) Diane Matsuda, General Consul Inomata, Mrs. Martha Suzuki, Mrs. Inomata and Paul Osaki. (2nd row) Diane Matsuda, Kristen Koyama, Laura Yee, Mina Han, Angeline Junaedy and Yumi Kobayashi. (3rd row) Lori Matoba, Grant Kawahatsu, Whitney Tamaki, Danny Souza, Owen Iwamasa and Ryan Kimura. Missing: Colin Wong
*Yumi Kobayashi is the recipient of the Roy Y. Ashizawa Memorial Scholarship and Angeline Junaedy is the recipient of the Florence "Flo" Kono Yamada Memorial Scholarship. (see below for more information on the scholarship)
Program Itinerary :
|Tuesday, July 19
||Depart San Francisco
|Wednesday, July 20
||Arrive in Japan
|Thursday, July 21
|| Asakuksa/Ryogoku - Tokyo Edo Museum - Akihabara
|Friday, July 22
||Visit and Tour of Tokyo University and the National Diet
||Meeting and Discussion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
|Saturday, July 23
||Shinkansen to Osaka - Lunch in Namba
||Stay at Kisen Waiwai Mura - Traditional Farming Village
|Sunday, July 24
||Activities at Kisen Waiwai Mura (cooking, farming, crafts)
|Monday, July 25
||Depart Kisen Waiwai Mura for Osaka - Castle and Umeda Area
||Arrive in Kobe - Meet Host Family
|Tuesday, July 26
||Visit Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution (Earthquake Museum)
||Visit Hyogo Int'l High School - Ikebana, Tea Ceremony, Karate
|Wednesday, July 27
||Visit Nagata Kodomo Home (orphanage)
|Thursday, July 28
||Free Day with Host Family
|Friday, July 29
||Kobe City College of Technology - Intercultural Activities, Tour, Lunch
||Takahashi Program Graduation, Kobe YMCA
|Saturday, July 30
||Tour Kyoto - Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera - Visit Int'l Manga Museum
|Sunday, July 31
||Visit Arashiyama - Iwatayama Monkey Park/Bamboo Forest
||Depart for San Francisco
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SHINZEN USA NIKKEI YOUTH GOODWILL PROGRAM
(officially closed with final trip to Japan in 2009)
Shinzen in Japanese means international goodwill
or amity. This annual cross-cultural exchange program promoted the values of fair play and competition, while fostering ties between the Japanese and Japanese American communities.
In 1995 the Japanese Cultural and Community
Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) and the Office of the Consulate
General of Japan in San Francisco began discussing ways to create
a more dynamic and meaningful exchange program between the US
and Japan. It was agreed that although there are a substantial
number of traditional cultural and intellectual exchanges, there
exists a greater need for meaningful dialogue and goodwill exchange
between youth in Japan and Japanese American Youth.
The Nikkei Youth Goodwill Program
was able to provide
unique opportunities for not only the
exchange of friendly
competition, but also for building a foundation
for the exchange of ideas and important values of our young people
today, ensuring a strong future for our US/Japan relations.
The thirteenth and final year of the Shinzen USA Nikkei Youth Goodwill Sports Program saw nearly 80 participants from the Bay Area - 21 youth basketball players, their families and staff - traveled to Japan for a weeklong grassroots exchange trip.
This year’s theme, “Shinzen Forever,” was a reminder that although the program in its current state is ending, the friendships and bonds created by the spirit of Shinzen will always remains.
“When we first started, I didn’t understand the meaning of goodwill and friendship, I just thought, basketball and Japan - that sounds like fun, but it was way more than that. We volunteered, went to events, we learned about the bomb in Hiroshima and played with the kids at the Kodomo Home (orphanage)...I learned that friendships can spread and maintain for probably my whole life. These friendships that I made in Japan will always be remembered.” - Amada Joo, Santa Clara
Highlights of the 2009 Program include: youth homestays in Osaka and Kobe, participating in the 50th Anniversary of the San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Relationship (2007) Plaque Unveling, creating crafts and dancing with the children of Nagata Kodomo Home and being the guest of Toyosaki Jr. High School in Osaka, getting a tour the school, playing goodwill games and being treating to a mini-concert by their band.
2009 team at the 50th Anniversary San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Plaque Dedication
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Festive sounds of the matsuri music filled the Nisei Community Hall at the JCCCNC, as the Shinzen Program had its farewell reception on August 3rd. This was the conclusion of an eight-day cultural exchange program between 11 youth ambassadors from Osaka and 16 from the San Francisco Bay Area. Together the youth engaged in basketball as well as intercultural and volunteer activities to learn the key role they play in shaping the future of our respective communities.
The youth ambassadors activities included: the Japantown History Walk, an interactive workshop about the internment,volunteering at various Japantown organizations mixed-team games, art project, volleyball, a trip to Great American for a picnic and relay races and a cultural dance exchange of hip-hop and Soran Bushi.
Although at first the participants seemed a little shy and hesitant, as the days went on they proved that friendship, respect and goodwill are without borders. By the end of the farewell reception, the ambassadors all identified with each other on a level that was beyond just basketball. The finale incldued the participants and their families forming a large circle and dancing the Shinzen Ondo, a matsuri style dance to celebrate the conclusion of the goodwill exchange, and a week full of memories that will last everyone a lifetime.
Press Release: Press Release 2008 Shinzen Program
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2007 was an exciting year for the Shinzen Program - 22 players and their families traveled to Hiroshima, Osaka and Kobe, Japan from July 27-August 5, 2007. The highlight was the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the San Francisco-Osaka Sister City relationship, which included a visit with Osaka Mayor Seki at City Hall.
Press Release: 2007 Post-trip Press Release
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2006 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Shinzen Program and we celebrated with youth and staff from the Osaka YMCA during the week of August 1-8, 2006.
Special events in commemoration of
the 10th Anniversary included a Friendship
Basketball Tournament, Alumni Day and Family Picnic where alumni from past Shinzen
teams were invited to participate with the current
The week-long festivities ended with a grand farewell reception, where the JCCCNC gym was transformed into a huge "matsuri" party, with traditional decorations, songs from Broadway star, Yuka Takara, and dances from both the U.S. team (hip-hop dance) and Japan (Soran Bushi). The week ended with hugs and tears as the youth and staff of Osaka boarded their bus to the airport, bringing the realization of shinzen to life - all of the youth gained the experience of long-lasting international friendships.
Press Release: Shinzen Celebrates 10 Years of Friendship and Goodwill.
Press Release: Shinzen Participants Form Lasting Friendships
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On July 27, 2005, 87 participants (19 players and their families)
departed San Francisco for Osaka, Kobe and Hiroshima, Japan. Highlights for the 19 youth included:
- Visiting the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial and Disaster
Museum in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the devastating
- Spending time with the children of the Nagata Kodomo Home (an
orphanage) in Kobe
- Preparing toro-nagashi (floating lanterns) for 60th
Annv. of the bombing of Hiroshima.
The Hiroshima Peace Museum displayed with hard honesty why nuclear weapons should never be used again. As I walked through the exhibits and pictures I was amazed at the pain and suffering the atomic bomb had caused. On this visit with all of my Shinzen teammates, it was a very special time. We made 1,000 cranes and paper lanterns and it made us feel that we were contributing to the 60th memorial of the bombing. I especially appreciate this Shinzen trip because it reinforces my feelings about world peace and my concern for innocent victims of war. - Masao Taylor
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With a theme of "Goodwill through Sports," the 2004 Shinzen Program sought to create strong bonds and friendships through competition, sportsmanship and teamwork. As our Shinzen teams hosted 38 players and 9 staff members from August 17th to 24th, they found the importance of fostering fellowship with their opponents on and off the court.
To further the theme of "goodwill through sports," Shinzen participants attended U.S./Japan Baseball Night with the San Francisco Giants as they hosted the N.Y. Mets and their Japanese shortstop, Kazuo Matsui. In commemoration of more than 150 years of U.S.-Japan relations two of the first ambassadors between the American and Japanese baseball communities, Wally Yonamine and Masanori Murakami, were recognized and their revolutionary accomplishments honored. Mr. Yonamine was an American crossover athlete playing for the San Francisco 49ers, the Yomiuri Giants and the Chunichi Dragons, while Mr. Murakami was the first Japanese ballplayer to compete in America when he joined the 1961 San Francisco Giants.
Other activities of the week included homestays, Goodwill Basketball Games, a trip to Great America, a Friendship Volleyball Tournament, cultural exchange activities and a Farewell Reception.
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To help quell uncertainties and fears that often accompany world
turmoil, this year's Shinzen program has adopted the theme "Wings
of Peace". Our young ambassadors demonstrated that despite
cultural and language barriers, as well as travel safety concerns,
exchanges amongst the youth of our countries are more essential
today than ever before.
The Wings of Peace Tour included a visit to Hiroshima Peace Park
on August 6, the date of the Atomic bombing in 1945. Our youth laid
1000 origami cranes at the Sadako Statue, also known as the Children's
Monument, and launch "toro nagashi", or paper floating
lanterns, on the Motoyasu river as a symbol of their pledge for
The 6th annual program hosted over 40 youth and leaders from the
cities of Kobe and Osaka, Japan. The youth participated in a weeklong
goodwill program, which included homestay, cultural exchange, touring
and basketball with 47 youth and families from throughout the Bay