A Celebration of Pioneers from Japan in Greater Cincinnati
The Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati (JASGC) held their Annual Gala: A Celebration of Pioneers from Japan in Greater Cincinnati, on November 12th, 2020 at 6:00 pm EST. This hour-long event was held virtually (via Zoom), with guests attending from all around the world. JASGC was established in 1988 to foster business, social and cultural connections between the people of Japan and residents of Cincinnati. This Gala is one of the many ways they build these connections.
The event was hosted by Joe Dehner, the current JASGC president. It began with a beautiful tribute by Kiyoshi “Peter” Tanaka for his late father, Dr. Kinji Tanaka. He spoke of Dr. Tanaka’s amazing life achievements and how he helped establish several Japan-related organizations in Greater Cincinnati that continue to promote US-Japan relations decades later. Following Kiyoshi Tanaka was Tsutomu Nakagawa, Consul General of Japan in Detroit, who gave a heartfelt speech and toast to officially open the event.
The highlight of the evening included two key speakers, Shogo Akiyama of the Cincinnati Reds, and Yuya Kubo of FC Cincinnati. Both players arrived in Cincinnati in January 2020 as the first players from Japan to join their respective Cincinnati professional sports teams. The interactive interview featured questions from attendees. The players spoke about a wide range of topics including their sports experience in the US, adjusting to a new home life, and their favorite experiences so far living in Cincinnati. The players were reportedly happy to be included in this Gala and to share their perspectives. The event was well attended and was deemed a huge success for JASGC.