Posted December 22, 2020

Nate Gyotoku Appointed as JCCH President and Executive Director

December 22, 2020

(Honolulu) The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (JCCH) Board of Directors announced that Mr. Nate Gyotoku will serve as the new President and Executive Director effective January 11, 2021.
“I am pleased to welcome Nate back to JCCH as president and executive director to move us forward in 2021 and the years ahead,” said Scott Kuioka, JCCH Board Chairman. “Nate brings a commitment to community service, passion for the JCCH mission and experience in the non-profit sector. We are confident that Nate will work collaboratively with the Board to lead the organization through these uncertain COVID and post-COVID times.”
Nate Gyotoku served as the JCCH Chief Operating Officer and Director of Programs in 2015.  While at the JCCH, Nate was involved in redesigning and naming of the Tokioka Heritage Resource Center and chaired the New Year’s Ohana Festival for two years.  Upon leaving JCCH, Nate was the Director of Sustainability Initiatives at Kupu and more recently served as the President and Executive Director of Junior Achievement of Hawai‘i.   His volunteer leadership activities include chairman of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, participant in the US-Japan Council Emerging Leaders Program and Vice- Chair of the Hawai‘i Region of the USJC.
“I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity to lead the JCCH”, said Gyotoku. “I look forward to working with the staff, Board of Directors, and our community to move the JCCH forward into a new era.”
Nate grew up in Hilo and received his undergraduate degree in English Literature at UNLV.  In addition to his non-profit work experience, Nate has worked in the private sector at Heide & Cook and as a consultant with Century Computers (PacXa). 


Posted December 11, 2020

Furoshiki Japanese Gift Wrap Cultural Class

Join us online on Thursday, December 17, 6pm to learn from Ben Franklin Craft's Joy Shimabukuro the art of furoshiki. Register today!

Workshop material pick up including NIJI sake and sparkling cider will be available at Ben Franklin Mapunapuna starting Wednesday, December 16. Please show your receipt and let them know you're picking up your order for the Furoshiki workshop.

For more information you may email Ken Yoshida at or call 808-218-6739.

Posted November 5, 2020

Announcement from Scott Kuioka, Chairman

November 5, 2020

After 22 years of managing the Manoa Grand Ballroom, Marian’s Catering will close its operation at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (JCCH).

Marian’s Catering provided an affordable alternative to local families, businesses and organizations in the community. From corporate meetings, special events, wedding receptions, craft fairs and lectures, Marian’s provided meeting room services and local Japanese and Hawaiian menus for its guests. We thank Marian’s Catering and the Harada family for their years of service.

The JCCH Board of Directors will be exploring options for the future usage of the 5th floor ballroom of the Community Services Building.

For more information please email


Posted August 28, 2020

Message from JCCH: Increased vigilance in preparation for Coronavirus (Covid-19)

August 27, 2020

The JCCH Administrative office, Resource Center and the Gift Shop and Gallery will be closed on Thursday, August 27, 2020 through Wednesday, September 9, 2020, in compliance with the Mayor’s request to work-from-home. Thank you for your patience and participation in this community effort to combat the effects of Covid-19.

Please check for updates and changes. Please email with all inquiries, or call 945-7633.


Posted July 24, 2020

Message from the JCCH Board Chairman

July 24, 2020

The JCCH Administration Office, Gift Shop, and Courtyard will be closed from Saturday night, July 25th to Tuesday, July 28th in anticipation of Hurricane Douglas.  We are tentatively planning to reopen JCCH on Wednesday, July 29th. The additional closure date(s) will allow our property manager and building engineer to assess any damage, flooding, building leaks, and coordinate clean up after the storm passes.  

The JCCH Board of Directors will postpone and reschedule its July 28th board meeting to the following week of August 3, 2020. We want our staff, visitors, tenants and volunteers to remain safe at home and off the roads during the storm.  Please check the JCCH website for updates to the building operations and closure.   Take care and be safe.

--Scott Kuioka, Chairman, JCCH Board of Directors 

Posted June 13, 2020

Statement by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i (JCCH) Board of Directors

June 12, 2020

Ken Hayashida, Chairman - Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i Board of Directors

In the spirit of transparency and open communication, I am sharing this update on JCCH’s restructuring and reorganization of its operations, programs and staffing. 

After a two week furlough in April, JCCH was able to return staff to work and keep them working due to funds received from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Upon their return, they were briefed on the current year financial deficit, the projected 2020-2021 deficit, and the possibility of further furloughs and lay-offs. Sadly, that time has arrived and the JCCH Board of Directors has little choice but to restructure programs and reduce staff positions.

By June 12, 2020, PPP funds will be depleted and with two significant grants still pending, we made the difficult decision to eliminate four positions:  Director of Education, Director of Development and Communications, Membership Coordinator and Education and Programs Manager. In addition, the Collections Librarian and Director of Programs will be furloughed for an undetermined period.

The Board recognizes the many contributions these staff members have made to the organization over the years and expresses its appreciation to each of them. Their work help to elevate JCCH’s presence in the community and brought attention to the experience of Japanese in Hawai‘i. The Board’s action to layoff or furlough staff does not reflect upon the quality or value of their work. However, in this post-COVID19 environment, we must find creative ways to meet our mission and service our membership and community.  We will examine our educational programming and develop new, creative means to reach students, teachers, visitors and the general public with limited finances.

In the coming weeks and months, we look to the support and engagement of our volunteers to help with membership, gift shop, resource center, and historical exhibit.  Now, more than ever, we will rely upon your leadership and experience to guide us as we review program priorities and job descriptions to refocus and revise staff positions.  CFO Jamie Lee will continue to serve as the lead staff along with support from the Accounting Specialist and the Gift Shop Manager. Carole Hayashino, President Emerita, will continue as a volunteer advisor to assist with special projects of the Board.

In addition to restructuring, the Board of Directors is addressing current facility issues and future plans of its facilities.  We will continue to update you on all of our plans as we continue our work. In the meantime if you have any questions to the Board, please feel free to contact me at or contact the Volunteer Representative to the Board, Dr. Mel Inamasu.

Thank you.


Posted June 9, 2020

Statement by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i (JCCH) Board of Directors May 29, 2020

The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (JCCH) Board of Directors announced an organizational restructuring of its staff and operations will begin in June 2020.

“After examining our year-end financial projections and preparing for the 2020-2021 year, we made the decision to step back, reexamine our programmatic direction and budget priorities in the context of the current post-COVID19 era,” stated Ken Hayashida, JCCH Board Chairman.

Hayashida added that President and Executive Director Jacce Mikulanec was laid off on May 28, 2020 to save the JCCH the costs associated with his monthly salary as the Board begins to evaluate its program direction, budget and staffing needs. “We are thankful to Jacce for his service during this unprecedented time and wish him success on his future endeavors.”

During the next month’s planning phase, CFO Jamie Lee will serve as the staff lead and liaison to the Board of Directors. Former JCCH President Carole Hayashino will serve voluntarily as a key advisor to the CFO and Board to help draft an operating plan and budget for the next fiscal year.

In a recent message to its members, JCCH noted that the organization was suffering severe financial losses due in part to its recent closure. “Funds are scarce, everyone—businesses and nonprofit organizations—are coping with the economic impact caused by the pandemic, and JCCH is no exception,” said Hayashida.

Fortunately, JCCH enjoys the support from a loyal membership and a network of volunteers committed to the mission of the organization. These are rich and valuable resources which will guide us through the next year.”


May 11, 2020

The JCCH Gift Shop Re-opening with a new schedule and social-distancing requirements.

The Gallery/Gift Shop will Re-open on May 15, 2020
The Hours are: Tuesday-Friday, 9 am - 12 pm.

*Please note: No donations to the Gift Shop are being accepted at this time.
*New social-distancing requests:
- Customers must wear a mask before entering.
- The shop can accomodate four customers at a time.
- Customers will be asked to maintain a 6' social-distance from one another.
- Customers and visitors must take a survey before being allowed in exhibit or gift shop.

*The Okage Sama De exhibit is available by appointment only.

March 23, 2020 (Updated May 1, 2020)

Increased vigilance in preparation for Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The JCCH Administrative offices will be closed through May 31, 2020 in compliance with the Mayor’s request to work-from-home. Thank you for your patience and participation in this community effort to combat the effects of Covid-19.

Please check for programming updates and changes. Please email with all inquiries, or call 945-7633.


March 16, 2020

Vigilance in preparation for Coronavirus (Covid-19)

As the impact of COVID-19 is felt in our global community, the JCCH’s top priority is to continue to do what we can to protect public health.

Further actions we are taking:

  • Effective immediately the JCCH Gift Shop, Okage Sama De Exhibit, Honouliuli Education Center, and Tokioka Heritage Resource Center will be temporarily closed to the public until March 31, 2020. No Gift Shop or Resource Center in-kind donations of items will be accepted at this time.
  • The 2020 Spirit of Aloha Gala Dinner and Auction at the Sheraton Waikiki has been turned into a virtual gala, with a future in-person gathering scheduled when it is prudent to do so. Please check our Gala Page for more information.
  • The JCCH Administration Offices are currently closed to the public. Please call us at 945-7633 or email with all inquiries.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will take additional measures as needs arise. We take comfort in knowing that we are part of a compassionate and resilient group of volunteers, visitors, and community who consistently give with Aloha. Please take care.

Please check for programming updates and changes.


March 12, 2020

JCCH Covid-19 Notice

We at the JCCH are monitoring the Covid-19 virus situation and are following updates and public health recommendations from the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health, as well as information about the virus and recommended precautions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The JCCH will remain open with regular operating hours with the following adjustments from Monday, March 16 through the end of April:

  • The Tokioka Heritage Resource Center will be open by appointment only. Please call or email for appointments.
  • The Gift Shop will be open Tuesday-Friday from 10am – 4pm; Saturday from 9am – 2pm; and will be closed on Sunday and Monday.
  • All docent-led tours will be postponed or cancelled.
  • The March 23rd and 28th film screening of A Tale of Samurai Cooking (Bushi no kondate) will be cancelled.
  • The April 5th Spring Things Japanese Sale will be postponed (new date TBD).
  • We will be suspending all volunteer activities beginning Monday, March 16 through the end of April

*Please check the website,, for any further changes through April.

As we receive new information, we will continue to issue updates. We look forward to resuming all regular schedules, programs and events as soon as is prudent. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at 945-7633 or email

Thank you for your support, patience and understanding as we work to best protect our volunteers, patrons, staff, and greater community.