The Guam Nikkei Association was chartered in 2012 with the primary purpose of perpetuating the history and lineages of those born from Japanese ancestry who are presently bona fide residents of Guam; educate the community about the impact and contribution of first generation Japanese and their descendants on the social economic fabric of Guam and to inculcate Japanese culture, art, traditions and history to succeeding generations of Japanese-Chamorro-Guamanians. The Association shall also conduct classes, lectures, demonstrations, performances, seminars, exchange programs, travel to Japan and elsewhere, and organize community events as a means of promoting the purposes of the organization. Additionally, the Guam Nikkei Association shall seek grants, contributions and to operate fund raising activities that will provide the necessary resources to achieve the purposes of the organization.

GNA logo

"Inetnon Taotao Guam Ni' Manggaihaga' Hapones"

P.O. Box 12961 Tamuning, Guam 96931

GNA Group Photo

Consul General Snapshots

Courtesy Call with Consul General Izumi Seki

Courtesy Call with Consul General Izumi Seki in her office on January 17, 2018. Consul General Seki arrived on Guam on January 8. Pictured above: (L-R) Deputy Consul Sam Ogata, Immediate Past President/Interim Treasurer Monte Noda Mesa, Consul General Seki, Vice President Cathy Rivera Castro, President Pauline Okada, Board Chairman Frank S.N. Shimuzu and Vice Chair/Secretary Monica Okada Guzman.





August 15, 2019

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: Tamuning Senior Citizens Center

*Okayama Homestay Program Wrap Up
*Pro Lantern Ceremony

Click here to view the U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter

You may also visit http://guamnikkeinews.blogspot.com for details.

Thank you for hosting Tokon painters

Thank you for the warm welcome you provided to the Tokon painters 
on February 26, 2019.  Enjoy the following snapshots!


Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program Opportunity

The Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program offers graduates with exciting professional opportunities to work in Japan as Assistant Language Teachers or Coordinators for International Relations. Since 1987, more than 60,000 JET Program participants from over 40 countries have lived and worked in cities, towns and villages throughout Japan.

Interested applicants can visit the JET Program website at http://jetprogramusa.org to review eligibility criteria and application procedures. The application period is open in the fall of each year and selected candidates depart the following spring or summer.

JET Program Roles
There are two positions available:
Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) work in public elementary, middle and high schools supporting Japanese teachers of English. Beyond using their native English ability to improve students’ English fluency, they serve as cultural ambassadors in their local communities. ALTs make up 90% of all JET Program participants. Their duties can include preparing lesson plans, carrying out classroom activities, providing language training for teachers, leading English clubs and summer camps and participating in events at school and in the community

Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) work in local government offices promoting internationalization efforts at the community level. From organizing events to teaching adult education classes, CIRs provide essential services to Japanese and foreign residents alike. CIRs must have a high proficiency of Japanese language fluency. CIR duties can include creating, editing and translating official documents, planning and implementing international exchange programs, interpreting for official guests and assisting with language instruction in the community

A Strong Jet Community: During and After
Being active in their Japanese community is a vital part of the JET Program. Through travel, volunteer and social opportunities, JETs find diverse and fun ways to get involved with their local communities and with other JETs. This enriching experience is an important part of being a cultural ambassador while in Japan.

During their tenure as JETs, the Association of JETs (AJET) hosts social, volunteer and professional development activities throughout the year, and provides online resources to support daily work and life in Japan. Additionally, AJET offers JETs valuable resources for learning the Japanese language. Upon returning home from Japan, JETs can get involved with JET Alumni Associations (JETAA) to help with transitioning to life at home. JETAA groups offer valuable opportunities to network professionally and to preserve their connections to Japan and the JET Program.

Benefits: Direct and Indirect
JET Program participants enjoy a well-rounded remuneration package that includes:
·       Airfare to and from Japan
·       Orientations before and after arrival
·       Enrollment in National Health Insurance
·       Minimum ten days of paid vacation
·       Starting annual salary of 3.36 million yen

The JET Program provides a true immersion into Japanese culture. Living and working in the country, JETs gain a rich understanding of Japan so far beyond what one gains as a casual visitor. On many levels, JETs leave the program with so much more than they came in with; they leave Japan fundamentally transformed, with a new understanding of themselves and the world.

Marianas Business Journal Feature

Marianas Business Journal Feature



President: Pauline Okada

Vice President: Catherine Okada Rivera Castro

Secretary: Monika Okada Guzman

Interim Treasurer: Monte Noda Mesa

2018 Lantern Floating Ceremony

2018 Lantern Floating Ceremony

2017 Lantern Floating Ceremony

2017 Lantern Floating Ceremony

Featured GNA Video

2016 Guam Proa Lantern Floating Ceremony Video Available on YouTube

The 2016 Guam Proa Lantern Floating Ceremony (5 minute video) is now available on YouTube titled Guam Proa Lantern Floating Ceremony (GNA). You can also visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXqoubIyyeo. Enjoy!

Lantern Ceremony Snapshots

2nd Annual 2016 Lantern Floating Ceremony Snapshots
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park, Ypao


Click on the video below to view our GUAM NIKKEIJIN EXHIBIT 2014 on PhotoPeach




kendama approved for use in competition by the Japan Kendama Association
The kendama today are made from a stick with a point at one end, three attached cups, and a ball with a small hole in one end. The cups on either side of the stick are called the big cup and small cup. The ball is connected to the stick by a roughly 40-centimeter (16-inch) piece of string. At the end of the stick is a point with which the player can attempt to spear the ball. At the other end of the stick is a cup called the medium cup.
The game is basically played by tossing the ball and attempting to catch it in one of the cups or to spear it with the point of the stick. Although it may sound simple, there are a nearly unlimited number of specific techniques for doing so.

A recreation of a bilboquet based on historical documents, and a Nichigetsu ball (photo provided by Maruishi Teruki, a member of the board of directors of the Japan Kendama Association)
Many people may think that kendama was invented in Japan, but this is not actually the case. While many different theories exist, there are records indicating that kendama originated in France in the sixteenth century. There are also theories that this game was developed in Greece or China, and the absolute truth is not known.

In France, this game was called bilboquet. Bilmeans "ball," and boquet means "small tree." This word expresses the fact that the game involved playing with a small wooden ball. The game as it was played then was different from what we know as kendama today; there was a large cup and a small cup on either end of a stick, to which a ball was attached with a string. The player would continually toss and catch the ball, alternating between the two cups.

Kendama is believed to have come to Japan via the Silk Road during the Edo period (1603-1868) into Nagasaki, the only Japanese city open to foreign trade at the time. While it may have entered the country around the middle of the Edo period in around 1777 or 1778, the exact date is uncertain. At the time, kendamawas apparently enjoyed by adults as a sort of drinking game. A player who made a mistake was forced to drink more.

As Japan entered the Meiji era (1868-1912), the Ministry of Education introduced kendamain the report on children's education that it put together in 1876, and the game gradually began to catch on among young people. In 1919, during the Taisho era (1912-1926), the forerunner of today's kendama went on sale. It was called Nichigetsu Ball (Sun-and-moon ball), because the ball looked like the sun, while the shape of the shallow carved cups was like a crescent moon. This toy became a huge hit, and from this time into the beginning of the Showa era (1926-1989), a variety of different types of kendama appeared, including a ball attached to a kind of paddle.

After World War II ended in 1945, kendama were sold in candy stores along with other popular toys, such as menko, bidama, and beigoma. In 1975 children's author Fujiwara Issei founded the Japan Kendama Association, which standardized kendama for competitive use and created standardized rules for the purpose of allowing a greater number of people to play the game together the same way.

The Fifteenth Cup of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, which was held in August 2003 (photo provided by the Japan Kendama Association)
With a set of rules and specifications for the equipment in place, kendamabegan to grow in popularity as a competitive sport. In addition to the Award of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, which is given to the winner of a kendama competition for elementary school students, there are tournaments for both students and adults held around the country, andkendama enthusiasts are working to increase the popularity of the game overseas.

The Japan Kendama Association is hopeful that kendama will become known around the world one day, and its members are making efforts to foster international exchange.

GNA Awards Cepeda for Design & Construction of Proa Lantern

Chairman Frank Shimizu, President Monica Guzman, Vice-President Gloria Duenas Cruz, and GNA board members Julia Caguioa and Monte Mesa present JFK sophomore Joshua Cepeda with a Certificate of Appreciation for designing and with the help of his troop, constructing 400 proa lanterns for GNA's 2016 2nd Annual Lantern Floating Ceremony.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Matson Navigation Guam presents grant award to Guam Nikkei Association

(Agana Heights, Guam) The Guam Nikkei Association (GNA) received a $500 grant award from Matson Navigation in support of the environmental clean-up by the Guam Okayama Homestay Exchange Program on July 21. 8 students from Okayama, Japan were hosted by members of the Association during a 6-day tour included participating in the 75th Liberation activities parade and concluded with a farewell dinner at Government House and meeting Maga’Haga Lou Leon Guerrero and First Gentleman Jeff Cook.

In its 3rd year, the Guam Okayama Homestay program is organized by the municipal government of Okayama Prefecture and students alternate travel. As many as 10 Guam students will have the opportunity to travel to Japan in 2020 for a weeklong cultural exchange.

Front row L-R: Guam Nikkei Association Chairman Frank S.N. Shimizu accepts the grant from Matson Navigation’s Gloria Perez along with Governor Lou Leon Guerrero on July 25. Also pictured are the 8 exchange students along with their chaperones and First Gentleman Jeff Cook.

Friday, 9 August 2019

GNA Meeting - Aug. 15


August 15, 2019

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: Tamuning Senior Citizens Center

*Okayama Homestay Program Wrap Up
*Pro Lantern Ceremony

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Save the Date! GNA 5th Annual Lantern Floating Ceremony - Sept. 7

Guam Nikkei Association Presents the
5th Annual
Lantern Floating Ceremony 
When: Saturday, September, 7, 2019 
Where: Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Beach Park, Ypao Beach
Registration & Design: 1PM to 5PM
Ceremony: 5:30PM

Sunday, 7 July 2019

5th Annual Lantern Floating Ceremony - Sept. 7

Guam Nikkei Association Presents the
5th Annual
Lantern Floating Ceremony  

Where: Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Beach Park, Ypao Beach
Registration & Design: 1PM to 5PM
Ceremony: 5:30PM

GNA Meeting - July 11

TIME:       6:00 PM

WHEN:    THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019  


GNA Meeting - July 11

TIME:       6:00 PM

WHEN:    THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019  


Friday, 10 May 2019


Hafa Adai!
You're probably wondering how does this phrase relate to us...

First, for those who are not familiar with the phrase, according to our online sources (Guampedia), "the phrase  inafa’ maolek (pronounced e-na-fah mao-lek) describes the Chamorro concept of restoring harmony and order. The literal translation is ‘to make’ (inafa’) ‘good’ ( maolek)."

And that's what the GNA is trying to do.

As many of you know, Guam has a long standing, sister city relationship with Okayama, Japan.  I can go on and on about this relationship but I'll save you the trouble (google it) and get to the point.

The GNA supports the Okayama city's International Exchange Student Program that offers our youth an "EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME" that is, honestly,  priceless!

I spoke about this a few emails back. 

We are trying to finalize arrangements for the program as I write this.


We are looking for two (2) more host families to welcome a student into their home July 20th through the 26th.

The GNA will arrange a welcome and farewell acitivity for the students and host families.
Details are in the works. I will keep you posted on our plans.

As a host, you will show the student our island hospitality and possibly create a lifelong relationship just like the 2018 Guam kids did when they visited Okayama.

Host families with school aged children are preferred but not required. As long as you have a cousin, neice, nephew or relative with school aged kids that the student can relate to, you'll be OK.

Hosting a student has advantages, too!

Host families will receive ADVANCE notice of the next Guam Okayama International Exchange Student Program (our kids will visit). 

That means, if you host a student, you will be first to know when the program opens to accept applications for the next program year!

The 2018 students from Guam had a full itinerary in Okayama. They enjoyed visiting Okayama University and Science Center and going out to pick peaches, to name a few.

Did you know that Okayama is famous for their peaches? The city takes great pride in their peaches with some farmers placing paper bags over the peaches to "protect" them from the sun. Some sell for as much as $50.00 for just one. One!

That's a pricey peach!

Anyway, if you are interested in hosting a student this summer, from July 20th through the 26th, I'd like to hear from you!

If you have questions before you commit, I'd like to hear from you.

If there's something you'd like to share with the GNA, I'd like to hear from you.

I'd be happy to share all the fun and interesting things the GNA has planned. We talk about these plans during our monthly meetings on the second Thursday of the month, 6pm at the Tamuning Senior Citizens Center.

To send me an email, click the button below.
If you're not sure about pressing the button, email me by clicking here.
If you're driving, you shouldn't be reading this email while driving. DANGER!!!
If it's easier, give me a call or send me a text at 929-8823

Your support of this goodwill project is sincerely appreciated.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu
Si Yu'os ma'åse,

Pauline Okada 
2019 Okayama Guam International Exchange Student Program Coordinator