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.





February 11, 2019

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Guam Museum Conference Room

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.

Friday, 27 December 2013

明けましておめでとうございます Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu!

Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu!

May the year 2014 bring you abundant blessings filled with much love, joy, peace, and happiness!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Search is ON For Early 1900's Names of Issei

Holiday Greetings to all of you!

The Guam Nikkei Association has embarked on a mission to establish and secure the names of issei who came to Guam from Japan in the late 1800's and into the first decade and a half of 1900's.

Of interest to all of you, attached are names of issei who married Chamorro women and whose marriages were recorded in the Hagåtña Cathedral and the churches of Humåtak, Inalåhan, Hågat and Sumay.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LIST OF NAMES.

The list indicates the names of their spouses and I'm urging that if you happen to know any of the offsprings of the original couples AND/OR are currently members of the Guam Nikkei Association, please provide me through this e-mail (peteronedera@gmail.com) with correct full Japanese names and surnames. As you can see, many of them were also given Christian names. Because the Guam Nikkei Association plans to build a memorial monument in their honor at the Peace Memorial Park in Yigo in the early part of 2014, it is important that these names be submitted by the January 31, 2014 deadline.

Failure to provide the corrections will result in the non-inclusion of these issei who deserve our tribute. As part of history, many of them, too, perished during and towards the closing of the war as they might have been caught in the cross-fire between the imperial army of Japan and the forces of the United States marines.

Many were never given proper burial rites and their memories are forever shrouded in mystery even as surviving spouses died in the past several years. Because next year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Guam Nikkei Association would like to lay this matter to rest and bring a closure to the fate of those who died. As well, those who did survive and lived on will also be included in the memorial monument.

Feel free to forward this to as many people you know who may or may not be current members of our organization. We plan a ceremony for the dedication of the monument once completed.

Of interest to you, are the following facts that must be noted by everyone. These are:

1. The Japanese immigrated to Guam via Yokohama, Japan. They most likely came from the prefectures of Tochigi, Ibaraki, and Gunma.

2. Almost all were single and in their youths.

3. Some came as laborers, some came as merchants, some came as farmers. All were skilled. By the 1920's and 1930's, a majority of Japanese owned businesses in Hagåtña only to lose them upon the invasion of the imperial army and many were not continued after the island's liberation.

4. Many remained on Guam because they married Chamorro women. Some also returned to Japan and came back in later times as contract workers.

5. All became Catholic. The law stated, "NO CONVERSION, NO MARRIAGE!"

6. Most chose the name "Jose" as a first name in honor of the religious saint, "patriarch of families." Some also chose first names of fathers-in-law who may have acted as sponsors of these marriages.

7. Fifty two names appear on the attachment. There were a few women who also came to the island. One well-known one was Mrs. Rie Dejima.

If you know of additional names that are not on the list but you know that they were present in that period of time, please let me know, too.

I will be working on a press release and, hopefully, media coverage before the end of the year.

As a final note, we plan to indicate their original names in Japanese characters and their Christian/Chamorro names in English. Time is of the essence, please respond, at least to let me know that you'll help us out by forwarding this message to people even the ones who are living elsewhere in the mainland or in other countries.

Please help.

si peter r. onedera

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Guam Nikkei Appreciation Snapshots

Deputy Consul General and his wife and team at table display

Reception / Door Ticket Sales Team
Freedom Air representative awarding airfare tickets for two to winner

Musical entertainment team and guest

GCC Japan CLUB (Customs, Language, Understanding, Beliefs) doing origami training.  One of many family heritage displays in background.

Culinary Students Serving Customers

Sushi Display

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Domo arigato gozaimasu!

Konnichiwa Everyone:

Words cannot adequately describe the overwhelming success of our first major fundraising of the Guam Nikkei Appreciation Night held at the Guam Community College MultiPurpose Auditorium on Friday, October 4, 2013.

Credit for the event is largely due to Dave Okada and Dr. Mary Young Okada for a wonderful and successful turnout.  Hats off and sincere thanks to the following:
1. The GCC culinary arts students and their professors for the delicious delicacies prepared for the evening.
2. Ambros, Inc. for the variety of beverages.
3. Florence Kimura Cornwell and Julia Akiyama Cruz Caguioa for the decorations.
4. Louisa Flores Wessling for the display of the antique heirloom kimono that was on display at the front entrance of the auditorium.
5. Ginger Fawcett-Flores for the donation of the round-trip tickets for two to the CNMI, courtesy of Freedom Air.
6. Monica Okada Guzman and Ron Castro for the beautiful original artwork donated as a door prize.
7. Kensuke “Ken” Haga for additional decorations and door prizes.
8. Anthony J. “Malia” Ramirez for the archival exhibit of early to mid-1900’s issei men and families on Guam.
9. The Tajima, Sugiyama, Onedera, Okada, Shimizu families and the Japan Consulate Office, through the hard work of Kikue Cepeda for their exhibits of family histories and general information.
10. Troy and Ryan Imamura for their excellent entertainment.
11. The GCC Japanese Club Students under the guidance of their teacher, Doreen Blas for their origami creations.
12. The ticket committee comprised of Auntie Lole Quan, George and Doreen Okada Pereda, and Kimie Okada.
13. GCC staff that was on hand, one hundred percent for providing the PA system, assistance in set-up of the place as well as the break down after the event.
14. Monte Noda Mesa who was such a lively and energetic emcee.
15. Angelita Sugiyama Paulino Mendiola for the impromptu performance.
16. Lance Kawahara and Toni Onedera Blas for the smooth handling of the beverage section from set-up to closing.
17. Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera for being such a wonder webmaster for the organization.
18. Board Members, General Membership and families of Guam Nikkei Association for their help in set-up, decorations, and the clean-up at the end of the night.

Domo arigato gozaimasu!

Peter R. Onedera, president, Guam Nikkei Association

Thursday, 12 September 2013


A Guam Nikkei Appreciation Night sponsored by the Guam Nikkei Association will be held on Friday, October 4, 2013 from 4pm to 8pm at the GCC Multi-Purpose Auditorium.  Chicken karaage, varieties of sushi, ramen bowls and chicken yakitori are being prepared by the GCC Culinary class with table displays of Chamorro-Japanese and Guamanian families spread throughout the auditorium festooned in Japanese decorations, photographs and memorabilia.  Members of the association with assistance of staff from the Japan Consulate Office will also be attired in kimonos, yucatas, hapi coats and other accessories.  Tickets are on sale in Nikkei Dollar booklets starting at $1 per coupon by members of the association or from project chair David Okada who can be contacted at 688-6627 or at his e-mail at dsokada@uguam.uog.edu.  A membership drive for those wishing to join the association and who are supporters or have Japanese ancestry will also take place at the event.  For further information, please contact Peter R. Onedera, president at 477-4234 (home);  486-3210 (cell) or at e-mail address peteronedera@gmail.com.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


The Guam Nikkei Association is sponsoring the Guam Nikkei Appreciation Night at the GCC Multi-purpose Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 4, from 4pm to 8pm.  Nikkei dollar booklets are currently on sale by GNA members, board of directors and officers.  Proceeds are earmarked for the construction of a monument honoring World War II issei and nisei patriarchs and matriarchs as well as a community project of Guam's First Floating Candle Festival in 2014.

Nikkei dollar booklets can be picked up from project Chair, David S. Okada by calling 688-6627, association president Peter R. Onedera at 486-3210 or association treasurer Thomas V. C. Tanaka at 482-4862.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Guam Nikkei Holds Insightful Meeting

Pictured above:  Members in attendance at the October 3, 2012 meeting.

Guam Nikkei held a meaningful meeting on October 3, 2012 at the Office of the Consul General of Japan's conference room, 6th floor, Guam International Trade Center in Tamuning.  See photo above.

Guam Nikkei Members Strike A Pose!

Guam Nikkei Members at their initial meeting

Guam Nikkei Association Nikkeijin Exhibit a Success!

The Guam Nikkei Association's Nikkeijin Exhibit 2013 at the Guam Premier Outlets on Saturday, January 26, 2013 was a success. The organization was recently formed consisting of membership comprised of those with Japanese ancestry and living on Guam. Its membership includes those originating from Japanese communities on the mainland and Hawaii, Palau, Republic of the Marshalls, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Okinawa, other areas in the global community and even from Japan.

Issei, nisei, sansei, yonsei, gosei and extended members of local families have gotten together to share histories, lineages, connections to prefectures, surnames and other information relative to the organization’s mission and objectives. Family trees, photographs, records, memorabilia, textiles, heirlooms, historical accounts and rosters of descendants’ names were featured at the Exhibit that was free and open to the general public.

Members of the board of directors include Frank S. N. Shimizu, Thomas V. C. Tanaka, Joseph Hara Salas, Julia Akiyama Cruz Caguioa, Monte Noda Mesa, Frank T. Ishizaki, Dr. David L. G. Shimizu, Peter R. Onedera and Fred Nishihira were on hand to recruit new members, encourage membership involvement and to field questions about the organization’s plans for the year.

For any questions, contact Peter R. Onedera, president, at 477-4234, 486-3210 or peteronedera@gmail.com or project chair Monte Noda Mesa at 888-1944 or monte@guam.net.

History of the Guam Nikkei Association

Written by Peter R. Onedera

Officially chartered at a re-organizational meeting held on October 3, 2012, the Guam Nikkei Association (GNA) began in late 2007 when a fledgling group of men comprised of Frank S. N. Shimizu who served as its first chairman, Greg Sudo Perez, Roque Yamashita, Absalon Waki who moved to Saipan, Fred Nishihira, and former senators Thomas V. C. Tanaka and Frank T. Ishizaki. The group would meet at breakfast meetings at Shirley’s Restaurant in Hagåtña. Faced with tremendous challenges that included low membership, not being registered and recognized as a bona fide non-profit organization on Guam, and funds that were non-existent became a daunting task for the men. Then, there were periods of hiatuses as most of them had careers and business interests that took them off-island as well as involvement in other personal and professional endeavors.

At many of these morning meetings, various individuals would be invited and attendance at nearly every gathering often saw new faces that came again at least once or twice while others didn’t return. So, too, from time to time, the Consulate General for Guam would invite individuals from this core group to attend or participate in off-island American-Japanese leadership conferences or meetings in the mainland and these were often executed with personal expenses that funded these ventures. Two men, Frank T. Ishizaki and Thomas V. C. Tanaka answered these invitations at the urging of the consul general. Aside from that, no other major function or event provided any sense of signature activity that the Guam Nikkei Association can lay claim to.

During a period of hiatus in 2012, the newly appointed Consulate General Hisatsugu Shimizu issued an invitation to members of the association whose names and mailing addresses were still present in their roster of contacts to come to a dinner at his place of residence in Tamuning. From these, Frank S. N. Shimizu, Fred Nishihira, Thomas V. C. Tanaka, Frank T. Ishizaki and Peter R. Onedera attended and many up-to-date issues were brought up and discussed. It was this evening of friendship and light conversation that the four individuals listed above unanimously appointed Peter R. Onedera as the acting president and to proceed with revitalization and rejuvenation efforts for the organization. After acceptance, Onedera decided upon the day and date of an inaugural meeting and received the assurance of the use of the conference room of the Japan Consular Office located at the sixth floor of the Guam International Trade Center in Tamuning. Next, he drafted a constitution and by-laws and began contacting individuals who may be interested in joining the organization. Guiding him were Japanese surnames listed in phone books, personal knowledge and recommendations from the current members of the organization. So, too, many others were contacted as suggested by acquaintances, relatives and friends among and within the local community. Putting together a draft agenda, securing a photographer which voluntarily came from Thomas V. C. Tanaka, toying with the idea of refreshments, appointing a secretary to take the minutes of the afternoon’s meeting session and photocopying voluminous documents that were the agenda and the constitution and by-laws.

The successful turnout at that meeting saw the following individuals who attended and indicated interest in membership. 1. Aguon, Doris Onedera Maanao 2. Blas, Antonita Sablan Onedera 3. Blas, Raymond Yamanaka 4. Brooks, Terry 5. Caguioa, Julia Akiyama Cruz 6. Cepeda, Kikue 7. Cromwell, Florence Kimura 8. Duenas, Hilda Tajima 9. Duenas, Manuel Okazaki 10. Haga, Kensuke 11. Ishizaki, Frank T. 12. Kawahara, Lance S. 13. Mesa, Monte Delmar Noda 14. Nishihira, Fred S. 15. Okada, David 16. Onedera, Peter R. 17. Reyes, Linda Sugiyama Paulino 18. Salas, Joseph Hara 19. Santos, Barbara 20. Shimizu, Dr. David Leon Guerrero 21. Shimizu, Joe San Nicolas 22. Shimizu, Frank San Nicolas 23. Tanaka, Thomas V. C., Jr. 24. Tanaka, Thomas V. C., Sr. 25. Taniguchi, Jean 26. Torres, Rose Murakami 27. Yamashita, Senator Aline 28. Yamashita, Jeanette Rivera 29. Yamashita, Roque C. 30. *Tenorio, Joseph, staffer, Japan Consulate Office of Guam 31. *Matsumura, Toshio, Deputy Counsel, Japan Consulate Office of Guam 32. *Shimizu, Hisatsugu Shimizu, Counsel General, Japan Consulate Office of Guam

At the meeting, the constitution and by-laws were ratified by the members present and an election of nine (9) board of directors were held. The following individuals garnered the general membership’s votes of confidence.

1. Caguioa, Julia Akiyama Cruz (Member-at-Large) 2. Ishizaki, Frank T. (Board Secretary) 3. Mesa, Monte Delmar Noda (Board Vice-Chairman) 4. Nishihira, Fred S. (Secretary) 5. Onedera, Peter R. (President) 6. Salas, Joseph Hara (Historian) 7. Shimizu, Dr. David Leon Guerrero (Vice-President) 8. Shimizu, Frank San Nicolas (Board Chairman) 9. Tanaka, Thomas V. C., Sr. (Treasurer)

At a subsequent meeting, the newly elected board, as per the provisions of the ratified constitution and by-laws chose among themselves the officers of the organization that are listed in parenthesis above. These officers will oversee the operations of the general membership while the board officers will steer the board in its fiduciary responsibilities and administrative management. The board also set the membership dues at $50 per year per individual member. At present, the Guam Nikkei Association, thanks to the efforts of the gentlemen who put it together, the organization is now registered and duly recognized as a non-profit organization with the Department of Revenue and Taxation. Further, an application to the IRS for a 501(c)3 is pending and the opening of a checking account at the Bank of Guam further indicates that the organization is now legal and forthright. Its plans to strengthen and increase its membership are a major task. There is a list of forty-eight (48) names on the roster.

Membership in the Guam Nikkei Association is open to anyone over the age of eighteen, residents of Guam and whose Japanese ancestry may have come not just from Japan and its prefectures including Okinawa, but Hawaii, the mainland United States, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshalls, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and elsewhere in the global arena.