The America-Japan Society announced three recipients of The Fourth Kaneko Award this year. They are Ms. Kiyoko Morita Caine of Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Jiro Kawatsuma of Hiroshima and Messrs. Portland Japanese Garden, represented by Mr. Stephen David Bloom and Mr. Yoshio Kurosaki. Professor Gerald Curtis and Professor. Hiroshi Senju will receive a Special Award respectively.
Count Kentaro Kaneko was the first president of the America-Japan Society. The Society was established in 1917 to promote people-to-people relations of Japan and the United States. Count Kaneko is known because he successfully persuaded his fellow Harvard alumnus, President Theodore Roosevelt to use his good offices to convene the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Conference between Japan and Russia after the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war.
The Kaneko Award was founded in 2017 to commemorate the centennial of the establishment of the America-Japan Society in 1917. The Award is given to those who worked for long years to promote people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the United States, in particular, aiming at the people who worked on grass roots level. In addition, prominent persons who have also made distinguished contributions to Japan-US relations are recognized with the Special Award.
The committee is comprised of Mr. Yuzaburo Mogi, Honorary Chairman of Kikkoman Co. (Chairman), Mr. Yoji Ohashi, Senior Advisor of ANA Holdings, Mr. Christopher LaFleur, Vice President of the America-Japan Society, Ms. Hiroko Kuniya, a journalist, Dr. Fumiaki Kubo, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo and Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, President of the America-Japan Society.
Mr. Jiro Kawatsuma (recommended a member of by the America-Japan Society)
Born in Hiroshima in1927
At the age of 18, he lost his older sister in the Hiroshima atomic bombing, an experience that has haunted him for many years. After graduating from Hiroshima University, he worked for Teijin Limited, but returned to Hiroshima in 1973 and joined the Hiroshima South Rotary Club, where he served as the executive committee chair for the 2013 Rotary International World Peace Forum in Hiroshima. Since then, he has focused on developing youth development programs and has continued to convey the importance of world peace and education. In 2015, at the age of 88, he moved to Tokyo by himself and began focusing the remainder of his life on building peace and developing the “Peace: A-Bombed Trees Program” around the world. With the cooperation of experts, he has been carefully delivering A-bombed tree nurseries and seeds to Hawaii, California, Georgia, and other areas in North America and around the world with hopes for the future. Along with these efforts, he has been sharing his A-bomb experience and calling for peace in various parts of the United States.
Now 95 years old, Mr. Kawatsuma hopes to never again experience a war in which so many lives were lost because of experiences similar to his own. It is human beings who make the decision to use nuclear weapons. He was awarded the Medal with Blue Ribbon in 1995 and the Order of the Rising Sun in 2003.
Ms. Kiyoko Morita Caine (recommended by a member of Japan-America Society of Boston)
Born in Gunma, 1946
Kiyoko Morita Caine has been a pillar of friendship between Japan and America for decades in the Greater Boston area. She has served as president of the Massachusetts Hokkaido Sister State Association, as a board member at the Japan Society of Boston, Chair of the Boston-Kyoto 60th Sister City Anniversary Planning Committee, and more. She is particularly known for her passion in sharing the arts and culture of Japan, in Boston and beyond. This includes her bringing together events that feature traditional Japanese incense, ikebana, rakugo, haiku, various traditional arts and crafts and many more treasured expressions of beauty and excellence, along with teaching the Japanese language to thousands of students at various colleges.
Notably, for the Boston-Kyoto Sister City Anniversaries, Ms. Caine facilitated performances in Boston and Portland, Oregon by the Naginata Boko musicians from the Kyoto Gion Festival, the first time they performed outside of Japan in their 1,000 year history. She also facilitated an exhibition by artists from Kogei Kyoto at the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts. These events were only possible because of decades of friendships and goodwill that Ms. Caine has nurtured in the US and Japan.
Ms. Caine is constantly striving for more opportunities for Japanese and Americans to deepen friendship and mutual excellence. Titles and events are only reflections of the selfless and energetic service for which Kiyoko Morita Caine’s colleagues and friends chose to nominate her. Without her service, dozens of such exchanges would not have materialized.
Portland Japanese Garden (PJG)in Oregon State (recommended by a member of the America-Japan Society)
Represented by Mr. Stephen David Bloom, born in New York State, 1968, and Mr. Yoshio Kurosaki, born in Tokyo, 1957.
PJG was established in 1963 by local volunteers to heal the scars left by World War II between the two countries, and a major expansion project was developed from 2015-17 to complete the current PJG, which now spans 50,000 square meters. The major contributions of two people were essential to the series of expansion projects. Mr. Kurosaki, a naturalized Issei from Japan, has been active in various areas of civic exchange with Japan through his support of the Japan-America Society of Oregon, for which he has served as director and president, and has served as PJG finance and accounting committee chair, director selection committee chair, and vice president since 2002. He has also served selflessly and impartially in other non-profit, academic, and sister city/friendship city exchanges. Mr. Bloom also joined PJG as CEO in 2005, and has provided dynamic leadership with exceptional vision and major fundraising for the Garden’s remarkable growth. He has made a significant contribution to building the status of Japanese garden culture in the world by creating “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden abroad,” which now attracts more than 500,000 visitors annually. Portland has been known as the “City of Roses,” and now the “Portland Japanese Garden” is a source of pride for its citizens.
Professor Gerald Curtis (recommended by a member of the America-Japan Society)
Born in New York State, in 1941
Professor Curtis received his Master in International Relations in 1964 from Columbia University where he also went on to get his PhD. In Political Sciences from Columbia University in 1968. He was the Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University from 1998 until 2015 and is presently Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Columbia University where he taught for 47 years and many of his former students have become prominent Japanese politicians. He has been deeply involved in comparative politics between Japan and the US, as well as, US-Japan relations and has advised many Japanese Prime Ministers and politicians about US politics. He also has held appointments at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), London: The College de France, Paris; the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore; and in Japan at Keio, Tokyo and Waseda, Universities, the Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies and the Institute for International Economic Studies.
Professor Curtis also serves on the Board of Directors of the Japan Society of New York, the Japan Center for International Exchange and its US affiliates JCIE/USA, as Councilor to the US-Japan Council and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He is also a recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star bestowed by the Emperor of Japan among other numerous awards and honors for his contributions to strengthening relations between the United States and Japan.
Professor. Hiroshi Senju (recommended by a member of Japan-America Society New York)
Born in Tokyo, in 1958
Hiroshi Senju, a member of the Japan Art Academy and professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design, is based in New York and has shown his work in numerous exhibitions and museums in the United States and around the world.
He was the first Asian artist to be awarded an Honorable Mention at the Venice Biennale and subsequently has received the Isamu Noguchi Award and Eagle on the World Award. In particular, to the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia as the first major U.S.-Japan cultural exchange after the war, Senju created and donated an interior installation of twenty fusuma murals.
Notable museum exhibitions include Senju’s Waterfall for Chicago at the Art Institute of Chicago; it was extended for more than half year due to its popularity. The artist’s works are in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansa City, Missouri, among others. In Japan, the Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa in Japan opened in 2011.
Senju has been actively giving lectures to young art students both in the United States and Japan for many years.
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