2015 December:  A small group of individuals began the discussion of developing a Japanese Cultural Center at which time the vision of ‘Dream Big’ caught on.

2016: The Board of Directors was organized with representatives from the Kona Fukuoka Kenjinkai, Kona Hiroshima Kenjinkai, Kona Kumamoto Kenjinkai, Kona Okinawa Kenjinkai, Kona Yamaguchi Kenjinkai, Kona Japanese Civic Association and other representatives from the community. The Board adopted bylaws, conflict of interest policies, and received approval for the Articles of Incorporation.

2017: The Board developed a strategic plan which served as Japanese Cultural Center of Kona’s (JCCK) guide post.

2018: JCCK applied and received approval for the not-for-profit 501(c)(3) status.

2019 September: A successful inaugural golf tournament fundraiser was held at the Kona Country Club. 

JCCK was successful in funds received from the State of Hawaii 2019-2020 Grant-in-Aid that was applied to develop the master plan prepared by Glenn Kimura.

2019: A video rendition of the Cultural Center was completed by Glenn Kimura International LLC as displayed in the Home page. The Board’s strategic plan of 2017 and community members participating in three charrettes were the bases from which the conceptual master plan was developed.

2020: A simple but informative website was created.

2020: A successful Inaugural New Year’s Banquet was held on January 11 with people 300 attending.

2019-2021: GIA funds received from the County of Hawaii in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

2022: Successful Charity Golf held at the Kona Country Club.

2022-2023: $250,000 Capital funds was appropriated by Hawaii State GIA 2022-2023.

2022: a beautiful brochure was created to accompany the kick off of the Capital Fundraising Campaign.

2023 January: Launching of the Capital Campaign to purchase land at the successful Gala was held. A video was produced by Rintaro Kaneko interviewing a broad cross section of community members supporting the development of the Cultural Center.

2023-2024: County of Hawaii GIA approves $45,000 to JCCK.

2023-2024: Hawaii State GIA approves $50,000 toward land purchase.


Click a name to see photo and full biography.

Walter Kunitake, Chair
Mobile phone: (808) 938-3624

Claudia Chang, Vice Chair
Mobile phone: (808) 938-1338

Steven Kaneko, Treasurer
Mobile phone: (808) 228-2791

Jean Kadooka, Secretary
Mobile phone: (808) 936-8320

Tony Takai, Japanese Secretary
Mobile Phone: (319)-759-1996

Takeo “Uki” Izawa, Board Member
Mobile phone: (808) 747-2683

Gilbert Kaneko, Board Member
Home phone: (808) 323-3594

Cheryl Kurashige, Board Member
Home phone: (808) 324-1264

Nathan Kurashige, Board Member
Mobile phone: (808) 938-7835

Linda Nagai, Board Member
Mobile phone: (808) 936-6079

Carol Zakahi, Board member
Mobile Phone: (808) 987-2625


Major Capital fundraising campaign is underway to (a) acquire a 50 acre parcel of property in the heart of Kailua Kona, (b) perform site preparation and, (c) construct the planned Center.