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

In 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.

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

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

A successful inaugural golf tournament fundraiser was held on September 21, 2019 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.

A video rendition of the Cultural Center was completed in December 2019 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.

A simple but informative website was created in January 2020.

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

JCCK was successful in its application for operating funds from the 2020-2021 County of Hawaii Nonprofit Grant.


A 2020-2021 State of Hawaii Grant-in-Aid capital fund application was submitted for the partial payment of a parcel to develop the 30acre master planned Cultural Center. The Hawaii State Legislature cancelled all applications for FY 2020-2021 due to the pandemic. However, JCCK will be submitting a similar application for FY 2022-2023 in hopes that the State of Hawaii budget improves.

Focused due diligence efforts will continue in securing a suitable parcel of land on the beautiful slopes of Kona.

A 2021-2022 County of Hawaii Nonprofit Grant application has been submitted and currently awaiting decision for funds to engage consultants for due diligence work pertaining to land acquisition.

Although the pandemic has kept the Board from scheduling face to face meetings and events, Zoom, email, and phone communications have allowed the Board opportunities to build its organizational infrastructure and opportunities to broaden support from groups locally, statewide and beyond.