70th Anniversary

In 2019, CWAJ celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding, a time to reflect proudly on CWAJ’s seven decades of promoting education, art, community service and cross-cultural understanding. It is also a precious opportunity to look towards the future and raise community awareness of CWAJ’s rich history.


CWAJ 70th Anniversary Dinner & Reception
“A Joyous Celebration of CWAJ’s 70 years of History and Friendship”

It was held on May 17th at the Hotel Okura Tokyo. Attended by over 200 current and past members, including overseas members and many former presidents, artists, and CWAJ Scholars, all gathered to celebrate seven decades of support for scholarship and cross-cultural friendships that have endured over time and distance. The celebration began with a festive kagami biraki. The five women chosen to swing the mallet represented various facets of CWAJ’s activities and included Barbara Knode, 1970 President, visiting from the US; Reiko Oshima, current CWAJ President; Noriko Yanagisawa, longtime Print Show artist and advisor; and two of CWAJ’s scholarship recipients, Miiko Kodama (1972, the first year that CWAJ awarded its own scholarships) and Ririna Kaneko (2017, recipient of a CWAJ scholarship for the visually impaired).

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of CWAJ’s 2019 Scholars, including the 70th Anniversary Graduate Scholarships for Japanese Women to Study Abroad. Other highlights included a live auction conducted by Mr Jon Kabira, which included prints by Reika Iwami and Masanari Murai, and an exquisitely beautiful quilt created by CWAJ members. The evening concluded with a stellar performance by CWAJ members Dawn Blackwell and Kyoko Takano, presenting ‘Songs for Seven Decades

CWAJ History Panels: These six panels present how CWAJ has made a difference in the last seven decades, give a glimpse into CWAJ history and who we are, and highlight our support of education, art, and community service.

See the panels >>

Slideshow: A fabulous slideshow of photos highlighting CWAJ’s history and friendships was created by Akiko Nakagawa for our 70th Anniversary. Enjoy watching!

Watch the slideshow >>


CWAJ 70th Anniversary Symposium
“Women Making a Sustainable Impact in Society”

The Symposium held on March 8th at International House was a superb beginning to our 70th Anniversary celebration and raising awareness of CWAJ. The remarks and discussion by the four inspiring panelists, all women leaders in Japan, engaged the audience to consider their own future and contribution to society. The reception afterwards was a special opportunity to talk in person to the panelists and network with all there. CWAJ thanks The Tokyo Club for its support.

The panelists:
• Kaori Kuroda, Executive Director, CSO Network Japan
• Yoko Tokunaga, Representative of Fundraising Labo
• Minami Tsubouchi, Executive Director, Global Fund for Education Assistance; 2004 CWAJ Scholar
• Sayuri Daimon, Executive Operating Officer & Managing Editor, The Japan Times.


Other 70th Anniversary year programs:

The CWAJ Hiking Group and overseas members enjoyed a guided town walk through Ogawamachi, Saitama on May 16th. All enjoyed making washi (Japanese paper), a sake brewery tour, Japanese lunch made with locally-sourced ingredients, and the Saitama Traditional Crafts Center. 

The CWAJ Reading Group welcomed overseas members to a lively discussion held on May 22nd of “My Year of Dirt and Water: Journal of a Zen Monk’s Wife in Japan” by Tracy Franz.

A Reunion Trip to Atami for overseas and local members was held from May 19-21. All enjoyed learning about the history of the area, a special performance of Japanese music, museums and gardens, and two nights at Atami Sekaie Onsen Hotel.

October 8 (Sun):
“Exploring Indonesia” featuring music of anklung (Indonesian bamboo ensemble), stories and food. Open to public.

October 23-27:
CWAJ Annual Print Show held at Hillside Forum in Daikanyama. An internationally-recognized exhibition and sale of contemporary Japanese print art.

Contact the 70th Anniversary Committee for more information:
cwaj70anniversary@gmail.com



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