At the 50th anniversary of the organization, the founding members were recognized for their vision. The organization is fundraising to help restore the tea house at the Japanese garden at Kepaniwai Park in Iao Valley, symbolic of our dedication to continue their vision to perpetuate the Japanese culture.
1969 JCSM Founding Board Members
Edith K. Izumi, President
Yukie H. Ueoka, First Vice President
Patsy Kinoshita, Second Vice President
Jean Nakamura, English Language Secretary
Shizuko Matsumoto, Japanese Language Secretary
Ayako Tokofuji, Treasurer
Ann Wakamatsu, Assistant Treasurer
Natsuyo Hayase, Auditor
Atsuko Kashiwa, Auditor
EDITH SHIGEKO IZUMI, President
Edith Shigeko (Kashiwa) Izumi was born in Waialua Oahu, Hawaii on September 18, 1910 to Reverend Ryuten and Yukiko Kashiwa. The eldest of 8 children of a Buddhist ministerial family, Edith, from a very young age, immersed herself in helping her parents with church and community activities. Helping her mother with Sunday School classes at Waialua Hongwanji Mission inspired the fourth grader at Waialua Elementary School in 1925, to make teaching her lifelong dream. After completing Leilehua High School in 1929, Territorial Normal School in 1931, University of Hawaii in 1933, and her fifth year certificate in 1934 from UH, she reached her goal of becoming a teacher. In the years following, she taught at Kohala, Kula, and Wailuku Elementary schools. On June 14, 1939 she got married to Dr. Katsuyuki Izumi and settled in Wailuku where she raised 3 sons, Gerald and twins Carl and Earl.
Upon retiring from teaching in the public schools, Edith was approached by parents of developmentally handicapped children to start a school for their children. Reluctant at first, due to her lack of knowledge in teaching special needs students, she soon accepted the challenge and with the help of some parents, started MARC, (Maui Association for Retarded Citizens). The program started with just 8 students, every Saturday, at Wailuku Elementary School, but thrived with many more students attending over the years and soon became a full time school at Puunene School. Many students soon were able to go out into the community, living up to the potential developed from those early years of training and education. Soon, programs in Hana, Molokai and Lanai started as well.
Edith kept active in the community. She served as president of the Maui Extension Homemakers Council from 1947-1948. She continued teaching Sunday School classes at Wailuku Hongwanji Mission, a den mother for her sons’ Cub Scout Pack, and served as an active Leader of the Roselani 4-H program at her church. In 1966, she was one of the founders of the Maui Japanese Cultural Society. Her love of plants and flowers kept her busy at Earl’s Nursery, her son’s nursery for many years.
Her grandchildren remember her as enthusiastic, artistic, and proud of her family. She loved to paint and draw and taught us how to do both. She loved music and enjoyed attending our piano and choir performances. She also loved to entertain at her house, inviting all of our relatives and friends for dinner out on the spacious patio.
Yukie Hirano Ueoka, First Vice President
Yukie Hirano Ueoka was born in Waimea, Kauai, on January 1923, to Kumajiro and Haru Hirano. She was the youngest of eight children. In 1943, Yukie received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Hawaii, majoring in social studies and world history.
Yukie married Meyer Ueoka in 1949, and they raised three children on Maui. In 1968, Yukie was selected as one of only 25 teachers from the United States to study at Sophia University in Tokyo under a Fulbright Scholarship. After teaching for twenty years at Waimea, Maui, and Baldwin High Schools, Yukie retired and thus, began her second career of volunteerism and community involvement. She was a founding member of the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, active in the expansion of the J. Walter Cameron Center, volunteering at the Maui Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, and serving as a docent at the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum.
In 1980, Yukie was named the first woman (and teacher) to serve as the Director of the Maui County Fair. In 1984, she was selected by Governor George Ariyoshi to serve as a member of the planning committee for the Hawaii Statehood Silver Jubilee celebration. Yukie loved to travel with her husband, family and friends. She was fortunate to have visited Japan many times, as well as Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the Continental U.S. Yukie’s love of the Japanese culture, its customs, and language prompted her to band together with like-minded friends - Edith Izumi, Ayako Tofukuji, Ann Wakamatsu, and Jean Nakamura - to form the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui, Inc., in 1969. These ladies envisioned the community’s great enrichment in the promotion, preservation, and perpetuation of the Japanese culture. Yukie now lives in Honolulu with her daughter Celia.
Ann Akiyo Nakamoto Wakamatsu
Ann Wakamatsu was born in Ukumehame, Maui, on September 3, 1922. She grew up in Waikapu and graduated from Baldwin High School in 1940.
From 1945 until 1974, she worked as a Plant Account Clerk for Maui Electric Company. She then became a District Sales Coordinator for American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC) until retiring in 1995. During her later years, she helped run the former Wakamatsu Fish Market in Wailuku Town with her predeceased husband, Kanji, and son, Donn.
Ann worked hard to earn a comfortable life for her family. She valued higher education since she wasn’t given the opportunity to attend college. She exhibited maturity, responsibility, and resiliency in taking over as the head of the Nakamoto household after her older brother was killed in Italy during World War II. She was articulate in speaking since she felt that communication was an important aspect of a person’s life. She instilled values of being honest, trustworthy, respectful, and considerate (especially to your elders) when raising her two sons, Donn & Leigh. She was also very caring, thoughtful, and generous to her family members, friends, and island community.
Ann’s lifelong commitment to humanities, world peace, musical performances, Japanese culture & arts, historic preservation, higher education, & social networking made her a dedicated board member or an active supporter of the J Walter Cameron Center; 42nd Nisei Veteran’s Memorial Center; Philharmonic Society; Maui Symphony; Maui Japanese Cultural Society; Maui Arts & Cultural Center; Bailey House Museum & Maui Historical Society; & Friendship Force Club of Maui.
Ann’s passion in life was to travel the world (including Japan) so she could discover & experience diverse sights, lifestyles, adventures, cultures, & make new friends.
Ann Akiyo Nakamoto Wakamatsu passed away at the age of 92.
Natsuyo Ueki Hayase, Auditor
Natsuyo Ueki Hayase was born in Hana, Maui in 1912 to immigrant parents and attended Hana School to the 8th grade. She moved to Wailuku with husband Masao and six children for economic reasons and educational opportunities in 1941.
Then, Natsuyo began her 50 plus years of volunteer work for her religion and community groups. She became a senior girl scout leader in the 50’s to 60’s while being an owner of a garden supplies shop. She did sewing behind the counter for customers and her family to supplement Masao’s meager fishing income.
She was raising six children, sending them all to college, doing housework and raising orchids and anthuriums with Masao’s help.
Natsuyo was a founding member of the Maui Rakuen Club. She steered the club through two plus decades of dedicated service. She belonged to the Maui Economic Opportunity Planning and Coordinating Council and the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui She had served Maui’s University Extension Club for 47 years, helped homebound, handicapped elders, studied ceramic and brush painting. She turned hobbies into leadership opportunities teaching corsage making, hand crafting, Chinese and Japanese cooking demonstrations to community college high school classes, community centers and Buddhist churches.
She was able to travel with Masao to Europe, Australia, Japan and the mainland. She enjoyed going riding to the beach on Sundays after church service where she took part in telling stories and lessons to the children and congregation.
Later, she spent her days caring for her disabled husband while volunteering her spare time to her family, church and organizations. She pursued goals of personal enrichment while actively enriching the lives of others. Natsuyo passed away at age 101 on Aug. 15, 2013.
Atsuko Kashiwa, Auditor
Beatrice Atsuko Kashiwa, founding member of JCSM, with husband Dr. Lester Tetsuro Kashiwa
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Mahalo to Decision Point LLC investigative company for their help in researching family members of JCSM's founding members.