A Journey Through History
The heavily populated Chinatown area in downtown Honolulu is razed in an attempt to curb rats carrying the bubonic plague.
March 12, 1900
To assist Chinatown fire victims, the Honolulu Nippon-Shonin Doshi Kai [Honolulu Japanese Merchants Association] is established.
The Honolulu Nippon-Jin Shonin Doshikai changes its name to the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce [HJCC]. Its main goal is to advocated trade between Japan and Hawaii.
The Japanese Merchant’s Association is founded.
January 5, 1938
The first performance of the Shiranami Gonin Otoko at the HJCC’s New Year’s celebration.
The Japanese Merchants’ Association merges into the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce.
December 7, 1941
The United States enters World War II. All Japanese residents are labeled “enemy aliens.” Assets are frozen, key Japanese leaders are arrested and are banned from meeting.
In April 1942, HJCC agrees to stop all HJCC meetings.
A general meeting is held at the YBA [Young Buddhist Association] Hall to restart the HJCC.
The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce is established with 43 charter members.
August 21, 1959
President Eisenhower signed the official proclamation admitting Hawaii as the 50th state.
The HJCC Cultural Center is built. The building serves as its headquarters for the chamber. The Cultural Hall and Tea Ceremony House are open to the community for both public and private events.
The HJCC is made an associate member of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.
The first Teru-Yaki Chicken fundraiser is held named after 1971 Chair of the Board, Teruo “Teru” Himoto.
The Samurai Golf Classic holds its first Invitational Golf Tournament at the Pearl Country Club. Underwriters for the event are Hawaii National Bank, Love’s Bakery, Aloha Airlines, GTS Distributors, Continental Airlines and Slipper House
The first HJCC Art Show is created as a community service project and is named “Young Japanese Art Show” and is later changed to “Young Artist Art Show” to assist aspiring artists with emerging talent to display their art. The last art show was held in 2018 after a 40-year run.
HJCC establishes a sister chamber agreement with the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
HJCC establishes a joint affiliation agreement with the Fukui Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii is created and the HJCC donates its facility and property to the JCCH as an act of commitment.
Groundbreaking for phase 1 is held for a new facility including offices, meeting rooms and a tea house.
Phase 1 is completed.
The original headquarters is demolished making way for Phase 2 that will house a banquet hall, parking structure, historical gallery and martial arts dojo.
Construction is completed for Phase 2. It is dedicated in traditional Shinto, Buddhist and Hawaiian blessings.
The HJCC Charitable Corporation, a 501c(3) is established. A scholarship fund is established in partnership with the Hawaii Community Foundation that provides two scholarships annually into perpetuity.
In observance of the HJCC’s 100th anniversary, the Torii Gate is constructed. The gate, donated and built by the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Hiroshima Prefecture & City Government, is situated on the corner of South King and Beretania Streets and symbolizes the friendship and goodwill between Hiroshima and Hawaii. It is later donated to the City & County of Honolulu.
The first annual Wine Tasting & Silent Auction is held at the Bishop Museum. The event would later be renamed Chopsticks & Wine, the HJCC premier annual fundraising event.
The HJCC celebrates its 110th Anniversary.
The inaugural Game Changers event is sponsored by the HJCC’s Small Business Advocacy Committee. It is a gathering, focused on prominent individuals in the community who have made unique impact in their lives personally and in our community.
The HJCC is actively involved with the Aloha for Japan as a Steering Committee member to help with tsunami and earthquake relief efforts in Japan and serves as the collection point for all donations.
The HJCC receives a certificate of congratulations from the State Legislature for its outstanding and meaningful work benefiting Japan-Hawaii relations.
The HJCC creates the Hawaii-Hiroshima Emerging Young Business Leaders Program [EYBL], tied to the 20th Sister-State Anniversary between Hawaii and Hiroshima. The program focus on leadership development through week-long programs held in both Honolulu and Hiroshima.
The HJCC celebrates its 120th Anniversary during the fiscal year 2020-2021.
The World Health Organization declares a global pandemic known as the coronavirus pandemic also known as COVID-19.
HJCC in-person activities are severely curtailed and must quickly adapt to remote ZOOM meetings, virtual events as staff work remotely from home.
The State of Hawaii and the HJCC celebrate a belated 20th Anniversary of the sister-state agreement with the Hiroshima Prefecture in Hiroshima, Japan. This visit marked the opening of Japan to outside travelers since the beginning of the pandemic.
The HJCC celebrates a belated 40th Anniversary Celebration with sister-chamber, the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry while the Torii Gate undergoes new painting.