On October 29, 2016, JASH Gala 2016 was held to celebrate the spirit of kizuna - the human ties that connect and unite - and honor an individual who embodies this spirit, Dr. Ritsuko Komaki, Associate Director, Thoracic Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

After Japan's Great East Earthquake of 2011 and the resulting tsunami and nuclear crisis, the kanji character for kizuna - 絆 - became a symbol of strength.  The character itself is made up of two parts: the kanji for rope/thread (糸) on the left and the kanji for half (半) on the right.  When these parts are combined, two halves become stronger by being woven together - 絆.

Kizuna embodies the strength of the shared valued and interest of the American and Japanese peoples that underpin the U.S.-Japan alliance. 

This solidarity was evidenced in the many friends of JASH who were present at the annual event.

The work of JASH to further understanding and personal relationships between Americans and Japanese living in the Houston area is its expression of the spirit of kizuna. 

JASH gratefully acknowledges the support of:


  • Kuraray America, Inc.
  • Dr. John Stroehlein and Miwa Sakashita


  • Dr. James D. Cox
  • The Friedkin Group
  • Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
  • Satake USA INC.
  • Sumitomo Corporation of Americas
  • Westlake Chemical


  • Air Liquide Large Industries
  • Chemic Engineers and Constructors
  • Kathy and Glen Gondo
  • JGC Energy Development (USA) Inc.
  • Mayer Brown
  • Merrill and Joe Hafner
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc.
  • Mitsui & Co.
  • Regina Rogers
  • Linda and Bill Weiland


  • Advanced Oilfield Innovations
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Mr. and Mrs. Martin Beirne
  • BDP International, Inc.
  • Chubu Electric Power Company U.S.A. Inc.
  • Dr. and Mrs. Satoshi Hata (MHIA Compressor)
  • INPEX Corporation
  • JERA Energy America LLC
  • JTB USA, Inc.
  • Kaneka Americas Holding Inc., President & CEO Mr. and Mrs. Kazuhiko Fujii
  • Marubeni America Corporation
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Compressor International Corporation - President Mr. and Mrs. Masanori Kobayashi
  • Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal U.S.A., Inc.
  • Nanako and Dale Tingleaf


  • FLORAL - Dr. and Mrs. Louis Daily
  • PHOTOGRAPHY - The Mundy Companies
  • PRINT - Kuraray America, Inc.
  • WAGYU - Marble Ranch
  • SUSHI - Glen Gondo/Sushic


  • Coyote Logistics
  • Mrs. Nancy W. Freed
  • Gandtade Corporation
  • Dr. William J. Cuningham
  • Mrs. Charlotte Hill
  • Linda & Barry Hunsaker
  • Mr. and Mrs. Meredith J. Long
  • Mr. Mitsuhiko Matsushita | MC Tubular Products, Inc.
  • Nippon Shokubai America Industries
  • Dr. and Mrs. Barry Samuels
  • Mr. Hideaki Tada
  • Yokogawa Corporation of Americas