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Dennis Yamashita, Imperial Award Recipient


Dennis Yamashita Photo Tom Matsuzawa

On November 3, the Government of Japan announced that Dennis J. Yamashita, former chair of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington (JASSW), has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. The award is in recognition of his contributions in promoting regional exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.

Yamashita is also a former president of Nikkei Concerns (Keiro Northwest) and a former president of the Japanese Community Service of Seattle (Nikkeijinkai).

He has been actively engaged in JASSW for more than 30 years. As its chair in 2009, he contributed greatly to increasing and enhancing the Society’s cooperation with Japanese corporations in the region to further promote economic exchange between Japan and the United States.

Yamashita has also been deeply involved in Nikkei Concerns, which was established in 1976 to improve elder care options available to the local Japanese and Japanese American community. Over the past 40 years, Yamashita has made significant contributions to the organization’s activities, including serving as its president in 1997.

Acting also as president of the Japanese Community Service of Seattle (Nikkeijinkai), in 2013, he implemented policies to streamline and modernize its operations. JCS is best known as the group that administered the Seattle Japanese Language School across the generations. It donated its buildings and grounds to JCCCW “to carry on.”

Yamashita is one of two Seattle-area Sansei who received this special recognition from the Japanese government this month. The other is Tom Ikeda of Densho (in next NAP issue). Please join NAP in congratulating both on their achievements.

“Otsukaresama deshita!”

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The North American Post is a community newspaper that celebrates Japanese culture in the Greater Seattle area. Founded by 1st generation Japanese-Americans in 1902, the publication is one of the oldest minority-owned newspapers in the region. Today, with bilingual articles in English and Japanese, the publication connects readers with diverse cultural backgrounds to Seattle’s Japanese community. Our articles include local news, event calendars, restaurant reviews, Japanese cooking recipes, community interviews, and more.