Deron Furukawa will receive The Japanese Cultural Society of Maui’s prestigious Nihon Bunka Award at the annual Shinnen Enkai (New Year’s) dinner which will be held Jan. 24 in the Elleair Rainbow Room at the Maui Beach Hotel. The Nihon Bunka award recognizes individuals for their excellence and their contributions to the Japanese arts and culture. It also honors individuals for their unselfish willingness to share their talents with the community.
Furukawa, a sandan (3rd degree) blackbelt, began studying karate in 1985. Since then, he has been dedicated to the art of shotokan karate under the education by the Japan Karate Association. He began teaching as an assistant to his Sensei, Ted Kesaji, in 1995. In 2003, he started teaching as an assistant under Sensei Ricky Supnet, Furukawa became chief instructor in 2011 at his Yakudoshi.
“Teaching karate and seeing my students flourish in life is most rewarding to me,” said Furukawa in a Jan. 6 news release. More than the fitness, self defense and knowledge gained from understanding the combat capability of one’s body, the students learn about character development such as humility, hard work, loyalty and respect, according to a statement issued on behalf of JCS Maui.
Furukawa, along with the former chief instructors of Maui Karate Association, does not receive any monetary fee for the substantial amount of time dedicated to karate; MKA is a club where all the time and resources go back to the students; resources and time are also dedicated to the promotion of karate.
The Shinnen Enkai event will begin with the traditional otoso (sake welcome) at 5:30 p.m. A no-host cocktail hour will follow. Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Cost for the buffet dinner is $50 for adults, $20 for children (6-11 years old), and free for children ages 5 and under.
Tickets are available until Jan. 19 at the Maui Box Shop and Credit Associates in Wailuku and Sanrio at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. Tickets are limited and will not be sold at the door.
Photo courtesy Japanese Cultural Society of Maui