Members of the Japanese Women’s Society of Southern California help pack 10,000 pounds of candy for war orphans in Japan in 1947.

TORRANCE — The Japanese Women’s Society of Southern California will have their Shinnenkai on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Miyako Hybrid Hotel, 21381 S. Western Ave. in Torrance.

President Joyce Chinn said, “We are so excited to be able to have our first in-person Shinnenkai since January 2020.”

The JWSSC which began on March 17, 1904, as the Rafu Fujinkai, sent care packages to Japan during the Russo-Japanese War. In 1930, they brought together other women’s organizations and became known as Nanka Fujinkai Renmei (Federation of Southern California Japanese Women) before adopting the present name of Nanka Nikkei Fujinkai (Japanese Women’s Society of Southern California) in 1956.

During their 119 years, the organization expanded into many areas of social welfare and introduced and promoted Japanese cultural arts in the community to build goodwill and friendly relations between the U.S. and Japan.

JWSSC continues to support the community by volunteering in the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California’s annual Oshogatsu Festival on Jan. 1; participating in the annual Memorial Day services at Evergreen Cemetery; and co-sponsoring the annual Women of the Year program with the Downtown Los Angeles Chapter, JACL. JWSSC provided support after the 9/11 tragedy, Hurricane Katrina, and the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (through the Love to Nippon Project).

JWSSC also provides monetary support to the needs of other organizations as well as visitations and donations to Kei-Ai in Lincoln Park and Sakura Gardens in Boyle Heights. Its senseis and members continue to promote and share the Japanese cultural arts of ikebana, tea ceremony, calligraphy, koto, and odori in the community.

The JWSSC Shinnenkai will begin at 11 a.m. The cost is $70. Those interested in attending may contact Co-Chairs Tomoko Sakura ( or Kitty Sankey (

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *