Nerio Scholarship recipients presented by Hisako (Nerio) Imamura and family. Front, from left: Shane Kikuta, Kristi Ikemoto, Matthew Pawn Phillips. Middle, from left: Darren Gittisriboongul, Michael Lau, Tyler Johnson. Back, from left: Hisako (Nerio) Imamura and her family Zoe and Sally Baral.

More than 200 guests attended the Southeast Japanese School and Community Center’s the annual Recognition and Awards Dinner on April 15 to honor two of our members, Stan Morishima and Karrie Takeuchi, who have contributed years of volunteer service to our center.

Stan Morishima is a black belt judo instructor who has taught students from age 7 to adults the art, science, and philosophy of judo. He has coordinated judo clinics and tournaments for the Southern California region. He has been invaluable blending his knowledge and experience of lockdown/shooter drills and adapting them for our community center.

Volunteer Service Award recipients presented by Norwalk City Councilmember Rick Ramirez. From left: Karrie Takeuchi, Stan Morishima.

Karrie Takeuchi is a PTA and School Board member. She has organized and coordinated special cultural events each month for the students. She has volunteered for every community center outreach event during and after the pandemic. She is currently in charge of publishing the center’s bimonthly newsletter.

Norwalk Judo Scholarship recipients presented by Scott Momii and Johnson Chang. From left: Matthew Pawn Phillips, Dayne Uyehara.

Stan Morishima and Karrie Takeuchi were presented Certificates of Recognition from the City of Norwalk and Senate District 30 by Norwalk City Councilmember Rick Ramirez, and certificates from representatives of the 64th Assembly District.      

Kimie Matsumoto, our hostess and emcee, reflected on the important role of the family for those who volunteer their time and service to an organization. She thanked them for their support and understanding on behalf of the center.   

We also congratulated our high school seniors who won scholarships from the following organizations: The Koichi and Toyo Nerio Scholarship presented by Hisako (Nerio) Imamura and her family; the Norwalk Judo Scholarship presented by Scott Momii and Johnson Chang; and the Norwalk Youth Sports Scholarship presented by Scott Suekawa.

Following the awards, entertainment was provided by our members: Hikari Taiko; Kozue Matsumoto and her Koto Ensemble; Kekaimoku Yoshikawa and his Hawaiian dance class; and Kamaki Keawe and Vic Ligot with their beautiful Hawaiian dinner music.

For information about our community center, please go to or email

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