Current Society News

2018 Membership Dues

January is when it's time to renew your FWJS Membership but you can still renew at any time! Join us at one of our monthly luncheons or send a check. Check our Membership page for details.

Amazon Smile

Do you use Amazon to buy stuff? By shopping at, Amazon will donate a small portion of your purchase amount to the Fort Worth Japanese Society. If you like to participate, use the following link when shopping:

Previous Month(s) Wrap up
February Luncheon - Sukiyaki & Bingo

As expected, our Sukiyaki luncheon was a great success, with about seventy members present. The food was delicious, thanks to our many helpers, led by Julia Dunaway. One of the reasons this is always so much enjoyed is because we all paartake to some degree in the cooking with the electric fry pan in the center of tables of about eight people. Of course, this makes for much lively conversation and perhaps a little commentary by those who are watching and tasting, but not cooking. After the sukiyaki, about forty members took their luck at playing bingo.

Yoshinagawa Sake

On February 23rd, Mr. Minemasa, President of Yoshinagawa Sake, located in Fort Worth's sister city, Nagaoka, came to visit Fort Worth and provided us with a sake tasting event. This evening was organized by Fort Worth Sister Cities and hosted by Firestone & Robertson Distilling Company of Fort Worth, the makers of TX whiskey and bourbon. Yoshinagawa sake can be purchased at Central Market and at Specs.

Shinnenkai (Welcoming the New Year)

Some of the young Japanese ladies living in the Fort Worth and neighboring areas gathered together to meet and mix, and to see the Fort Worth Japanese Society's facilities. Twenty-nine ladies attended, and everyone seemed to have a great time. In addition to socializing with each other, David Bukutis spoke about the Dondoko Taiko drumming group and Harvey Yamaagata talked abou the Society in general. Thank you Katsuko Johnson, Kumiko Porter, Kaori Pickett, Yoshiko Hall and Harumi Sharp for oganizing this event.

In Rememberance

We are saddened to let you know that Terry Furtner passed away on Sunday, Febuary 4, 2018. Raymond and Terry were members of the Fort Worth Japanese Society many years ago. Some of our new members may not have met them, but our earlier members will remember how Terry enjoyed Chinese brush painting and calligraphy.

March Luncheon - DIY Japanese Vegetable Gardening

Mar 18th 12:30pm -Our program will be about growing your own Japanese vegetables including the process of "aeroponics", growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an agggregate medium (known as geoponics). Learn how to grow vegetables like shishito peppers, eggplant, cucumber and shiso. For food, we will enhoy "gyudon" (beef bowl) along with roasted peppers, cucumber sunomono and a stawberry dessert. Adults $15, children 8-12 $12, and children 7 and under are free. There is a 20% discount for members aged 70 years and above.

BE SURE TO RSVP BY Mar 14TH with Harvey Yamagata at 817-737-9166 or email or Please let us know your name and the number in your group so that we will have enough food.

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Japanese Garden Festival - Apr 28 & 29

CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS! Time to sharpen your skills at demonstrating things Japanese. Spring Festival in the Fort Worth Japanese Gardens is a great opportunity to share what we know of Japanese culture to the general public. And - everyone who volunteers has a great time. Volunteer sign up sheets will be on the table by the fornt door at the society building. You can also volunteer online HERE


Here is a short video by LaDonna Aiken, featuring the FWJS at the Japanese Gardens.

Shinbokukai - Friday, Apr 6 from 6:00 pm at Sushi Axiom Montgomery Plaza

This is always a great time to relax and enjoy the company of our members. There are two Sushi Axiom's in Fort Worth; Ours will be at Montgoery Plaza, 2600 W 7th St., Fort Worth, TX 76107. RSVP BY MARCH 31st with Harvey Yamagata at 817-737-9166 or email or

Dondoko Taiko Drum Group

This is one of our popular programs. If you want to learn how to play these Japanese Drums, have Sunday evenings open for practice, and have opportunities to perform at public events like the Japanese Garden Spring and Fall Festivals.

Japanese Classical Dance

This group meets every Monday, 11am-1pm, at the Yamagata Center. Please contact Teruko Greene at 817-294-2224 for more information. Mrs. Keio Miyamoto is the instructor.

Japanese Language Class

Spring Semester will start on Monday, January 20. Please refer to our school website for our refund policy.

Kurumi Ningyo

Join the 17 members who meet twice a month to work on these elegant works of art. The group meets on Wednesdays, 10am-2pm. Please contact Nobuko Foshee at 817-738-4524 for November and December schedule.

Member News

In Memoriam
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FORT WORTH – Elaine Yoko Yamagata, 94, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.

Elaine was born in Walnut Grove, Calif. in 1922, to Dr. and Mrs. Enichi Yamao. At 16, her family returned to Japan. After graduating from Kobe College, she married Tadashi Yamagata in March of 1943. They then moved to Beijing China, where Tadashi worked as a civilian in Japanese occupied China, purchasing raw minerals for export. Their son, Mark was born in December 1943. When the war ended, all Japanese in China were placed in prisoner of war camps. Her second son, Harvey, was born in the prison camp in January 1946. The following April, the family was deported from China to Japan, and settled in Kure, near Hiroshima. While living there, Elaine worked for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, helping victims of the atomic bomb.

In January of 1951, Elaine and her husband embarked on an adventurous and new chapter in their lives, emigrating to the U.S. They settled in New York City where they started an import business pioneeting in the market of Japanese made consumer electronics. With principals of Radio Shack, the Yamagata's founded A&A International. When Tandy Corporation acquired Radio Shack, Charles Tandy recognized the importance of sourcing products in Asia, and so acquired A&A. These groups, together with Charles Tandy’s unique understanding of retailing and chain store operations, grew Tandy Corporation into a multi- billion dollar company. After her husband’s retirement, Elaine became the president of A&A until her own retirement in 1989.

Throughout her career and after, Elaine was a community leader. While in New York, she served as chair of the board of the Japanese American United Methodist Church. Elaine enjoyed playing piano, so it was natural for her to be drawn to the Van Cliburn Foundation after moving to Fort Worth. She served on the executive committee of the board and as president of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Japan Committee from 1985 to 2002. In this capacity, she encouraged numerous young Japanese pianists to enter one of Fort Worth’s most prominent events.

In additon to her love of music, she was devoted to bringing better relations between the Japanese and Americans. In 1986, she and her husband helped found the Fort Worth Japanese Society. Elaine presided as president from 1988 to 1993 and remained chairman emeritus until 2014. She joined the board of Fort Worth Sister Cities International in 1987 where her efforts were instrumental in developing Fort Worth’s relationship with Nagaoka, Japan. Over the last 29 years, about 1,500 Fort Worth and Nagaoka young people have exchanged home stays making friends and learning about each country’s culture. Elaine served on numerous other boards including the Japan America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and assisted groups such as Camp Fire, Fort Worth Symphony and Ballet. Elaine served on the board of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles from its formative years in the early 90’s to 2007. The museum serves as the main archive for the history of Japanese-Americans – from early U.S. settlement, through World War II internment and U.S. military service to contemporary individuals and organizations.

For her generous gift of time and service, Elaine was honored with many accolades: the Foreign Minister’s Award from the government of Japan, the Nagaoka City Award of International Goodwill, Sister Cities International Volunteer of the Year Award, Outstanding Women of Fort Worth by the City of Fort Worth, and the Bridges-to-Friendship Award by the Japan America Society of Dallas / Fort Worth. In 2007, Elaine was inducted into The Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Ray, one of the highest honors conferred by the Emperor of Japan.

Elaine never acknowledged a “glass ceiling” and set an example not just for women, but for all who have loved her and have had the privilege to work and live alongside her. We will miss her greatly even as she remains in our hearts.

The 411

We’d like to know what our members are doing, and if we can, support you in your efforts. Please send all news to or to his address at 4220 Ridgehaven Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76116.




We have a couple of writers in our midst. Ian Yamagata just released his first work of fiction, The Mark of the Remaker. If you or some you know is interested in Heroic Fantasy, this mixture of adventure, science fiction and fantasy will capture the imagination. Mark of the Remaker is available at or at online booksellers such as





Eric Bakutis, son of David and BJ Bakutis is also an author. Here is what one reviewer wrote about Eric’s book, Glyphbinder: "...weaves a spell that captures the reader's attention and imagination and doesn't release them until the last page is read." --Ronald Garner, Editor, Silence in the Library Press. Glyphbiner is available at or at online booksellers such as


Charity News

Earthquake & Tsunami News

去る3月11日に起きました東北関東大震災、またその直後に東北地方太平洋沿岸を襲った大津波により、1万人を超える尊い命が奪われ、今なお1万人 を超す行方不明の方がいらっしゃることに、フォートワース日本人会の会員一同、心よりお悔やみ申し上げます。 また、日本にご在住の皆さまのご家族、ご友 人のご無事をお祈りいたします。

わが日本人会でも、こちらに居住する日本人および日本を愛する者たちとして、被災地から遠く離れたフォートワースで何ができるかを考え、今までに募 金活動やベイクセール、折り紙プロジェクトなど近郊団体などと力を合わせて行ってまいりました。 また、来月にフォートワース日本庭園で開催されます春祭 りでも、フォートワース姉妹都市協会などの他団体と同様に募金活動を行います。 それ以外にも、当会として募金活動や支援活動などに関わる際には、随時お 知らせしていく予定です。

現在、さまざまな団体、組織が義援金を募集しています。 オンラインや小切手送付にて寄付をお考えの方、アメリカ赤十字社( やダラス日本人会( でも、募金を受け付けていますので、ぜひご協力お願いいたします。




On Friday March 11th, a strong earthquake struck the north east part of Japan.  More than 10,000 people have lost their precious lives and about 16,000 people are still missing from earthquakes and subsequent huge tsunami caused by the quake.  Our thoughts go out to the people of Japan who were affected by the disaster.   We hope that your family and friends in Japan are safe and well.

We, Fort Worth Japanese Society, have been involved in Japan relief fundraising; bake sales, and senbazuru (thousand origami cranes) projects, cooperating with other organizations and societies in our local  communities, hoping we could be of some assistance to people in Japan, even though we are far away.  At the Fort Worth Japanese Garden Spring Festival in April, you will see our donation boxes as well as those many other groups, such as Fort Worth Sister Cities.  Regarding the details for upcoming relief activities and charities, we will keep you posted in our website.  

Other than ourselves, there are lots of organizations who are currently raising donations.  For those who wish to contribute to a relief fund by check or online, you can do so with American Red Cross of Dallas ( and Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth (

Though we are rather a small organization, we will continue to pray and assist people in Japan with relief fund and recovery effort.


Japanese Class of Fort Worth Japanese Society

Upcoming Charity Events