The seeds of planning the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i (JCCH) in Honolulu were sown more than two generations ago. Minds and hearts of first- and second-generation Japanese immigrants sought to honor their heritage, embrace diversity and welcome the future.
During the Kanyaku Imin celebration in February 1985, which celebrated 125 years of Japanese living in Hawaii, emotions generated by the event spurred devotion of major Japanese groups in the community to conceptualize the JCCH.
In 1986, Honolulu's Japanese Chamber of Commerce initiated the Japan-Hawaii cultural center project and called it "The Dream." The Dream would be a legacy where future members of the community could look back and be fully conscious of their roots. The center also would foster relations by promoting harmony and mutual understanding among Japan, Hawaii and the U.S.
On May 28, 1987, The Dream was realized and JCCH was incorporated under Hawaiian laws as a nonprofit organization to develop, own, maintain and operate a Japanese cultural center. Through the years, the organization has worked to strengthen its diverse community by educating present and future generations in the evolving Japanese-American experience in Hawaii.