31st “Award of Honor” Gala

Watch this year’s “Award of Honor Gala” Highlight Reel!

To view the 2017 Gala photos, please click here.


For more than 100 years, the Japan Society of Northern California has fostered collaboration and understanding between the United States and Japan by providing Northern Californians with a range of language, cultural and business programming and opportunities for fellowship. The programming has varied through the years but the mission to foster understanding and collaboration between Japan and the United States remains unchanged.

On Saturday, November 18, 2017 the Japan Society will hold its 31st Annual Award of Honor Gala at the Hotel Nikko San Francisco. The gala is our signature event of the year attended by a wide range of Americans and Japanese from business, government, the arts, academia and the community who share a strong commitment to close ties between the United States and Japan.

The Japan Society is very pleased to honor the following recipients: 


David Pearson
CEO, Opus One


Kayama Yuzo
Yuzo Kayama
Actor, Artist, & Singer

For more information about the recipients, please click here.


  • VIP Reception | 5:30 PM
  • Cocktail Reception & Silent Auction | 6:00 PM
  • Dinner, Live Auction & Awards Presentation | 7:15 PM


Hotel Nikko San Francisco, 222 Mason Street, San Francisco, California, 94102

Hotel Nikko San Francisco is pleased to offer valet parking. Convenient valet parking is located in our Porte Cochere at $15.00 for the first hour and $5.00 per each additional half hour (maximum of $50.00 per 24-hour period).

Please note that the garage has limited spaces and this rate is based on availability. Additional self-parking can be arranged across the street if necessary.

Other parking facilities


Black tie optional.


2017 Live & Silent Auction items here!


If you are interested in purchasing a table, please click here to download our Sponsorship Opportunities form.


  • Sponsor Ticket – $600 OR 2 for $1,000
    • Third tier seating at dinner at gala
    • Entry into VIP Reception
    • Listing in gala program booklet
    • Listing & URL on Japan Society Gala web page
  •  Patron Ticket – $300
    •  Fourth tier seating at dinner at gala
  •  Young Professional Ticket (for guests 35 and under) – $150 
    • Fourth tier seating at dinner at gala

To purchase your ticket online, please go here. 

If you would like to avoid the credit card fees, then please use our sponsorship opportunities form.


A donation to the Japan Society of Northern California may be made to the Society and will be utilized for operating expenses.

Contributors of $1000 or more will be recognized as a sponsor of the event unless otherwise requested.

Your contribution to the Japan Society is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

To make a donation online, please go here.


To avoid incurring credit card fees, please make a check payable to “Japan Society of Northern California” and mail it to our office at the Japan Society of Northern California, 500 Washington Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94111 with this form completed.

The deadline to receive a refund for your ticket(s) is September 29, 2017.

David Pearson, Award of Honor Recipient:

David Pearson was named CEO of Opus One, one of Napa Valley’s most exclusive wineries, in February 2004. Prior to joining Opus One, Mr. Pearson served as President of Rancho Arroyo Grande located in the central coast region of California. From 1996 to 2003, Mr. Pearson was employed by the Robert Mondavi Corporation where he was Vice President, General Manager of Byron Vineyards & Winery, and before that, Vice President, General Manager of Vichon SARL, responsible for the establishment of wine growing operations in Languedoc, France. From 1991 to 1996, Mr. Pearson served with Heublein, Inc. where he held the position of US Marketing Manager for the wines of Baron Philippe de Rothschild. Mr. Pearson holds a B.S. in Enology from the University of California, Davis and an MBA in International Business from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Yuzo Kayama, Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient:

Kayama YuzoYuzo Kayama has enjoyed a lifetime of creative achievements as an actor, singer and,
from the age of 59, as an artist working in pottery and lacquer. With Toho Studios, he
became a major movie star, playing in the Wakadaisho series and in “Akahige” and
“Tsubaki Sanjyuro”, directed by Akira Kurosawa. In 1965, he became a singer and his
“Kimi to Itsumademo” became a major hit. Other standout recordings included
“Oyomeni Oide” and other popular songs; many that he composed under the pen
name of Dan Kosaku. A major recognition came in the Fall of 2014 when he received
“The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette” – by the Japanese government
in the name of the Emperor.


Click here to download our sponsorship opportunities.

2017 Gala Sponsors





 Allen & Michiko Miner



Blue Field Strategies & Enotech Consulting

Thomas Brunner / Glaucoma Research Foundation

Dr. Gary W. Cleary & Nobuko Saito Cleary

Glen S. & Sakie T. Fukushima

FX Global, Inc.

Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California


Ambassador John & Susie Roos

Squire Patton Boggs

Individual Sponsors

Takahide & Emma Akiyama

William P. Fuller & Jennifer L. Beckett

BNY Mellon Wealth Management

Dr. Richard B. Dasher

George Hayashi

Gerald & Keiko Horkan

Institute for Creative Integration

Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc.

Kathleen & Kozo Kimura

Rochelle Kopp – Japan Intercultural Consulting LLC

 The Law Offices of David A. Makman

Connie Martinez

Bobbie McChristy

Christopher & Ya-Hui Monteilh

Michael O’Bryan & Masako Shimizu

Allen & Pat Okamoto

Salad Cosmo USA Corp.

San Francisco Mitakai

TAK Development, Inc.

Tsutomu ‘Tom’ Tanaka

Steven G. Teraoka & Marsha Eddleman Teraoka

Joyce & John R. Thomas

Yoshiaki Tojo

Tom & Akemi Woofter

*Sponsor list current as of November 3, 2017.