31st “Award of Honor” Gala

November 18, 2017

Awarding David Pearson and Yuzo Kayama

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 Recipients

Award of Honor Recipient

31st Award of Honor Gala (2017)

David Pearson
CEO, Opus One

Lifetime Achievement Award


Yuzo Kayama
Actor, Artist, & Singer


  • 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.

Award Gala Highlight Reel

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.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient:

Yuzo Kayama has enjoyed a lifetime of creative achievements as an actor, singer and,fr om the age of 59, as an artist working in pottery and lacquer. With Toho Studios, hebecame 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 penname 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 governmentin the name of the Emperor.

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

Past Award Galas

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