37th "Award of Honor" Gala

Join us at our signature event of the year to celebrate U.S.-Japan collaboration on Wednesday, November 1, 2023!


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

5:00 – Doors Open
Agenda Coming Soon


Hotel Nikko San Francisco

222 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

    • Attire: Black Tie optional
    • Parking: Hotel Nikko San Francisco offers valet parking. It is located in the Porte Cochere. Please note the garage has limited spaces and this rate is based on availability. Additional self-parking can be arranged across the street at the Mason O’Farrell Garage, if necessary.

2023 Awardees

Visionary Award

Award of Honor

Cultural Ambassador Award

Ira Ehrenpreis

Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners


Ira Ehrenpreis is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, a leading impact investing venture capital firm, currently managing more than $1 billion of capital. DBL invests in companies that can deliver top-tier financial returns, while simultaneously driving social or environmental change.

Ira is a recognized leader in the venture capital industry, having served on the Board, Executive Committee, and as Annual Meeting Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). He currently serves as the Chairman of the VCNetwork, the largest and most active California venture capital organization, and the President of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC), the oldest venture capital organization in California.

For his significant contributions to the Venture Capital and Impact industries, Ira has been honored with several prestigious awards. Ira was awarded the NACD Directorship 100 for being “one of the most influential leaders in the boardroom and corporate governance community.” He was also named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Men Under 45″ (when in fact he was under 45!) For his pioneering work and leadership in sustainability innovation, Ira was inducted into the International Green Industry Hall of Fame. In addition, the National Venture Capital Association awards one venture capitalist each year with the industry’s “Outstanding Service Award” for career contribution to the venture capital industry and Ira was recently the recipient of this prestigious award.

Ira serves on the board of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and currently leads DBL’s investments in several companies including Airspace, Apeel, Boring Company, Mapbox, Menlo Micro, Planet (NYSE: PL), R-Zero, and SpaceX.

A sampling of Ira’s leadership includes serving for several years as the Chairman of the Silicon Valley Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (SVIEF). He is the Founder and Chairman of one of the most prominent annual energy innovation industry events, the World Energy Innovation Forum (WEIF), which convenes the who’s-who in the industry to discuss the important energy issues and opportunities of our time. Ira also served for many years on the Advisory Board of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE).

Ira is also an active leader at Stanford University, where he has served on the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School and is currently an advisory board member of the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy (PIE) Advisory Council and the Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP). Ira has also been a frequent guest lecturer, including helping to teach a course on Venture Capital.Ira received his JD/MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Law School, where he was an Associate Editor of Stanford Law Review. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude.


Songwriter, Drummer, and classically-trained Pianist
Leader of X Japan and The Last Rockstars


YOSHIKI is a composer, classically-trained pianist, rock drummer, and the leader of the rock groups X Japan and The Last Rockstars. YOSHIKI was named“one of the most influential musicians and composers in Japanese history”by Consequence and is described by Billboard as “a musical innovator.” His worldwide projects include a song dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the Emperor of Japan’s reign, the official theme song for the World Expo, Hollywood film soundtracks, and the official theme song for the prestigious Golden Globe Awards. Ledby YOSHIKI, X Japan has sold over 30 million albums and singles and sold out the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome a record-breaking 18 times. He was the first Asian musician to perform at the world’s greatest music halls including Madison Square Garden, WembleyArena, and solo performances at Carnegie Hall.

In 2022, YOSHIKI’s talent competition series YOSHIKI SUPERSTAR PROJECT X with NTV became the #1 ranked variety show on Hulu Japan, leading to the upcoming debut of hot new boy band “XY”. YOSHIKI formed the rock supergroup The Last Rockstars, followed by the release of their first single and a sold-out world tour.

In addition to his music activities, he is also a fashion icon as the designer of his high-fashion kimono brand YOSHIKIMONO and the first Japanese male to appear on the cover of Vogue Japan. YOSHIKI was chosen to be the first living person to have a Hello Kitty doll named after him, called “yoshikitty”. YOSHIKI has his own Visa and Mastercard, top-selling premium wines (with Robert Mondavi, Jr.) and Champagne (with prestigious French establishment Maison Pommery), and an exclusive energy drink collaboration with Coca-Cola Japan.

Official Website: https://www.yoshiki.net/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoshikiofficial/


Hello Kitty ®

Global Icon Celebrating Her 50th Anniversary

This year’s Gala will feature three outstanding Awardees. Yoshiki, the Award of Honor recipient, is one of Japan’s most influential and popular musicians and composers, as well as a dedicated philanthropist known for his support for many causes, including refugees in Ukraine and disaster relief. Receiving the Cultural Ambassador Award is Hello Kitty, a global icon who will be celebrating her 50th year as the original ambassador of “kawaii” culture. Ira Ehrenpreis receives the Visionary Award due to his career as a highly successful serial entrepreneur and leader in the venture capital industry and as a board member at Tesla and numerous other companies and is widely recognized for his work on sustainability and governance.

ジャパンソサエティーの最も権威ある“Award of Honor”は今年は日本で多大なる影響力を持つミュージシャン、作曲家そしてフィランソロピストでもあるYOSHIKIが受賞者と決定いたしました。彼はウクライナの難民支持や災害救援等幅広く活動してます。また、オリジナル“KAWAII”のグローバルアイコンでもあり誕生50周年を祝しHello Kittyに“Cultural Ambassador Award”、そしてIra Ehrenpreis (アイラ エレンプライス)氏には“Visionary Award”受賞者として表彰致します。彼は企業家として大成功を収め、またベンチャーキャピタルのリーダーとしてその名を成し、テスラや数多くの取締役を務め、持続可能な社会を目指した手法は広く評価されています。

2023 Agenda

  • TBA

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorships deliver the greatest impact and visibility possible leading up to, throughout, and following the Gala. A big thank you to all of our sponsors!

Japan Society Gala Committee


Steve Pollock

President, Japan Society of Northern California


Nobuko Saito Cleary

Gala Chair, Japan Society of Northern California


Christine Fisher

Gala Vice Chair, Japan Society of Northern California

33rd Award of Honor Gala Thumbnail
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