By the time Kyodo System was experiencing its 20th year, the System was going well and known as the largest Japanese school in the United States. In prior years, the desire was expressed by graduates and parents of the graduates to continue being involved and associated with Kyodo System and help in whatever capacity in its growth. In addition, similar desire was being expressed by Mr. Masuo Mitamura, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California at that time, and other people and organizations interested in the Japanese language education. In the fall of 1967, a discussion was held by Dr. Sugimachi (Principal), Mr. Mitamura, Mr. Kakuo Tanaka (Chairman of the Board of Representatives) and others on starting the Supporters’ Association (Koen-kai). However, due to the passing of Dr. Sugimachi in December, the movement was temporarily placed on hold, but: Aug. 6, 1968 Meeting was held to organize the Supporters’ Association. Present at the meeting were Mr. Mitamura, Mr. Eiju Sasajima and other past chairman of the Board of Representatives, and officers and cabinet members of Kyodo System with the listing of 66 sponsors. Aug. 20, 1968 The By-Law Committee was established and the By-Laws were drafted. Sept. 24, 1968 The nominations of the first cabinet officers was held. Oct. 8, 1968 The first cabinet officers were approved with Mr. Keiichiro Sayano as President, Messr. Yoshio Ouchi and Shoichi Sayano as Vice President, and Mr. Hisashi Yamamoto as Secretary-General. June 15, 1969 The first general meeting of the Supporters’ Association was held at Kyodo System headquarters. Since its inception, the role of the Supporters’ Association has been to maintain liaison with its members and render assistance to the System with both spiritual and material support as far as possible. Throughout the past 30 years, the association was supporting in various ways, some are customary or request by the System and also proposal made by the staff and members, such as: (not in order of importance)
- Support the raffle ticket sale/donation to help offset the operating expense.
- Award a plaque to student body president at graduation ceremony.
- Provide fund to speech training tour group for trip to Japan every three years.
- To promote friendship among the members, plan New Years Party and others, such as the Bus Trip or B.B.Q. Party.
- Solicit contribution and human support for the Ko-Chu Gakubu for the construction of the two classrooms addition.
- Provide fund to help offset the cost of purchasing office equipment, such as copy machines and others.
- Assist financing to produce short program video introducing the Kyodo System.
- Support the Kyodo fund raising golf tournament by sponsoring tee or provide championship trophy, etc.
- Assist financially to make brochures for new student advertisement.
- And others.
Past presidents of Supporters’ Association are :
Oct. 1968 – 1971 Keiichiro Sayano
1972 – 1974 Ryohei Iwamoto
1975 – 1979 Eiju Sasjima
1980 – 1981 Kakou Tanaka
1982 – 1984 Masashi Kawaguchi
1985 – 1988 Kiyoshi Ogawa
1989 – 1991 Hisashi Yamamoto
1992 – 1993 Shinji Inouye
1994 – 1996 Hidehiro Matsukawa
1997 – Present Yoshinori Kawaguchi