Nijima selected as a 2011 Women of the Year honoree

Nijima selected as a 2011 Women of the Year honoree

Nancy Nobu Nijima (on the right in the front row) and the past Women of the Year honorees from the Okinawa Association of America attended the ceremony in the City of Montebello.


June 27, 2011, Sadao Tome, correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo

The Downtown Los Angeles Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Japanese Women’s Society of Southern California selected women who made a contribution to the local Japanese community as the 2011 Women of the Year honorees, holding a celebration at a restaurant in Quiet Cannon, Montebello. Three hundred people attended the ceremony.
One of the five honorees who played an active role in the many diverse areas of the Japanese community of the United States is Nancy Nobu Nijima, who is originally from Okinawa Prefecture.

The first ceremony for the Women of the Year honorees was held in 1963, so this year’s were the 48th awards.

The Okinawa Association of America has been developing its profile, and is now well known within the Japanese society of Southern California and as a result, members of the Association have been selected as Women of the Year honorees for the past few years.

Well-versed in matters related to both music and cuisine Nijima, who is one of the 2011 Women of the Year honorees, has played the piano to entertain elderly residents at the Keiro Retirement Home.
She annually holds cooking classes of Okinawan cuisine at the Okinawa Association of America, and has been a columnist in the cooking section of the Rafu Shimpo, a Japanese-English language newspaper based in California, for the past 15 years.

Nijima married the late Takao Nijima, son of Masako Nijima, the founder of the Okinawa Professional Cooking College. She is also a daughter of Bunichi Shimabukuro, who was one of the founders of the University of the Ryukyus and was the first person to go from Okinawa to the United States to study after World War II.

With regard to being selected as a 2011 Women of the Year honoree, Nijima indicated her feelings of gratitude, saying “Nothing makes me happier than sharing the responsibility of helping to popularize Okinawan cuisine in the United States. I thank the many people who have supported me through the years. I wish that my late husband Takao could have been here to witness this proud moment.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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