Singled Out, Building Relations

The 10th National JACL Singles Conference focuses on relationship issues.

From learning about relationships to mastering the jitterbug, the 10th National JACL Singles Conference, which took place Saturday, featured three workshops, a panel discussion and a host of speakers who divulged information and advice on a variety of topics concerning singleness, marriage, self-image and even dancing.

Thirteen speakers in all were present throughout the three different workshops. Harvey Hanemoto, the co-founder of Orange County Sansei Singles, shared his insights on lust, love and life. "There's a lot of truth to accepting and knowing who you are, because that really does free you more in terms of giving yourself a chance to realize your full potential."

"Stay away from negative people," said, Clara Young, M.A., a psychotherapist and doctoral candidate in clinical psychology, who gave survival advice to single women. "If anyone is criticizing you or giving you negative comments, be aware of it. Don't take it."

Currently writing advice columns for **KoreAm** and **Audrey Magazine**, Young used the workshop as another forum to share her knowledge with people. "Just know who you are and be able to know that you can say, 'no' or you can say, 'yes'. It is physical, financial, and emotional. It covers all areas. You have to find a balance in all of that."

Alan Oda, PhD, the Executive Director of the Asian American Christian Counseling Service, in turn, discussed different topics about the choices and challenges for the Asian Pacific male. "The most important person you have to want to be comfortable with is yourself," he said. Family relationships, peers and mentors, and dating were some of the topics he touched upon.

The other speakers included: Dr. Tatsuo Hirano, who discussed a new healing method called Modern Medical Chi-kung; Gary Lee, director of marketing and business development for Click2Asia, who talked about the growth of Asian online dating; Kerry Yo Nakagawa, project director of the Nisei Baseball Research Project, who spoke of his passion for JA baseball; Bill Watanabe, executive director at LTSC, who discussed evaluating life; Hayato Tamura, a financial and retirement planning specialist, who gave advice on financial planning; Michiko Rolek, the Zen Coach, who discussed Christian Zen principles; Toru Nagao, a popular dance instructor in the Asian community, used one of the workshops to teach people how to do the Jitterbug; and J.D. Hokoyama, president and CEO of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, who explored the necessity of risk taking.

"Risk taking is a very important skill," said Hokoyama. "You have to make a total commitment to do whatever is necessary, legally and ethically, to maximize your chances to succeed and minimize your chances of failure."

The evening ended with a dinner and dance. Special guests of the evening's events were Rob Fukuzaki, Jamie Mizuhara and Rodney Kageyama.