19th Annual Mondale Gala Scholarship and Award Dinner 2016

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Events, General | 0 comments

19th Annual Mondale Gala Scholarship and Award Dinner 2016

The Japan America Society of Minnesota is happy to announce the 19th Annual Mondale Award and Scholarship Gala on Saturday, November 5th, 2016. It will be held at the Oak Ridge Country Club, 700 Oakridge Road, Hopkins, MN 55305.


This year’s keynote speaker will be Toshiyuki Iwado, Consul-General of Japan in Chicago.cg-iwado-profile-4-5

Mr. Toshiyuki Iwado obtained an MA from the Graduate School of Agriculture, University of Tokyo, in March 1982 and entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served as Counsellor at the Embassy of Japan in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He was also Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Geneva, the Economic Affairs Bureau and the Consulate Affairs Bureau, and from 2007 he took up a position as Counsellor to the Cabinet Secretariat.  He served as Minister at the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Finland, Director General of the International Affairs Department of the House of Representatives, and then served at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. He took up his current position, Consul-General of Japan in Chicago, in March 2015.


Please save the date for this exciting event in November!


Date: Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Place: Oak Ridge Country Club
700 Oak Ridge Road
Hopkins, MN 55305
T: 952.935.7721

Program Highlights
Highlights include:

  • Keynote Speaker Toshiyuki Iwado,Consul-general of Japan in Chicago
  • Presentation by Ambassador Walter Mondale of the Mondale Award for Japan – Minnesota Partnership.
  • The Mondale Scholarship will be announced for two Minnesota students for study in Japan.
  • A Silent Auction will be held during the reception and cocktail hour.
  • A Live Auction will be held during the dinner.


2016 Mondale Award Recipients:

Yoko Breckenridge

Yoko Breckenridge

Yoko Breckenridge Founder of  Japanese Library in Bloomington and Leader of Nihonjinkai.

Yoko Breckenridge was 12 years old when WW II ended. She was in far northern China in an area occupied by the Soviet Union. Her family was eventually resettled in Japan where she worked hard to get into school where she than entered 7th grade. She had no textbooks; instead she borrowed books from fellow classmates to read overnight. Yoko eventually became academically at the top of her class. When Yoko came to the United States at age 30, she could not read or speak any English. Her mother-in-law helped Yoko by starting off with first grade English books and progressed year by year.

Yoko’s life has been that of hard work which has lead to success. Yoko has been a leader of the NIHONJINKAI group and a member/supporter of JASM over decades. She has put in significant work in creating, developing, and growing the Japanese Library. The Japanese Library contains over 40,000 Japanese books and 4,000 videos on a broad range of topics: children’s books, young adult, fiction, non-fiction, classics, business books, and Japanese comics. There is no charge in renting an item from the library and the library is also used for the NIHONJINKAI meeting every second Monday.

Yoko has a gift of networking which has been a huge benefit towards the library. NHK Television interviewed Yoko about the Japanese Library in 2005 which than lead to a viewer to donate many books for the next ten years. Yoko also receives a lot of business related books from executives at 3M and Medtronic after they return to Japan after an assignment in Minnesota.

Yoko has been a great inspiration for many as she first started off with only a few hundred books of her own. Yoko has worked hard and has succeeded as the Japanese Library has been flooded with books and patrons ever since. On any given recent year, thousands of Japanese have used and  benefited from the library. Yoko has put in a great amount of work for helping those from Japan living in the Twin Cities area to provide them with information and a venue to meet and make friends.



Stanislaw Skrowaczewski

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski Former Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra and Former Principal Conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony.
Stanisław Skrowaczewski  was born in 1923 in Lwów, Poland, and began piano and violin studies at the age of four. At age seven, Skrowaczewski composed his first symphonic work and at age 11 gave his firs public piano recital. Two years later, he played and conducted Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. Due to a hand injury during the war which terminated his keyboard career, Skrowaczewski started concentrating on composing and conducting. In 1946 he became conductor of the Wrocław Philharmonic, and he later served as Music Director of the Katowice Philharmonic (1949-54), Kraków Philharmonic (1954-6) and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (1956-9).

Skrowaczewski won the 1956 International Competition for Conductors in Rome, which he was than invited by George Szell to make his American debut, conducting the Cleveland Orchestra in 1958. This led Skrowaczewski with engagements with the New York Philharmonic amongst others and, in 1960, to his appointment as Music Director of the Minneapolis Symphony (now the Minnesota Orchestra), a position that he held for 19 years.

 In 2007 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra for three successful seasons, during which time many of his performances were recorded live for Columbia Records, and with whom he now holds the title of Honorary Conductor Laureate, conducting them every season. Skrowaczewski has a 40-year relationship with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra beginning in 1976. He also has a 20-year relationship guest conducting the NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai) Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has also recorded with. Due to this, Skrowaczewski has earned a legendary status among the vast Japanese classical music community.

Skrowaczewski is now at the age of 92, and is the oldest working major conductor. He has had a role in the international music scene, being both a renowned conductor and a highly -regarded composer. Skrowaczewski has had a very distinguished career and has conducted at all the top orchestras.






Japan America Society of Minnesota
43 Main Street SE / EH-131 / Minneapolis MN 55414


– Assistance with Kimono Dressing for the Mondale Gala 2016 –


Registration and Donation
If you wish to wear a Kimono and require assistance at the event, be sure to fill out the registration form by October 23, 2016. We will contact you for the appointment and the details before the event. Upon your reservations, we request a $20 or more donation for this service. If you make a donation by PayPal, fill out the form then proceed to pay through PayPal.


Please complete registration form Here.





Please read the following link and make sure to bring all items we need.
***Do not forget to bring 3 koshi himo (cords or strips of cotton) and 2 thin towels as well.***
If you are mailing a check to us for your reservation, the address is: 43 Main Street SE / EH-131 / Minneapolis MN 55414.