Sonia Yoshioka Braid
Vice President and Aoteakai Tea Ceremony Representative
My twin passions are Japanese translation and chanoyu (the Way of Tea). I have had the good fortune to be able to sustain and develop these interests since moving to NZ seven years ago, having spent most of my adult life up to that point in Japan. Working from home as a freelance Japanese translator can be something of a solitary occupation, so I enjoy the opportunity to chat with three-dimensional people while sharing a bowl of matcha at our monthly Aoteakai tea ceremony group practices.
Ako and Priyan
Haere Mai Taiko Club Representative
I represent Haere Mai Taiko – NZJS’s Japanese drummers. Taiko drumming is a quintessentially Japanese art form; as well as being music and dance, it embodies many aspects of Japanese culture. We are lucky to be able to learn from some of Japan’s most respected taiko teachers and composers, and we are dedicated to bringing this exciting art to New Zealand. As a council member, I aim to help NZJS and Haere Mai Taiko work together in harmony.
I am originally from Vietnam. After being awarded a full scholarship from the Japanese government, I moved to Japan and studied and worked there for a total of nine years before relocating to Auckland. It is my absolute pleasure to be able to promote Japanese culture and connect Japan to New Zealand.