Masaaki Muroi is the general manager of TOK America, a Japanese chemical company with American headquarters in Hillsboro that supports the semiconductor industry. He’s also the vice president of the Japanese Shokookai. The Shokookai, founded in 1966, funds the Japanese School for the children of expatriates who will eventually return to Japan to continue their education.
Reserve a picnic
Enjoy a group picnic or celebrate a special occasion. Reservations for picnic areas and shelters are available at Blue Lake and Oxbow regional parks, Howell Territorial Park, and Scouters Mountain and Graham Oaks nature parks. Details and information about special-use permits
The Shokookai is also involved in various community activities and provides members with social opportunities. One of those activities is an annual summer picnic, now going into its 10th year. For the past six years, the group has held its picnic at Blue Lake Regional Park.
Last summer dozens of families gathered at Blue Lake’s Celilo picnic shelter, where people enjoyed traditional Japanese foods, watermelon and more. In the grass nearby, children climbed into an inflatable bounce house and threw balls at a target linked to a dunk tank, sending volunteer parents crashing into the water. During Muroi’s turn in the dunk tank hot seat, he jokingly kicked water at the kids before the children exacted their revenge and sent him plunging into the water.
Q. Tell me more about the Japanese Shokookai and what it does.
A. The purpose of our welfare committee is to promote friendship among members. It is our goal to provide many activities for our members and their families during their stay in the U.S. These events are planned and conducted by members. We plan monthly activities. There are golf tournaments March through November, bowling, tennis and softball tournaments. We have also had trips to Mariners baseball games, picnics and the Christmas party.
Q. Why does your group return to Blue Lake for its annual picnic?
A. It’s a good event, so we decided to continue this event every year. We live in Portland, Beaverton, all over. Blue Lake is not far away, and it’s easy to reserve. There’s a picnic shelter, and we can have our dunk tank.
Q. Do you have any favorite memories of group picnics at Blue Lake?
A. Every year, we spend good time here. Every year, good memories. We are hoping to continue this event in the future. I would recommend this area.