Welcome to the Leisure Times Archives

How Did the Leisure Times Begin?

We’re on a quest to learn more about our beginning. We talked with Lead Designer, Wakouko Sato this month to learn more. Wakouko has been working in FSS Marketing & Publicity for 30 years and has designed some of the very first Leisure Times. She helped us dig into our archives and find out more.

40 Years in the Making

The Leisure Times began printing more than 40 years ago and was originally newspaper-style. Later, the magazine was printed on A4 size paper. The inside pages were black and white, with a semi-glossed color cover. Sizing and preference of the magazine was based on materials and budget available, and FSS commander preferences. Printing through the years was sustained through wartime, thousands of policy and personnel changes and the evolution of our FSS facilities to how you know them today.

1997 Leisure Times

What were we doing in the Leisure Times this month in 1997? Talking about the 50th Anniversary of the Air Force. The Art Contest also had its 50th Anniversary, where Russel Samson took first place with his drawing of the Tohoku Enlisted Club. ITT was selling tickets to the Hirosaki Chrysanthemum Festival and the Club had Jazz and Dominoes in their Aomori Lounge on Sunday nights.

A Quest to Learn about Our beginnings

We talked with Ronald Stark, who worked as Assistant Manager at the Outdoor Recreation Center for 20 years. The Outdoor Recreation Center moved into Hangar 973 and officially opened on Oct. 18, 2004. At that time the hangar was empty, except for Outdoor Recreation in the corner. They opened with camping, kayaking and approaching Misawa snow in mind. Skis, boots and bindings were galore! From its humble beginnings to the action-packed adventure program that we know it to be today, Outdoor Recreation has called the Weasels’ Den home for 16 years! You can still find Mr. Stark for Unite Program needs. He’s the Community Cohesion Coordinator and can help you have a fun squadron event. Just visit him in the Community Commons!

we’ve dug it up 

The Leisure Times has a history just like the rest of Misawa Air Base, and we are on a quest to learn more about our beginnings. Brenda Akanuma has been living here in Misawa for most of her life and part of her history includes a stint in the Marketing & Publicity Office that designs these very pages! After initially coming to Misawa in 1979 as an active duty member of the United States Navy, she met her husband and planted roots here that have grown ever since. She left the Navy and went to work for Misawa Insatsu, a local printing shop that printed The Northern Light and later the Leisure Times. Eventually Mrs. Akanuma decided to seek employment on Misawa Air Base. She knew the marketing director at the time, Chuck Nolan, since he came often to their printing offi ces. She decided to jump in with that gang and become a graphic designer. From 2001 to 2004 she worked at the Marketing Office, moving up the ladder from graphic designer to assistant director. Afterward she had a brief tenure at the Misawa Club and then joined the team at the Misawa Inn where she has been ever since. At the Misawa Inn she has been front desk manager, manager and is now a quality assurance evaluator and trainer. During her time at Marketing, the Leisure Times was still being printed in black and white with a color gloss cover. Mrs. Akanuma started the very first advertisements in the Leisure Times, bringing all of her old contacts over from Misawa Insatsu. By the time she left, the entire magazine was printed in color, and large format printers had been purchased to allow posters and banners to be produced in house. Some of her favorite events and memories from that period include WXW (World Xtreme Wrestling) where the Marketing Department put special ads and decals all over one of their cars, Chaka Khan, Toto, Polynesian Night at the Misawa Club and an office TDY to Yokota for training. The Faultline had its grand opening, Viki Nova came to sing on base and broke a tooth, and Wild Weasels’ Bar and Grill was known as Magnums Steak and Seafood. The 35th Force Support Squadron also won the 2003 LeMay Award for best FSS in the Air Force. Mrs. Akanuma also worked with Wakouko Sato, who is still working at the Marketing Office, and Mrs. Akanuma was present for her wedding.


From 2001 to 2004 Brenda Akanuma working at the Marketing Office.

FSS Dining

A photo of Los Guerreros in 2002 before if became the Lakeview Grille.

The Team

The Marketing staff at Kawayo Green Farm in 2002.


The Fautline in 2005.

You can win! 

Nifty Facts

We have archives of Leisure Times dated back to 1997. Pick a year from 1997–now and we’ll search the archives to send you a fun fact.

Dig Deep

Send your year, questions or information you might know about the Leisure Times or FSS over the years to misawa.marketing@gmail.com.

Win a prize

You could be entered in with our new subscribers for a chance to win a prize!

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