Bi-Weekly Newsletter
September 26 - October 6, 2020
JSB Staff Pick of the Week
With more time at home, we've asked our staff to pick some of their favorite Japanese movies and books. Here's the staff pick of the week:

Modernist poet Chika Sagawa lived from 1911 to 1936, passing away prematurely due to stomach cancer. This collection consists of both her poetry and prose, capturing feelings of grief, despair, and womanhood that Sagawa grappled with during the early Shōwa period.

Collections of her poems in Japanese have been posthumously published in 1936, 1983, and 2010. A collection of her poems was translated into English in 2015 by Sawako Nakayasu.
More Ways to Help
You can contribute to the Japan Society of Boston through your Amazon purchases! Every time you shop through Amazon Smile, a small percentage of your purchase is donated to the non-profit of your choice. Please consider choosing the Japan Society of Boston as your non-profit.
Japanese word of the week:
Japanese pumpkin

While pumpkins and gourds are often known as a staple of the Americas, Japan has its own tasty autumnal gourd known as the kabocha. The kabocha has a dark green exterior contrasted with bright orange flesh inside, and is often eaten simmered.

The word for kabocha consists of the kanji characters for south (南) and melon (瓜) due to Portuguese traders arriving in Japan from their ports to the south in Cambodia. In fact, the word's pronunciation is also a result of the location of these trade ports, with kabocha stemming from Camboja, the Portuguese word for Cambodia.
Facts About Hokkaido
Honoring the 30th Anniversary of the
Massachusetts - Hokkaido sister state relationship
Did you know...

Abashiri (網走市) is a city on the northeastern coast of Hokkaido and is part of the Abashiri Quasi-National Park. Near the city, one will find the Abashiri Prison Museum, a once active prison built in 1890. The prison gained notoriety due to a successful movie series franchise, Abashiri Prison (Abashiri Bangaichi, 網走番外地), which began in 1965. The series, directed by Teruo Ishii, became the first hit in the yakuza film genre.

Included in Abashiri Quasi-National Park is Lake Notoro (能取湖), which is said to hold the largest expanse of coral grass in Japan, a special kind of sea plant that turns red in the fall. In September, the lake is transformed into a shockingly red landscape.

This is the last of our Facts About Hokkaido series. We look forward to the upcoming "Hokkaido Day" on October 17th and to future celebrations as the Massachusetts - Hokkaido sister state relationship continues to flourish.
Keep up with JSB on social media!
Japan Society of Boston Online Events
Co-presented with the Japan Society of Northern California
US: Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00 PM EDT (4:00 PM PDT)
Japan: Thursday, October 1 at 8:00 AM JST
Free registration

The Japan Society of Boston and the Japan Society of Northern California are proud to jointly present a program to explore the opportunities and pitfalls of the post-Abe era.

Will a post-Abe Japan be more of the same or take on a new direction? How will the next Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, differ from PM Abe in content and style of leadership? Please join us to hear from three top experts on Japan’s domestic and foreign policy, as they talk about what the change in leadership means for Japan and its relationship with the US.
Tsugaru-Jamisen (Shamisen), Koto, and Okinawa Sanshin Workshop

by 津軽三味線 獅子道
Monday, October 5 at 7:30 PM EDT
Free registration

Please join us for a musical night to remember with Kouzan Oyama (小山貢山)! Master Kouzan is a Tsugaru-Jamisen (a type of shamisen, or three-stringed Japanese guitar) player, master teacher, and two-time winner of the Tsugaru-Jamisen World Championships. He is now a celebrated teacher in Shinjuku as well as New York. 

In this fascinating workshop, Master Kouzan will showcase the allure of traditional Japanese music by demonstrating the Tsugaru-Jamisen, the koto (Japanese horizontal harp) and Okinawa sanshin (three-stringed Japanese banjo). Learn about the differences between traditional Japanese instruments (wagakki) and Western instruments, and enjoy a performance of Japanese wagakki online!

Learn more about Master Kouzan on his website, or watch his videos on YouTube!
Saturday, October 24, 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM EDT
Hosted online via Zoom - free registration

Anime Boston and The Japan Society of Boston are excited to present Anime祭 (sai), our first collaborative virtual event. Spend the day enjoying Japanese-related activities online, including a Japanese cooking class, a lesson on Japanese slang, anime discussion panels, and more. We'll also be featuring a musical performance by the Japanese rock band, GIRLFRIEND.

Anime Boston will be taking photo submissions for a cosplay showcase video, so start thinking about your costumes while you wait!

Keep up with our social media to get the latest news on the day's events!

Follow Anime Boston

Admission to Anime祭 is free. To help us continue offering exciting events like these, please consider making a donation when you register. All funds will go to Anime Boston and The Japan Society of Boston.
Saturday, November 14 at 5:00 PM EDT

Sukiyaki (すき焼き) is a Japanese hot pot dish that consists of meat and vegetables slowly simmered in a mirin sauce. After cooking, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs and then eaten.

The term "sukiyaki" comes from "suki," or spade, and "yaki," meaning grilled. The dish became a part of Japanese cuisine at the end of the Edo period in the 1860s, during a time when beef was banned. Edo farmers would cook fish and tofu on their spades, though now the dish is most commonly made with thinly-sliced beef. It is considered a meal for special occasions, like year-end parties, because of its price and the premium quality of the beef used.

We invite you to make your own sukiyaki with the help of our intern, Emily Knick, who will be teaching her favorite sukiyaki recipe. Emily is currently a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majoring in Linguistics and Japanese.

Be sure to bring your appetites for this next installment of our Easy Japanese Home Cooking series! We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, October 2nd
6:00 to 8:00 PM EDT

Hosted online via Zoom Meetings
(you will be sent the meeting code after registering)

Our language gatherings have become so expansive that we now have participants all the way from Japan! We hope you will take part in our community as we strive to bridge Japanese and American cultures.

Please join us for two hours of conversation, where you will be grouped based on your proficiency level. Get ready to talk about your favorite desserts!

The JSB Language Room is currently free for all. To help us continue offering our language exchange, please consider making a donation or becoming a member today!
Other JSB News
Thanks to a generous grant from the Japan Foundation, we are now able to offer our theme-based Japanese classes at a new, lower price. Our one-time, one-hour sessions are now only $20.

There's still time to sign up for our final theme-based class of the month: "It doesn't make sense, Japanese Culture!" for intermediate/advanced students. Bring your own “cultural shock” experience to this fun-filled language learning lesson!
Daisuke is from Japan and is a senior student at UMass Dartmouth majoring in political science. He is an outdoor person and always craves Japanese food.

We are excited to have Daisuke on our team!

Read about Daisuke and our other staff members here!
As a university student and JSB intern who is homesick for Japanese food, I will be exploring what Boston can offer for my ramen cravings. Please bear in mind that this is not a ranked list or endorsement, but rather the opinions of an intern with a ramen addiction!
Entry 2: Santouka Ramen

Santouka Ramen serves Hokkaido’s Asahikawa Tonkotsu Ramen. I went with the Shio Tonkotsu ramen, but other options include Shoyu (醤油/soy sauce), Miso (味噌/fermented soybean paste), Karamiso (辛味噌/spicy fermented soybean paste), Gomamiso (ごま味噌/sesame fermented soybean paste), Neginanban (ネギ南蛮/spicy onions and jalapeno), and Vegetarian.

The broth is relatively thin and light but still savory. Though the division of cooked noodles from the soup in their takeout container creates some sticky noodles, it is overall a tasty ramen due to the great broth. Its proximity to the downtown area is also very nice, though there tends to be long lines to get in.

Read more from Daiki's Ramen Diary here!
Online activities from other Japan Societies across the US
Thursday, October 1, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT

Join the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. for a special Otsukimi Haiku Workshop with award-winning haiku poet and author Abigail Friedman. Learn more about the art of haiku and workshop your own with the help of a trained professional. Set your computer next to a window or take a device outside to find inspiration for your own haiku under the light of the full moon.
Wednesday, October 7 at 6:30 PM EDT

Love sushi and looking to enjoy more fresh, delicious vegetables? At this virtual workshop, Yuki Gomi, author of Sushi at Home, introduces sushi-making techniques using flavorful, seasonal veggies. Follow along at home to make your own tasty vegan sushi creations!
Thursday, October 8, 7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT
(6:00 - 7:00 PM CDT)

Ernest M. Higa, Chairman, President, and CEO of Higa Industries Co., Ltd., will talk about how he introduced various businesses from the U.S. to Japan, including Domino’s Pizza and Wendy’s. He has a bi-cultural background, being a third generation Nikkei American from Hawaii, and having lived in Japan for many years. Mr. Higa has a unique insight as both an insider and outsider on the Japanese market.
Non-JSB Online Activities
Monday, October 5, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

"Effective Advocacy: Lessons from East Asia’s Environmentalists"
John E. Andrus Professor of Government; Professor of Environmental Studies; Director, Office of Faculty and Career Development; Chair and Professor of East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University

"Community Organizing and the Reform of Japan’s Sex Crime Law in 2017"
Kanoko Kamata
Co-founder and former Executive Director, Community Organizing Japan; Ph.D. student in Sociology, University of Pittsburgh
Senior Advisor, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations; Edwin O. Reischauer Professor of Japanese Politics, Harvard University
Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 332.9 meters, it is the second-tallest structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations.
Japanese Art Museum in the Cloud
The virtual IJC Museum in the Cloud allows visitors like you to enjoy modern artworks by Japan’s representative artists.
You can view works from all directions with 360° freedom and get so close
that you can see the subtlest details and even feel the presence of the artists.
Japanese study resources