Bi-Weekly Newsletter
April 23 - May 6, 2021
This week, we start our journey into the Kanto area and interviewed an alum placed in Ibaraki! Can you guess what food the prefecture is known for? Keep scrolling to read an excerpt of the interview, or read the complete version on our website!
Keep up with JSB on social media!
Featured Events
Daniel James Brown — Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II

Join us to hear from author Daniel James Brown, author of Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II, in conversation with Roland Nozomu Kelts!
#EDAMAMECHAMP is an annual spring campaign to promote healthy eating through Japanese cuisine focusing on soy and to raise funds for teaching healthy eating to more children.
New Podcast
Have you listened to our podcast? Find the first three episodes of My Japan Journey on SpotifyGoogle PodcastsApple Podcasts, and Soundcloud

For transcripts and more information on each speaker, go to our podcast website.
Japan Society of Boston Online Events
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
6:00 - 7:00 PM EDT

Join us for this online American Stories, Inspiration Today author series event presented by American Ancestors NEHGS in partnership with Boston Public Library and GBH Forum Network. This program, which is also part of the BPL's Repairing America series, will feature Daniel James Brown, author of Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II and be moderated by Japanese-American writer, editor, and lecturer Roland Nozomu Kelts.

An unforgettable chronicle of war-time America, Facing the Mountain portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese-American families and their sons. Based on deep archival research and extensive family interviews, Brown also tells the story of these soldiers’ parents, immigrants who were forced to shutter the businesses, surrender their homes, and submit to imprisonment on U.S. soil. Here, as in The Boys in the Boat, he explores the questions of what “home” means, and who gets to be a “real American.” Don’t miss the author’s presentation and discussion with Roland Kelts about this powerful new work.
Friday, May 21, 2021
7:00 PM EDT

Visiting Japan is a long-held dream for many who have been drawn in by the charm of its rich culture. But what is it like to live in Japan? What motivates one to want to live there? What are some of the hurdles one face when living in Japan for a long period of time?

The Japan Society of Boston is pleased to invite long-term Japan residents Ed Demling and Mandy B. Blue to talk about their experiences not only living in Japan, but from the perspective of differing professions, locations, ages, and countries of origin.
in collaboration with Table for Two and
Japan America Society of Minnesota
Saturday, June 5, 2021
5:00 PM EDT (4:00 PM CDT)

#EDAMAMECHAMP is an annual spring campaign to promote healthy eating through Japanese cuisine focusing on soy and to raise funds for teaching healthy eating to more children.

We are joining our friends at Table for Two and Japan America Society of Minnesota for #EdamameChamp. Come learn about healthy Japanese cuisine and enjoy some fun challenges using edamame!* Participants will also learn how to make miso ramen at home.

Table for Two's partner organizations will donate food education for 1 child per participant and/or photo posted. 1 participant or 1 photo posted = Food education for 1 child.

*This is a virtual event to challenge your chopsticks skills. To join the chopstick challenge, prepare two plates and a couple of edamame pods. If you don't have edamame, you can join with any kind of dried beans. You can also use two pencils if you don't have chopsticks.

Friday, April 30, 2021
6:00 to 8:00 PM EDT

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

The theme for this exchange is proverbs (ことわざ)!

Please join us for two hours of conversation, where you will be grouped based on your proficiency level. We hope you will take part in our community as we strive to bridge Japanese and American cultures.

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!
Saturday, May 8, 2021
5:00 - 6:00 PM EDT
$10 JSB Members / $15 Non-members
Hosted online via Zoom

Agedashidofu (揚げ出し豆腐) is lightly deep-fried tofu, typically made out of firm tofu that is lightly dusted with cornstarch then deep-fried until golden brown and served in a hot broth. It is a very old and well-known dish in Japan, first seen in a Japanese cookbook in 1782. While this dish is Japanese, tofu itself is of Chinese origin (its creation is accredited to Prince Liu An in 164 BC) and spread to Japan during the Nara period, likely through the Buddhist movement.
JSB volunteer Debra Samuels is excited to show you how to make your own agedashidofu! She will show us the shallow fry method and the air fryer method. Be sure to bring your appetite for this next installment of our Easy Japanese Home Cooking series! We look forward to seeing you there! 
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
6:00 - 8:00 PM EDT

Do you love Japanese literature? Our goal at the JSB Members' Book Club is to strengthen the Boston community of Japan enthusiasts by coming together to discuss Japanese works. Join us for a conversation about the novel Autumn Light by
Pico Iyer.

Our book club is limited to members only, but don't worry, you can sign up here today! If you are already a member and interested in the group, please contact us to have your name added to the club mailing list.
Notes from JSB
Now hiring a digital intern!
Interested in working with JSB? We're looking for a creative intern who can design our graphics or create content for our social media sites.

If interested, please send us an email with your letter of intent, resume, and the contact information of two references.

Find more details on our website.

As part of our partnership with the United States-Japan Exchange & Teaching Alumni Association (USJETAA), we will be sharing excerpts of interviews with JET alums in our newsletter!
To read the full interviews, please visit our website.

Episode 9: Ibaraki
Interview with Janae Miller
(Hitachi, Ibaraki 2017-2018)

Q: What are some of the things your prefecture is known for?
Ibaraki is known for its natto and chestnuts. It is also famous for one of Japan’s three most celebrated gardens, Kairakuen in Mito, the capital of Ibaraki, and has an awesome plum tree forest. One of my favorite tourist destinations is Hitachi Seaside Park, which has rolling hills of blooming flowers that varies with the seasons.

Year-round, you can go to Fukuroda Falls in Daigo, ranked as the third most beautiful waterfall in Japan. It freezes in winter, which might be one of my favorite times to see it. Another little-known tourist destination is the Ushiku Daibutsu Buddha Statue in Ushiku City, which has the Guinness World Record of the world’s tallest standing bronze statue. It is so huge you can see it from the highway, plus you’re able to go to the top (in the “head”) and on clear days, can even see Tokyo!
Q: Did you pick up any of the regional dialects? What are some of your favorite words or phrase?
I, unfortunately, did not pick up any Ibaraki-ben! My Japanese was pretty limited at the time. My favorite word in Ibaraki-ben is calling Ibaraki, Ibaragi, which inspired the book “いばらぎじゃなくていばらき,” “Not Ibaragi, Ibaraki.”

Q: How has your connection in relation to Japan changed since living in Japan?
My connection to Japan is stronger than ever. I’m currently on the board of JETAADC as Secretary, which has helped me tremendously with the culture shock of coming back to the USA. Currently, I’m working at a trade association in the chlorine industry, where we talk to other associations in the industry around the world, including Japan, so my experience in Japan has become very useful there.

JSB Staff Song of the Week

 Danshingu Hīrō is the seventh single by Japanese singer Yōko Oginome, released on November 21, 1985 by Victor Entertainment. It is a Japanese-language cover of the 1985 song "Eat You Up" by British singer-songwriter Angie Gold.

Online activities from other Japan Societies across the US
Saturday, April 24, 2021
12:00 - 12:30 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
8:00 - 9:00 PM EDT

Join us for an author talk with Ambassador John Malott, former President & CEO of the Japan-America Society of Washington DC and author of Mrs. Taft Plants a Tree, How the Cherry Blossoms Came to Washington.

Ambassador Malott will tell the story of the people who were involved, and how they came together to bring the trees to Washington. Ambassador Malott will also tell the story of the location—Washington DC—and how the trees transformed our city at the beginning of the 20th century.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
12:00 PM EDT

Wendy Cutler is Vice President at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the managing director of the Washington, D.C. office. She joined ASPI following an illustrious career of nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she also served as Acting Deputy United States Trade Representative. During her USTR career, she worked on a range of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade negotiations and initiatives, including the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, US-China negotiations, and the WTO Financial Services negotiations. She has published a series of ASPI papers on the Asian trade landscape and serves as a regular media commentator on trade and investment developments in Asia and the world.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
6:00- 8:00 PM EDT

Join us for a presentation on the relationship of ikebana to the practice of tea as well as to daily life from the 1600s to today. We will look at how ikebana was part of an expansion of artisan products and landscape design in the last four centuries, and how that has carried through to today’s use of flower arrangements in Japan. 
Thursday, April 29, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT (6:00 - 7:00 PM CDT)

In honor of Showa Day “Showanohi” which is part of “Golden Week” in Japan where many festivals are held celebrating Spring, we will learn how to write a Neo-Traditional haiku worthy of an emperor. In this short hour, we will discuss what a haiku is, common misconceptions about haiku, opening your “Haiku Eye”, continuing your haiku exploration, and writing and submitting your haiku.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 PM EDT

Born in the snow country of Fukushima prefecture, Saitō Kiyoshi (1907–1997) emerged as one of the most internationally recognized Japanese print artists of his generation. While his oeuvre encompasses a wide variety of subject matter, Saitō’s largest body of work was Winter in Aizu — a series of stark, monochromatic winter landscapes and village scenes of his birthplace. Through a consideration of the Aizu series and other designs, this talk will discuss Saitō’s skillful negotiation of his medium, his shifting approach to design, and his sense of place and identity.
Non-JSB Online Activities
The Yoshinori Hagiwara exhibition, “Symphony in Persimmon, Black, and Yellow,” will be on view from April 24 through May 30, 2021, at Pucker Gallery.
Click to view the exhibition catalog
Saturday, May 22, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT

Please join Pucker Gallery Artist Yoshinori Hagiwara, Scholar and Professor Andrew Maske, and Gallery Director Bernie Pucker, with the aid of friend and translator Mugi Hanao, for a discussion of what was and what is the Mingei Tradition. The event will feature an up-close video on Hagiwara's artistic process and references to the foundational history of the "Unknown Craftsmen." Panelists will then engage in a conversation on Hagiwara's relationship to and the extension of an important ceramic tradition.

This event will also feature a haiku contest! Write your best haiku based off one of Hagiwara's new pieces featured in the e-catalog Symphony in Persimmon, Black, and Yellow. Submit your haiku and the details of the piece that inspired it to by Thursday, May 20 at 5:00 PM EDT to be entered for a chance to win a beautiful, single-flower vase in a kaki glaze by Yoshinori Hagiwara himself! 
Monday, April 26, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT

Dr. Wendy Ella Wright will talk about certain significant spaces in Japan, within the conceptual framework of heritage and re-creation. Her talk is situated in the conceptual framework of heritage and re-creation and will focus on certain significant spaces in Japan, such as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion.
by Yokosuka Council on
Asia-Pacific Studies
Monday, April 26, 2021
9:00 PM EDT

As part of YCAPS’ Getting to Know Japan Series, Michael Cucek (Temple University Japan) will deliver an overview of Japanese national history until 1868 and the start of the Meiji Restoration. His presentation will be followed by Q&A and discussion.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
5:30 PM EDT

Drawing from her book The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946, this virtual lecture with Delphine Hirasuna looks at the resourceful range of Japanese American creations and how it speaks to the triumph of the human spirit in the midst of despair. Explore the innate artistic talent of everyone from laborers, fishermen, and shopkeepers, as well as renowned artists such as Isamu Noguchi, Neil Fujita, Ruth Asawa, and George Nakashima—all imprisoned in the camps.  
by University of California
San Diego
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
7:30 PM EDT (4:30 PM PDT)

How do we interpret Hello Kitty's fandom from Tokyo to Honolulu to Los Angeles to Sao Paolo in the wake of pink globalization? This Japan Zoominar looks at "pink globalization" – the spread of goods and images labeled cute (kawaii) from Japan to other parts of the industrial world. “Pink globalization” connects Japan’s overseas market expansion, distribution and marketing of Japanese products, and the rise of Japan's national cool. What have been the larger impacts over time of such rambling cuteness?
Thursday, April 29, 2021
2:00 - 3:30 PM EDT

Come join us for a discussion with two anime experts, Susan Napier and Helen McCarthy. Susan will introduce us to the story of Miyazaki's life and works based on her latest book, Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art, taking a closer look at how children characters guide us to deal with an increasingly uncertain future. Following the presentation we will have a live discussion between Helen and Susan about their perspectives on Miyazaki's various characters.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT

We will discuss the huge growth of rugby in Asia with panelists who illustrate the influence of Scotland and the Scots on the game in the region. Rugby in Asia has been through great development in the past 20 years. Japan is the powerhouse of rugby in Asia, illustrated by the fact that there are 125,000 rugby players and over 3,000 rugby clubs in Japan. Women's rugby in Asia also continues to grow, with developing teams such as China qualifying for the Olympics in Japan in 2021.
by University of California
San Diego
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
7:30 PM EDT (4:30 PM PDT)

Japan’s kissaten have long been unscripted places for an escape from the programs and demands of social roles. Over time they have reflected and served different social, political, and personal needs. Today’s very diverse coffee spaces, including the spread of American coffee chains, the high-level techno-geek coffee of connoisseurs, the personal café spaces created by young couples, and the persistence of kissaten, jazz, and classical music cafes demonstrate the constant and changing interest in these places where, above all, an outstanding cup of coffee can be found.
Additional Resources
Japanese study resources