Bi-Weekly Newsletter
August 6 - August 20, 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:

A detective is hired to search for a missing man, Mr. Nemuro, who had vanished 6 months prior. Exploring the city as if it were a maze, the detective must face his own crumbling identity and existential crisis as he traverses the urban terrain.

1957 novel written by Kōbō Abe. English translation available. Adapted into a film in 1968 directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara.
Keep up with JSB on social media!
Japanese word of the week:
yakyūjou baseball stadium

Baseball, or yakyū in Japanese, is made up of two kanji; the first means "field" (野), and the second kanji (球) means "ball." By adding the third kanji (場), meaning "place," the word becomes yakyūjou (野球場), or "baseball stadium."

Though baseball entered Japan in the 1870s, the sport's popularity as a fun pastime reached new heights following World War II. Baseball has been cemented in Japanese culture ever since, leading to the construction of various baseball stadiums across the country.

Want to know more about baseball in Japan? Learn about the cultural significance of the summer Koshien tournament in our event!
Facts about Hokkaido
Honoring the 30th Anniversary of the
Massachusetts - Hokkaido sister state relationship
Did you know...

Hokkaido is famous for it's lavender season, which lasts from early July to early August. The city of Furano, where most lavender cultivation takes place, host flower festivals every year in July.

The nearby town of Biei is another popular destination for viewing lavender fields, and home to the scenic Panorama and Patchwork Roads!
We are pleased to offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced Japanese online courses in the fall of 2020! 

Whether you are interested in learning Japanese for business purposes, study abroad, travel, or just for fun, we welcome you to take our online group classes!** The course will cover essential communication skills including speaking, vocabulary, grammar, and hiragana/ katakana.
In addition, we’re continuing to offer a series of one-time, theme-based, Japanese online classes in September. This is a great opportunity for people who would like to learn something about Japan while studying Japanese – or for those who aren’t ready to take a 12-week structured Japanese class, but would like to try learning some Japanese. See which themes we'll be exploring in September here!

**For questions and information about private lessons, please contact
Here's what our current language students are saying!

Prior to taking language classes at the JSB, I had been attempting to study on my own. However, when I started taking classes, the teacher laid out a clear foundation for the language and gave me a sense of direction. The teacher also actively catered to each student's individual level and needs, allowing us to practice our reading, speaking, and listening while in the classroom.

In addition to learning Japanese, they openly encouraged us to ask questions about Japanese culture and customs, ranging from archery to books to tea ceremony. Taking Japanese with a group made learning more engaging and fun, and I would highly recommend it to anybody looking to learn Japanese!
I was so delighted to find affordable, accessible language lessons in Boston through the JSB. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to learn Japanese, but I was also very intimidated. The class time was manageable and the teachers made learning fun and exciting! It's also great to be accountable for your studies with a group of like-minded learners. I look forward to my class every week, and hope to one day attain some fluency. ありがとうございます, JSB!
I also want to acknowledge all the hard work of the teachers and the JSB in pivoting to digital during COVID. Transitioning to digital-only was a seamless experience for me as a student because of all the hard work the JSB did, and I am really looking forward to continuing language classes while staying safe at home. 
-Christina F
Daiki's Ramen-Nikki
We're starting a new series on ramen (ラーメン) in Boston!

In each newsletter, we'll feature a review by JSB intern, Daiki, on a bowl of ramen from a different shop. We'll explore the regional variations from restaurant to restaurant and learn what unique features each location has to offer!

Be sure to check our next newsletter for the first part of this new series!
Daiki Tsumagari is a Japanese-American from Singapore, who aims to understand and explore his cultural background as an Asian-American new to Boston. In addition to being a JSB Intern, he majors in History at Boston University and works part time at a ramen shop!
One of the many challenges of the current pandemic has been to put travel plans on hold this year.

We at JSB are putting together a virtual trip to bring Japan to our readers, especially to those who had hoped to visit around this time but are unable.
Please join us in the production of this virtual trip by sending us your pictures or videos of your travels in Japan. We welcome content from journeys both recent and long past!
We will string together all of our collected memories into one and present them as a video in our August newsletter!
Please make sure you include the name of the place where the picture or video was taken as it will help us in the editing process.

When you submit content to JSB, you simultaneously grant JSB an irrevocable, worldwide, royalty free license to publish, display, modify, distribute and syndicate your content worldwide. You confirm and warrant that you have the required authority to grant the above license to JSB.  
Videos to Bridge Cultures
The story of Momotaro is perhaps the most popular of Japanese folklore. It follows the journey of a boy named Momotaro (meaning "Peach Boy"), who is adopted by an older, childless couple after they find him in a very large peach floating down the river.

Dearly beloved by the couple, he grows up to be a strong young man and sets off to defeat the demons terrorizing the land. Along the way, he encounters different animals who all want to join him on his mission. While hostile to each other at first, Momotaro manages to unify his companions into a powerful force and defeat the demons.

This theme of unifying opposing groups of people into an effective force for change resonates across many cultures.
Video from kodabar/YouTube
Get outside for some fresh air and a fun leg workout with professional golfer, Eika Ohtake!

You might get more than a bit of cardio as Eika shares her jumping exercise in Japanese and English. 

Why not learn some Japanese while getting a great workout?
Japan Society of Boston Online Events
Discussion panel between Mikio Yoshimura and Yoshinobu Sawai
Thursday, August 20 at 6:00 PM EDT
(Friday, August 21 at 7:00 AM JST)

Baseball, or yakyū (野球), has become Japan’s most popular sport, and the summer Kōshien (national high school baseball championship tournament) is an important summer tradition for many Japanese, just like the famous Gion Fesitval in Kyoto.

Speakers Mikio Yoshimura, JSB Board Member, and Yoshinobu Sawai, Representative Director of Sportsbacks, a Japanese athlete management agency, will discuss Kōshien's significance to Japan. Learn from Sawai, himself a runner-up in Kōshien in 1998 and Kansai Student League Best Nine at his university baseball club, why baseball is more than a simple sport for him but a way of life. 

We hope to pay tribute to the kōkōyakyū players who were unable to compete this year, and honor their dedication to their sport, their teams, and their development of spirit. This will be an enlightening topic for those interested in Japanese culture and sports fans alike.

Friday, August 7th
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. This week's theme will be culture!

Saturday, August 29th
5:00 - 6:30 PM EDT
Hosted online via Zoom
(you will be sent the ingredient list a few days before the event)

Oyakodon (親子丼), meaning "parent-child rice bowl," is a Japanese soul food that is often served at many fast-food lunch spots. It is made of chicken (the "parent"), eggs (the "child"), and onion, cooked in a dashi and soy-sauce broth served over rice.

Oyakodon originated in a shop specializing in chicken in Nihonbashi, Tokyo around 1890, and has since become a long-time favorite at restaurants and at home.

Be sure to bring your appetites for this next installment of our Easy Japanese Home Cooking series! We hope you can join us as we teach our recipe for this tasty comfort food!
Online activities from other Japan Societies across the US
Monday, August 10 at 7:00 PM EDT

Baseball plays a significant societal role in Japan and the United States, acting as both a respite from daily challenges and a source of unity in times of crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected everyday life across the globe, including within the sports industry. Hundreds of games have already been cancelled or postponed, altering seasons for players, the teams’ staff, stadium employees, and devoted fans. This is true for baseball in Japan, where the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) returned in June, and in North America, where MLB (Major League Baseball) has finally started in July.

As baseball comes back in Japan and the U.S., we are pleased to welcome experts to discuss the game’s contribution to national morale, what measures will be taken to ensure player safety, and when we might even see fans back in the stands. Joining for this interesting program are an American sports reporter writing for a Japanese newspaper, a record-setting former player who starred for one of the NPB’s most popular teams, and an iconic manager who won a Japan Series championship in addition to leading three MLB clubs.
Tuesday, August 11, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EDT
(1:00 AM - 2:00 PM CDT)

Natsuo and Natsuko are visiting their grandparents. Let’s take a look how they spend a day, and learn some Japanese summer traditions from them. You will explore Radio taiso (Japanese calisthenics), Ohaka mairi (visiting family grave), Japanese special summer foods, a Japanese summer festival and more!
We will also demonstrate a couple of special summer origami. If you have any origami papers at home, try with us.
Thursday, August 13 at 8:00 PM EDT
(5:00 PM PDT)

The Japan America Society of Southern California is proud to co-present with Suntory Holdings Limited, a 3-part mini master class series. Each webinar will feature a specific Suntory product and how it has supported Suntory’s mission to cultivate the cultures of Japan in the U.S.

Join us as we explore Suntory’s commitment to crafting their award-winning products. Hear from our experts Taki Nakatani and Jonathan Armstrong as they demonstrate the broad nature of some of Suntory’s most popular brands. 

Part 3- HAKU Vodka is made from 100% Japanese rice (General vodka are made from wheat or potato). We introduce the unique production process combining the traditional sake brewing method and latest distillation technologies.
Wednesday, August 19, 7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT
(6:00 - 7:00 PM CDT)

Tea has been an essential part of life in Japan for centuries. More recently, a symbol of health and wellness, for its antioxidants & immune boosting properties. It has been the centerpiece of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, called cha-no-you (茶の湯) or chadō (茶道), the artfully choreographed ritual of preparing and serving finely ground green tea powder called “matcha.”. Japan’s long-honored tradition of tea, meditation and mindfulness has played an integral role in the Japanese life expectancy, one of the longest in the world. Join us for a discussion in the time of COVID-19 and the practice of integrative health for a vibrant and long life of well-being.
Non-JSB Online Activities
by Actors Refuge Repertory Theatre
Thursday, August 6 - Sunday, August 9
7:30 - 9:00 PM EDT

The 4th annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Memorial in Boston 2020 will be held virtually on the event's YouTube Channel. This year makes the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and is the year that, more than ever, we believe in building a peaceful world together. The program features the visual art, theater, dance, and music as well as the Hibakusha Testimony -- peace messages from the mayors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. We hope you can join us!
Nagasaki Peace Monument
Sunday, August 9 at 2:00 PM EDT

Join us for highlights from local events nationwide, stories from survivors, and a look toward a future free from nuclear threats.
by Choral Chameleon & Eri Yamamoto Trio
Thursday, August 13 at 8:00 PM EDT
Saturday, August 15 at 7:30 PM JST

This is a one-time opportunity to watch the full concert film of the World Premiere of Eri Yamamoto’s ‘Goshu Ondo Suite’ by Eri Yamamoto, the accomplished Japanese jazz pianist whose trio has been in residence at Arthur’s Tavern for over 20 years.
Saturday, August 15, 5:00 - 6:00 PM EDT

The Japan Foundation will present a special lecture with Isaku Kageyama, Sumie Kaneko, and David Wells on some of the traditional Japanese musical instruments used for the Bon Odori, a summertime folk dance festival which is the highlight of a centuries-old Buddhist custom called Obon.

This lecture will be focusing on the history of Japanese music, and will also cover the histories of taiko, shamisen, koto, and fue. There will be demonstrations of traditional performances by the guest artists, and the various instruments will be played together at the end to showcase how they sound together to create Obon festival music.

Live commentary will be enabled on the YouTube stream, so guests can participate in the Q&A session during the session.
Sunday, August 23, 8:00 to 9:00 AM EDT
(9:00 to 10:00 PM JST)

Paike is hosting their third Kendama meet up event! The goal of this meetup is connect people from across the world who share a passion for Kendama. The event is open to English speakers and Japanese speakers of all levels!

Kendama is a traditional Japanese skill toy consisting of a handle, pair of cups, and a ball, which are all connected by a string.
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 study resources