Bi-Weekly Newsletter
July 6 - July 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 young boy feels forgotten by his family after the birth of his younger sister, Mirai. After running away from home, he is transported through time to meet his relatives from different eras with an older version of his baby sister, giving him a new perspective on the world.

A 2018 animated fantasy film, written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda.
Keep up with JSB on social media!
Japanese of the week:
(かみひこうき) " kamihikouki "
paper airplane

Paper-based flying toys, such as kites, were initially thought to have originated in either Ancient China or Japan. The paper airplane of today dates back to the early 20th century and has spread worldwide, likely because of the universal fun found when watching one glide across the room.

Incorporating paper folding techniques similar to Japan's famous  origami  tradition, paper airplanes were honored with entry to the National Toy Hall of Fame thanks to the timeless entertainment they provide all ages.

Want to learn more about airplanes and flight? Please keep reading to learn more about our upcoming virtual event with Japan Airlines!
Facts about Hokkaido
Honoring the 30th Anniversary of the
Massachusetts - Hokkaido sister state relationship
Did you know…

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka, was the first Japanese person to master whisky-making in Scotland. He chose Yoichi, Hokkaido, as the location for his first distillery because its climate was similar to that of the Highlands in Scotland.

At first, the company used the name “Dai Nippon Kaju,” or “Great Japanese Juice Company,” to produce apple products while it prepared to produce whisky.

In 1940, the first whisky was launched under the name NIKKA WHISKY. Today, Nikka is Japan’s second largest distiller, and their Taketsuru Pure Malt 25 years old was awarded the World's Best Blended Malt at the 2019 World Whiskies Awards.
Photo from
Have fun learning Japanese through current events, with our no-textbook, discussion-based class! We still have space in this 8-week course and are offering a special discounted price. Sign up for all eight weeks or just four!

In these lessons, you will read newspaper articles and discuss them in class. The class is intended for advanced learners with at least intermediate proficiency in Japanese.
Current Events for Advanced Learners
  • 8-week class starting on Monday, July 13th from 7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT
  • 4-week option starting either on Monday, July 13th from 7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT or Monday, August 10th from 7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT
  • $200 per person for 8 weeks (1 hour class once a week)
  • $100 per person for 4 weeks (1 hour class once a week)
  • Maximum of four people

To register, please email us at !
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

Eika Ohtake, a Japanese professional golfer, shows you that something as simple as a water bottle can be useful for your upper body exercise. 

You might get more than a good workout as Eika shares her exercise in Japanese and English. 

Why not learn some Japanese while training your upper body muscles?

The partnership between Ota City and Salem, Massachusetts -- now almost 30 years old -- remains as strong as ever. Community members from Ota City have compiled a video to lift spirits in Salem, and encourage the people of Salem to stay strong and continue fighting the coronavirus.

Watch the video above to hear the many warm and hopeful messages the Ota community has sent to Salem!

We hope everyone is staying safe and well during these unprecedented times, and we will continue to do our best to provide resources. There is great strength in community, and together, we can overcome great challenges!
Japan Society of Boston Online Events
An event by Japan Airlines and the Japan Society of Boston

Wednesday, July 29
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM EDT
Hosted online via Zoom Meetings
(you will be sent the meeting code after registering)

Have you ever wondered what happens to a plane between flights? Or maybe why airplanes are always white?

JSB is partnering with Japan Airlines (JAL) to bring you a unique and educational event based out of Boston’s Logan Airport. Learn what happens to a JAL plane after it lands in Logan from a JAL engineer. Find out answers to your aviation questions and satisfy those curious minds! We welcome both children and adults to this interesting event!

Please send your questions to  before July 22nd, and JAL will answer them at the event. We welcome any questions regarding aircraft, flight, and JAL’s history.

Friday, July 10th
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 been growing 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 movies !

Saturday, August 1st
5:00 - 6:30 PM EDT
Hosted online via Zoom
(you will be sent the ingredient list a few days before the event)

Okonomiyaki ( お好み焼き) is a savory pancake and an iconic Japanese street food. It is made primarily of shredded cabbage, flour, eggs, and water, and is sometimes referred to as Japanese pizza!

Feel free to get creative with the toppings, as there are many variations of the recipe. " Okonomi " means "choice" or "preference" and " yaki " refers to cooking. The batter and toppings differ between regions, but the three main styles are Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Kansai (or Osaka). We'd love to hear your favorites!

Please join us as one of our newest interns, Emily Knick, teaches her favorite okonomiyaki 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!
What's up next?
We'd love to hear which recipe you'd like to learn next!
Send us your choice out of the following:
  • Tonkatsu
  • Japanese Curry Rice
  • Oyakodon

Please send your vote to!
Online activities from other Japan Societies across the US
Friday, July 10 at 7:30 PM EDT
( 1:30 PM HST )

Let’s learn origami from Hawaii’s Origami Swami, Ashley Nishihara, and make your own paper creations! NO prior experience required!

Origami is a simple craft that doesn’t require any special equipment. In this series, you will learn about the art of origami and make your own creations that you can utilize as gifts or to decorate your house. Learn origami while also listening to a collection of short stories.

This series is geared towards kids in grades 1-5, but is also fun for older kids and adults.
Tuesday, July 14 and Tuesday, July 21
7:30 - 9:30 PM EDT
( 4:30 - 6:30 PM PDT )

The Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards Symposium is the signature event of the Innovation Awards Program, organized by the Japan Society of Northern California in cooperation with the US – Asia Technology Management Center of Stanford University.

Each year, two companies (one each from Japan and the U.S.) receive the SunBridge Emerging Leader award for technological innovations deemed to be disrupting their markets.
Festival from Friday, July 17 until July 30
Tickets on sale: Friday, July 10

JAPAN CUTS, North America’s largest festival of contemporary Japanese cinema, returns for its unprecedented 14th edition as an entirely online experience. Featuring a diverse slate of 30 feature films and 12 shorts—including studio blockbusters, independent productions, documentaries, restored classics, animation and avant-garde works—

JAPAN CUTS 2020 offers unique access to the best new films from Japan with filmmaker video introductions, live virtual Q&As and panel discussions.
Saturday, July 18, 3:00 - 5:00 PM EDT
( 6:00 - 8:00 PM PDT )

Please join us for an evening of drinking, touring Japanese craft breweries, and gathering with friends — all online. Have your beverage of choice close by!

Virtual Japanese Beer Garden is free to attend, although you can donate to keep JASO strong. You must register in advance, in order to receive the Zoom attendance information.
Non JSB Online Activities
by Kaji Aso Studio Institute for the Arts
Tuesday, July 7 at 7:00 PM EDT

Tanabata is a beloved celebration in Japan which recognizes an Ancient Story of separation, longing, hopes, wishes and reunion. It is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th month (July 7th). Every year Kaji Aso Studio presents art, poetry and music inspired by this story and participants help celebrate by tying wishes to green branches (in Japan – bamboo). 
Please enjoy the virtual presentation of art, music and poetry inspired by this theme on July 7th at 7:00 pm EDT. There will also be decorations at Symphony Park in Boston where people can social distance and enjoy decorations and hang wishes.
by Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, New York
Saturday, July 18, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM EDT

Join our free online event with special guest speakers Stéphanie Crohin, Author and Sento Ambassador, and Hayasaka Shinya MD PhD, Bath & Hot Spring Medical Researcher, as they discuss Japan’s long history of bath culture, the art of public bath houses, the science behind Japanese bathing habits, and how everyone can try these practices in the comfort of their own home. Presentations will be followed by a live Q&A.
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