Bi-Weekly Newsletter
December 18, 2020 - January 1, 2021
Now open for registration!

Coming in January: A Special New Year video with the Boston Children's Museum!

Be sure to check out our new column of interviews with JET alums below!

Read more about all our events below!
The results are in!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the poll in our last newsletter! The top voted JSB program was virtual performances!

We'll be bringing you many more exciting performances in the New Year, so stay tuned for the 2021 lineup!
A special thank you from the Japan Society of Boston!

Holidays are often a time for reflection, and we at JSB would like to thank our members, participants, and readers, for all of your support this year.

Without the donations from our audience and commitments from our members, our programs would not be possible. Your contributions have helped us continue our work of bridging Japanese and American cultures.
If you have yet to donate or would like to contribute further, we would greatly appreciate your support. Please use the link below to make a financial gift this holiday.
For the Holidays
Looking for a creative holiday gift? You can gift a one-year JSB membership this holiday season!
Special December Offer: If you become a member this month, we'll send you a free copy of a book by Pico Iyer!
With our new 4-week workshop format, perfect your Japanese writing skills while exploring various topics, from hiragana to self-introductions! This four week session includes a Zoom meeting introducing the writing prompt, two rounds of proofreading your draft, and a final Zoom meeting as a conclusion to reflect on your composition. Students at the Beginner and Intermediate levels are welcome to register today! 
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.
Keep up with JSB on social media!
Japan Society of Boston Online Events
Friday, January 15, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EST

Join us for a New Year Celebration party! Although we would love to get together in person, we will have to wait a little longer for that but that doesn't mean we can't have fun! Come meet fellow JSB members and our staff and interns. We'll meet over zoom in small groups and share our love of US/Japan connections!

Not a member yet? No worries! Sign up for JSB membership today and receive a book by Pico Iyer!
Starting Wednesday, January 20, 2021 for 5 days (Virtual Screening)
Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 7:00 PM EST (Discussion)

Back by popular demand! If you missed the Boston premiere screening one year ago, we are partnering with Vilna Shul to host the film again! 

Join film director Cellin Gluck, Sugihara Diplomats for Life Foundation Chairman Linas Venclauskas, and a Facing History & Ourselves expert for a discussion on the unknown story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat (sometimes called the Schindler of Japan). What influenced his decision to issue over 2,000 visas to Jewish refugees in Kaunas, Lithuania resulting in saving the lives of over 6,000 people?

The film will be available starting Wednesday, January 20 for only 5 days. The film follows Sugihara's life from his early days in Manchuria to his eventual posting in Lithuania and his appointment with destiny which would forever brand him a hero. Watch it at your convenience, and then join us Saturday evening for the panel discussion. 

Please check out the film on the official film website (Japanese only) and the Nippon TV website for the film (English only).
Virtual New Year Celebration Videos with the Boston Children's Museum!
Coming in January 2021

In lieu of an in-person New Year's celebration held at the Boston Children's Museum every year, we are bringing you three Facebook videos with the Boston Children's Museum to kick off the New Year!

The first video will cover お節 (osechi), or New Year foods. More information will be provided in upcoming newsletters!
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
6:00 - 8:00 PM EST

Do you love Japanese literature? Our goal at the JSB Book Club is to strengthen the Boston community of Japan enthusiasts by coming together to discuss Japanese works. Join us for a conversation about Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata.

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.
Saturday, January 30, 2021
5:00 - 6:00 PM EST
$10 JSB Members / $15 Non-members
Hosted online via Zoom

Yosenabe (寄せ鍋) is a combination Japanese hot pot made with just about any kind of meat, seafood, or vegetables. This tasty dish is very easy to make, and a great way to stay warm this winter! Yose (寄せ) comes from yoseru, meaning "to gather" or "bring together," and nabe (鍋) is the word for pot.

JSB volunteer Masayo Kawaguchi is excited to teach you her favorite yosenabe recipe! Be sure to bring your appetite for this next installment of our Easy Japanese Home Cooking series! We look forward to seeing you there!

Masayo Kawaguchi was born in Fukuoka and grew up in Osaka and Tokyo. In Japan, she was a singer and an actor. She lived in New York for over 20 years, where she worked as an actor (a SAG-AFTRA member), a voice actor for anime, and then later, focused on reporting as a TV journalist. She moved to Boston a few years ago, and has been an enthusiastic volunteer at the Japan Society of Boston.

Friday, January 8, 2021
6:00 to 8:00 PM EST

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

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!
Notes from JSB
Japanese word of the week:
師走 (しわす)

When writing in Japanese, you may use 12月 (juunigatsu) to refer to a date in December. However, this is not the only way to translate this month’s name! 

The word shiwasu is an older Japanese term symbolizing the month of December, and it is still used today when discussing this time of year. The first character, 師, means a teacher or mentor, and the second character, 走, means run. Thus, shiwasu is a time of year when even the teachers are running due to how busy it is!

Some shiwasu activities include end of year cleaning, reflecting back on the past year, and letting go of the bad memories of the year to welcome the coming new year. 

End of year parties are also popular, known as 忘年会 (bounenkai). 忘 is the kanji character meaning forget, 年 means year, and 会 means meeting. By attending a bounenkai, you have the perfect opportunity to forget about the troubles of the year.

Want to learn more Japanese as a New Year’s resolution? We are happy to be offering virtual Japanese classes and workshops with our Japanese Language School this winter!
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 7: Amateras Ramen

Amateras Ramen is a Japanese ramen restaurant in Downtown Boston (112 South St). Their menu has many options, ranging from pork and chicken tonkotsu and paitan broths to vegetarian miso ramens. I purchased the Yuzu Shio Ramen, a light shio ramen with pork and chicken combination broth, delightfully topped off with Japanese Yuzu (柚子) citrus juice.

This was a personal favorite of mine so far; yuzu is one of my favorite flavors, and the citrus really complemented the lighter shio ramen broth. The toppings were all choices I think went well with a more delicate broth, as none were overpowering, especially the choice of white meat chicken for the “chashu”. Amateras’ proximity to South Station was also great, since I now have a new go-to anytime I’m taking a train in or out of Boston!

Read more from Daiki's Ramen Nikki here!

As part of our partnership with the United States-Japan Exchange & Teaching Alumni Association, we will be sharing excerpts of interviews with JET alums on our newsletter!

In recognition of the Massachusetts-Hokkaido sister-state relationship, our first interview is with a former JET who was placed in Hokkaido!! We will work our way down Japan and share interviews with participants from all 47 prefectures! To read the full interviews, please visit our website.
Episode 1: Hokkaido
Interview with
Phylicia Bishop
(Sapporo, Hokkaido, 2010-2014)

Q: What are some of the things your prefecture is known for?
Hokkaido is known as a home to Ainu people, an indigenous group of Japan. There are many famous foods due to being a huge producer of agricultural and dairy products — ramen, milk, ice cream, cheese, confections... the list goes on. Hokkaido's powder snow and abundance of natural beauty has made the island an increasingly international tourist destination.

Q: How has your connection in relation to Japan changed since living in Japan?
After JET, I stayed in Sapporo for 4 more years, so Japan has become a big part of my life. I've maintained that deep connection through my involvement in the local Japan community, including working with the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association and Portland JET Alumni Association.

Q: Did you pick up any of the regional dialects?
I did not learn Hokkaido-ben, as it's supposedly more spoken in the coastal areas. Still, even in Sapporo, there are a few words everyone uses...Corn is famous, and is often referred to as とうきび (toukibi). One of my favorites is なまら (namara, "very"). 

This interview is part of a partnership between the Japan Society Boston (JSB) and the United States Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme Alumni Association (USJETAA) in which JET alums contribute short interviews about their experiences in Japan in each prefecture.
JSB Staff Pick of the Week
With more time at home, we've asked our staff to pick some of their favorite movies and books.
A coming of age tale about Kanto, a sensitive teen and a descendant of Japan's indigenous Ainu people, who must navigate his indigenous identity in a changing world while struggling with the recent loss of his father.

Directed by Takeshi Fukunaga. Released in Japan October, 2020.
Online activities from other Japan Societies across the US
Thursday, January 14, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EST
(6:00 - 7:00 PM CST)

Mr. Keijiro ‘Kent’ Hora, CEO & President, Mitsubishi Electric US, and Chief Representative of the America’s Region will share his personal and professional perspective on raising a family overseas and the challenges and opportunities that come from blending differing work styles of the Japanese and American workforce.
Saturday, January 23, 2021
3:00 - 4:30 PM EST
(12:00 - 1:30 PM PST)
During WWII, Japanese American Soldiers fought against Axis powers abroad and racial prejudice at home. Today, Japan and the US have progressed beyond reconciliation to become the closest of allies.

Join us to honor the service and sacrifices of Nisei Veterans. Welcome guests from the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces and the US 7th Infantry Division as we celebrate the close relationship that the USA now shares with Japan.

Special performance by Japanese Ground Self Defense Force 1st Infantry Regiment Bugle Team. They are standing in for past attendance of Japanese Ground Self Defense Force Troops in partnership with the 7th Infantry Division of the US Army. 
Non-JSB Online Activities
Available now until January 4, 2021

Castle design evolved in 17th century Japan with stone walls as a key feature. Sakamoto in Shiga Prefecture became famous for its mason's expert techniques for dry-stacking. The masons traveled across Japan to complete their commissions. But when feudalism ended 150 years ago, many castles were destroyed. While most of the masons lost their jobs, one family in Sakamoto survived by refurbishing old ruins. The 15th-generation master Suminori Awata was worried about the future until one day, he received an unexpected request to build a castle-style wall in Texas. Awata's journey begins.
Monday, January 11, 2021
6:00 - 7:00 PM EST

Join the U.S.-Japan Council and The Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE) on January 11 for an exclusive interview with General Paul M. Nakasone, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service. General Nakasone is currently the highest-ranking officer of Japanese and Asian American heritage in the United States Army.
Additional Resources
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