Bi-Weekly Newsletter
September 14 - September 27 , 2020
Now open for registration!

We will be hosting a joint event with the Japan Society of Northern California at the end of September! Keep scrolling to find out more!

Remember to save the date for our upcoming event with Anime Boston on October 24th!

Read more about all our events below!
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:

Kazuhisa Fukase is an ordinary businessman whose only hobby is to drink coffee. He meets Mihoko Ochi at his favorite cafe. After they start to date, Mihoko receives a mysterious letter with a message, "Kazuhisa Fukase is a murderer." Fukase is forced to investigate the incident which happened when he was in college.

A fiction by Kanae Minato; Kodansha, Tokyo 2015. Only available in Japanese. Made into a drama series in 2017.
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!
Japanese word of the week:
Japanese Chestnut

When fall comes every year, various food staples arrive alongside it and Japan is no exception. The Japanese chestnut 栗 is a popular autumn snack that grows from the flowers of chestnut trees and is harvested in the fall.

While it can be served with rice to create the savory kurigohan 栗ご飯 dish, Japanese chestnuts are also found in sweet desserts. Confectionaries such as Mont Blanc and kurikinton 栗きんとん combine chestnuts and sugary ingredients and are popular throughout Japan.
Facts about Hokkaido
Honoring the 30th Anniversary of the
Massachusetts - Hokkaido sister state relationship
Did you know...

Noboribetsu is home to Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring resort, Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉). Located in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, this city boasts the greatest volume of hot spa water in Japan, as well as nine different kinds of spring water to cure any ailment.

Just above the onsen is Jigokudani (地獄谷), or “Hell Valley,” the main source of Noboribetsu’s hot spring waters. The stunning valley is full of hot steam vents, sulfurous streams, and other volcanic activity. Following walking trails in the valley, one will encounter Oyunuma, a thermal lake with a temperature of 50 degrees Celcius. The desolate yet awe-inspiring landscape, with an abundance of sulfurous fumes and steam, gave Hell Valley its name.
Jigokudani (Hell Valley) in Shikotsu-Toya Park
Japan Society of Boston Online Events
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
Admission is free

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!
JSB and Anime Boston are partnering to bring you Anime祭 (sai)!
A Virtual Anime Convention
Saturday, October 24

Our exciting event with Anime Boston is coming up next month! We will be taking photo submissions for a cosplay showcase video, so start thinking about your costumes! We'll also be holding live panel for a parent's guide to anime, where we'll answer your questions on which shows are best for different ages. Find out what other events will be included in our next newsletter!
Upcoming Event with the Japan Society of Northern California!
Japan Enters the Post-Abe Era: More of the Same or New Directions?
Just days after becoming the longest sitting Prime Minster in Japan’s history, Shinzo Abe unexpectedly announced on August 28 his resignation citing serious health issues. The next Prime Minister will face unprecedented domestic and foreign challenges ranging from Japan’s demographic crisis, the rise of China’s military and economic power, a global pandemic which is driving a world recession, and doubts about America’s longstanding security commitment to Japan. What will be the policy priorities of the next Prime Minister to be chosen on September 14, and how will he differ from PM Abe in content and style of leadership?

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. Please join us online to hear three of the top experts on Japan’s domestic and foreign policy talk about what the change in leadership means for Japan and for its relationship with the US.

This event will take place in late September. Please check our social media for updates!
Thursday, September 24, 6:00 - 8:00 PM EDT

Our goal at the JSB Book Club is to strengthen the Boston community of Japan enthusiasts by coming together to discuss Japanese literature. We will be meeting to discuss Silence by Shusaku Endo.

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.

Friday, September 18th
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. Next week's theme will be sports!

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
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: Oisa Ramen

Oisa Ramen is a 博多 (Hakata) style Ramen store in downtown Boston, only a few blocks away from Faneuil Hall. I chose the Tonkotsu ramen because it is my favorite broth, and also for continuity’s sake. Oisa also has a vegan Shoyu option, as well as a truffle Shoyu option. The ramen came with チャーシュー (chashu/braised pork belly), 味玉(ajitama/seasoned soft boiled egg), 温泉卵(onsen-tamago/hot spring egg), green onions, 高菜 (takana/pickled mustard greens), and 紅生姜 (beni-shōga/pickled ginger); both takana and beni-shōga are a staple specific to ramen from Hakata. It is also served with a hefty amount of black garlic oil for you to add your desired amount (so as much as they gave me). In all, for the $14 price tag, I feel like I got a tasty bowl with a good portion size, and plenty of toppings.

Read more of Daiki's Ramen Diary here!
Meet Yuko-San: The figure of a forever youthful friendship!
In response to an invitation from the Japan Society of Boston to attend its 90th Anniversary, the then Crown Princess responded with the gift of a traditional Japanese doll to the society. The Empress has a close affinity with the city of Boston from the time she studied at Belmont High School and Harvard University from 1979 to 1985.

Notes on Yuko-san, the doll’s travel:
As part of the celebration of the Kyoto-Boston 60th Anniversary in 2019, when Crown Princess Masako became Empress Masako, the Kyoto Japanese Doll Makers Guild kindly offered to bring back Yuko-san, the doll to Japan for a touch up. 
The doll traveled to Kyoto with a member of the Boston delegation in October 2019. She was supposed to be brought back to Boston in time for the 2020 Gala. However, due to Covid-19, she could not return to Boston as planned. She will return to attend our April 2021 Gala.
Judging from her face, hairstyle and Kimono, Yuko represents a Japanese girl 6-10 years of age.
[By Kiyoko Morita, an Executive Board member, The Japan Society of Boston]
Online activities from other Japan Societies across the US
Tuesday, September 15, 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM EDT

As cyber threats increase in number, scope and sophistication across the globe, it is imperative for government and companies to be proactive in building cyber resilience. What significant measures are Japan and the United States taking to boost cybersecurity? What is needed to effectively deal with the increasingly sophisticated cyber threats? In this program, cybersecurity experts discuss the cybersecurity landscape in Japan and the United States, the policies and regulations, and the approaches to tackling cybersecurity challenges.
Thursday, September 17, 8:00 - 9:00 PM EDT
(7:00 PM - 8:00 PM CDT)

Join JASDFW for a program addressing the introduction of anime into the Western market, the importance of anime for Japanese cultural diplomacy and soft power, the integration of Japanese history and folklore into contemporary pop culture, ​the use of Japanese style and sensibilities in pop culture outside of Japan, and the state of the industry given recent disruptions caused by COVID-19.
Tuesday, September 22 at 6:30 PM EDT

Rather than imitating the human form, the artificial limbs designed by Shunji Yamanaka are sleek and streamlined, optimized for both peak functionality and aesthetic appeal. An award-winning product designer, Yamanaka has designed products ranging from Issey Miyake wristwatches to Japan’s SUICA/PASMO train-pass system. Yamanaka has brought this talent for design engineering to his next-generation prosthetic creations, garnering the attention of world-class athletes.

At this live webinar, Yamanaka, founder and president of Leading Edge Design and professor at the University of Tokyo, reveals the cutting-edge technology behind his innovative prosthetics, and discusses how good design can transform the potential of the human body.
Tuesday, September 22, 8:00 - 9:00 PM EDT
(7:00 - 8:00 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.
Co-presented by the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth and the Sun & Star Program on Japan and East Asia at SMU’s Tower Center for Policy Policy and International Studies.
Tuesday, September 22 7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT
(6:00 - 7:00 PM CDT)

Japan and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) are two of the most important allies of the United States, although 2020 has presented challenges that are domestic in origin but worldwide in scope. April parliamentary elections in Korea, a contentious U.S. presidential campaign, and an embattled Prime Minister Abe in Japan have created new dynamics in dialogue between these global economic powers.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the necessity of ongoing international communication, collaboration, and cooperation. Alliances will be further tested by Abe’s recent resignation and a new prime minister looking to establish his role in Japan’s government. 

Join us for an engaging discussion on the realities of present bilateral and trilateral relations, the effects of COVID-19, and what the immediate future may hold for these three countries.
Non-JSB Online Activities
From Sunday, September 13 at 7:00 AM
(8:00 PM JST)
until Wednesday, September 16 at 8:00 AM
(9:00 PM JST)

The famous castle town of Odawara city, Japan, will hold it's first ever online event at a Japanese Castle hosted by Odawara Tourism Co. Ltd. These events are meant to connect, educate, and inform those interested in Japanese culture and history.

The Noh program is titled as 'Aoi no Ue', which is based on the book "Aoi no Maki" in the "Tale of Genji". The performance will feature Kanze-style Shite-kata (the main role) played by Kanze Yoshimasa, a famous Noh actor who appears in many Noh performances worldwide. His stunning video performance filmed at Odawara Castle will be streamed simultaneously worldwide. 

Before and after the Noh program, Odawara's local Japanese drum performance "Hojo Daiko" and the ninja show "FUMA NINJA Legend of ODAWARA", which was well-received at the performances in Vietnam last year, will showcase to make the event even more exciting. An English guide will also be given to participants.
Monday, September 21, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; Former Chief Executive Officer, Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

Moderator: Christina Davis 
Director, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations; Professor of Government; and Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
Saturday, September 26 at 1:00 PM EDT
(10:00 AM PDT)

Oakland Fukuoka Sister City Association will hold a series of free virtual lectures as part of its Japanese Living Environment program.

In this lecture, Randall Lee will describe the growth, fostering and life-long care of a Japanese-style garden. He will also describe fostering freshly born gardens as well as remedial work on gardens in disrepair. Lee will highlight the role of plants, especially woody plants, in the Japanese living environment’s garden component. Lee’s specialties are aesthetic pruning of ornamental trees and shrubs.
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