Bi-Weekly Newsletter
March 25 - April 7, 2021
JSB meets JET Alumni
This week we interviewed an alum placed in Fukushima! Can you guess what "sasukene" means in Fukushima-ben? Keep scrolling to read an excerpt of the interview, or read the complete version on our website!
Are you studying or hoping to study Japanese? Check out our monthly language newsletter designed for language learners like you! You can sign up to receive the Nihongo Perapera Newsletter by emailing us your info!
Featured Events
We are thrilled to announce the launch of My Japan Journey, JSB’s very own podcast! Our exciting new series will explore, through interviews, the untold stories behind the cultural encounters that have transformed our guest’s lives. Keep scrolling below for details!

Join us to learn what US-Japan relations mean for Maine and hear how three Mainer's journeys led them to Japan, leaving deep, meaningful impact on their lives and careers.
Keep up with JSB on social media!
Japan Society of Boston Online Events
Thursday, March 25, 2021
6:00 PM EDT

We are thrilled to announce the launch of My Japan Journey, JSB’s very own podcast! Our exciting new series will explore, through interviews, the untold stories behind the cultural encounters that have transformed our guest’s lives. 

In our first episode, Executive Director Yuko Handa interviews Susan Napier, Tufts University Professor of Rhetoric and Japanese Studies and anime expert! We hope you hear Susan's story and feel inspired to embrace the unfamiliar.

Join us for this YouTube live event for a chance to enter our giveaway contest! Answer a questionnaire based on the episode, and participants with the most correct answers will be entered to win one of our four prizes!
co-sponsored by
the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
7:00 PM EDT

Join us to learn what US-Japan relations mean for Maine and hear how three Mainer's journeys led them to Japan, leaving deep, meaningful impact on their lives and careers.
with special guest Ed Demling
Friday, March 26, 2021
7:00 - 8:30 PM EDT

This is an opportunity to meet and network with fellow students who are studying Japanese in our virtual classrooms. Find out what motivates and inspires others to がんばる (ganbaru; give it your all) in their Japanese endeavors. Current, past and future students of our Language Program welcome!

Our guest speaker Edward Demling will share with us how his interest led him from being a student of Japanese to a translator and visa consultant in Japan for over 20 years!
Sunday, March 28, 2021
7:00 PM EDT (5:00 PM MDT)

The Shoyeido Incense Company began in Kyoto in 1705, becoming the world's premiere incense-making company and the preferred supplier of incense to most temples in Japan. Twelve generations later, Masataka Hata continues his family's legacy and travels to the U.S. every year to spread the art of incense appreciation. 

While we are unable to hold our traditional in-person event this year, we invite you to join us to hear Mr. Hata from Kyoto share the history and significance of incense in Japan. This year, we will end the event with a sachet-making workshop,* guided by Mr. Hata, in lieu of the traditional incense appreciation ceremony.

*The deadline to register with the sachet kit purchase was March 18, but you can still register to attend the event.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
5:00 - 6:00 PM EDT
$10 JSB Members / $15 Non-members
Hosted online via Zoom

Makizushi (巻き寿司), also known as rolled sushi, is sushi rolled in nori seaweed. For this cooking lesson, we'll be making our own sushi rolls! The most commonly accepted creator of the California roll is Ichiro Mashita, a Los Angeles sushi chef in the 1960s. He noticed that when he served Americans the standard makizushi, they would remove the seaweed on the outside thinking it was inedible. As a result, he inverted the sushi roll so that the rice was on the outside instead.

JSB volunteer Masayo Kawaguchi is excited to show you how to make your own California, cucumber, and canned tuna rolls! It is so easy that anyone can do it! With the arrival of spring and warm weather, you'll be able to pack your sushi rolls in a bento box and take them with you on a picnic.

Friday, April 2, 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 theme for this exchange is "two truths and a lie!"

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
Now hiring a graphic design intern!
Interested in working with JSB? We're looking for a creative intern to join our graphic design team!

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.
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.

Two parallel plot lines converge in Summer Wars: the real world, where 17-year old Kenji Koiso is in over his head at his crush's family reunion, and the virtual world of OZ, where Kenji inadvertently unleashes a rouge AI, a move with dire implications in real life.

Visually appealing, action-packed, emotional, humorous; Summer Wars showcases the power of family and Japan's mastery of combining traditional and modern themes.

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, Produced by Madhouse, Released 2009.

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 7: Fukushima
Interview with
Daniel Morales
(Nishiaizu, Fukushima 2005-2008)

Q: What are some of the things your prefecture is known for?
Fukushima has become synonymous with the Dai-ichi nuclear reactor, unfortunately, but there's so much more. It's divided by mountains into three different areas - Hama-dori (the area along the coast), Naka-dori (the middle), and Aizu (western part). I was in Aizu, which has beautiful Mt. Bandai with its great hiking and skiing. Lake Inawashiro is at the foot of the mountain and is the third largest lake in Japan. Aizu is also famous for Kitakata ramen, a delicious shoyu style ramen. There's also a rich samurai history in Aizu-Wakamatsu.
Q: Did you pick up any of the regional dialects? What are some of your favorite words or phrase?
I did not pick up too much, I don't think, but I do still remember "Sasukene!" which is the local way to say "Daijoubu - no problem!"
Q: If you were to return to live in Japan, would you choose to live in that same prefecture?
I think I would probably opt to live in Tokyo or somewhere more urban. If I was going to go back to the countryside, I'd definitely choose Kyushu. I was able to travel there a couple times while on JET and fell in love with the whole island. 
Online activities from other Japan Societies across the US
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
8:00 PM EDT

Hailing from two of Japan's major Buddhist sects (Shingon and Tendai), the critically-acclaimed group Shomyo no Kai—Voices of a Thousand Years will showcase their mastery of a millennium-old chanting ritual with a performance that transcends sectarian boundaries.

The performance will begin with a series of interviews with the head monk of the Shingon Buddhist sect Rev. Kojun Arai, stage director Hiromi Tamura, and composer Yu Kuwabara, and conclude with a live Q&A featuring Rev. Kojun Arai. 
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
8:00 - 9:00 PM EDT (7:00 - 8:00 PM CDT)

In Japan, April marks the start of a new fiscal and academic year and is a time when people start fresh with a new Techo or planner.
Despite the world becoming increasingly digital, Japan’s so-called “techo culture” celebrates the pleasure of organizing and documenting one's life in a planner.
The page-per-day approach encourages users to embrace creativity daily and to treasure even the mundane. This concept is inspired by the Japanese Buddhist proverb, “日日是好日” (nichinichi kore kōnichi), meaning that “Every day is a good day”.

Join JASH and the Hobonichi Techo team from Tokyo to learn how to use your Techo to its fullest potential.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
12:00 - 3:00 PM EDT

Celebrate the beauty and fun of cherry blossom season in Washington, DC with the Sakura Matsuri – Virtual Community Gathering.

Enjoy stage performances and the opportunity to interact live with many of your favorite Sakura Matsuri exhibitors, vendors and participants!
Non-JSB Online Activities
March 19 - 28, 2021

Live action and animation combine to tell the story of a Japanese farming family whose life is impacted by two unthinkable nuclear tragedies. Patriarch Saichi Ouchi was a victim of the Hiroshima bombing in 1945, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster contaminated the family's farmland in 2011, destroying their time-honored way of life. Aging oldest son, Hidekatsu, bound by duty and honor to his ancestral land, struggles to reclaim all he holds dear.

Friday, March 26, 2021
3:00 - 4:00 PM EDT

Join us on Zoom to discover haiku this spring, inspired by the Arnold Arboretum and the Harvard Art Museums exhibition Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection!

In this lively program, professor David Atherton and curator Rachel Saunders will explore poetry and painting during the Edo period. Poet Sheryl White will look at how haiku has evolved as a contemporary creative practice in North America and will offer tips for writing your own haiku. Finally, professor David George Haskell will discuss how to awaken your senses to connect with nature and find words to capture the beauty of the world around you.
Thursday, March 25, 2021
6:00 - 7:30 PM EDT
Speaker: Keita Miyano, Director, JETRO NY

Program will be in Japanese.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
4:30 - 6:00 EDT

In this seminar, Dr. Toshi Yoshihara discusses his recent report Dragon Against the Sun: Chinese Views of Japanese Seapower, which assesses how Chinese strategists perceive the shift in the Sino-Japanese naval balance.

Dr. Toshi Yoshihara is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. 
Saturday, April 10, 2021
7:00 PM EDT

The 9th RI Sakura Festival is open to people all over the world. We have been celebrating Peace and Friendship through Japanese culture since 2012 at Classical High School in Providence, Rhode Island. This year we are inviting everyone to join us for student performances and speeches. The keynote speaker is Dr. Matthew C. Perry, the third-generation descendant of Commodore Matthew C. Perry who opened Japan's isolationism in 1854. We will reexamine the importance of peace and friendship between the two countries,
Additional Resources
Japanese study resources