Bi-Weekly Newsletter
June 4 - 17, 2021
Fundraiser Fortnight coming up!

JSB's annual fundraiser begins June 21st! Our online auction will open on the 21st and run for two weeks. We'll also be hosting special events for the fundraiser, including our upcoming Pop Culture Takeover Speaker Series, Shiba Inu Program and a special Travel Japanese language program. Find more details about thess event below!
Our interview this week is with JET alum Bahia Simons-Lane who was placed in Gunma prefecture, a well-known onsen destination! Check below to read an excerpt of the interview, or read the complete version on our website!
The Japan Society of Boston is a community of bridge makers and curious minds who have found connections with others through their common interest in strengthening the ties between the US and Japan.

Join or Renew your Membership and support us continue this important work of bridge making!
Keep up with JSB on social media!
Featured Events
June 29, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT

Our Pop Culture Takeover Speaker Series continues! Susan Napier and Ian Condry return, joined by Harvard Professor Alexander Zahlten. Get ready for an evening discussing a Japanese film with three Japanese pop-culture experts! Title of the movie we will be discussing will be shared on our social media! Keep an eye out for more details on our social media.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Japan in the Summer of its Olympics

June 8, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT

Internationally renowned author, journalist, and TED talk favorite Pico Iyer in conversation with President Emeritus of JSB Peter Grilli.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Botany of a Buddhist Sculpture: Prince Shōtoku at Age Two and Hinoki Cypress

June 15, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT

This event offers a close encounter with one of the best-known residents of the Harvard Art Museums, Prince Shōtoku at Age Two (c. 1292).
Japan Society of Boston Featured Online Events
in collaboration with Table for Two and
Japan America Society of Minnesota
Saturday, June 5, 2021
5:00 PM EDT (4:00 PM CDT)

Learn how to make MISO RAMEN at home !

#EDAMAMECHAMP is an annual spring campaign to promote healthy eating through Japanese cuisine focusing on soy and to raise funds for teaching healthy eating to more children.

We are joining our friends, Debra Samuels at Table for Two and Japan America Society of Minnesota for #EdamameChamp. Come learn about healthy Japanese cuisine and enjoy some fun challenges using edamame!* Participants will also learn how to make miso ramen at home.

Table for Two's partner organizations will donate food education for 1 child per participant and/or photo posted. 1 participant or 1 photo posted = Food education for 1 child.

*This is a virtual event to challenge your chopsticks skills. To join the chopstick challenge, prepare two plates and a couple of edamame pods. If you don't have edamame, you can join with any kind of dried beans. You can also use two pencils if you don't have chopsticks.
Internationally renowned author, journalist, and TED talk favorite Pico Iyer in conversation with President Emeritus of JSB Peter Grilli
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
7:00 PM EDT

Born in England and traveled across the globe, Pico Iyer has spent much of his time since 1992 in a small town in Nara, Japan, and at a Benedictine hermitage in Big Sur, California.
In his new books, Autumn Light and 
A Beginner’s Guide to Japan: Observations and Provocations, Pico Iyer reflects on the changes as well as the changelessness and the paradoxes of his adopted home.

Join us as we catch Pico Iyer in conversation with his friend, Peter Grilli, as they reflect on their Japanese journeys and how it has influenced the way they think, write, speak and live their lives.  
In collaboration with Harvard Art Museum and Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
7:00 PM EDT

This event offers a close encounter with one of the best-known residents of the Harvard Art Museums, Prince Shōtoku at Age Two (c. 1292). In the 1930s, the sculpture was found to contain a group of relic-like objects, perfectly preserved thanks to the remarkable qualities of the hinoki cypress wood from which the sculpture is made.

Join conservator Angela Chang, horticulturist Stephen Schneider, and curator Rachel Saunders for three perspectives on Prince Shōtoku and the ongoing collaborative research into this extraordinary sculpture.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
6:00 PM EDT

Calling all dog lovers! Please join us to learn about one of the most popular (and cutest) Japanese dog breeds, the Shiba Inu. Shibas are one of the 9 monument breeds to Japan and are considered the nation's oldest and smallest dog breed.

Mary Beth Ross, Director of Education at National Shiba Club of America will shed light on the history of Shiba Inu in Japan and give an in depth view of their role today.
June 29, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT

Our Pop Culture Takeover Speaker Series continues! Susan Napier and Ian Condry return, joined by Harvard Professor Alexander Zahlten. Get ready for an evening discussing a Japanese film with three Japanese pop-culture experts! The movie title will be determined and shared on our social media. Keep an eye out for more details on our social media sites!
Japan Society of Boston Other Online Events
Saturday, June 12, 2021
5:00 to 6:00 PM EDT
$10 JSB Members / $15 Non-members
Hosted online via Zoom

Karaage (唐揚げ) is chicken that's marinated in soy sauce and fried. It is a popular dish that can be found in food stands at many festivals all over Japan, and there are even restaurants specializing in karaage.

Dashimaki tamago (だし巻き卵), or rolled omelette, is made by rolling a thin layer of egg into multiple layers. It is a variation of tamagoyaki, which is cooked the same way but uses different seasonings. Tamagoyaki became popular in the 1950s, after the government encouraged parents to give children more protein and farmers to keep more chickens. Eggs became very cheap and tamagoyaki became standard in bento boxes. Dashimaki tamago is made with dashi broth mixed into the egg batter and is popular in Japan's Kansai region.

JSB volunteer Masayo Kawaguchi is excited to show you how to make your own karaage and dashimaki tamago! You'll be able to enjoy two bento box classics on your next picnic. Be sure to bring your appetite for this next installment of our Easy Japanese Home Cooking series, and we look forward to seeing you there! 
Masayo Kawaguchi was born in Fukuoka and grew up in Osaka and Tokyo. When she was in Japan, she was a singer and an actor. She lived in New York for over 20 years, where she continued her studies in acting, and worked as an actor (a SAG-AFTRA member), a voice actor for anime, 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, June 18, 2021
6:00 to 8:00 PM EDT

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!
Monday, June 21, 2021
7:00 to 8:00 PM EDT
Monday, June 28, 2021
7:00 to 8:00 PM EDT

Note: A minimum of
4 registrants is required to hold the class.
Registration is limited to 8 students.

Are you ready to visit Japan? This is a class for beginners who would like to learn basic expressions to navigate you during your trip. You will learn greetings, how to check in at the hotel, use the bus, train, and taxi, order food at a restaurant, buy souvenirs, etc. The price includes two sessions.   
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
6:00 - 8:00 PM EDT

Do you love Japanese literature? Our goal at the JSB Members' Book Club is to strengthen the Boston community of Japan enthusiasts by coming together to discuss Japanese works. Join us for a conversation about the novel The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima.

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.
Notes from JSB

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 12: Gunma
Interview with Bahia Simons-Lane
(Numata, Gunma 2005-2007)

Q: What are some of the things your prefecture is known for?
Gunma has a quite a few random things it’s known for. When you view the prefecture from above it’s shaped like a crane in flight, has delicious cabbage and produces konnyaku. It’s also a well-known onsen destination, particularly Kusatsu, and is popular for skiing and hiking. I’ve climbed several mountains in Gunma, including Mt. Akagi and Tanigawa-dake. Another interesting thing I did was canyoning in Minakami, which involves putting on wetsuits and sliding down waterfalls.

Did you pick up any of the regional dialects? What are some of your favorite words or phrases?
My Japanese wasn’t very good when I got to Japan, but I did learn a little bit about Gunma-ben. In Gunma-ben, they tended to shorten words and add ~be on the end. For example, saying ikube instead of ikimashou!

Q: If you were to return to live in Japan, would you choose to live in that same prefecture?
I felt like Gunma was the perfect JET placement. It was rural, so I got to experience what it was like to live in the countryside. It also had incredible hiking, which is a hobby I took up while living in Japan. The other nice thing is that it wasn’t too far from Tokyo, so I could go visit some weekends.

JSB Staff Song of the Week

YUI is a Japanese singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actress. In her solo career, she sold more than 5 million physical copies in Japan.
Online activities from Other Japan Societies
Saturday, June 12, 2021
7:00 PM EDT

Join the Japan-America Society of Georgia, Imai Daruma Nayo, and I go Tokyo for a unique virtual workshop featuring the Introduction of Daruma, Uniqueness of Takasaki Daruma, a Tour of a real Daruma Studio in Japan, and a LIVE Daruma demonstration on how Daruma dolls are made.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
4:00 PM EDT

Join seasoned performer Emiko Moore as she shares the traditional art of Kamishibai -- Japanese storytelling with colorful story boards. 
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
7:30 - 9:00 PM EDT (6:30 - 8:00PM CDT)

This workshop is co-sponsored by JASC- Japanese American Service Committee, CTC – Career Transitions Center, The Japan America Society of Chicago, and JETAA Chicago.

This interactive workshop helps participants gain insight, perspective, and practice with useful techniques for more effective networking.
Non-JSB Online Activities
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
1:45 - 4:00 PM EDT

James Lowen is an experienced naturalist based in Norfolk, as well as an award-winning author and photographer specialising in natural history, conservation and travel. Of his 13 books, two have been named Travel Guidebook of the Year.
This interesting talk will make the compelling case for why Japan offers the very best of winter bird watching anywhere in the world.
The avian stars of this conservation-infused lecture include such glamorous and sought-after species as red-crowned crane, Blakiston's eagle owl, Steller's sea eagle and much more besides.
And the best bit? Travel around the beautiful and fascinating country of Japan proves surprisingly easy and inexpensive!
by Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
7:00 - 8:30 PM EDT

Periodical cicadas are known for their unique 17- and 13-year life cycles and mass emergence events. This mystery of why they would have evolved these two prime-numbered life cycles has attracted many biologists and mathematicians. Dr. Yoshimura will explore this phenomenon through a science-fiction story of the prime-numbered life cycles in periodical cicadas during the ice ages. In this talk, he will also introduce a new technique of catching cicadas that sing at the tops of trees, for any children with insect collections, as many Japanese children (Dr. Yoshimura very much included) do.
Friday, June 11, 2021
7:00 PM EDT

Trailblazing artists, activists, and everyday people from across the spectrum of gender and sexuality defy social norms and dare to live unconventional lives in this kaleidoscopic view of LGBTQ+ culture in contemporary Japan. From shiny pride parades to playfully perverse underground parties, Queer Japan pictures people living brazenly unconventional lives in the sunlight, the shadows, and everywhere in between. Culled from 100+ interviews conducted over 3 years in locations across Japan, Queer Japan features dozens of individuals sharing their experiences in their own words.

Join us for a Q&A with director Graham Kolbeins after the show.
by The Japan Foundation
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
8:00 AM EDT

Are there any tangible items in particular which can be said to stand out as the game changers in the history of Japanese design? To answer this question,we invite Professor KASHIWAGI Hiroshi, a prominent design historian, and critic, who will draw on his long-standing career in the field to give his view as to the objects which deserve such an esteemed title.
After introducing and providing a socio-historical background on his selection of objects, he will delve into where he believes the future of Japanese design is heading. Following KASHIWAGI's presentation, there will be a short discussion with Josephine Rout, Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Our students, Global Business majors studying at Showa Women's University in Tokyo, Japan, are embarking on semester-long business projects.

Each group has a cross-cultural learning objective, as well as a business twist.

An essential part of their project is discussions and feedback from people in the US.
Additional Resources
Japanese study resources