Bi-Weekly Newsletter
June 18 - July 2, 2021
Our Spring Fundraiser
Our online fundraiser starts on Monday. Support us continue our work of building a community of cultural bridge builders!

Our interview this week is with JET alum Sophia Chow who was placed in Kanagawa prefecture, a prefecture famous for it's Chinatown, closeness to Tokyo and the Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha Statue) among other historic sites! Check below to read an excerpt of the interview, or read the complete version on our website!
Keep up with JSB on social media!
Featured Events
All About Japan's Iconic Native Breed

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 (柴犬)! 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.
Japan's Pop Culture Takeover!
Part 2: Japanese Film "Shoplifters"

Tuesday, 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 the movie,"Shoplifters" with three Japanese pop-culture experts!
The Japan Society of Boston is a community of bridge builders 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 building!
Annual Spring Fundraiser
Monday, June 21 - Friday July 2, 2021

Your attendance at our events and insightful conversations keep inspiring us bring new programs that are true to our mission of deepening the mutual understanding between the U.S. and Japan.

To continue our work, we are looking for your generous support this month as we launch our online fundraiser next week. Our goal of $5000 by July 2nd will help realize some of the very exciting programs we have planned for the fall. You can browse and bid in the online auction, give a little extra when you attend the Shiba Inu event or the Movie event this month, or take a moment to donate directly! 

Whether you are our Greater Boston neighbors or have joined us from afar since our move online, we are deeply grateful to have such a vibrant audience. We promise to continue bringing meaningful and exciting programs bridging the US and Japan!
Japan Society of Boston Online Events
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(柴犬)! Shibas are one of the oldest dog breeds native to Japan, and are also the smallest of the 9 recognized "monument" breeds! Learn all that and more from Mary Beth Ross, Director of Education at the 
National Shiba Club of America, who will shed light on the history of Shiba-Inu in Japan and give an in depth view of the role they play today.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
5:00 PM EDT

Our Pop Culture Takeover Speaker Series continues! Susan Napier and Ian Condry return, joined by Harvard Professor Alexander Zahlten. The topic of the evening will be the Japanese film, "Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku)" by director Hirokazu Kore-eda. Get ready for an evening of discussion between three Japanese pop-culture experts, Alexander Zhalten from Harvard University, Susan Napier from Tufts University and Ian Condry from MIT!

"Shoplifters" can be streamed online through services like Hulu and Prime Video. We encourage all participants to watch the film in preparation for the event!

Friday, July 9, 2021
6:00 to 8:00 PM EDT
日本時間 7月10日 土曜日

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

The theme for this exchange is Haiku

Practice your Japanese (or your English) at our next online language exchange! Join us for two hours of conversation where you will be grouped based on your proficiency level. We will begin with a half an hour of speaking in Japanese, followed by a half an hour of speaking in English. We will conclude the meeting with free casual conversation in Japanese and/or English until we hit 8 PM.

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!

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 13: Kanagawa
Interview with Sophia Chow
(Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 2015-20017)

Q: What are some of the things your prefecture is known for?
Kanagawa has a lot of great sightseeing spots -- you name it, we've got it. If you're looking for somewhere urban with good shopping, entertainment, and international cuisine, there's Yokohama and Minato Mirai. Missing the ocean? You can visit the Shonan beaches and Enoshima. Kamakura is known for historical temples, retro cafes, and an off-the-beaten-path bamboo forest. To the west, there is also the popular hot spring resort town of Hakone which has great views of Mt. Fuji on clear days. 

Q: Did you pick up any of the regional dialects? What are some of your favorite words or phrases?
Since Kanagawa is in the Kanto region and is right next to Tokyo, almost everyone speaks standard Japanese. Instead, I enjoyed learning trendy slang from my high school students, such as sore na!, which is like the English "This!" when you agree with something someone said. I also learned about cheeky word inversions said for fun, e.g. pai-sen (senpai) or shi-su (sushi). Ukeru! is an interjection meaning something is funny/hilarious and bimyou can be said when something is kinda meh/iffy/questionable.

Q: If you were to return to live in Japan, would you choose to live in that same prefecture?
Absolutely, I loved living there. Since it's right next to Tokyo and easy to commute there for work, most of the prefecture is comprised of suburban communities and is popular with young professionals and families. I'd also like to try living in more rural prefectures in Tohoku or around the Seto Inland Sea, which I felt were really beautiful and underrated parts of the country.

Online activities from Other Japan Societies
Hosted by
the Japan America Society of Chicago
Thursday, June 24, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT (6:00 - 7:00 PM CDT)

Japanese companies have been using and producing industrial robots for decades now and currently produce over 50% of the world’s industrial robots, a large percentage of which are sold in the United States. A Japanese robot was even used in the original Jurassic Park movie 28 years ago to turn over the Raptor eggs in the laboratory at the park! Why have the Japanese staked out such an impressive position in robot development and supply and what does the future hold, particularly as the pace of innovation and change increases? 

This virtual event brings together some of the industry’s experts here in the US (a manufacturer, a system integrator, and an end-user of robotics) to answer these questions in a panel-style format with an audience Q & A at the end.
Hosted by
Japan America Society of Minnesota
Minneapolis Ibaraki Sister City Association (MISCA)
Thursday, July 8, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EDT (6:00 - 7:00 PM CDT)

A form of storytelling originating from Japan, kamishibai (kah-mee-she-bye) stories are told through illustrated cards. The text of the story is located on the back of the cards where it is recited by the storyteller.
Three stories in English will be offered: Momotaro, the Peach Boy, The Mother Cat, and The Bamboo Princess.

This event is free for both members and non-members.
Non-JSB Online Activities
by Pucker Gallery
June 5 - July 11, 2021

Pucker Gallery's latest exhibition exploring the legacy of the Hamada Family across three generations of artistry and craftsmanship. Now available in both virtual and in-person! Take the virtual tour here!

The exhibit features works across the careers of three generations of Hamadas–– Shoji (b. 1894), Shinsaku (b. 1929), and Tomoo (1967).
by Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan
Friday, June 25 - Monday, June 28, 2021
Screening Available at 7:00PM EDT

Ordinary and meek, Shoji “Shottan” Segawa was born with seemingly no discernible talents. It isn’t until he discovers the game of shogi (japanese chess) that he stands out from the crowd.

Learning the joy of winning via rivals and coaches, Shoji’s skill increases to the point that he decides to join the shorei-kai, an organization that oversees the professional shogi world and trains members to become pro players. However, the league stipulates a player who does not rise to the 4th professional rank by the age of 26 must withdraw from the league. As Shoji grows older, so do the number of his losses. Will he be able to go pro?
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.
Additional Resources
Japanese study resources