Bi-Weekly Newsletter
February 12 - 26, 2021
JSB meets JET Alumni
This week we have a second alum who was placed in Iwate! Do you know what an ika senbei or a wanko soba is? Keep scrolling to read an excerpt of the interview, or read the complete version on our website!
Featured Event
We are very excited to join the Peabody Essex Museum in presenting Cross-Cultural Chic: Unraveling the Life and Legacy of Hanae Mori. Join fashion historian Ayaka Sano for a presentation on this renowned Japanese couturier!
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!
Keep up with JSB on social media!
Japan Society of Boston Online Events
Japan's Pop Culture Takeover! Speaker Series
Susan Napier in conversation with Ian Condry on her latest work, Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art
Thursday, March 4, 2021
6:00 - 7:00 PM EST

We are launching a new speaker series called Japan's Pop Culture Takeover!

Join us next month to hear anime expert Susan Napier discuss her latest work, Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art, with MIT cultural anthropologist and author, Ian Condry!

Eight years in the making, Susan's Miyazakiworld sheds light on the indelible link between artist and environment, creator and creation. Susan describes Miyazaki as an "unprecedented animator," and in her words, Miyazakiworld is "an examination of why and how Hayao Miyazaki came to be that animator: of the world he has created and of the worlds that created him."

Hear Susan Napier divulge the story of filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki's life and work, including his profound impact on Japan and the world, as she dives into conversation with Ian Condry. 
Thursday, February 25, 2021
6:00 PM EST

Join fashion historian Ayaka Sano for a presentation on the Japanese couturier Hanae Mori presented by the Peabody Essex Museum and the Japan Society of Boston.

Hanae Mori, whose work is currently on view in the exhibition Made It: The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion, debuted her first ready-to-wear collection East Meets West in New York in 1965. The designer, now 95, also designed the flight attendant uniforms for Japan Air Lines, and the uniforms for Japanese Olympians in 1992 (Barcelona) and 1994 (Lillehammer). Her clients have included Empress Masako of Japan, Princess Grace of Monaco and First Ladies Hillary Rodham Clinton and Nancy Reagan.

Friday, February 19, 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. Get ready to talk about comedy, our theme for this Language Room!

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!
Open to students K-2
こどものための たのしいにほんご 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
3:30 - 4:30 PM EST

Your kids will have fun with Hall-sensei as they learn hiragana, hear cultural stories, and do arts and crafts virtually! Be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity for your kids to experience にほんご!

*The class will be conducted primarily in Japanese and will be limited to 6 students.
Saturday, February 27, 2021
5:00 - 6:00 PM EST
$10 JSB Members / $15 Non-members
Hosted online via Zoom

Kamonanban (鴨南蛮) is a Japanese noodle dish made with soba, duck, and Japanese leeks or Welsh onions. Kamo (鴨) meaning duck, and nanban (南蛮) referring to the onions in the dish. The dish is especially popular at soba restaurants during cold winters in Japan.

JSB volunteer Masayo Kawaguchi is excited to show you how to make your own kamonanban soba! 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. 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.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
6:00 - 8:00 PM EST

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 Quicksand by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki.

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
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.

Our Little Sister is the story of three sisters who live in their grandmother's home, and after the death of their father, invite their half sister to live with them.

2015. Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. Starring Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirose, Ryo Kase, Kentaro Sakaguchi, Kirin Kiki.

As part of our partnership with the United States-Japan Exchange & Teaching Alumni Association, we will be sharing excerpts of interviews with JET alums in our newsletter!
To read the full interviews, please visit our website.
Episode 3: Iwate
Interview with Michael Turner
(Miyako, Iwate 1995-1997)

Q: What are some of the things your prefecture is known for?
Ika senbei is the first thing to come to mind with wanko soba coming quickly behind. Ika senbei, or “squid crackers”, are delicious and wanko soba is….almost a sport! The soba is served in small bowls with just a small amount of soba. The more you eat, the more the bowls stack up, and even modest eaters end up with a column of empty soba bowls in front of them. Outside of Miyako is Jodogohama, a craggy coastline that reminds me of the Monterey Peninsula, California, where my parents used to live. The fact that these two beaches looked so similar and yet were an ocean apart, was a reminder of how much we have in common. 

Q: How has your connection in relation to Japan changed since living in Japan?
My connection to Japan has only strengthened over the years. It’s been an honor to return to Japan to serve my country and a privilege to work on strengthening the alliance, the partnership, and the genuine friendship our two peoples enjoy.

This interview is part of a partnership between the Japan Society of Boston (JSB) and the United States-Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme Alumni Association (USJETAA).

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 8: Sapporo Ramen

Sapporo Ramen is a Japanese ramen restaurant with two locations in Cambridge. I ordered the base House Ramen, which is a chicken and vegetable broth ramen with egg noodles and an extra topping of menma (メンマ/fermented bamboo shoots). The ramen itself came with chashu (チャーシュー/braised pork belly), yudetamago (ゆで卵/boiled egg), moyashi (萌やし/mung bean sprouts), nori (海苔/roasted seaweed), corn(とうもろこし), and negi (ネギ/scallions).

I enjoyed the ramen as the bowl of broth was filled to the brim before even putting the noodles in, so I think it had a great amount for the cost. I also enjoyed the amount of variety in toppings and vegetables that it came with in its base order, and overall the ramen was tasty. As a bonus, the location in H Mart is great as this is a great dine in option when shopping for Asian food.

Read more from Daiki's Ramen Nikki here!
Online activities from other Japan Societies across the US
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
8:00 PM EST (5:00 PM PST)

On the technology side, we hear from two experts from Japan, a nation with the highest proportion of aging citizens of any country in the world: Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai the developer of the world’s first wearable cyborg HAL and Dr. Takanori Shibata, the inventor of PARO, the therapeutic seal robot. On the mental health side, psychotherapist and Geriatric Medical Social Worker Mrs. Shiori Lange, LCSW will discuss how psychosocial approaches can help older adults and their loved ones. UCLA Associate Professor Lené Levy-Storms Ph.D. will be moderating the panel of three speakers.
Thursday, February 18 -
Sunday, February 28

This 3-program series commemorates a decade since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Programs will demonstrate the resolve of people in Tohoku and how the region has recovered since 2011.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
7:00 PM EST (4:00 PM PST)

Welcome to the art of Noh, the traditional Japanese performing art that has been recognized as a world cultural heritage, a unique and profound art with over six hundred years of history. (The kanji for Noh (能) means “skill,” “craft,” or “talent”)

You will learn from Professor Emmert all important aspects of Noh such as its “mai” (dance), “utai” (vocal), four “hayashi” (music) instruments and “noh-men” (masks), watch some performances and hear his fascinating story.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
6:30 PM EST

From virtual reality to artificial intelligence, much of today's hot technology is being pioneered by outstanding women. At this panel discussion, Dr. Noriko Arai, Yuka Kojima, and Sara Hooker share their career stories and experience working in various tech roles, and offer advice for how women can excel in the tech workplace. Moderated by NHK World’s Catherine Kobayashi.
Non-JSB Online Activities
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EST

This video series highlights the careers and life journeys of prominent Japanese American leaders who are pioneers in developing the U.S.-Japan relationship. Through their stories, we will learn about the role of Japanese Americans in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, and the ways Japan has contributed to Japanese American identity and community.
Additional Resources
Japanese study resources