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April 2019 Newsletter
In this issue:

Art in The Japan-US Relationship: Preserving the Floating World


Please join us for a special presentation of Japanese art as part of the Richard J. Wood Art Curators Series. The series brings attention to major collections of Japanese art in the U.S. and their role in the U.S.-Japan grassroots relationship.

Beyond his fame as Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Tales of the South Pacific and Hawaii, James A. Michener is well remembered as an enthusiastic collector of fine art. He managed to assemble the third largest collection of ukiyo-e in the United States, which he then gifted to the Honolulu Museum of Art. His donation now comprises approximately half of the museum's collection of more than 10,000 Japanese ukiyo-e.  Join us at the Carnegie Museum of Art to learn about Michener's collecting journey with Stephen Salel, Robert F. Lange Foundation Curator of Japanese Art at the Honolulu Museum of Art.

When: Thursday, April 18, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Where: Carnegie Museum of Art Theater, 4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The talk will begin at 6 PM and be followed by refreshments and a networking reception. Registration is free but donations are encouraged.

Thank you to the Carnegie Museum of Art for their partnership and the National Association of Japan-America Societies and the Japan~United States Friendship Commission for their support of this series at Japan-America Societies nationwide.

JASP Spring Seminar & Golf Outing

Network with JASP members and supporters at this day-long event. This is a great opportunity to spend the day with a client, treat employees, or network with industry colleagues while supporting a noble cause. This year, we have additional opportunities for non-golfers to participate!Aerial

Start the day with a lecture from JASP Board Member and author of Asia Ascending: Insider Strategies for Competing with the Global Colossus Dennis Unkovic on the current business situation across East Asia. Then, have lunch and practice your swing with attendees involved in US-Japan business.

The golf tournament will begin at noon. Golfers compete for winning team trophies, individual skill prizes, and hole-in-one prizes. A post-golf cocktail hour will provide opportunities to meet the other guests and win raffle prizes, including Grand Prize ticket vouchers from Delta Airlines!

We hope you will join us for this fun and popular event.  register_button When: Monday, May 13
Where: Butler Country Club, 310 Country Club Rd, Butler, PA 16002 The schedule for the day is:
9:00 AM    Registration Opens
10:00 AM  Conference Speaker
11:00 AM   Lunch
12:00 PM   Tee Time

5:00 PM     Cocktail Hour, Raffle and Prizes

New Era Name Announced
reiwa With the historic abdication of Emperor Akihito set for April 30, the Heisei 平成 era will come to an end. The Heisei era began on January 8, 1989, after the death of Emperor Hirohito and the coronation of Akihito. Keizō Obuchi, then Chief Cabinet Secretary, announced the name Heisei, taken from two phrases in Chinese history and philosophy books, combined to mean "peace everywhere."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced the new name Reiwa 令和 in a press conference on April 1. May 1st will mark the beginning of this era. Reiwa consists of two kanji characters, with Rei 令 meaning beautiful and Wa 和 harmony.  The intended meaning of Reiwa is “the culture nurtured by people bringing their hearts together in a beautiful manner.”

This choice marks the first time in history that the era name has been taken from Japanese literature, rather than the Chinese classics. The phrase originates from a line about a pleasant breeze and plum blossoms in “Manyoshu,” Japan’s oldest poetry anthology, which dates back more than 1,200 years.
2019 MEPPI Japan Lecture Series
April 25 - What is a Japanese Garden?japanese-garden-lotus-pond 3
Dr. Brenda G. Jordan, Director of the University of Pittsburgh's National Consortium for Teaching About Asia, will explore the history and design of Japanese gardens, including the different varieties of garden, their concept outside of Japan, and suggested plant types and features for Japanese gardens in Southwest Pennsylvania.

Join us for this free event at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden on Thursday, April 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Beverages and light hors d’oeuvres will be provided and the presentation will begin at 6:30 PM. The lecture is currently sold out, but please contact us if you would like to be notified of any openings.
Thank you to Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. for their generous sponsorship of this series.arrow2
Asian American Heritage Month Mega Mixer

The Asian American Leadership Forum, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, and the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania would like to extend an invitation to their respective members for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month networking event on May 9, 2019. JASP members are eligible for discounted admission, but the event is open to everyone.

When: Thursday, May 9, 5:00 - 8:00 PM
Where: YuZu Kitchen, 409 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Japanese-English Reading Circle

The Japanese-English Reading Circle is held on the first and third Saturdays of the month. In addition to discussing your reading in Japanese or English with other members, there are opportunities to play games and build your confidence and vocabulary in your second language.

Upcoming Dates
Saturday, April 20, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, May 4, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, May 18, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, June 1, 5:00-6:30 PM
Kenmawr Apartments, Community Room, Ground Floor 401 Shady Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Visit the Facebook group for more information. arrow2
The JASP Welcomes New Members

Silver Corporate Member:
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Upcoming Community Events

Pittsburgh Sakura Project Hanami and Haiku Contest

The Pittsburgh Sakura Project, which just celebrated its 10th Anniversary of planting in North Park, will be having a Haiku Contest to celebrate the cherry trees this year. Submissions are due by May 15 and full instructions are available on the Pittsburgh Sakura Project website.  The Project also has posted updates on blossom openings and hanami dates on their hanami event on Facebook

University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Research Showcasedeall
This inaugural event features panels of student presenters in the East Asian Languages and Literatures honors program; students in the Chinese and Japanese capstone courses; and students studying the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages and cultures. There will be a poster session presented by selected students. Fifteen to twenty presentations are expected on topics ranging from the humanities to the sciences. The presentations are open to the public.

When: April 18, 2019, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Where: 2500 Posvar Hall, 230 S Bouquet St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The Art of Noh: Woodblock Prints by Tsukioka KogyoHagoromo_crop 2
The University Library System (ULS) of the University of Pittsburgh is exhibiting “The Art of Noh Woodblock Prints by Tsukioka Kogyo” at the Hillman Library. Noh, a theater form that originated in the fourteenth century, was associated historically with the ruling warrior class, who made up about 5% of Japan’s pre-modern population in the late feudal period between 1600 and 1868.

The exhibit is supervised by Pitt Emeritus Professors Richard and Mae Smethurst, designed by Kari Johnston, Communication Support Specialist, and curated by Hiroyuki N. Good, Japanese and Korean Studies Librarian.
Please visit the Pitt calendar for more information! Admission is free. It is open to the public during Hillman Library hours.

When: Through April 26, 2019

Where: Hillman Library, Ground Floor, Main Hall, 3960 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. Recruiting for Leadership Cohorts


Take the personal initiative to spot the “best and brightest” within your own networks and to refer them to Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. programs.

Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. is Southwestern Pennsylvania’s premier multi-disciplinary organization for leadership identification, enrichment and networking. The flagship program, Leadership Pittsburgh (LP), is geared toward senior level leaders with significant spheres of influence in their organizations, and Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) is most suited for emerging young leaders. More information including program applications and schedules are available at the website

Application deadline for LP is the first Friday in May, and for LDI, it's the first Friday in June.


Volunteer Reflection

My name is Fumiko Tezuka. I volunteered with the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania for a year.

As a student of cross-cultural education in Australia and the States, I wanted to know how the JASP organizes education outreach and cultural programs to bridge Japan and the US.

Through this experience, I learned that the JASP contributes to a community where we learn about different cultures in person and appreciate our own. I mainly participated in Japan in the Schools visits and the Japanese-English Reading Circle.

In most Pittsburgh schools, Japan is a far away country for students; however, their eyes shone with excitement when they actually wore traditional yukatas or tried origami and calligraphy. Their questions even gave me insights about my culture and language. Thanks to them, I could see the beauty of my country despite the fact that I am outside of Japan.

At the Reading Circle, I met many people working hard to learn Japanese just as I do with English. We discussed a variety of social differences including AI technology, holiday traditions, body piercing and tattoos, fairy tales and literature, food waste, and the solutions to climate change. By having these opportunities, I realized that communication connects us to our culture and history.

Once I learned the saying “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.”  The JASP offers various programs that involve people in experiencing Japan, such as cooking sessions, lecture series, and networking events. Local efforts to embrace our cultural differences enable us to create better communities. I was glad to be a member of this organization and I do appreciate those who supported us.

Back in Japan, I will return to my job in public education. I am excited to tell the younger generation how people outside of Japan see our community and are interested in our culture. I am proud to share my experiences with them and give back to my country.

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