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November 2018 Newsletter

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The JASP is thankful for you!kansya 4
In this season of giving thanks, we at the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania feel especially grateful for all of you who are reading this newsletter. Whether you are new friends or old, we appreciate all of the ways that you support the grassroots U.S. - Japan relationship here in the Western Pennsylvania region. You volunteer at Japan in the Schools and other programs, attend lectures and events, and sponsor JASP activities that create strong international ties right here in our community.

We appreciate all of your support and wish you a joyful holiday season! arrow2
Member Spotlight: Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock University
The JASP would like to recognize our Academic member, Slippery Rock University.
Slippery Rock University, founded in 1889, is a four-year, public, coeducational, comprehensive university offering a broad array of undergraduate and select graduate programs to more than 8,500 students. Located in the rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania, SRU offers over 150 programs at the undergraduate level, and more than 40 graduate programs including masters and doctoral degrees.

Their Japanese Studies Certificate is a five-course concentration designed to enhance students’ knowledge of the language and cultures of Japan, and Japanese culture in the U.S. through a multidisciplinary perspective. Starting Fall 2018, Department of Modern Languages & Cultures will offer a Minor in Professional Japanese which requires 6 courses.  Students minoring in Professional Japanese will develop and enhance language and cultural competencies as a global citizen through Japanese studies. The Pennsylvania Superintendent of Public Instruction designated the Slippery Rock State College Library as a cultural center for Japan in 1961, and the collection includes prints, artifacts, and books about Japan in English and Japanese. Slippery Rock University has exchange partnerships with Kansai Gaidai University in Kansai and Seinan Gakuin University and Saga University in Kyushu. Students participate in immersive cultural exchanges each semester. 

We would like to heartily thank Slippery Rock University for its support of our organization! arrow2
Bōnenkai: Forget the Year Party

What is a bōnenkai? The characters in "Bonenkai (忘年会)" literally translate to "forget the year gathering." It is a traditional Japanese get-together for friends, co-workers, and colleagues held at the end of the year.

All JASP Members are invited to catch up with friends and relax after a year of hard work at the Wigle Whiskey Tasting Room in the Omni William Penn Hotel downtown, on Tuesday, December 11th, from 5:30 - 8:30 PM.

Wigle Whiskey Tasting Room/Omni William Penn Hotel 530 William Penn Place
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 

Beverages will be available for purchase, and Wigle Whiskey will donate  a portion of the proceeds to the JASP. 
Annual Dinner Photos

AD18 3Joe Adachi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc., and Exective Vice President, Canon Inc. was our honored keynote speaker on November 8th at the Duquesne Club. 170 people attended for the cocktail hour, silent auction and informative speech. Thank you to those of you who attended, and we hope to see the rest of you next year! 
Please check out our photo gallery to see more pictures of a lovely evening.   arrow2
The JASP Welcomes New Members

Individual Members:
  • Mr. David Briel
  • Ms. April Ferraro
  • Mr. Stephen Jamieson
  • Mr. Michael Matesic
Student Member:
  • Ms. Mandy Florkowski
We also recognized Primetals Technologies for their Five-Year membership Anniversary at the Annual Dinner. Thank you for your years of support! ​

Not a member yet? Join the JASP today! arrow2
Thousand Paper Cranes Project

tsuru In response to the recent tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue, the Japanese community would like to gather and present 1,000 cranes as an expression of our condolences.

In Japanese culture it is believed that if one folds 1,000 origami cranes, or senbazuru, one’s wish will come true. It has also become a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times. The cranes are usually strung together and given as gifts. Blue and white are symbolic colors in Judaism, representing divinity, light, and purity. 

We invite you to join us in creating this symbol of solidarity and peace for the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. We are using 15cm square origami paper (approximately 6 inches), and you are welcome to use your own paper. If you are in need of paper, or to deliver cranes, please visit the University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms Open House on December 2. More details about the location of the table will be available on the Japanese Nationality Room Facebook page. You may also contact the JASP office to arrange a drop-off at 412-856-8680 or We will be providing updates with more collection points and folding opportunities as they become available. arrow2
Japanese-English Reading Circle

JERC 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.

Saturday, December 1, 5:00-6:30 PM

Saturday, December 15, 5:00-6:30 PM

Kenmmer Apartments, Community Room, Ground Floor
401 Shady Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Upcoming Community Events

“Art of Noh Woodblock Prints by Tsukioka KōgyoAttached prints: Momijigari from Nogaku hyakuban (2 prints on the top) and Nogaku zue (bottom)
The University Library System (ULS) of the University of Pittsburgh opened a new Exhibit “Art of Noh Woodblock Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo” at the Hillman Library ground floor hallway.

This exhibit displays 35 prints, which are reproductions of original woodblock prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), a graphic artist who specialized in Noh Theater, from the library special collection. This exhibit is designed to compare prints from different sets that all depict the same Noh play, unique to the ULS's rich collection.

ULS holds Kogyo's four major sets of Noh prints: “Illustrations of Noh” (Nōgaku zue); “One Hundred Prints of the Noh” (Nōgaku hyakuban); “Fifty Prints of the Kyogen Theatre” (Kyōgen gojūban); and “A Great Collection of Noh Pictures” (Nōga taikan). ULS is the only institution to own four major sets of Kōgyo, and has the largest collection of Kōgyo’s prints outside of Japan, with more than 880 prints. The exhibit is open to the public until April 30, 2019.

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 ULS digital exhibit “Tsukioka Kōgyo: The Art of Noh, 1869-1927” for more information on the artist and his woodblock prints.

Hayao Miyazaki Week at Row House Cinemamiyazaki

Row House Cinema will be celebrating works from the one and only Hayao Miyazaki, who has attained international acclaim as a masterful storyteller and has brought numerous classics to the screen through Studio Ghibli. All Matinee Movies will be English Dub, all movies 6pm and later will be Japanese Audio with English Subs.

When: November 30 through December 6
Where: Row House Cinema, 4115 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Nationality Rooms Holiday Open HouseJNR

The Holiday Open House is a Pittsburgh tradition at the Cathedral of Learning. Visitors can enjoy the special decorations, traditional music, dance performances, and tours on Sunday, December 2 from noon to 4 PM in the Commons Room on the first floor.

Quo Vadis volunteers will be waiting in the Japan Room to show you the holiday decorations in their kimono. Please see the Nationality Rooms website for a full schedule of performances.

When: December 2, 12:00 - 4:00 PM
Where: Cathedral of Learning First Floor, 4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Kitsuke Workshop: The Art Of Kimono kimono_kitsuke

Through this interactive workshop, learn about the intricate art of dressing in kimono with expert and Pitt alumnus Evan Mason. The workshop will begin with a lecture on the culture and history of the kimono in Japan followed by a demonstration of kitsuke and an opportunity for participants to dress in yukata and try out their new skills.
When: December 4,  5:30-6:30 PM

Where: 4130 Posvar Hall, 230 S Bouquet St, Pittsburgh, PA arrow2

Volunteer of the Year

jeff-kyoto-colorAt the Annual Dinner we recognize the volunteer or volunteers who have gone the extra mile over the last year. This year we were pleased to honor Jeff Guerrero.

Mr. Jeff Guerrero is an art-educator, a ceramic artist, and a graphic designer. He became acquainted with the JASP through the Japan in the Schools program, who presented to his students on subjects that were also near and dear to him, including Japanese tea, ceramics, and culture. Jeff holds an intermediate license in Japanese tea ceremony (Urasenke school) but admittedly does not practice sitting seiza often enough. arrow2
Support JASP with your Holiday Purchase

JERC 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.

Saturday, December 1, 5:00-6:30 PM

Saturday, December 15, 5:00-6:30 PM

Kenmmer Apartments, Community Room, Ground Floor
401 Shady Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Support JASP with your Holiday Purchase
amazonWe hope you're getting a head start on your shopping this year! If you use Amazon for any of your holiday gifts this season, don't forget to shop through "Amazon Smile" - Amazon's program for charitable donations. Visit and select the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase value to the JASP!
We appreciate all of your support and wish you a joyful holiday season! arrow2
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