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Welcome to the website of the Japan-America Society of Greater Austin.  Please feel free to explore our calendar of events and newsletter information.

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Koto and Shakuhachi Concert  筝・尺八コンサート

The Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA) presents a concert featuring the Japanese traditional instruments instruments koto (harp) and shakuhachi (flute) on Sunday, June 28th at 3:00 pm.

The featured performers are Yoko Reikano Kimura (koto) and James Nyoraku Schlefer (shakuhachi).  This is a rare opportunity to see an intimate Japanese traditional musical performance in Austin.

When:    Sunday, June 28, 2015 @3:00-4:15 pm (Door open @2:30pm
Where:   St. Matthew's Episcopal Church   8134 Mesa Drive Austin, TX 78759 
Admission: $10 JASGA Members, $15 Non-Members  (Children under 7 Free)

Reserve online before the concert. 
Seating is on a first come first served basis. 
Tickets are also available at the door ($15)   Donations are greatly appreciated.   Download the flyer.                                                                                         

About the Artists:

Yoko Reikano Kimura is Koto/Shamisen performer and singer, Yoko was praised as “superb” by the New York Times.  Following her studies at Tokyo University of the Arts, the NHK School for Young Professionals and the Institute for Contemporary-Traditional Japanese Music at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music where she currently holds a teaching position, she was awarded a scholarship from the Agency of Culture Affairs of Japan.  Her teachers include Kono Kameyama, Senko Yamabiko (Living National Treasure) and Akiko Nishigata

Yoko has won numerous awards, including the First Prize at the prestigious 10th Kenjun Memorial National Koto Competition and at the 4th Great Wall International Music Competition.  She has performed extensively throughout Japan, the US, Europe, Asia, Middle East and South America.  In 2004, she performed Shamisen concerto at the National Olympic Memorial Center in Japan.  In 2013, she premiered the 13 string-Koto version of Daron Hagen's Koto Concerto: Genji with the Euclid Quartet. Iin 2014, she performed with the Prairie Ensemble.

Since 2008 she has performed with her husband, Hikaru Tamaki, a cellist.  Under the moniker ‘Duo YUMENO’, they have been creating a singular fusion of sound and exploring the dialogue between classical Japanese and western music.  In 2014 they were awarded the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program grant, and in 2015, received the Aoyama Music Baroque Saal Award. Their debut CD featuring Marty Regan’s works was leased in May 2015.

James Nyoraku Schlefer is a Grand Master of the shakuhachi and one of only a handful of non-Japanese artists to have achieved this rank.  He received the Dai-Shi-Han (Grand Master) certificate in 2001, and his second Shi-Han certificate in 2008, from the Mujuan Dojo in Kyoto. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood and BAM, as well asmultiple venues across the country and in Japan, Indonesia, Brazil and Europe.

Mr. Schlefer first encountered the shakuhachi in 1979, while working towards a career as a flute player and pursuing an advanced degree in musicology at CUNY (Queens College.) Today, he is considered by his colleagues to be one of most influential Western practitioners of this distinctive art form.  In February 2014, Concertonet.com gave him the accolade of “America’s finest Shakuhachi player”.  As a composer, Mr. Schlefer has written multiple chamber and orchestral works combining Japanese and Western instruments as well as numerous pieces solely for traditional Japanese instruments.  

He is the Artistic Director of Kyo-Shin-An Arts and the curator for the Japanese music series at the Tenri Cultural Institute in NYC.  He teaches shakuhachi at Columbia University, a broad spectrum of Western and World music courses at New York City Technical College (CUNY), and performs and lectures at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

We'd love to see you at the Koto and Shakuhachi Concert on June 28th at 3:00 pm!

Summer 2015 Japanese Language Program

Thank you for your interest in Japan-America Society of Greater Austin Japanese Language Classes.  We currently offer Japanese language class at various levels in Austin.  Registration is now open!

At a glance

  • Class location this Summer 2015 -  Lamar middle school
  • The  start dates:  Wed 5/13 and/or Thu, 5/14 in Austin
  • Levels from total beginner to advanced
  • 10 meetings of 1-hour classes, once per week
  • Hiragana and Katakana workshop
  • Functional Japanese
  • Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) preparatory course
  • Classes of 5 - 12 students
  • Experienced, native Japanese-speaking instructors and college degree holders 
  • Tailored private tutoring classes available
  • Offers Corporate Language Study Program
  • Summer Kids Class (younger than 8 years old)
  • Registration Deadline:  Monday, May 11, 2015

Class Information

Beginning I - Austin 5/13-7/29  6:00-6:55 pm
Beginning II - Austin 5/13-7/29  7:00-7:55 pm
Beginning III - Austin 5/13-7/29  8:00-8:55 pm
Beginning IV - Austin 5/13-7/29  6:00-6:55 pm
Intermediate III - Austin 5/13-7/29  7:00-7:55 pm 
Pre-Advanced II - Austin 5/13-7/30  8:00-8:55 pm
Advanced I - Austin 5/14-7/30  8:00-8:55 pm
Shodo - Japanese Calligraphy 5/13-7/29  7:00-7:55 pm*
Intermediate II - Austin 5/14-7/30  7:00-7:55 pm
Summer Japanese for Kids 5/14 - 6/4   5:00-5:55 pm

Additional Information

No Classes : June 24-25 & July 1-2,  *Shodo class only: 5/27, 6/3-6/17, 6/24 & 7/1

Language Class discounts are available to all Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGAGeneral Members and employees of Corporate Members (The benefit offers depends on the corporate membership level.)

Award Dinner 2015 was a success!

Thank you to all of our wonderful supporters who have made our First Award Dinner Gala a success!

 
Sunday, March 1, 2015
                                                                   
SCHEDULE:
VIP Reception: 4:00 pm
General Reception & Silent Auction: 4:30 pm
Dinner Program: 5:30 pm
 
VENUE:
Vintage Villas Hotel & Events 
(Overlooking Lake Travis)
4209 Eck Lane Austin, TX 78734
 
DRESS ATTIRE:
Black tie optional
 

Award Dinner and Silent Auction 2015

Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA) invites you to join us for the JASGA's first Award Dinner.  This international event brings together the Japanese and American communities to recognize leaders in the field of U.S.-Japan friendship relations. The gala will take place in the early evening on Sunday, March 1, 2015, at the Vintage Villas Hotel & Events. 
 
Please join us with our Honorary Director, Nozomu Takaoka, Consul-General of Japan in Houston, and our special sponsor of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, as we pay tribute to our first distinguished recipient.  Dr. WilliamTsutsui, who will receive the Bridges to Friendship Award and will be our keynote speaker.  Mr. Keiji Asakura, landscape architect, planner, and urban designer will be our opening speaker. Ms. Sumie Kaneko will perform Japanese traditional shamisen and vocal music.
 
 
Sunday, March 1, 2015

 

SCHEDULE

VIP Reception: 4:00 pm

General Reception & Silent Auction: 4:30 pm
Dinner Program: 5:30 pm

Adela Uchida, Mistress of Ceremony

VENUE 

Vintage Villas Hotel & Events 
(Overlooking Lake Travis)
4209 Eck Lane Austin, TX 78734

 
Bridges to Friendship Award Recipient &
Keynote Speaker
Dr. William Tsutsui            

   

       
 
 
               
 
 
                              
                                                               
                                                                                               
Opening Guest Speaker                                         Shamisen & Vocal                
Keiji Asakura                                                          Sumie Kaneko
                                                                                                      
                     
 
 
Sponsor this event!   

Spring 2015 Japanese Language Program

Thank you for your interest in Japan-America Society of Greater Austin Japanese Language Classes.  We currently offer Japanese language class at various levels in Austin. Registration is now open!

At a glance

  • Class location this Spring 2015 -  Lamar middle school
  • The start dates:  Wed 1/28 and/or Wed, 1/29 in Austin
  • Levels from total beginner to advanced
  • 12 meetings of 1-hour classes, once per week
  • Hiragana and Katakana workshop
  • Functional Japanese
  • Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) preparatory course
  • Classes of 5 - 12 students
  • Experienced, native Japanese-speaking instructors and college degree holders 
  • Tailored private tutoring classes available
  • Offers Corporate Language Study Program
  • Registration Deadline:  Friday, January 23, 2015

JASGA's Eighth Annual Japan Festival was a success!

2014 Aki Matsuri - 秋祭り

JASGA's eighth Annual Japan Festival was a success!

 

Many thanks to all those who helped us to make the eighth JASGA's Aki Matsuri - Japan Fall Festival 2014 - such a great success!
 
The effort  and dedication of all groups,  including performers, demonstrators, vendors, exhibitors,  Aki Matsuri volunteers, 
Japanese language class students of  JASGA,  Mccllum and St. Stephen's high school as well as the generosity of our festival sponsors, auction and prize donors, are much appreciated.

 

Please click here / here to view photos from the Festival.                                   

  

Aki Matsuri Video Clips

2014 Japan Fall Festival Highlight by Yuta Yamaguchi

2014 Akimatsuri video clip 1 by Keiichi Yamamoto

Performers and Presenters:

太鼓 Japanese Drums | Austin Taiko

茶の湯   Tea Demonstration| Sheila Fling (Tea name: Soshin

日本舞踊・民謡踊り  Japanese Traditional & Festive Dance | Tubomi & Austin Japanese Minyo Dance group   (special guest: Canyon Creek Elementary Multicultural Fair Japanese performers)

沖縄舞踊  Okinawa Traditional Dance | Setsuko KuniyoshiMiyagi-ryu Nosho-kai Ryukyu Dance School

居合道  Iaido - Japanese Martial Arts | Shinshin-ryu Iai-jutsu Dojo

剣道   Kendo - Japanese Martial Arts UT Kendo Club & Austin Kendo Doshikai 

 

2014 Aki Matsuri Sponsors:         

ANA    Asahi   Coco's Cafe      TV Japan