Welcome to JASGA

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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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Latest News

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

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
VIP Reception: 4:00 pm
General Reception & Silent Auction: 4:30 pm
Dinner Program: 5:30 pm
Vintage Villas Hotel & Events 
(Overlooking Lake Travis)
4209 Eck Lane Austin, TX 78734
Black tie optional
Bridges to Friendship Award Recipient & Keynote Speaker
 Dr. Willam Tsutsui
 William M. Tsutsui is President and Professor of History at Hendrix  College, a top-tier national liberal arts college founded in 1876 and  located in Conway, Arkansas.  He previously served as Dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University (SMU) from 2010 to 2014.  Raised in Bryan, Texas, he holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Princeton universities.  Prior to joining SMU, Tsutsui spent seventeen years at the University of Kansas, where he served as Acting Director of KU’s Center for East Asian Studies, Chair of the Department of History, founding Executive Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Kansas, and Associate Dean for International Studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
An award-winning classroom teacher, Tsutsui is the author or editor of eight books on Japanese business and cultural history, including Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan, Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters, and Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization. He has received Fulbright, ACLS, and Marshall fellowships, and was awarded the John Whitney Hall Prize of the Association for Asian Studies in 2000 and the William Rockhill Nelson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2005.  He was a member of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation in 2011 and serves on the National Advisory Committee of the Japan America Student Conference.
 Opening Guest Speaker
 Keiji Asakura
 From as early as high school, Keiji Asakura’s passion for community and  urban design began to take root. His time spent working after school at a  plant nursery in Southern California sowed the seeds for what has since  become a 35-plus year career as a landscape architect, planner, and  urban designer. Keiji is a passionate advocate for healthy, connected, sustainable communities whose impact can be seen throughout Texas and beyond.
As the founder of Asakura Robinson Company LLC, with offices in both Houston and Austin, Keiji has had the unique opportunity to work with some of the city’s most influential leaders and government officials. His efforts to create a more beautiful and livable city are evidenced by his receipt of numerous awards including the Mayor’s Proud Partner/Keep Houston Beautiful Award for Distinguished Service. At the national level, Keiji is well-respected in the landscape architecture sphere and is the recipient of the President’s Call to Service Award and ASLA’s Distinguished Member Award.  Most recently, Keiji received one of the highest honors bestowed upon landscape architecture professionals when he was inducted into the ASLA Council of Fellows.
As a Japanese-born American, Keiji is particularly interested in community design and revitalization efforts in his native country of Japan. In 1991, Keiji was instrumental in creating a successful revitalization plan for the remote island city of Kochi, which was suffering from environmental and economic decline. Since then, Keiji has assisted other communities in Japan and the Philippines, and now has a firm office in Tokyo. He and his team at Asakura Robinson are eager to continue discussions aimed at shaping more sustainable models for urban development in Japan.

Gala Sponsors:


Auction Donators:

Cho SushiTherapeutic Massage & Body WorkUchi + UchikoUMLAUF Sculpture Garden & MuseumSun Dragon Japanese Traditional Seido KarateVintage Villas Hotel & Events, Megumi Sakurai, Aya Koga, Takeshi Udagawa, Kako Ito

Thanks for promoting our first gala on the website of the Consulate General of Japan in Houston!

Thanks again to our Gala host committee members!

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



VIP Reception: 4:00 pm

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

Adela Uchida, Mistress of Ceremony


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

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   


2014 Aki Matsuri - Japan Fall Festival

Come Join Us!

2014 Aki Matsuri - 秋祭り