Author Jan Jarboe Russell presented for a book reading and discussion from her latest book, The Train to Crystal City, which tells the dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved. American internment camp in Texas during World War II, where thousands of families-many US citizens-were incarcerated.
Mr. IsamuTaniguchi, who built the Taniguchi Japanese Garden in Zilkar Botanical Garden and donated the garden to the City of Austin stayed this internment camp.
Happy Summer days!
Hope you enjoyed the Fourth of July and the fireworks.
The temperature is getting high and we have entered summer!
In Japan, Mountain-opening (yamabiraki) and Beach-opening (umibiraki) ceremonies take place at the beginning of July. It's finally climbing season -- the trails leading up Mt. Fuji are only open from the beginning or middle of July until the middle of September.
Japan's native religion, Shinto, is polytheistic, in which there are many gods and goddesses. These gods and goddesses are believed to reside in a number of places, including tall mountains and ocean. There are Shinto ceremonies to wish for the safety of visitors at their mountains and beaches. Both yamabiraki and umibiraki signal the unofficial start of summer.
The registration for Fall 2015 Japanese language and Shodo classes will start in the beginning or Middle of September. Please visit our home page (www.jasga.org) and calendar in the mid of August. You will also receive a registration info via email. Please watch your email box!
The Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA) was organized a Central Texas and Austin delegation to attend the 25th Japan-America Grassroots Summit 2015 which is currently held on July 6-13 in Oita Prefecture, Japan.
This Grassroots Summit is an annual large-scale meeting of Japanese and American citizens, held alternately in Japan and America. The summit aims to strengthen the peaceful relationship between Japan and America by fostering grassroots friendships. The Summit is managed jointly by the CIE (Center for International Exchange) and the Summit Volunteer Committee. This week-long trip, which is open to the general public, includes a homestay in a Japanese community.
Oita prefecture is located in the southern island, Kyushu. The region is blessed with natural treasures, as it is close to both the mountains and the sea, and it has a rich history and cultural heritage. Oita is famous for onsen (hot springs) such as Beppu and Yufuin and is known as the "Onsen Capital of Japan".
Three delegates from Austin are currently visiting Beppu and will visit other cities in Oita Prefecture.
Temple University Japan Campus invites high school students to a summer of language and cultural experiences in dynamic Tokyo. The 10 day program includes a unique mix of Japanese language classes and one of three exciting electives. With field-trips in Tokyo, an overnight excursion to Nikko, and a trip to DisneySea, this will be your Tokyo story to remember.
The most romantic festival in Japan is the Tanabata (七夕) Star festival that takes place every year on July 7. This festival is similar to Valentine's Day in that it celebrates love.
Tanabata festival originated from China during the Nara period of the 8th century. It was originally a ceremony of services for the departed souls of ancestors. At some point, the ceremony began to include an old Japanese legend of a weaving princess. In this legend, a girl works on a loom in a shed next to a river and waits for a visit from a god on the evening of July 6. When he comes to her, the girl becomes his wife and, thus, a goddess herself. A similar romantic story of a Chinese weaving princess meeting and falling in love with a cowherd living among the stars in the Milky Way on July 7 combined with the Japanese legend to eventually become the Tanabata festival as we know it today.
The weaving princess and cowherd
Tanabata dance at Shiramine Shinto shrine
On this day, Japanese people write their wishes on strips of colorful paper and hang them on bamboo trees. In the picture presented above, the girls are dancing around a decorated bamboo tree at Shiramine Shinto shrine in Kyoto.
Tanabata decoration at Sendai tanabata festival
Many Japanese towns compete for the most beautiful decorated bamboo tree. Among them, Sendai in northern Japan and Hiratuka near Tokyo claims to have the best and attract many tourists throughout the season.
A western woman wearing yukata, summer Kimono
at Hiratuka Tanabata Festival
Stay active and see you at JASGA's upcoming program and events! We'd love to see all of you!