Welcome to JASGA

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

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

Stay informed about all Japan-America Society of Greater Austin programs and events.  Subscribe Now

Latest News

Pecha-Kucha Storytelling Evening

Please join us for the 2020 Cultural and Educational speakers series. JASGA will present a virtual Pecha-Kucha Evening on Friday, July 31st at 5:00 pm.

Our first Pecha-Kucha presentation has several themes: Town-city-regional development, community engagement, grassroots activities, and US-Japan friendship.  Each of our four speakers will talk about one or more of these themes.

Pecha-Kucha is a storytelling format where a presenter shows 20 slides with 20 seconds of commentary for each slide.  At our Pecha-Kucha event, several professional people will talk in a virtual session to share their expertises, insights, and future plans with the audience.

Our Pecha-Kucha talks are a different format from our conventional speakers series. The short presentation times will enable the audience to concentrate their focus on the contents of the speakers' talks. We anticipate that the results will be stimulating and motivating for life and work, not only for the next generation but for experienced adults also.

Please refer to four Speakers bios and talk titles:

Misa Yamamoto - "Essentials Creative: Art and Community  Engagement"
Misa Yamamoto is a Graphic Designer and Art Director based in Austin TX. She graduated from Texas State University Communication Design program in 2012 and is currently a senior designer at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas in Austin. She has strong arts and designs professionally skilled in Branding & Identity, Typography, and UI/UX Design. She collaborates with her husband, Fabian Villa (photographer) and lives in Austin. She is from Tokyo, Japan, and fluent in Japanese.

She is part of the art collective Essentials Creative. Essentials Creative is a multi-media collective producing holistic applied arts experiences. These multi-faceted events incorporate disciplines such as photography, fashion, graphic design, video, projection, animation, music, and installation. Although a single image may include many Essentials members, there is always a unified vision of experimentation, fluidity, and diversity.

Junro Narita - “Throw Yourself in the Midst of Capability, Service, Money, and Love
Junro Narita is currently full time academy head coach at Austin FC, a new expansion Major League Soccer (MLS) club that will begin competing in the highest professional tier in the United States in March 2021.
Ever since encountering the inner obsession for soccer at age 9, he has been devoting himself to this beautiful game as a player, as a coach, and as a person. Junro turned to full time coaching in summer 2008 and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has been serving as;
a US Soccer Federation’s National Coaching Course Instructor since 2012; the Technical Director at St Stephen’s Soccer Academy since 2013, and the Austin FC Academy Head Coach since 2019.

Austin FC Academy’s aim is to nurture and develop future homegrown professional players; it began the process in May 2019.

Adam Doyle - "The World's Idol: Hatsune Miku"
Adam Doyle is currently working as a Campus Technologist. He is a former History Teacher and the Ellison High School Anime Club Sponsor.

While Adam has always been interested in Japan's culture and language, he never stopped to seriously learn and consider more than surface level material until he became associated with JASGA almost 10 years ago. he sponsors a high school club with his wife, Abby Roberts, that goes hand-in-hand with both the enrichment and the opportunities that we have experienced since then. He learned about Hatsune Miku, the topic of his presentation, from students in his high school, but he appreciates its significance because of the connections he's been able to make with Japanese culture. Adam is a serious student of Japanese, he is also an unabashed lover of anime, video games, manga, cosplay, and idol music. He hopes that combination will make for an interesting perspective.

Mayu Takeda "Keeping it Interactive: Community Engagement and the Power of Curated Creativity
Mayu Takeda is an Associate Planner at Asakura Robinson whose interest is in the application of community-led planning to address equity issues and to create spaces that provide a sense of community and belonging. Her portfolio includes small area and downtown master plans for small towns and disinvested communities as well as community-based design and planning of green infrastructure and resilience strategies. Previously, she was Senior Associate at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where her portfolio included immigrant rights and gun violence prevention. She served as the Western Regional Director of the “It’s On Us” campaign run by the White House and CAP

Mayu graduated with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and was the recipient of the school’s 2018 Award for Outstanding Leadership in Urban Planning and Urban Design.

This event is free and open to the public.  Your Donations are grealy appreciated!

Please register here for the Pecha-Kucha Talk Evening by July 29.

We look forward to seeing you online!

Texas Radio Taiso Challenge [ONLINE]

Saturday, June 13, 2020 
9:00 AM 10:00 AM

Join us for the Radio Taiso and enjoy this cultural stretching exercise together!   

Download the poster.                                  



2020 Summer Japanese Language and Shodo Japanese Calligraphy

Register Now for Summer 2020 Japanese Classes!  Your class starts on May 20th.

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, Summer 2020 classses will be held using Google Meet.  We offer virtual online classroom at 20% off  (or 10% off for a very small class) for this Summer Session.

Thank you for your interest in Japan-America Society of Greater Austin's Japanese Language and Shodo Japanese calligraphy program. We currently offer Japanese language and Shodo Japanese calligraphy classes at various levels in Austin. Due to popular demand, we added new classes (Children/Young Teens, .Business Englsih) with qualified instructors. 

Registration is now open!

At a glance:

  • Class location this Summer 2020: Virtual classroom
  • The start date: 5/20 (Wed)  Shodo: 5/30 (Sat), Business English: 6/2 (Tue)
  • Levels from total beginner to advanced and children & young teens, Business English, and Shodo-Japanese calligraphy lesson with a licensed, Japanese calligraphy teacher
  • 12 meetings of 1-hour or 1.5-hour classes, once per week
  • Hiragana and Katakana workshop
  • Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) preparatory course
  • Classes of 3 - 10 students
  • Experienced, native Japanese-speaking instructors and college degree holders
  • Tailored private tutoring classes available
  • Offers Corporate Program
  • Children and Teens class is avaialble this Summer
  • Registration Deadline: 5/17 (Sun)-Japanese,  5/28 (Thu)-Shodo and Business English)

Class Information

Beginning I - Austin 5/26 - 8/4      6:00-7:00pm
Beginning II - Austin  5/20 - 8/5      6:00-7:00pm
Beginning III - Austin 5/20 - 8/5      7:00-8:00pm
Intermediate I -Austin 5/20 - 8/5      6:00-7:00pm
Intermediate IV - Austin 5/20 - 8/5      8:00-9:00pm
Pre-Advanced I - Austin 5/20 - 8/5      8:00-9:00pm
Advanced II - Austin 5/20 - 8/5      7:00-8:00pm
Advanced III - Austin 5/20 - 8/5      8:00-9:00pm
Advanced VI - Austin 5/20 - 8/5      8:00-9:00pm
Children /Young Teens 5/20 - 8/5      5:00-6:00pm
Shodo Calligraphy I/II/ III 5/30 - 8/8      2:00-3:00pm 
Business Englsih   6/2 -  8/4       6:00 -7:00pm 


Language & Shodo class discounts are available to all Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA) General Members and employees of Corporate Members.   Note that the benefit offers depends on the Corporate Membership Level.

Branding and Marketing Strategy for Japanese Green Tea

ATTENTION:  The webinar start time is changed!  Tuesday March 31 2020 at 2:00 pm (CST), 3:00pm (EST), 12:00 noon(PST), 4:30 am (Wed) (JPT)

As part of the 2020 Business and Cultural Speakers series, JASGA will present a seminar entitled "Branding and Marketing Strategy for Japanese Green Tea" by Rona Tison, Executive Vice President for Corporate Relations at ITO EN (North America). 

Note: Not only Rona's company, ITO EN, has implemented a no travel policy due to the COVID-19 virus, but also New York State has issued an executive order, "New York on Pause".  We are moving this event to a webinar (web-based seminar) in order to guarantee the health and safety for all of our attendees.  Our web-based seminar can be just as rewarding. 

About Rona Tison
Executive Vice President - Corporate Relations at ITO EN (North America) Inc.

An expert on the tea industry with extensive knowledge and experience with marketing and promoting Japanese culture in the U.S., Ms. Tison is the Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations at ITO EN (North America) Inc., Japan’s #1 green tea brand and the world’s leading distributor of award-winning premium green tea and other healthy beverages.

Ms. Tison is responsible for maintaining and developing the company’s corporate image through public relations and promotional events. In addition to her role at ITO EN, Rona serves on the Board of the Tea Association of the USA and the Tea & Health Committee. She is also on the Advisory Board of the Global Tea Initiative at the University of California-Davis and has been a speaker at the World Tea Expo in San Francisco, the Los Angeles and Northwest Tea Festivals, the Shizuoka World Tea Festival in Japan, the James Beard House, and in the Smithsonian Lecture Series.

Ms.Tison was born in the United States but grow up in Okinawa and briefly in Tokyo. Her father is from Brooklyn, New York, where ITO EN’s U.S. offices are located, and her mother is from Tokyo. She received her bachelor’s degree in Asian literature from the University of California at Berkeley, and she’s a member of the U.S. Japan Council, Brooklyn Park Conservancy and Japan Society. She received the 2017 John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award for her educational contributions to the tea industry; she was the first woman to ever receive this prestigious award.

Kite Making and Edo Kites Master Film Screening

Longtime Austinites know that one of the coolest weekends of the year is coming up – the 2020 Zilker Park Kite Festival on March 29th. But to have fun, you need to have a kite.

Come make your own kite. We will offer a hands-on workshop for making a kite, and then you can let it fly high in the sky. There will be lots of fun, a screening of a film about a master kite maker of Edo (old-time Tokyo) style Kites presented by Mr. Mikio Toki.

All ages are welcome!  Time to get creative and have a happy Austin weekend.

The most creative way is to make a kite. At this workshop, you will get a kite kit with everything you need to build an awesome, artistic kite, and there'll be an instructor and volunteers to help you! 

You'll make a classic Japanese style kite. They are made out of Japanese washi paper and bamboo sticks. (Washi is a Japanese paper and is stronger than wood pulp paper.) Using glue and working with natural materials of washi paper and bamboo makes this an organic hands-on kite making experience.

You can select from two different shapes of kites. Both kites are good for Children and Adults. We'll also have special kite train for children under 6 (5 kites only)

Japan-Texas Infrastructure Investment Forum [第3回 日米インフラフォーラム] - Austin, Texas

The Japan -Texas Infrastructure Investment Forum, hosted and sponsored by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) Japan, in partnership with the Texas Economic Development Corporation (TxEDC), will create a unique opportunity to bring participants together to share expertise and build a foundation for future business.

Conference Information:

Date:  Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 12:30 PM
Place:  Hyatt Regency Austin (208 Barton Springs Austin, TX 78704)
Fee:    Free - Advance Registration is required (RSVP)
No. of participants:  Up to 150

 12:30 PM Registration
 1:00-5:45 PM Keynote Speeches and Presentations
 5:45 PM  Reception and Networking