Newsletter Volume 24

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Japan-America Society of Greater Austin
Newsletter, Vol. 24

Novermber 23, 2011

In This Issue
Newsletter Editor
Labor Thanksgiving Day
2011 Aki Matsuri~Japan Fall Festival 10/1
Japanese Language Program
Welcome new JASGA members!
Welcome New Consul General of Japan
Imperial Decoration for NAJAS Chairman Farrell
Go To...



Join JASGA! 




Japan Relief Effort


Hair, Makeup & Fashion

Waterstone Aesthetics  

presents MODE-KEI

Waterstones show for Japan relief effort

Click on the photo to see more.

A Japan inspired hair and make up experience benefiting the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Many thanks to Waterstone Aesthetics for the contribution to the Japan Disaster Recovery Effort Fund!


Cultural Salon Series


 Japanese Anime and American Pop Culture

Japanese Anime and American Pop Culture

Click on the photo to see more.


JASGA Cultural Salon series in September 2011 presented Japanese Anime and American Pop Culture.  Greg Simoes, a represetative of Ushicon talkeds about how Japanese anime has inspired pop culture in the United States.


Cultural Salon Series


Iaido Demonstration

Mike Ross at the Iaido Demonstration on 10-11-11

Click on the photo.


JASGA Cultural Salon Series in October 2011  presented Iaido demonstration by Mike Ross, Iaido Dojo-cho in Austin. Iaido is a Japanese martial art that is concerned with attack and defense against an opponent from the position of having the Japanese sword in the scabbard. Using the simultaneous draw and cut, the demonstration focused on Araki Mujinsai Ryu Iaido  Koryu that is over 400 years old.


Cultural Workshop Series


The Feel of the Needle: An English Language Haiku Workshop


by John Snyder

English Haiku Workshop

Click on the photo.


The participants at the Haiku workshop learned how poets writing in the English language have adapted the traditional Japanese haiku form, endeavoring to honor the spirit of traditional haiku while bringing it into a very different linguistic, literary and cultural context.  They also explored the art of writing English language haiku and senryu and tried their hands at writing their own poems. 



La Presentation du Texsas Sake

JASGA Cultural Salon Series in December 2011 will present Texas Sake by Yoed Anis,  the President and Toji* of the Texas Sake© Company in Austin.
Mon, Dec 5 @7:00pm
1701 Toomey Rd




Year-End Party


Click on the image to see the Bonenkai photos 2010.


Thu, December 8


@Ryu of Japan 

11101 Burnet Road Austin


Check your invitation mail!


JASGA Newsletter

 Fall 2011

is compiled and edited by:

Kako Ito 

Dear Community,


Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall has arrived in Austin and central Texas as signaled by falling the leaves. Volunteers from the Japan-America Society of Greater Austin are working hard to facilitate programs and events for you during these upcoming months. Please take the time to enjoy these activities, which are only made possible through the generous support of our members and sponsors.   


November 23rd 
Labor Thanksgiving Day  


Labor Thanksgiving Day - Nov 23
Labor Thanksgiving Day November  23

Labor Thanksgiving Day [kinro-kansha-no hi] is a national holiday in Japan. It takes place annually on November 23. It formally recognizes the importance and sanctity of human rights, as well as a celebration "for the people to honor labor, celebrate manufacturing and give thanks to one another."


During this time, local communities would harvest their first crops of Japan's most famous agricultural product, kome (rice). They offered it to the kami, spirits, at their local shrine to pray for a fine harvest and healthy crops in the year ahead. This practice still continues in rural Japan, while in Tokyo, the Emperor holds a private ceremony at the Imperial Palace each year to continue the wish for growth and health.


2011 Aki Matsuri  - October 1, 2011

JASGA's fifth Annual Japanese Festival Success  

Many thanks to all those who helped us to make the JASGA's Aki Matsuri -- Japan Fall Festival 2011 -- such a great success!


The effort and dedication of all groups, including performers, demonstrators, vendors, exhibitors, photographers, volunteers, Japanese language class students from Liberal Arts & Sience Academy, Fulmore middle school, Austin high school, Austin Community College as well as the generosity of our auction and prize donors, are much appreciated. 


Enjoy the photo galleries and video clips!


ONGOING and UPCOMING PROGRAMS                 

Fall 2011 Japanese Language Classes 


 Beg II class

JASGA has Japanese language classes that began in September. The classes continue to meet every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday



Murchison Middle School 

3700 North Hills Dr.

Austin, TX 78731


Spring 2012 Japanese Language Classes


The registration for Spring 2012 Japanese language classes will start in the end of December.  The classes will begin in the mid/end of January 2012.  Watch our calendar!



Welcome Individual, Family, and Friend of JASGA Members!  

(September - November 2011)


Friend of JASGA ($100/annual)


Chris Norden


Student/Senior/General/Family ($15/$20/$35/$50)


Key Gil
Robert Carrillo
Rebecca Caulfield
Pablo Arias
Evie Wu
Erin Cornett
Rebecca Lewis
Mustaque Ullah
Rick Gonyo
Yaqi Wang
Brian Kunec
John Schellenberg
Chihiro & John Legris
Bruno Matzdorf
Sally McConnell
Eathan Stanford
Junichiro Yatsu
Susan Proctor
Lin Youn
Emi Schuster
Theodore & Mary Shrader
Jackey Cullen
Yoshiko Fujii Gaines
Jene Hirayama 

Atsuko Parker
Wesley Estes
Phil Coleman
Hiroko Miller
Michael Wynkoop
Keith Goods
Brandy Hamblet
Yoshiteru Asano
Alisan Clarke
Lynn C. Haxton
Richard, Madeline, Erika Meier 


Welcome Corporate Sponsor Member! 

(September  - November 2011)



Tokyo Electoron - Silver Bridge-Builder



 Welcome New Consul General of Japan in Houston   

The Honorable Jota Yamamoto, the new Consul General of
Japan in Houston, arrived in Texas on October 7. He has
worked in the United Kingdom, Russia, and most recently in Pakistan. Welcome to the United States!


Please read his official greetings at the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston website


 Imperial Decoration for NAJAS Chairman Farrell 


Imperial Award:
Japanese Government Announces

Order of the Rising Sun
to be bestowed on

William R. Farrell, Ph.D.


On November 3, the announcement of Imperial Decorations contained good news for Bill Farrell (and NAJAS); he is one of 11 Americans included in the 53 recipients of the 2011 Fall Imperial Decorations. Bill's award is the Order of Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon. Congratulations to the Chairman William Farrell! 





Tomio Yamakoshi Petrosky
Center for Complex Quantum Systems

The University of Texas at Austin 


November 23, 2011 

Japanese Snow  Monkey1
photo 1

It is already cold and snowing in the mountainous districts of Japan. Within these districts are Japanese snow monkeys who enjoy the mountains' hot springs. Photo 1 is a picture I took a few years ago of Japanese snow monkeys in the hot springs, SIBU-ONSEN, located in the valley known as JIGOKU-

Japanese Snow Monkey2
photo 2

DANI ("Hell valley") in Nagano prefecture.

A colony of the Japanese snow monkeys were brought to the South Texas Primate Observatory in 1972 where they continue to live today (photo 2). 


For anyone who has ever taken a hot bath in the winter, you probably experienced the intense chill the cold air can have on your wet skin. It is amazing that these monkeys do not seem to have such trouble and enjoy the hot springs at JIGOKU-DANI even in the coldest of winters. They, of course, have an advantage to humans. First of all, after having lived in the northern part of the world for a long time, their bodies developed a special fur beneath their regular fur. This special fur is entangled and repels water, keeping the monkeys dry and protected from the cold. This fur has the same structure as fur from dogs that come from other northern regions, such as the Labrador or the Border Collie. These breed of dogs are thus able to swim in cold water. But the Japanese snow monkeys of SIBU-ONSEN have another advantage. SIBU-ONSEN is warmer than most Japanese hot springs, often reaching temperatures of more than 115F. Thus, the furs on these monkeys rapidly dry up

Japanese snow monkey 3
photo 3

after their baths before they can feel the chill of the cold air.

But when they are not in the hot springs, the monkeys have found another way to stay warm. They cluster together in a group as shown photo 3. 


Wishing you delightful days!



Japan-America Society of Greater Austin