Newsletter Volume 28

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Japan-America Society of Greater Austin
Newsletter, Vol. 28

Novermber 15, 2012
In This Issue
753 - Shichi-Go-San 11/15
2012 Aki Matsuri~Japan Fall Festival 10/20
Japanese Language Program
Welcome New JASGA members!
Join JASGA Volunteer Team
Go To...



Join JASGA! 





SUSHI 101 Class

by Summer Pruett


Maguro (tuna) sushi Rolls, Nigiri, Temaki 

Click on the photo to see more.

With chef Summer Pruett, the participants learned how to roll their own sushi and make Nigiri sushi in the fun and exciting class atomosphere.




Academic Lecture Series


 Crash course in Japanese Architecture


by Gerlinde Leiding, Professor Emerita


Omoya Zukuri
Click on the photo to see more.


JASGA Academic Lecture series in 2012 presented Japanese Architecture by Professor  Gerlinde Leiding.

She taught for nearly 40 years at the University of Texas at  Austin,  School of Architecture.


EVENT FOLLOW-UP  9/7 & 9/8 


Midori Goto with the Austin Symphony 


Midori Goto  

 The Austin Symphony  invited the members of the JASGA to its season opener featuring Japanese violinist, Midori Goto on September 7 and 8. We were offered 25% off any single ticket price of the concert.

The conert was moving.  Her brilliance on the violin facinated the Austin audience.



Cultural Program Series


Japanese Zen  


by Kosho McColl

at Austin Zen Center


Kosho McCall

Click on the photo to see more.


The JASGA cultural program in November presented the Japanese Zen by Kosho McCall at Austin Zen CenterKosho talked about Shunryu Suzuki Roshi brought his "warm-hearted Zen" to California and how Suzuk Roshi founded the first Zen monastery in this country



Jiro Dreams of Sushi


 at Garrison Hall

The University of Texas at Austin


Jiro Ono - Sukuyabashi Jiro


 JASGA co-hosted a foreign film night on Tuesday, November 13th as part of

International Education Week at the University of Texas at Austin.




 JASGA Members & Sponsors Social Mixer


Social Mixer 2012  

We will invite JASGA Sponsors & Members to the 2012 Social Mixer, which is an opportunity to recognize JASGA committees and our accomplishment in 2011-2012.
JASGA will discuss our future plans with our members and sponsors.  We will also plan to invite the performers, exhibitors, donors, and volunteers at the 2012 Akimatsuri (the 6th Japanese Fall Festival) who support JASGA.
The mixer may have a live entertainment.


Mon, Dec 5 @7:00pm
1701 Toomey Rd
Austin TX 7870




Year-End Party 

To be determined! 



Click on the image to see the Bonenkai photos 2011.


 Check your invitation mail and the calendar at!


JASGA Newsletter

 Fall 2012

is compiled and edited by:

Kako Ito 


Dear Member,


Happy Thanksgiving week!

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 15th 
753 - Shichi-Go-San  


7-5-3 Shichi-Go-San

"Shichi-Go-San" means "Seven Five Three and  is a Japanese festival held on November 15th to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. Girls of age three and seven and boys of age three and five are celebrated on Shichi-go-san.  As it is not a national holiday, it is generally observed on the nearest weekend.

Odd numbers are considered lucky numbers. Long candies (called Chitose Ame) in bags that are decorated with turtles and cranes are given to the children. The candy, the crane, and the turtle, all symbolize longevity.


2012 Aki Matsuri  - October 20, 2012

JASGA's sixth Annual Japanese Festival Success  

Many thanks to all those who helped us to make the JASGA's Aki Matsuri - Japan Fall Festival 2012 --- 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 (LASA, the class David Shimizu) and Austin Community College (ACC, the class Emi Schuster) 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 2012 Japanese Language Classes 


 Class Kitta 

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



Murchison Middle School 

3700 North Hills Dr.

Austin, TX 78731


Spring 2013 Japanese Language Classes


The registration for Spring 2013 Japanese language classes will start in the end of December 2012.  The classes will begin in the mid/end of January 2013.  Watch our home page ( and calendar!


Welcome New Corporate Partner Members!

(September - November 2012)


Stardust Pastry (Entrepreneur)
Coco's CafÈ (Startup)
Asahi Imports  (Entrepreneur)


Renewed Corporate Partner Members!


Tokyo Electron (Silver Bridge-Builder)


Welcome New Individual and Friend of JASGA Members  (September - November 2012)



Chris Norden (renewed)


New Student/Senior/General/Family Members 


Robert Tracy
Heatherly Ayres & family
Lynn Wallisch
Kevin Dedon
Wena Poon
Juan Leon & family
Megan Hrncir
Amy Marshall
Audrey Masis
Rachel Cruz
David Woodard & family
Ally Barry
Shingo Kubo
Sally McConnell
David Romine
Satoshi Yamashita & family
Audrey Schmidt
Michael Miller
Matt Kaemmerer
Chelsea Hostetter
Takanori Ishishita
Jesse Lee
William Richardsan & family
Stephany Barnes 


Renewed Members:
Barbara Lazar
Sonoko Hara
Karen Zeidan
Kayoko Omikawa
Junichiro Yatsu
Pablo Arias
Evie Wu
Bunton Turner
Hiroko Miller
Takeshi Udagawa & family
Atsuko Parker

Join our Volunteer Team!    

Do you like Japanese culture, language and arts?  Check out the volunteer opportunities as part of the JASGA Team!  The students at high school and college are always welcome. You must be 18 or older.
Volunteer work with our organization is basic and we will give you necessary instruction, so please join us!

.What kind of work?
 * Assisting with arts, cultural, and language events
 * Assisting Japanese language instructors

 * Assisting Japanese language coordinator

 * Web site maintenace

 * Assisting membership drive
 * Working with our public relations (communication) team
 「日本の文化・日本語をアメリカで広めたい」「日本ファンを増やしたい」という方で、日常会話程度の英語力があり、18歳以上であればどなたでも応募できます。 お気軽にご応募ください。

If you are interested in joining our volunteer team, please contact us at:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at:




The Best Ten Days of My Life

After Participation in the AIU High School Diplomats Program


Mira Pearce
Lake Travis High School 

12th Grader, Senior


November 3, 2012 

The Challenge we are dealt as human beings is to accept all people - leaping over language barriers, embracing cultural differences, and broadening our open-mindedness. The challenge I was dealt at AIU High School Diplomats held on July 30-August 11, 2012 was to meet a teenager my age from literally across the world and be friend her, despite all the obstacles of language and cultural contrast, in ten days. What was seemingly impossible turned out to be the greatest and most rewarding success I have ever achieved.
 AIU High School Diplomats - Mira Pearce   

AIU High School Diplomats, or HSD, is all-expense-paid program held at Princeton University for a week and a half of cultural enrichment between forty American and forty Japanese teenagers, ranging from age fifteen to eighteen. Each American student is paired with a Japanese roommate and they participate in activities ranging from line-dancing in cowboy outfits to learning the traditional Japanese tea ceremony in Yukata.


A personal favorite of most of the Japanese kids is the Halloween day, in which the American students provide costumes for themselves and their roommates, since Halloween is not celebrated in Japan. The most memorable day for me was called "Diplomat Talks" day, when groups of roommate pairs sat with a counselor and spoke about the concept of "world peace", what it means to us individually, if it is a realistic goal, and what we could do as members of our planet to facilitate this goal. We each had our own opinions on what it means and if it's attainable, but we all agreed that the way to achieve world peace through acceptance is to introduce kids to others their age from across the world, like what HSD does.


It was so incredibly special to me to talk about a way to achieve some kind of "world peace" and actually be participating in that activity. I also learned that day after a presentation given by Tsunami survivors that every relationship I have is precious, because we cannot know what will happen tomorrow. This realization was so staggering to me, even though it seemed so simple. I realized that so many of the relationships I should have cherished were being ignored, and that everyone deserved that kind of care. Friendships are so simple to build and treasure, so there is no reason to not put forth just that little bit of effort and make someone's day.  By the end of the program, my roommate Yuka and I had developed an incredibly strong friendship, just by spending time with each other and opening ourselves up; I still speak to her regularly.

Applications for AIU High School Diplomats 2013 are available to current sophomores and juniors, and applicants do not need to be Japanese or have any training in the Japanese language. I strongly encourage everyone to apply - this experience is unmatched by any other program available. The application is online on the High School Diplomats website; it includes a written portion and an interview. AIU High School Diplomats Program     

"The best ten days of my life" - this catchphrase of HSD did not truly internalize in me until the plane ride home; I remembered all the friends I had made, all the new adventures I had experienced, everything I learned, and every way I had changed. This program has truly changed me, both in the way I perceive the world around me and how I live my life.

For more information, visit

or contact the American director, Celine Zapolski, at

Wishing you delightful days!




Japan-America Society of Greater Austin