Newsletter Volume 29

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Japan-America Society of Greater Austin
Newsletter, Vol. 29

February 14, 2013
In This Issue
Sapporo Snow Festival
Japanese Language Program
2013 Grassroots Summit
Welcome New JASGA members!
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Join JASGA! 





2012 Member-Sponsor Social Mixer

Click on the photo to see more.

This exclusive gathering was an opportunity to meet our sponsors, members, committee and board members, presenters of our programs in 2012, and to learn about our plans for the future.  
After the short meeting, we enjoyed a lovely violin and cello strings performance by  Gelsomina Min and
Daniel Hur Meglino along  with  
a small reception. 





 JASGA Bonenkai  Year-End Party


Bonekan - Year-End Party 2012 Click on the photo to see more.


This Bonenkai gathering was the open invitation for JASGA general and corporate partner members, presenters, and their friends and family, as well as JASGA friends to come to a casual Bonenkai.

We had a delicious food and a fun time together at Ryu of Japan.




The first calligraphy

 of the year

Kakizome - The first calligraphy of the year


As the first Cultural Program of 2013, JASGA invited a calligrapher, Ms. Kaori Kitta and enjoyed Japanese traditional New Year's custom, Kakizome (in Japanese "first writing") is a traditional Japanese calligraphy written at the beginning of the year or more precisely on the 2nd of January.  





 Film Screening and 

Director's Talk


Cast Me If You Can - Wakiyaku Monogatari

The JASGA February 2013 Cultural Program will present a Film Screening of "Cast Me If You Can" (Wakiyaku Monogatari) and a talk by the film director, Atsushi Ogata.

This program is in cooperation with Japan-America Society of Houston, Japan-America Soceity of San Antonio, and Japan-America Society of Greater Austin, funded by the Japan Foundation designed to provide financial assistance to Japan-America Societies introducing Japanese arts and culture including visual arts to the community.


Saturday, Feb 23 @2:00pm
Austin Public Library  
Terrazas Branch Meeting Room
1105 E. Cesar Chavez St
Austin TX 78702



Taiko Do Workshop 

and Performance 


Taiko Do - Karen Zeidan and her group

The JASGA March 2013 Cultural Program will present Taiko Do workshop and perfomance by Karen Zeidan and her group.



March 5 @7:00pm

(Serena Room, 1F) 
1701 Toomey St
Austin TX 78704



Humble Bowl of Tea, 

the Backstory


 Tea bowl - Ume (Plum)


The JASGA April 2013 cultural program will present a Humble Bowl of Tea, the Backstory

Pottery  by Linda Mosley.



Mon, April  1 @7:00pm
 Cielo Room South (2F) 
1701 Toomey Rd
Austin TX 7870  

JASGA Newsletter

 Winter 2013

is compiled and edited by:

Kako Ito 


Dear Member,


Happy Kisaragi (如月) - February!

The Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA) enjoyed hosting many events for the community last year and has many more to come this new year. We hope that you will take the opportunity to enjoy them!

2013 Sapporo Yuki-Matsuri


  Sapporo Snow Festival Kids zone

The Sapporo Snow Festival, one of Japan's largest winter events, attracts a growing number of visitors from Japan and abroad every year. Every winter, about two million people come to Sapporo to see a large number of splendid snow statues and ice sculptures which line Odori Park, the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and the main street in Susukino.  


For seven days in February, these statues and sculptures (both large and small) turn Sapporo into a winter dreamland of crystal-like ice and white snow. 


ONGOING PROGRAMS                   


 Spring 2013 Japanese Language Classes


 Class KittaJASGA has Japanese language classes that began in January 2013. The classes continue to meet every Wednesday and Thursday.

(No Class : 3/13-14/2013 for Spring break)



Murchison Middle School 

3700 North Hills Dr.

Austin, TX 78731


Plan now!   Open to All!

July 1-8, 2013


Travel to Japan as part of the 23rd Japan-America Grassroots Summit in Shimane

July 1-8, 2013

Only $2,740 non-stop from DFW all inclusive

($100 early bird discount till March 31)

Shimane is home to legends, hot springs, and Izumo Shrine - a National Treasure of Japan.  Your week will take you off the beaten path, and you'll experience life in a Japanese home. Optional: Extend your stay to visit other parts of Japan. (Right: Matsue Castle)


Brochure & application

(November 1, 2012 - February 17, 2013)


NEW Student / Senior / General / Family Members
Kim Mosley

Jui (Ray) Sun

Danie Hebert
Al Smithson 
Fumiko Futamura
Amber Harmon
Amanda Landa
Steven Beachler
Victor Celania
Addison Martinez
Andrew Cahoon
JD Flores & family
Marina Braverman
Salvador Davila
Catherina Conte
Andrew Lee
Robert Lindquist
Jiunn Wen Chang
Yoko Lawler
Danica Steinhauser


RENEWED Members: ($15/$20/$35/$50)
Brandy Hamblet 
Yoshiteru Asano 
Sayuri Pearce & famkily 
Jene Hirayama 
Mark Eaton 
Rebecca Lewis  
Wesley Estes 
Mary Moss 
Alan Cook 
Gerlinde Leiding 
Janet Hitchcock 
Zach Caspers 
Kyle Milner 
Richard, Madeline, Erika Meier & Family
Tom Garney


New Year Memories in Japan


Rhonda Rolf 
JASGA Communication Co-Chair


February 4, 2013

Part of the Japanese new year tradition in the tea world is Hatsugama, or 'First Kettle". This is the first tea of the new year and traditionally occurs in January. I've had the priviledge of attending Hatsugama in both Japan and Texas. Hatsugama is a time for tea friends to gather, dressed in their finest kimono, and share their love of tea.
The year I spent studying chado (the way of tea) in the foreign student division of the Urasenke GakuenProfessional College of Chado, I was privileged to attend Hatsugama-shiki ("First Kettle celebration") hosted by the Urasenke tea school's Head Family. This is the first formal occasion in the year for the Sen family to put on the kettle to make tea for guests. I attended this event with my classmates and teachers, who hailed from around the globe. On our way to the Urasenke Konnichian house, we passed through the main gate, which was decorated
New Year Decoration with a pine twig symbolizing long life. In the waiting room we admired an arrangement of charcoal, lobster, dried fruit, umeboshi (pickled plums) and other items. Each item in the display had special symbolism for the Sen family, such as the charcoal, used to heat the water for tea, symbolizes the Sen family's tea roots.  
Perhaps my favorite Hatsugama tradition is the sweet 
Hanabira-mochi (flower petal rice cake) served with thick tea, hanabira-mochi (flower petal rice cake). A flat circle of Pink mochi is folded over a strip of sweet burdock root and sweet bean paste. The tradition of serving hanabira-mochi at Hatsugama dates from the late 1800's. It signifies the promise of renewal in a New Year, but to me it also hints at the plum and cherry blossoms that will appear in the coming months. 
Hounsai Oiemoto, Eunsil Han, Heba El-Khodary, Rhonda Rolf,
After tea, we were served a kaiseki meal.  Kaiseki literally means 'breast-pocket stone'.  In ancient times, monks carried a heated stone in the front of their kimono to stave off hunger and stay warm.  A kaiseki meals has just enough food to stave off hunger.  At this very special event, we were served by the family.  We shared warm sake, laughter and, of course, posed for a few photos.  
2003 Hatsugama International Group
As we departed, my classmates and I were in high spirits. I insisted that my teacher, Gary Cadwallader, take a picture with me. Gary-sensei is a Texan and UT graduate who has lived in Japan for decades, and he cheerfully played along as we displayed some Texas school spirit.
This special event is one of the highlights of my tea experiences and a very special New Year memory that I carry with me always.
Gary Sensei and Rhonda  
Wishing you delightful days!





Japan-America Society of Greater Austin