Newsletter Volume 30

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Japan-America Society of Greater Austin
Newsletter, Vol. 30

April 29, 2013
In This Issue
April - Uzuki (卯月-うづき)
Japanese Language Program
CIE - 2013 Grassroots Summit
Welcome New JASGA members!
Go To...

   Sakura mochi

Join JASGA! 



Film Screening and 

Director's Talk


After Film Screeing

Click on a photo to see more
The JASGA February 2013 Cultural Program  presented a Film Screening of "Cast Me If You Can" (Wakiyaku Monogatari) and a talk by the film director, 
Feb 23 @2:00pm
Austin Public Library  
Terrazas Branch

Taiko Do Workshop 

and Performance 


Karen Zeidan

Click on a photo to see more
The JASGA March 2013 Cultural Program presented Taiko Do workshop and perfomance by
Karen Zeidan and her group.



March 5 @7:00pm

(Serena Room, 1F) 

Public Information Session - 2013 Japan-America Grassroots Summit in Shimane 


Tamatsukuri Onsen-Hotspring

The Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA) is organizing a Central Texas delegation to attend the 2013 Japan-America Grassroots Summit which will be held on July 1-8 in Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Elaine Browning, JASDFWshared the program highlights and photographs from her recent trip to Shimane.



March 23 @1:00pm

Old Quarry Library  



Humble Bowl of Tea, 

the Backstory


Chawan by Linda Mosley'

 Click on a photo to see more


The JASGA April 2013 cultural program presented a Humble Bowl of Tea, the Backstory by 

Linda Mosley



April  1 @7:00pm
 Cielo Room South (2F)   



Soroban Workshop by Abacus Brain Gym



The JASGA May 2013 cultural program will present Abacus (Soroban) Brain Gym by Juli Djonl, Director & Educaton at Abacus Brain Gym.
 This workshop is FREE and open to the public.



May 6 @7:00pm

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


  5/8 & 5/9


Fall 2012 Class Kitta

 Starting on Wed, 5/8 @6:00pm and

Thu, 5/9 @6:00/7:00pm

3700 North Hills Dr. 
Austin, TX 78731



Enchanting Modernity: Religion and 

the Supernatural in Contemporary Japanese Popular (Pop) Culture


Miko (shrine maiden) and Archery

The JASGA June 2013
cultural program will present 
Religion and the Supernatural in Contemporary Japanese Popular (Pop) Culture by Chistopher Feldman, 
St. Edward's University 


June 3 @7:00pm

(Cielo Room South - 2F) 
1701 Toomey St 
Austin, TX 78704 

JASGA Newsletter

 Spring 2013

is compiled and edited by:

Kako Ito 


Dear Kako,


We hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather.  

April 29th is the first day of Golden Week
in Japan.  Many Japanese workers get about a week off around the end of April and beginning of May. This is because there is cluster of national holidays during this time from April 29th to May 5th.    
The month of April is called Uzuki (卯月 うづき).

It was called Uzuki because Deutzia shrubs (Unohana) are in full bloom at this time of year.


Uno hana - flowering shrubs
Another name for April is "Hana-zangetsu" meaning that there are still some flowers left. Although officially it is the second month of Spring in the solar calendar, traditionally it corresponds to the end of the season.
April is all about the ubiquitous cherry blossom (Sakura). Revered as the national flower and referenced in countless songs and poems, these blossoms steadfastly represent the aesthetic beauty of Japan.

Meguro river  Sakura

UPCOMING PROGRAMS                   


Summer 2013 Japanese Language Classes


Class  Suga

JASGA has Japanese language classes that began on May 8th and 9th, 2013. The classes continue to meet every Wednesday and Thursday. (No Class: 7/3-4 and 7/10-11 for AISD break and National holiday.)



Murchison Middle School 

3700 North Hills Dr.

Austin, TX 78731


CIE (Center for International Exchange) 

Application Deadline: May 1, 2013


Travel to Japan as part of the 23rd Japan-America Grassroots Summit 
in Shimane on July 1-8, 2013
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


For Brochure & application, visit



Welcome New Individual & Friend of JASGA Members
(February 18  - April 29, 2013)
NEW Student / Senior / General / Family Members
Gayle and Scot Crumley
Lawrence Reinish 
Russell Kline
Bryan Nolte & Family
Adam Doyle & Family


Thank you for renewing your membership! 
RENEWED "Friends of JASGA" member

Sheila Fling


Student/Senior/General/Family Members
Tomio Yamakoshi Petrosky
Keith Goods 
L Jane Rose & Family 
Rhonda Rolf 
Pam Farley 
Arthur Sakamoto
John Evans 


Matabei's Cherry Tree and Billy the Kid


Tomio Yamakoshi Petrosky
Center for Complex Quantum System
The University of Texas at Austin


April 26, 2013

I just came back form Japan at the right moment to see the beautiful cherry blossoms.  However, the cherry blossom season started approximately 10 days earlier this year. I can easily imagine the travel agents who arranged trips to see the cherry blossoms being upset because the blossoms only bloom for two weeks, which is a short life span. Among many cherry blossom trees that I saw the Matabei-Zukra at Oh-uda from Nara was the most impressive one (see Fig.1) This is a weeping cherry tree that is more than 300 years old. This tree is also called a Taki-Zakura, which means cherry blossom like a waterfall.
300 yrs old - Matabei Sakura (Cherry Blossom) in Nara
 Fig.1 Matabei-Zakura
If you see a guidebook about cherry blossom trees, it may say that there is 1,000 cherry trees in this park or 10,000 cherry trees in that park, and so on. The guidebooks say there is only one cherry tree at Matabei-Zukura Park but yet many tourists from all over Japan are attracted to see this one tree.
By the way, Matabei is the name of a famous Japanese samurai (後藤又兵衛次基(1560?-1615) from the civil war period. Legend has it that Matabei spent his final moment of life as a Buddhist priest at the location of this tree. This tree grew in his garden. Another legend has it that he died on the battlefield at Osaka castle in the famous Osaka battle in the summer of 1615. As a result, he has two graves.
You should not be surprised, because I heard from an American friend that Billy the Kid (Fig. 2) was killed in three different places so he has three graves.
 Billy the Kid (William Henry McCarty, Jr. (1859-1881)
             Fig.2 Billy the Kid 
Surprisingly a Japanese legend states there are more than 200 graves all over Japan for a woman poet named Izumi Sikibu who lived in the 10th century. So many people loved Izumi Sikibu that they started to clam that she came to their place in the last moment of her life.
Izumi Shikibu
 Izumi Shikibu
It seems me that there is a common thing in the world for the person who was loved by many people, such as Matabei, Billy the Kid, and so on. Though they have only one body, they have many graves. 

Wishing you delightful Spring days!


Japan-America Society of Greater Austin