Newsletter Volume 40

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Japan-America Society of Greater Austin
Summer 2016
Newsletter Vol. 40
August 2016
In This Issue
New Corporate Members
Renewed Corporate Members
Japanese Language & Shodo Program
Guest Essay
JASGA hosted a jazz concert in Austin with three Japanese female players, alumnae of the Berklee College of Music
The concert videos are uploaded.  Enjoy!
   "Ruby Road"    
Concert Flyer
Click on the image to see photos.
(Photographer: Eric Dorris)
Click on the photos e to see more. 
(Photo credit: Binh Nguyen)   
Their traditional embu was very impressive. There was a nice quiet time for not only Iaijutsu practitioners but all of us attended the event in the dojo room.
Thank to Austin Aikikai for offering to use your dojo.
A Hands-On Introduction to Japanese Flower Arranging
Gregory Gaiser Click the photo above  to see more
(Photo Credit: Kako Ito)
We enjoyed the hands-on introduction to Japanese flower arrangement, Ikebana (生花 ), with the certified instructor, Gregory Gaiser. Thanks for helping with loading / unlaoding flowers and tools used for the Ikebana class! (Japanese class male students, Aaron, Adam, Kimiyo) 
Washi and Tanabata
Click the photo above to see more
(Photos: Kako Ito/ Adam Meester)
The JASGA cultural program in July presented Washi (和紙), Japanese traditional, handmade paper with Lindsay Nakashima. After the talk, we celebrated the 2016 Tanabata (七夕) Star Festival with the participants. We wrote our wish down on the Tanzaku paper and hung it on a bamboo tree. Everyone sent our wishes off into the Heavens through this ancient Tanabata ritural
Thanks for your support: Austin Children's Museum, Thinkery!
Jpn _ Eng Story Time
Click the photo above to see more
(Photos: Kako Ito)
Thanks for coming by the JASGA event at TOMs. We had a very hot outside event. We thought Texas kids must love the glaring sunshine. Thanks for helping: Kai, Shoji, Kazuko, Kimiyo, Aaron, Adam, Alex, TOMS Austin, and Tea Collection!  
Before the concert
Click the photo above to see more
(Photos: Kenichi Ono)
Young classical musicians
Click the photo above to see more
(Photos: Celena Urabe)
Enjoy the Concert Video.
(Videographer: Yuta Yamaguchi)
In late summer of 2016, Japan-America Society of Greater Austin hosted the Summer Classical Music Concert with a young piano, cello and violin trio. We also invited a bright, talented guest pianist. JASGA was delighted to host the performance by these promising young musicians. We would like to thank everyone who attended the Sunday afternoon concert. All of us surely enjoyed their music.
Young classical musicians:
Trio: Yurina Umekawa (Piano), Daniel Meglino (Cello), Laoise Matsumoto (Violin)
Guest Pianist: Eddie Yoshida
* Ave Maria: accompanied by Gelsomina Megiino-piano
* Violin solo: accompanied by Kiyoshi Tamagawa-piano

This concert was sponsored by: Anne Akiko Meyers (JASGA Lifetime & Bronze member and Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (
9/17  12:30 pm
Kokoro Judo Club
Kokoro Judo
3811 E 12th St.
Austin, TX 78721


JASGA Newsletter

 Summer 2016

is compiled and edited by:

Kako Ito 

Our summer season is almost at an end. Meanwhile, Japan's typhoon season is at its peak from the middle of August to September. A typhoon is a large low pressure system originating over the Northwest Pacific Ocean. It is accompanied by strong winds, a rise in sea level, and torrential rainfalls.
Eye of Typhoon
We are now in the middle of "Shosho" 処暑 which indicates in the seasonal calendar that the heat level is gradually decreasing and summer will be gone within a week. 
This 40th volume of the JASGA newsletter coincides with the End of Summer Classical Music Concert on August 21st. We are proud to have been able to promote these young classical musicians during their summer break, and we hope all of you who attended the concert have joyful memories. 
Shosho  End of Summer

In September, Japan has two National Holidays: Respect for the Aged Day on the 19th and Autumnal Equinox Day on the 22nd. In addition, there has been a tradition in Japan since ancient times called "Otsukimi" (moon viewing). There are events where you can try moon viewing for yourself. The custom was to have a tea party while enjoying the sight of the full moon at these times. The night of the 15th day of the 8th month (around the middle of September) was called "Jyugoya" (the 15th night), and the moon on this night was considered especially beautiful. These days, Otsukimi parties frequently feature high-powered telescopes for the guests to use.

Moon Viewing Concert
Taizo-in Myoshin-ji
JASGA New Corporate Member
Anne Akiko Meyers
                       Ann Akiko Meyers
Thank You for Your Renewal
JASGA Corporate Member

Tex Health Central Texas
Summer 2016
Japanese Language and Shodo Classes
JASGA has Japanese language and Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) classes that began in the middle of May and end on August 10. Thanks for your interests in learning Japanese language and Shodo calligraphy during summer 2016.
Hill Elementary School
2nd class students Shodo Calligraphy
Fall 2016 
Japanese Language and Shodo Program
The registration for Fall 2016 Japanese language and Shodo classes will start in the end of September. Please visit our home page ( and calendar sometime next week. You will also receive a registration information via email.  Please watch your email box!
Guest Essay

Fun Tea Trip to Seattle:
Urasenke Tankokai Association 45th Anniversary Celebration

Sheila Fling, PhD 
Zen Name: Jikei  慈鎣
Distinguished Professor Emerita, 
Texas State University

I was invited to the 45th Anniversary Celebration of the Seattle Urasenke Tankokai Association, I was thrilled to accept. On May 14, 2016, an exquisite banquet was held for over 100 tea students, dignitaries, and guests at the elegant Seattle Tennis Club overlooking beautiful Lake Washington. Following recognitions and honorary presentations, guests were treated to a choice of two of four tea rituals, two on tatami mats and two on misono-dana tea table & stools. 
Rebecca Caulfield and her helpers
Rebecca Caulfield and her helpers after her tea ritual
Three former tea students I was privileged to teach in Austin were selected as leaders. Ron Swanson and his lovely Japanese wife, Miki, had studied tea with me and helped with several public presentations before they moved back to Seattle. Ron was poised, skillful, and knowledgeable as the emcee for the banquet ceremonies and as the commentator for the two tatami tea rituals. Miki-san was teishu (host) for one of those and Rebecca Caulfield for the other. Rebecca had studied tea with me 5 years before moving recently to Seattle. I was so proud of and grateful for all 3!
Being the honored first guest was a surprise! When Rebecca set the chawan (bowl) out for her Japanese hanto (assistant) and Ron to present it to me, my eyes met Rebecca's as we smiled and I spontaneously said "Thank you for making this tea for me," with all my heart in English instead of the habitual, standard Japanese. Tears came with the deep feelings of joy and gratitude!
Christy Bartlett Sensei
Rebecca Caulfield's lesson with Christy Bartlett Sensei
The next day was kenkyukai (all day tea lessons) for about 30 Tankokai Association students at the outstanding Bellevue Children's Academy. My favorite Master Teacher invited for the day was Christy Bartlett Sensei from the San Francisco Urasenke Foundation. I was privileged to be the only guest. Most of all, I don't think I was biased to notice that Rebecca was the first lesson and had the least corrections from Sensei of any student that day! With "beginner's mind/heart", I learned so much.
Ron and Miki Swanson
Ron and Miki Swanson at the banquet
Other special treats of the trip were admiring the huge, brilliant rhododendron all over the city, strolling in the Japanese garden with two other long-time tea friends, relishing seafood on the waterfront, staying at a charming 1906 Inn with fascinating international people, exploring picturesque Capitol Hill, where I lived 1972-3 for a clinical internship at the University of Washington Medical School, sharing a Japanese dinner with my three former students, visiting the Japanese-style home Ron and Miki-san built on Bainbridge Island with authentic tea room by famous architect Makoto Imai Sensei, and seeing Mt. Rainer on the ferry crossing! I can die happily!
Sheila Fling - Seattle Japanese Garden
Sheila Fling in Seattle's Japanese Garden
Stay active and see you at JASGA's upcoming programs and events.  We'd love to see all of you!

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Japan-America Society of Greater Austin