Newsletter Volume 43

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Japan-America Society of Greater Austin
Summer 2017
Newsletter Vol. 43
August 2017
In This Issue
  Arigatou - Summer
mother and daughter
Click on the image to see photos.
 (Photographer Peter Nguyen
Mom and Son
 (Photographer Ken Segraves 
JASGA presented a Yukata and Summer Kimono Fashion Show at the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum on Sunday, May 14th. We celebrated the 2017 Mother's Day together with a large audience. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon with lots of smiles and memories.
Thank you again to all our fabulous models and volunteers!
 with Yuta Yamaguchi
Yuta Yamaguchi and K Yamamoto
Click on the photo to see more. (Photo credit: Kenichi Ono)
Poster_ Film Screening
(Poster  Bulavkina Anastasiya)
Thank you for participating in the Film Screening and Director's Talk with Yuta Yamaguchi on June 28. Yuta's two short films and followup talk were extraordinary.
The following two short films were presented in Japanese with English subtitles.
1) Jazz Abroad
2) Matsuri
Fumiko Futamura
Click on the image to see more.
Hokusai Ch_shi in Shimousa
JASGA presented a lecture entitled 'Fractals in Japanese Woodblock Prints' (Ukiyo-e) by Dr. Fumiko Futamura on July 13th.
Thanks for your participation including the students from the Ritumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in Beppu  in the program. We had over 55 audiences and enjoyed her talk and a math exercise.
 Upcoming Event  
Okinawan Kobudo
Okinawan Goju-ryu Kobudo
Austin Okinawan Karate
Japanese Language and Shodo 
Summer 2017
Fall 2017 
Beg I - II
Click on the photos to see more.
Intermediate I - II
Shodo Calligraphy
JASGA Japanese Language and Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) classes for Summer 2017 was completed on July 19th.  
The 2017 Fall session will start on September 13th.  Please visit in the middle of August and watch your mail box to receive your class registration!



JASGA Newsletter

 Summer 2017

is compiled and edited by:

Kako Ito 

Dear Friends,
"Zansho Omimai Moshiagemasu"
Best wishes for the summer season!
It's Hazuki, August!
Hope you are all well and enjoying this summer.
Starting from August 11, 2016 Mountain Day (Yama- no-Hi) is a newly-introduced Japanese national holiday to celebrate and appreciate Japan's many mountains. 
Mt. Fuji Summer Twilight
Mt. Fuji Summer Twilight in Yoshiwara (photo:Tadahiro Kato)
The campaign to have a Mountain Day was a longstanding cause for hiking and mountain-related groups, who wanted to celebrate Japan's terrain and its connection to the nation's geography and culture. This national holiday was established thanks to the act of Japanese Alpine Club.
Despite people's extreme urbanisation, the population shift from rural to urban areas, many Japanese people see themselves as more in touch with nature than people in many other developed nations.

A large chunk of Japan's land mass is mountainous, and walking or trekking in the mountains is a popular pastime, particularly among older Japanese. The mountains also offer excellent skiing throughout the winter.
Shosenkyo Gorge Yamanashi
View over Shosenkyo Gorge in Yamanashi (Photo credit Al Case)
With Mountain Day on August 11th, Japan now has 16 official holidays a year.
Most of Japan's national holidays celebrate something specific, such as the Emperor's birthday, Children's Day, Coming-of-Age Day, Constitution Day, National Foundation Day, Green Day, Marine Day, and Mountain Day.
June is the only month without a national holiday.
Upcoming Event 
1:15 pm & 2:45 pm

Japan Market Briefing 
with JETRO and GAACC
Japan External Trade Organization _JETRO_
Free Admission
(Austin Parks & Recreation) 
Thank you !
 JASGA Tomodachi  Members!


May-July 2017








Kazuko White

David Foster

Guest Essay
Two Fans of Japanese Culture
August 2017
Adam Doyle
Abby Roberts Doyle
Ellison High School
My wife and I have been driving an hour to Austin every week for longer than I can remember so that we can take part in Japanese culture classes offered by JASGA. To many coworkers and family, our constant interest in Japan has always seemed strange, niche, and maybe a bit eccentric. They wonder when this interest began and why it is still such a defining part of our lives.

at JASGA Aki Matsuri
For us, that interest is just the natural growth of a fascination and love for the culture, a feeling that we have carried with us since childhood. As many other Americans can probably attest, that love is complex, starting with a superficial delight in things like anime and martial arts movies but then evolving into an appreciation for the actual history, language, and people of Japan.
When we first started taking classes with JASGA, it was both to enrich ourselves in that culture and to pass on that knowledge to our students. We took language classes to prepare for two club-sponsored trips to Japan, and in a strange nod to my focus on Chinese studies during college, we eventually became engrossed in year after year of Shodo classes with the most authentic and talented instructor I've ever known, Aya Koga.

While it may seem like we are personally driven toward traditional Japanese culture, the stream of knowledge always flows both directions when working in a high school, and the circle of interest seems to have completed exactly where it started. Just as we try to instill our understanding of traditional Japan into our students, they never cease to remind us of what piqued our interests in Japan when we were their age.

One great example is when I imported a Japanese copy of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F for the PS3 at their request, well before it was released in North America. The plan was just to play it once during a club meeting, but after spending countless hours with the game myself, I was transformed into a dedicated fan of Hatsune Miku and vocaloids in general, enough so to attend a live concert in Dallas with fellow JASGA member, Kevin Dedon. 
Miku Dallas Concert
Abby and I eventually cosplayed Hatsune Miku during an Austin Comic Con a few years back, an experience that sparked her own interest in costume creation.
Hatsune Miki Cosplay
That degree of excitement and child-like intrigue in Japanese popular culture often feels too rare in our adult lives, especially as educators that have been overexposed to anime related media throughout the years. Investing time and energy into the Hatsune Miku fandom reminded me of when I first started watching anime, when the music in a show like Sailor Moon was just as important as the visual spectacle, and the colorful artistry of the experience meant more to me than the quality of the plot or the development of each character. 
In that respect, Abby and I have come to discover that even as we age, there is something inherent in both Japanese popular and traditional culture that we continue to respect and desire, something that appeals to us at a basic level we cannot deny. 
Whether through the melody of language, a harmony of aesthetics, a sense of dedication, or perhaps just an appreciation for nature, Japan has found a way to mold our sentiments and enhance our lives. To all of our instructors and fellow students of JASGA, thank you for being a part of that!
Practicing Shodo_ Kevin_ Adam_ neko
Stay cool all summer long!
Hope to see you at JASGA's upcoming programs and events.  We'd love to see all of you!

JASGA logo   



Japan-America Society of Greater Austin