Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Midwest Events - August


The Japan America Society of Indiana presents a seminar in Japanese for Japanese executives and managers working stateside entitled JETRO & Barnes and Thornburg Japanese Management Seminar: What You Need to Know for Your Employment Practice During the Economic Turndown.

When: August 6, 2008
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Where: Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
One South Capital Avenue
Indianapolis, IN


The Japan America Society of Indiana also presents a seminar on Japanese Monozukuri Practices for the Automotive Industry.

When: August 26, 2008
11:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Where: Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
One South Capital Avenue
Indianapolis, IN


The Japan America Society of Iowa presents a performance by the MU Daiko group at the Iowa State Fair.

When: August 11, 2008
3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Where: Bill Reilly Stage
Iowa State Fairgrounds
E. 30th Street & E. University Avenue
Des Moines, IA


The Japan Council of Greater Kansas City presents Japanese Heritage Night at the K.This event includes a performance by a Taiko group and a Bon Odori Dance Festival, among other things.

When: August 4, 2008
4:30 PM

Where: Kauffman Baseball Stadium
Kansas City, Kansas

Chicago Events - August


From August 5 through October 25, 2008, The Art Institute of Chicago will be hosting a very interesting exhibition entitled Yokohama-e: 19th Century Prints of Americans in Japan.

Don't miss this unique chance to see Americans through Japanese eyes!

When: August 5 - October 25, 2008

Where: Gallery 107
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603


The Japanese-American Service Committee and the Nikkei Japanese-American Community are hosting a picnic to celebrate their heritage! All are welcome!

When: August 2, 2008
10 am - sunset

Where: LaBagh Woods Forest Preserve, Grove #1


The Japan America Society of Chicago will host a speech and Q&A session with the President of Boeing Japan, Nicole Piaseki, entitled Boeing and Japan: A Global Benchmark for Strategic Industrial Collaboration.

When: August 14, 2008
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Where: The Conference Center at UBS Tower
One North Wacker Drive, Second Floor (Michigan Ballroom)
Chicago, IL 60606

* * *

Join in on the Japan America Society of Chicago's Suburban Meishi (Business Card) Exchange for networking and fun!

When: August 28, 2008
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Where: Peggy Kinnane's Irish Restaurant and Pub
8 N. Vail Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL, 60005


Calling all foodies! Come enjoy a unique and delicious dinner of Japanese fusion cuisine prepared by famous chef, Takashi Yagihashi! The dinner will include a presentation by Takashi on his backgrounds in the culinary arts.

When: August 19, 2008
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Where: Takashi Restaurant
1952 N. Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL

Special Occasion

To welcome the newly-arrived Consul General of Japan, The Honorable Mr. George Hisaeda, a reception has been planned by the Japan America Society of Chicago. Hors D'oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available for guests.

When: August 20, 2008
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Where: Mid-America Club
200 E. Randolph Drive, 80th Floor
Chicago, IL

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Midwest Events - July & August

This summer boasts lots of fun, Japan-related events!


Malott Japanese Garden Family Sundays

Don't miss these hands-on, interactive events held throughout the summer at the Chicago Botanical Gardens! Families can enjoy learning about Japanese culture and arts in the lovely setting of the Malott Japanese Garden.

July 20, August 3, September 7 and 21, and October 5
11 AM - 4 PM

Chicago Botanical Gardens
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL

Also at the Chicago Botanical Gardens...

Malott Japanese Garden Summer Festival

A Summer tribute to Japanese festivals, music, stories, and many other aspects of Japanese culture.

August 16 and 17
10 AM - 4 PM

Chicago Botanical Gardens
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL

And, while you're at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, don't forget to stop by the Mid-America Bonsai Show and Sale!

August 15
Noon - 5 PM: Show
9 AM - 5 PM: Sale

August 16 and 17
9 AM - 5 PM: Show and Sale


Tsukasa Youth Performances

Amazing performances by a skilled youth group of Taiko drummers. Admission is FREE!

August 2
Mitsuwa Obon Festival Performance

Mitsuwa Marketplace
100 E. Algonquin Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL

August 17
12 PM and 2 PM

Millenium Park
Chicago, IL


Building Global Brands In Japan: Lessons Learned From Kellogg's and McDonalds

A speech by and a Q & A session with Ken G. Kabira, Former Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald's Japan sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Chicago.

July 10
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Komatsu America Corporation
Second Floor
1701 W. Golf Road
Rolling Meadows, IL, 60008

Energy and Natural Resources: How Does a Price Hike in Energy Affect the Global Economy?

A speech by and a Q & A session with Yoshihiko Kawamura, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Mitsubishi International Corporation, sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Chicago.

July 31
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
525 W. Monroe St.
Chicago, IL, 60661


Buddhist Service and Q & A Session at the Midwest Buddhist Temple

July 27
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Midwest Buddhist Temple
435 W. Menomonee St.
Chicago, IL, 60614


Commemmorations of Nagasaki and Hiroshima sponsored by Nagasaki's sister city, St. Paul, Minnesota

August 5 and 6
Commememorations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

Lyndale Peace Park Garden, St. Paul, Minnesota
August 5, 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM, Commemoration activities
August 6, 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM, Commemoration activities

Lake Harriet Bandshell, St. Paul, Minnesota
August 6, 7:30 PM, Concert for Peace

August 9
10:30 AM
Commemoration of Nagasaki bombing

Global Harmony Labyrinth at Como Park in St. Paul, Minnesota

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chicago Events - June

Hi everyone. Apologies for the long hiatus. Things should be a bit more regular around here during the summer!


English Rakugo: Chicago Hanjotei
Don't miss this extremely rare opportunity to see Japanese "Rakugo" storytelling comedy performed in English by performers from Osaka. Part of the Chicago - Osaka Sister City 35th Anniversary celebration.
June 20 - 21
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Downtown Chicago, NU Thorne Auditorium 6/20 (Fri)
Arlington Heights, Forest View Educational Center Theater 6/21 (Sat)


Chicago Japan Festival 2008
Anime, music & dance, martial arts performances, ikebana, traditional arts and more! Come out and enjoy with us.
June 21 & 22, 2008
Forest Veiw Education Center
2121 S. Goebbert Rd., Arlington Hts, IL


Love and Honor
Yoji Yamada's third and final samurai period piece, this time starring popular SMAP member Kimura Takuya, plays today through Thursday, June 5, at Facets Cinematheque.


Ikebana International Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
May 31 and June 1, 2008 — 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Toshiko Takaezu's ceramics (through June 8th) and The Arranged Flower print exhibit (through August 3rd) at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Also, check out this free demonstration by bamboo artist Fujinuma Noboru at the Institute on June 5th at 6pm.


Art Union Humanscape - Ayako Kato presents TEN NIGHTS DREAM
June 6 & 7, 8pm
June 8, 7pm
Epiphany Episcopal Chicago
201 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60607


Japan America Society of Chicago's 78th Annual Dinner
June 9th, 6:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Upcoming Events - April 2008

My Colt Is My Passport

Lots of interesting and unusual events coming up in Chicago and beyond!


Sake Tasting and Seminar
Join us for this unique opportunity to taste and learn about some of Japan’s most exquisite sake! Six top breweries will be represented, and sake expert John Gauntner will give a brief presentation on the fundamentals of enjoying sake. Must be 21 or older to attend.
Tuesday, April 1, 6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Japan Information Center
$35 before March 28. $45 after March 28.
Register at the JAS Chicago website


Kohdo: Traditional Japanese Incense Ceremony

A growing number of people are using aroma therapy to seek relief from stress. This modern-day trend is starting to attract renewed attention to the traditional Japanese art of “Kohdo” – Incense Ceremony. Gyosetsu Maruyama, Master in the Oie School of Kohdo, and Nobue Irako, who has 10 years of experience in Kohdo, will make a special visit from Japan to give us a demonstration of this refined art. You will have an opportunity to experience the aroma of some very rare and highly valuable incense, and learn about the world of the Japanese Incense Ceremony.

Thursday, April 10, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Japan Information Center, Chicago
Free Admission


No Borders, No Limits: 1960s Nikkatsu Action Cinema

The Gene Siskel Film Center, in collaboration with The Japan America Society of Chicago, presents No Borders, No Limits: 1960s Nikkatsu Action Cinema. The series will feature these films: A Colt is My Passport, The Warped Ones, Glass Johnny: Looks Like a Beast, Red Handkerchief, Velvet Hustler, Gangster VIP, and Roughneck.
April 5 - May 23
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., Chicago, IL
Tickets: $9/general admission, $7/students, $5/Film Center members


The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito

Shinjo Ito (1906-1989), founder of the Shinnyo-en stream of Buddhism, was one of Japan's most versatile Buddhist sculptors and an accomplished artist in fields as diverse as calligraphy and photography. This exhibit reveals Shinjo's unique capacity to meld spirituality and artistry, as well as realism and interpretation.
April 8th – May 1st
Chicago Illuminating Company
19 East 21st Street (South Loop), Chicago


”Hana’s Suitcase”

Chicago Children’s Theatre presents this play based on the book by Karen Levine
April 11 – May 11, 2008
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Storefront Theater


Akira Kurosawa series at Film Streams

Twelve films from throughout Kurosawa’s career will be screened.
March 28 – May 8
1340 Webster St., Omaha, NE


Central Kansas Japanese Festival 2008
Enjoy various forms of Japanese culture. All are welcome to attend!
Saturday, April 12
Kansas State University Student Union, Manhattan, KS

Thursday, March 13, 2008

2008 JETAA Chicago Job Fair

Explore Japan-related careers - Open to everyone!

The Chicago chapter of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association (JETAA) will host its annual Job Fair. Representatives from top Japanese companies and recruiting firms will be on hand to accept resumes and explore job opportunities in the Chicago area.

Saturday, April 5th, 12 - 5 PM
Japan Information Center, 737 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL

To reserve your attendance, contact Andrew Smerczak-Zorza, Jobs Coordinator, JETAA Chicago:
ajs at campbellcompany dot com

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March Events - Chicago & Indiana

If you live in Minnesota or are visiting soon, be sure to check out the Arts of Japan – John C. Weber Collection exhibit on now at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (mentioned in the previous entry). I visited recently and can safely say that this is a world-class event. It’s extremely rare to see a collection like this anywhere.


Anime 101 – Free Anime Screening Series
Every Thursday in March at 6:30 pm.
March 13: Howl’s Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki
March 20: Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow - from the popular TV series
March 27: Tekkonkinkreet
All films are in Japanese with English subtitles. Please note that Tekkonkinkreet is rated R in the United States and may not be suitable for young children.

At Facets Cinematheque:
Young Yakuza
This documentary follows a young man interning with the Kumagai clan in Tokyo.
March 14 – 20


22nd Annual Japanese Language Speech Contest
Japanese language students take note! Students of all ages may want to apply for next year’s contest. The grand prize is a round trip airline ticket to Japan! Come and cheer on the contestants and practice your listening skills.
Japan Information Center
Saturday, March 29th, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Join us for the annual memorial tea gathering to honor Sen No Rikkyu
Japan Information Center
Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 PM

“Toyota's Transformation from Importer to a Leading Manufacturer in North America”
Dennis Cuneo of Toyota Boshoku America
March 17 at 11:30 AM

”The Asian Financial Center: Is it too late for Tokyo?”
Mr. Mitch Fulscher, Chairman, Futures Industry Association of Japan
March 20 at 11:30 AM

2008 US Shogi Championship in Chicago
March 28 – 30
Holiday Inn Express Chicago, Arlington Heights


Hello Kitty: The Global Brand with Nine Lives
Lecture and book signing by New York Times reporter Ken Belson.
March 27 at 6:30 PM
Deboest Lecture Hall, Indianapolis Museum of Art

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Minnesota Events


Arts of Japan: 900 Years of Seductive Beauty
Feb 24 - May 25 at Minneapolis Institute of Art
John C Weber Collection, one of the finest private collections of Japanese art in the US
This should be an excellent exhibit!


by Yukiko Motoya, translation by Kyoko Yoshida and Andy Bragen
Part of Mu Performing Arts series of
readings of plays by Asian-American artists.
Directed by Rick Shiomi
Saturday Feb 16, 7pm
Tickets: Suggested donation of $5 at the door.
Mu Studio
2700 NE Winter Street, Suite 4, Minneapolis


Developing new and/or experimental work reflecting the unique vision of Mu Daiko artists is at the Heart of Taiko Lab. Be a part of the process as these brand new pieces receive their first performances!
May 9 & 10 at 8:00 PM
Mixed Blood Theater
1501 S Fourth St, Minneapolis
Reservations: 612.338.6131 or

Friday, January 18, 2008

January News & Events


Major exhibition of Japanese prints and pottery, including an installation by printmaker Ayomi Yoshida, a printmaking project for kids, and informal gallery talks.
NIU Art Museum, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.
January 15 - March 7.
Reception on January 24, 4:40 - 7:30 pm.


Noisy rock favorites Boredoms have scheduled a U.S. tour for March, including a few Midwest dates. Don't miss this legendary band!

March 25 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
March 26 - Chicago, IL - Logan Square Auditorium


Honey and Clover: Adaptation of a popular manga, this film was rescheduled from an earlier date.
February 15 - 21 at Facets Cinematheque, Chicago


The Chicago Cubs recently acquired Japanese star hitter and right-fielder Kosuke Fukudome for a four-year, $48 million contract. The 30-year-old, who has been a batting champ twice in Japan, will be the first Japanese player for the Cubs. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals signed relief pitcher Yasuhiko Yabuta, who previously played for Chiba Lotte, to a two-year contract.

Friday, December 21, 2007

2nd International Manga Award - Call for Entries

The Executive Committee of Japan’s Second International Manga Award is accepting entries from today, December 21st. Guidelines for application and entry forms are available on the following website:

“Manga” refers to Japanese-style comic books. Over the past decade, the popularity and marketability of manga has exploded worldwide. The Award was established this year to recognize manga artists who have contributed to the promotion of manga overseas. The Executive Committee convened on November 26th and announced the second competition.

The top entry will be awarded the Golden Prize and three other distinguished works will receive Silver Prizes. The Japan Foundation will sponsor a ten-day trip to Japan for the winners, including the award ceremony. Winners will also have the opportunity to meet with Japanese manga artists and visit publication companies during their trip.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

December news and events

Apologies for the long delay since the last entry. Things have been busy around here. With the holidays coming up, this will probably be the only entry until mid-January.

A reception for returning JET programme and the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund participants, and another reception celebrating the birthday of Emperor Akihito, were held at the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago was held on December 1st and December 11th, respectively. In spite of hostile weather on both occasions, the events were well-attended.

The Japan America Student Conference is recruiting participants for the 2008 Conference. American delegates will be selected from all fields of study and will range from 1st year college students to Ph.D. candidates. Applications are due February 8th. This is a great opportunity for students interested in Japan.


Polly Fortune, President of the Japan America Society of Iowa, is stepping aside after a successful term. She will be replaced by Mayumi Ameku. The JASI has a new website at They will host their New Year meeting in Des Moines on January 13.


Aikido seminar with Horii Shihan
February 1 - 3, 2008
Aikido Shimboku Dojo, 9115 Trinity Drive, Lake in the Hills, IL 60156


Takashi Miike's bizarre superhero film is playing at Facets Cinematheque.
December 28 - January 3rd.

A major Shohei Imamura retrospective is playing at Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago in January and February. If you are unfamiliar with his rowdy, emotionally complex pictures, this is an excellent chance to get acquainted, as many of these films are unavailable on video. Between January 5th and March 4th, 18 of Imamura's films will be screened.

Coming soon...Watch for announcements in January about Japanese figure skater and Olympic medalist Yuka Sato and an anime event in Chicago...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chicago Events

NBC5 and AAA Travel Expo in Chicago
Japan Information Center will be hosting a booth this weekend at the Travel Expo, providing tourist information about Japan and the JET program. Additionally, the Chicago Koto Group will be performing on at 12:30 on Sunday. This is quite a big event, and will include diving, golf, and surfing simulators, passport registration, raffles and giveaways, cooking demonstrations and entertainment. Drop in and see us. It's free!
Navy Pier, Exhibit Hall A
November 10-11 (Sat & Sun)
10AM - 5PM

Fourth Annual Chicago Taiko Legacy
JASC Tsukasa Taiko will be performing with several special guests, including two shamisen masters from Tokyo.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602

A lecture-demonstration with shamisen artists Chizuru Kineya and Koujime Yoshimura
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Japanese American Service Committee
4427 N. Clark Street, Chicago IL 60640
10:30am - 12:00pm
All events are free!