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Thank you to the participating students and teachers for their hard work to prepare, as well as the judges and sponsors. Visit the Speech Contest page to see the winners in each category.

March 2017 Newsletter

In this issue:

2017 MEPPI Japan Lecture Series

March 23 - The Basics of Bonsai

DanSmallThe pots may be shallow, but bonsai is a deep art form. With origins in Chinese penjing, bonsai has developed in Japan for a thousand years. Former president of the Pittsburgh Bonsai Society Daniel Yobp will give attendees the history, species and design principles of bonsai, followed by a demonstration with a shrub.

Daniel spent three years working and studying at a bonsai nursery in Osaka, Japan and currently teaches at Phipps Conservatory. He gives private lessons and includes Japanese garden elements in his landscaping business.

 Thank you to MEPPI for their generous sponsorship of this series.

2017 Paul J. Wilhelm Memorial Golf Outing

Picture1 Register today for the Paul J. Wilhelm Memorial Golf Outing on May 9 at Valley Brook Country Club in McMurray, PA. This is a great opportunity to spend the day with a client, treat employees, or network with industry colleagues while supporting a noble cause.

Golfers compete for winning team trophies, individual skill prizes, and hole-in-one prizes. Highlights of the event include the Grand Prize Raffle and exciting opportunities for gift certificates, dinners, golf items, and more. The golf outing offers many opportunities to support the JASP from golfing to sponsorships and donations of raffle items. All supporters are publicly acknowledged.

Member Spotlight: Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

UPMC_3_W_RGBThe JASP would like to recognize our Bronze Member, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.

The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA), the economic development marketing affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, markets the benefits of conducting business in southwestern Pennsylvania to companies all over the world that are growing, relocating or expanding. The PRA also works to support the growth of existing regional employers. The PRA utilizes a broad coalition of businesses, regional development agencies and government organizations, working in partnership, to make southwestern Pennsylvania – 10 counties, 1 region – a competitive place for domestic and international business investment success.

In the mid-1990s, business and civic leaders – convened by the Allegheny Conference as a “Working Together Consortium” – began to develop strategies to ensure the growth and global competitiveness of the region. It was identified that there was a need to better focus and integrate the many credible, but fragmented, economic development activities taking place in the region. In 1995, the PRA was chartered to provide that focus – operating on the same principle of regional partnership and coordination that defines it today. Learn more about what’s driving southwestern Pennsylvania’s economy and how the PRA markets the region at

We would like to heartily thank Pittsburgh Regional Alliance for its support of our organization.

Ukiyo-e and the Windy City

Please join us for a special presentation of Japanese art as part of the Richard J. Wood Art Curators Series. The series brings attention to major collections of Japanese art in the U.S. and their role in the U.S.-Japan grassroots relationship.

The early and intense commitment of Chicagoan Clarence Buckingham (1854–1913) to the Art Institute formed the museum’s well known Japanese print collection. From the 1890s, Buckingham, assisted by advisors such as curator Frederick W. Gookin and architect Frank Lloyd Wright, assembled a collection of Japanese woodblock prints of exceptional quality and range. Highlights of the collection include rare early ukiyo-e images, an unparalleled group of works by Sharaku, and superb examples of Hokusai's designs.

Janice Katz is the Roger L. Weston Associate Curator of Japanese Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, and has been with the museum for over 13 years. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2004. Her research focuses on paintings from the Edo period (1615–1868) and the history of art collecting in Japan. She was the primary author of the catalogue Japanese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (2003), and the organizer of the exhibition Beyond Golden Clouds: Japanese Screens from the Art Institute of Chicago and the Saint Louis Art Museum (2009), which traveled to St. Louis and San Francisco. She received the Japan America Society of Chicago 2009 Cultural Achievement Award.

Thank you to the Carnegie Museum of Art for their partnership and the National Association of Japan-America Societies and the Japan~United States Friendship Commission for their support of this series at Japan-America Societies nationwide.jusfc
  • najas%20logo_crop
    Thursday, May 11, 6:00 PM
    Carnegie Museum of Art Theater
    4400 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Japanese-English Reading Circle

JERCThe Japanese-English Reading Circle has been changed to the first and third Saturdays of the month. In addition to discussing your reading in Japanese or English with other members, there are opportunities to play games and build your confidence and vocabulary in your second language. 

Saturday, March 18, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, April 1, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, April 15, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, May 6, 5:00-6:30 PM

Kenmawr Apartments, Community Room, Ground Floor
401 Shady Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

High School Japanese Speech Contest Results

The High School Japanese Speech Contest was held in partnership with the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh on Friday, March 3.

Tomofumi Horiki, Cultural Attaché from the Consul General of Japan in New York, presented the grand prize of an electronic dictionary. Dr. Paul Ricketts, ASC affiliated faculty member, encouraged the students to continue pursuing their language studies. Tamiko Iida and Yuko Eguchi performed koto and shamisen and taught the students "Ureshii Hina Matsuri" since the contest took place on the Doll Festival. The contest included a full day of Japanese activities and games for approximately 80 student participants.

Thank you to the participating students and teachers for their hard work to prepare, as well as the judges and sponsors. Visit the Speech Contest page to see the winners in each category.

Upcoming Community Events

Duquesne University Big Read Kick Offemperor_small

Duquesne University's Gumberg Library has been awarded a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to get the community reading. The Big Read centers around Julie Otsuka's novel of Japanese-American internment, When the Emperor Was Divine. The kickoff at the Genesius Theater on March 16 from 4:30 to 6:00 PM will feature free books, refreshments, and a Pittsburgh Taiko performance. The author, Julie Otsuka, will be giving a talk on campus on March 30.  The public is encouraged to attend, form book discussion groups, and participate in the haiku contest.  They also have a gallery of Dorothea Lange's photos on display in the library.

Please see Duquesne's Big Read website for more information.

Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival

JFF Logo whiteThe Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival is pleased to announce its second season will take place April 7-13.

The Festival’s first season brought over 1,000 attendees. It showcased four of Japan’s newer or historically best films, each in a different genre, reflecting the richness and diversity of Japanese cinema: Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran,” the U.S. release of Studio Ghibli’s “Only Yesterday,” Yasujiro Ozu’s “Late Spring,” and the Opening Night Film “Tokyo Tribe.” The festival partnered with a variety of local organizations, businesses, and educational institutions to enhance the film-going experience for attendees. They included a performance by the local hip hop and breakdancing group “Track Meet,” Q/As with University of Pittsburgh professor Dr. Charles Exley, Toonseum animator Chance Brown, and Maegan McMillan from JCS/Tekko as well as goods provided by bakery Yummyholic.

Celebrate: The 6th Annual Tomodachi Festival
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will celebrate friendship and Japanese culture with games, demonstrations, and storytelling in the Children;s department of the main branch in Oakland.

Activities include:
  • Kamishibai storytelling, singing and dancing 
  • Origami art
  • Kimono try-ons
  • Japanese inspired refreshments
When: Saturday, April 1, 2-5 pm
Where: CLP-Main, Children's Department, 4400 Forbes, Avenue (Oakland)

For more information, check the Carnegie Library website.

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