The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania


Upcoming events

    • Saturday, March 02, 2024
    • Saturday, March 16, 2024
    • 2 sessions
    • Kenmawr Apartments Community Room, Ground Floor, 401 Shady Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232

    • Friday, March 08, 2024
    • 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
    • Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

    This competition is designed for high school students from Western Pennsylvania and the tristate area studying Japanese language. Japanese language students of all levels and students who are involved in Japan-related cultural activities, are able to compete against other area students in speech or poster activities. Non-language students are eligible to compete in the poster contest. Each year over 80 students participate. There will be lots of fun Japan-related activities for participating students and parents.

    Students who compete in speech levels are required to write and memorize a speech on the chosen topic for the contest. Winners receive prizes and trophies! Please visit the contest page for more information.

    The Middle School Japan in Art Contest theme also pertains to Japanese Visual Art, 1960 ~ Present. Students submit a postcard-style piece of artwork with a Japanese sentence describing the art for popular vote on the contest day. Please contact us for more information.

    2024 Themes:

    Poster Session:  Japanese Visual Art, 1960 ~ Present
    Beginner Level: Self-Introduction
    Intermediate: Japanese Visual Art, 1960 ~ Present
    Advanced: Japanese Visual Art, 1960 ~ Present
    Advanced Plus: Japanese Visual Art, 1960 ~ Present

    Heritage: Japanese Visual Art, 1960 ~ Present

    Japanese language teachers or students studying Japanese in high school should contact the JASP office at 412-856-8608 or email Katsuko Shellhammer to learn more about the competition. The contest is held in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh.

    • Thursday, March 21, 2024
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Energy Innovation Center, 1435 Bedford Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

    This panel discussion will delve into climate action within Japan, the ASEAN network, and the United States, focusing on the role of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources in each region – past, present, and future. We will also explore global climate collaboration and alignment, including COP29. We’ll close with what we as global citizens need to know and can do to take climate action in our own lives.

    U.S.-Japan Climate Collaboration will be held on Thursday, March 21 at the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Doors open at 5PM, and the speaking portion of the program will be 6PM–7PM. We encourage you to arrive right at 5PM to connect with each other over complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

    Attendance is free but registration is required.

    We're excited to partner with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh on this program! This event is part of the Japan Currents program, supported by the National Association of Japan-America Societies and the Embassy of Japan.


    Dr. Ken Koyama is Chief Economist and Senior Managing Director at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ). He also takes a position of Visiting Professor at Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo and Adjunct Professor at Institute of Innovative Research at Tokyo Institute of Technology.

    He was awarded the degree of: (1) B.A. in Economics in 1982 from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan; (2) M.A. in Economics in 1986 from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan; and (3) PhD in 2001 from University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland. His specialized field of research is: energy security and geopolitics of energy; and analysis for global energy market and policy issues with emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.

    He has served as a member of energy policy related advisory councils and committees of Japanese government in many occasions. He also plays a role as: Member of the OPEC Energy Review Editorial Board, Visiting Senior Fellow at Institute for International Economic Studies and Board of Director at the Japan Electric Power Exchange.

    He was awarded the BrandLaureate’s “Brand Personality Award 2016”, the 43th “Energy Forum Award” in 2023 and “Kashiwagi Takao GXI Award” in 2023. He was also awarded the OPEC Award for Research in July 2023.

    Phillip Lipscy is professor of political science at the University of Toronto, where he is also Chair in Japanese Politics and Global Affairs and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Japan at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. In addition, he is cross-appointed as professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo.

    His research addresses substantive topics such as international cooperation, international organizations, the politics of energy and climate change, international relations of East Asia, and the politics of financial crises. He has also published extensively on Japanese politics and foreign policy. Lipscy’s book from Cambridge University Press, Renegotiating the World Order: Institutional Change in International Relations, examines how countries seek greater international influence by reforming or creating international organizations.

    Before arriving at the University of Toronto, Lipscy was assistant professor of political science at Stanford University. Lipscy obtained his PhD in political science at Harvard University. He received his MA in international policy studies and BA in economics and political science at Stanford University. He is also affiliated with the Program on United States-Japan Relations at Harvard University, Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and the United States-Japan Council.

    Kay Shimizu is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh and a Visiting Scholar at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Japan. Her research addresses institutional design and their effects on economic governance with a special interest in central local relations, property rights, and the digital transformation. Her publications include Political Change in Japan: Electoral Behavior, Party Realignment, and the Koizumi Reforms (coedited with Steven R. Reed and Kenneth McElwain) as well as articles in Socio-Economic Review, Journal of East Asian Studies, Current History, and Social Science Japan Journal. She is the author of Betting on the Farm: Institutional Change in Japanese Agriculture with Patricia Maclachlan, and The Digital Transformation and Japan's Political Economy with Ulrike Schaede. Shimizu received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. She contributes regularly to the public discourse on international relations and the political economy of Asia and has been a fellow at the Mike and Maureen Mansfield Foundation, the National Committee on U.S. China Relations, and the U.S.-Japan Foundation.

    William Peduto will serve as moderator of our discussion. William Peduto is a distinguished executive in residence at Carnegie Mellon University. He served as the 60th Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh from 2014–2022. Prior to taking office, he worked for 19 years on Pittsburgh City Council – seven years as a staffer and then twelve years as a Member of Council.

    The JASP thanks the National Association of Japan-America Societies and the Embassy of Japan for their generous support of the Japan Currents program.

    • Thursday, April 18, 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Society for Contemporary Craft, 5645 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

    Japan’s exceptional history of traditional arts and crafts is gaining recognition and creating a more nuanced global view of the country beyond technology and pop culture. Douglas Brooks, a boatbuilder, writer, and researcher who specializes in the construction of traditional Japanese wooden boats for museums and private clients, has visited all forty-seven prefectures in Japan and has apprenticed with nine boat builders since 1996, building over a dozen types of traditional wooden boats. In his talk, he will address the nature of craft education in Japan; an ethic that is largely at odds with our notions of teaching in the West.

    Join the JASP on April 18, 2024 for a lecture about the apprenticeship process in Japanese traditional crafts. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided.

    Douglas Brooks is a boatbuilder, writer and researcher who specializes in the construction of traditional wooden boats for museums and private clients. He worked in the Small Boat Shop at the National Maritime Museum in San Francisco from 1985-1990 and has since built boats at museums in Japan and across the United States.

    He teaches classes in boat building and has written regularly for magazines like WoodenBoat (USA), Classic Boat (UK), and KAZI (Japan). Brooks attended the Williams Mystic Seaport Program in American Maritime History, and he is a 1982 graduate of Trinity College and a 2002 graduate of the Middlebury College Language School.

    Visit his website to see photos of his boats and learn more about his research.

    Japan Lecture Series Sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.
    • Thursday, May 23, 2024
    • Edgewood Country Club, 100 Churchill Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15235

    Network with JASP members and supporters at this day-long event. This is a great opportunity to spend the day with a client, treat employees, or network with industry colleagues while supporting a worthy cause.

    Take your team-building and networking to the course for a fun day on the links.

    This year's event will be held at Edgewood Country Club, designed by Donald Ross. Ross's philosophy of golf architecture can best be described by a quotation he often used, "Golf should be a pleasure, not a penance." his interpretation of the word pleasure was very broad, implying not only a fair course which presents problems and challenges to all types of golfers, but also which is a natural as possible. Visit their website for a tour.

    The golf tournament will begin at noon. Golfers compete for winning team trophies, individual skill prizes, and hole-in-one prizes. A post-golf cocktail hour will provide opportunities to meet the other guests and win raffle prizes, including Grand Prize ticket vouchers from Delta Airlines!

    This event offers many opportunities to support the JASP from $200 - $3,000. Options for sponsorship are listed after choosing your type of registration. If you just want to be a sponsor, click on "I just want to be a sponsor" as your registration type and all of your options for sponsorship will be listed with their donation value. All supporters are publicly acknowledged.

    We hope you will join us for this fun and popular event.

    • Thursday, May 30, 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 7:45 PM
    • TBA

    When we eat Japanese foods, many of us do not realize we are eating byproducts of fermentation. Sake, miso, even soy sauce is fermented using a funky fungus known as koji. Over the last decade or two, this unconventional fermentation method has slowly started to catch the eye of food scientists worldwide and has inspired many chefs to experiment with it in their kitchens. This talk will give a brief overview of the science behind koji, a look at how some professional fermenters are using it, as well as a couple of ideas for how you can experiment with koji or koji byproducts in your own cooking or baking! We hope you leave inspired to try some food-science experiments of your own in your home kitchen!

    Continuing our 2024 Japan Lecture Series, join the JASP in welcoming Steven Baleno, where he will be hosting a talk titled "Fermenting Flavor: Koji in the Kitchen". Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided. Attendance is free, but registration is required.

    Steven Baleno is an educator with a passion for exploring the intersection of Japanese culinary techniques and how to apply them within Western kitchens. Currently serving as the Japanese teacher at Shaler Area Middle School, Steven brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to his role. He is currently working with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) to develop lessons for K-12 teachers on Japanese fermentation.

    Japan Lecture Series Sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.

Copyright © 2024

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

 PHONE: 412-856-8608


ADDRESS: 4601 Baum Boulevard, Suite 275, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
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