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March 2019 Newsletter
In this issue:
2019 MEPPI Japan Lecture Series
April 25 - What is a Japanese Garden?japanese-garden-lotus-pond 3
Dr. Brenda G. Jordan, Director of the University of Pittsburgh's National Consortium for Teaching About Asia, will explore the history and design of Japanese gardens, including the different varieties of garden, their concept outside of Japan, and suggested plant types and features for Japanese gardens in Southwest Pennsylvania.

Join us for this free event at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden on Thursday, April 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Beverages and light hors d’oeuvres will be provided and the presentation will begin at 6:30 PM. Advanced registration is required and is available on the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden website.
Thank you to Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. for their generous sponsorship of this series.arrow2
Member Spotlight:Mitsubishi Electric United States

The JASP would like to recognize our Silver member - Mitsubishi Electric US, Semiconductor and Device Division (MEUS-SDD).

MEUS, based in Cypress, California, is the U.S. subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MEC) of Tokyo, Japan.
With over 90 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products, MEC is a recognized world leader in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and building equipment.
Locally, MEUS acquired the Mitsubishi Electric power semiconductor business that was previously handled by Powerex Inc. in Youngwood, PA to strengthen the existing MEUS semiconductor business. MEUS-SDD Power has established an office in Monroeville, PA and will focus on sales, collaboration, and technical support for the industrial, traction, white goods, and alternative energy customers in the Americas with support from the MEUS corporate office in Cypress, CA.
Mitsubishi Electric power semiconductors are at the forefront of energy innovation and seek to solve global energy issues while creating a more affluent and comfortable society for all.

We thank MEUS for their membership! 
JASP Golf Outing

Save the date for this year's Golf Outing on Monday, May 13! We will be making the event even better this year, so stay tuned for more information!golfball

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.

This year's event will be held at Butler Country Club. The golf outing offers many opportunities to support the JASP from $200 - $3,000. All supporters are publicly acknowledged. 

We hope you will join us for this fun and popular event. arrow2
High School Japanese Speech Contest ResultSpeech%20Contest%20Symbol

The High School Japanese Speech Contest was held in partnership with the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh on Friday, March 1.

This year, 52 students from Western PA competed in this daylong competition. Tomofumi Horiki, Cultural Attache from the Consul General of Japan in New York, presented the grand prize of an electronic dictionary. Guest speaker Sally Wiggin encouraged the students to continue pursuing their language studies. Jennifer Drowling performed Nihon-Buyo (Japanese classic dance) and demonstrated Japanese theatre make-up using several students as models. The contest included a full day of Japanese activities and games.

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 page. 
Japanese-English Reading Circle

The Japanese-English Reading Circle is held on 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.

Upcoming Dates
Saturday, February 16, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, March 2, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, April 6, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, May 4, 5:00-6:30 PM
Kenmawr Apartments, Community Room, Ground Floor
401 Shady Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Visit the Facebook group for more information. arrow2
Member Benefit Alert: Kokoro Care Package
Kokoro Care Packages is offering a 10% discount for JASP members on their first subscription order! 

Journey through Japan with hand-crafted monthly and seasonal Kokoro Care Packages filled with foods delivered straight from Japan to your door. Inside every Care Package, you'll discover a variety of Japanese foods and flavors that have been carefully selected for their premium-quality, purity, and incredible taste! 

    MEMBERS ONLY: Get Your Special Discount here!
Upcoming Community Events
Professional Development Opportunity - All for All Spring Educator Forum

In partnership with World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and Remake Learning, All for All is hosting a professional development training focused on supporting immigrant, refugee, and English learner students. With the surge in immigration and refugee resettlement in the past several years, it can be challenging for schools to understand the unique needs and assets of this diverse population and to interact with families in a culturally appropriate manner. By convening local experts in the fields of education, equity, and immigrant inclusion, this training seeks to provide educators with the tools to challenge bias, celebrate differences, and create welcoming and inclusive learning spaces for all students and their families. Lunch, childcare, and Act 48 credits provided. Please visit the Eventbrite for agenda and registration.

When: Saturday, March 23
   Where: The Young Scholars of Western PA Charter School

Pittsburgh Japanese Film FestivalCapture
Row House Cinema is kicking off their annual Japanese Film Festival. This year the Festival will highlight 12 films and a television clip across many time periods and genres. Some screenings will be in Japanese with no subtitles so that native speakers can enjoy the film and Japanese learners can test their skill. For the full schedule and tickets, see the Festival's website.

When: Friday, March 29 -Thursday, April 11
Where: Row House Cinema, 4115 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Shakuhachi Flute Concert and Japanese Tea Demonstration
In honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC, the Mt. Lebanon Library is presenting a special performance of the shakuhachi bamboo flute followed by a brief demonstration of the Japanese tea ceremony. Sarah Renata Strothers, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology, has studied shakuhachi under renowned grandmaster Michael Chikuzen Gould. The tea ceremony will be performed by Mie Lipowan.  

When: Sunday Mar 31, 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Where: Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Meeting Room A.

The Art of Noh: Woodblock Prints by Tsukioka KogyoHagoromo_crop 2
The University Library System (ULS) of the University of Pittsburgh is exhibiting “The Art of Noh Woodblock Prints by Tsukioka Kogyo” at the Hillman Library. Noh, a theater form that originated in the fourteenth century, was associated historically with the ruling warrior class, who made up about 5% of Japan’s pre-modern population in the late feudal period between 1600 and 1868.

The exhibit is supervised by Pitt Emeritus Professors Richard and Mae Smethurst, designed by Kari Johnston, Communication Support Specialist, and curated by Hiroyuki N. Good, Japanese and Korean Studies Librarian.
Please visit the Pitt calendar for more information! Admission is free. It is open to the public during Hillman Library hours.

When: Through April 26, 2019

Where: Hillman Library, Ground Floor, Main Hall, 3960 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

tekko Tekko (formerly Tekkoshocon) is an annual Japanese Pop Culture convention, currently in its 17th year, held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Tekko is presented by a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Pittsburgh Japanese Culture Society (PittJCS). For more information, see here.

When: April 11 - 14
Where: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

skauPittsburgh Sakura Project 10th Anniversary Celebration

Pittsburgh Sakura Project will celebrate 10 years of planting cherry trees on Sunday April 7, 2019 from 1 to 3 PM at the Rose Barn. RSVP is requested to  

When: Sunday April 7, 2019 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Where: Rose Barn, North Park, Pearce Mill Rd at Tennis Ct Rd, Allison Park, PA 15101

Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. Recruiting for Leadership Cohorts1

Take the personal initiative to spot the “best and brightest” within your own networks and to refer them to Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. programs.

Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. is Southwestern Pennsylvania’s premier multi-disciplinary organization for leadership identification, enrichment and networking. The flagship program, Leadership Pittsburgh (LP), is geared toward senior level leaders with significant spheres of influence in their organizations, and Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) is most suited for emerging young leaders. More information including program applications and schedules are available at the website

Application deadline for LP is the first Friday in May, and for LDI, it's the first Friday in June.


Reflections from an Aspiring Yinzer, Mikoto Machida

mikoto2 It's been my honor and pleasure to be a part of the JASP as an Intern for the past six months!

I am from Tsukuba, Japan. I came here for an internship with the generous support of "the Japan Internship for the Development of Young Leaders" program.

The experiences that I gained here were extremely fun, unique and memorable thanks to the JASP staff and all the wonderful people I met in Pittsburgh. Through the many tasks at the JASP, such as organizing business/politics related events and the speech contest, offered the strong global network and career environments that enabled me to grow up. I will be back in Japan and start Shakai-jin life from this April. I can not wait to challenge new things in the future ahead! Thank you so much for having me and hope to see you again in Japan or the U.S.!


Art in The Japan-US Relationship: Curators' Perspective


Stay tuned for our upcoming lecture on the James A. Michener collection of woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) by Robert F. Lange Curator of Japanese Art, Stephen Salel.

Approximately half of the Honolulu Museum of Art's 10,000 Japanese prints were donated by James A. and Mari Michener. In the collection are many masterworks by Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, and the world's largest collection of prints designed by Utagawa Hiroshige. Michener, a prominent novelist famous for such works as Tales From the South Pacific and Hawaii, began collecting Japanese prints in the 1950s and wrote several books and articles on the subject, including The Floating World (1954), one of the first book-length studies of Japanese prints published in English.

Join us at the Carnegie Museum of Art to learn about the rest of his collecting journey. Mr. Salel has been the Robert F. Lange Foundation Curator of Japanese Art at the Honolulu Museum of Art for over five years. Before he joined the museum, he managed Kagedo Japanese Art, an art gallery in Seattle, WA. Salel received his MA in Art History from the University of Washington. His exhibitions have included a series that he co-curated with Curator of Asian Art Shawn Eichman on Japanese erotic art (shunga), which earned him a nomination for an Excellence in Outstanding Small Exhibitions award and an Honorable Mention by the Association of Art Museum Curators.arrow2

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