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May 2017 Newsletter

In this issue:

2017 Paul J. Wilhelm Memorial Golf Outing Result and Photos

2017 winnersOn May 8, golfers enjoyed the chilly sunny day to compete for team trophies, individual skill prizes, and hole-in-one prizes at Valley Brook Country Club. The winning team was Donald Rakoci, Marinos Ioannides, John Matune and Edward Weaver.

Thank you to all sponsors, golfers, and volunteers for another great year. The generous support and donations we receive from our loyal members, local businesses, and sponsors at the Golf Outing supports the JASP's programming throughout the year. Visit the gallery to see more photos of this year's golfers!

Member Spotlight: United States Steel Corporation

United-States-Steel-Corporation The JASP would like to recognize our Platinum member, the United States Steel Corporation. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, U.S. Steel is an integrated steel producer with major production operations in North America and Central Europe. As an industry leader, U. S. Steel is dedicated to delivering high-quality products to their customers.

When U.S. Steel was founded in 1901, it was the largest business enterprise ever launched. Throughout the years, U.S. Steel has been dynamic, responding to changing economic conditions and market opportunities through diversification and periodic restructuring. Today, U.S. Steel remains the largest integrated steel producer headquartered in the United States.

We would like to heartily thank U.S. Steel for its support of our organization!
Another Great Year of Japan in the Schools
Thanks to Katsuko Shellhammer and all of our dedicated volunteers who brought education about Japan to more than 2,200 students in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Robert Morris University
Avonworth Middle  School Pine Richland High School
Baker Elementary School Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12
Carson Middle School Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy
David E Williams Middle School Pittsburgh Grandview preK-5
Dormont Elementary School Riverside Elementary School
Eisenhower Elementary School Robert Morris University
Elizabeth Forward Middle School Sacred Heart School
Evans City Elementary School Seneca Valley Middle School
Francis McClure Intermediate School Streams Elementary School
Haine Middle School Thomas Jefferson High School
Harrold Middle School William Penn Elementary School
Ingomar Middle School Winchester Thurston School
McCllelan Elementary School Woodland Hills Academy
Mt. Lebanon Montessori School WV Girl Scout World Thinking Day

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who make this program possible! If you would like your school to benefit from this fantastic program, please click here to find out more.

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, May 20, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, June 3, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, June 17, 5:00-6:30 PM
Saturday, July 1, 5:00-6:30 PM

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

Kodomo no Hi (こどもの日)

Photo by
by Hiroaki Hamajima

‘Children’s day’ or ‘Kodomo no hi’, is a national holiday in Japan on May 5th. On this holiday, people wish for children’s future happiness. In ancient times, May 5th was a day for driving out evil spirits, but Samurai changed the meaning, hoping their boys would grow up to be strong and healthy. So, this holiday is also recognized as ‘Boy’s day’ in contrast with ‘Girl’s day’ or ‘Doll Festival’ on March 3rd.

There are several traditional customs on this day. First, families decorate with carp-shaped streamers outside their houses or a Samurai helmet. There is an old legend that carp climb up waterfalls and become dragons, so people wish their children will grow up to be strong like a carp and succeed in life. Some families decorate with a Samurai helmet as a symbol of strength or vitality. Second, people eat ‘Kashiwamochi’, which is a rice cake wrapped in oak leaves with sweet bean paste inside. As the leaves of oak trees don’t fall from the tree until it puts forth buds, it represents descendants’ prosperity. Third, people take a cleansing bath with sweet-flag flowers.

If you have an opportunity to visit Japan around May 5th, look for decorations and food of ‘Kodomo no hi’.

The JASP Welcomes New Member

Individual Member:
  • Ms. Paula Harshaw

Not a member yet? Join the JASP today!

Upcoming Community Events

Pittsburgh Taiko at Kennywood

Pittsburgh Taiko will perform at Kennywood Asian Heritage Day on Saturday, May 20.  Discount admission tickets can be purchased here.

Yoga in Japanese-Power Yoga Class with Sayuri   SAKURA

Sayuri Nakao is holding a public yoga class in Japanese to get her instructor certification. The class is pay what you can. All donations go to The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania.

When: Saturday June 10th, 2017, 12:00 PM (60 minutes class)
Where: YOGA INNOVATIONS, 102 Broughton Rd, Bethel Park PA 15102

​Contact information:
p: (412)-851-9642

Meet Our Intern--Kexin Shu
Kexin My name is Kexin Shu and I just finished my Masters in International & Public Affairs with a concentration in International Political Economy at Pitt. I worked at JASP from January this year until my graduation at the end of April.

I studied Japanese for one year during my undergraduate years in China, my homeland. The strong connection between Chinese and Japanese cultures, languages, and buildings inspired me to learn more about Japan. The internship opportunity with JASP was posted on GSPIA career website and was open to all students. To be honest, I was searching for a data analysis internship at first, but when I saw this internship on the website by accident, I thought it must be destiny.

Amy Boots, the “Chancellor of Everything” (the executive director of JASP), is the most patient person that I’ve met during my stay in the States. I have learned tons of new skills from her, which was the most cherished part of this internship. I learned how to make a newsletter by using HTML codes. I learned how to write a grant proposal by referring to books that I borrowed from the Nonprofit Resource Center at Carnegie Library, where Amy sent me to participate training classes. I also acquired numerous essential skills on managing meetings and holding lectures.

Katsuko Shellhammer is the “Minister of Education” of the JASP. She took me to school visits twice, one for an elementary school and one for a middle school. I learned how to fold and wear Yukata properly through this experience. Moreover, Katsuko’s marriage is a real reflection of the sentence that “a successful relationship requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”

Setsuko Hayes, our “Chancellor of Exchequer” is a tender and kind woman. Her experience taught me that kindness is the best title of a person’s life.
A good internship should not only bring actual abilities, but also bring positive attitudes toward life. My experience with JASP has brought me both. Thank you so much and I hope to see you all again in the future!

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