The JASG Newsletter is a quarterly publication which seeks to promote business, cultural exchange, and mutual understanding between Japan and Georgia. The newsletter is circulated among the more than 800 Society members and community partners. Please send suggestions about articles or articles you might want to contribute to The most current newsletter is below. Other archived newsletters in pdf format are at the bottom of the page. To advertise your goods or services, please contact

The Japan-America Society of Georgia

ジョージア日米協会 Fall 2021 Newsletter


 After being away for 20 months, The JASG is excited to celebrate the winter holidays at the 41st Bonenkai Gala at the Piedmont Driving Club. We hope you will join us as this year’s dinner promises to be an evening no one will want to miss as the Society presents its first and only Lifetime Achievement Award to President Carter, who will be represented by his grandson Jason Carter, Chairman of the Carter Center. To register, go to

      The Japan-America Society of Georgia and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, in cooperation with the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Atlanta, are spearheading the construction of a traditional Japanese bell tower to hang President Center’s “Peace Bell” on the grounds of The Carter Center. The bell tower, intended to be a symbol of friendship between the people of Japan and Georgia, will raise awareness of the contributions of President Jimmy Carter to the Japan-Georgia relationship, as well as highlight economic, cultural, educational, and political ties between Japan and Georgia. The “Japan-Georgia Friendship Bell Tower” will be a replica of the bell tower at Shoganji Temple in Konu, Miyoshi City, Hiroshima Prefecture where the bell originated in Japan. Construction will be directed by carpenters from Konu and will be completed by President Carter’s 98th birthday on October 1, 2022.

     In World War II, the Japanese government commandeered all temple bells to melt them down into bullets. Accordingly, the Shoganji Temple bell in Konu was taken but the war ended before the bell was destroyed. The bell ended up in England and then was brought to Florida where it was put up for sale in 1985. (continued below)

Message from the Chair


  •     As I write this message, Japan is celebrating Culture Day, a national holiday held annually on November 3 to promote culture, the arts, and academics. Here in Georgia, this fall has brought many opportunities to celebrate Japanese culture. From a Hokusai lecture by Japanese art curator Sarah Thompson, to the ASO concert with violinist Midori Goto, to movie screenings, cooking classes, and Japanese tie-dyeing, there has been something for everyone. While we were disappointed that JapanFest and the SEUS/Japan Joint Meeting had to be postponed for a second year, in-person events are slowly resuming, and we are optimistic that we can safely hold our annual Bonenkai gala this December. After so many months of meeting each other from behind a screen, we may want to forget the year, but our long-awaited reunion will surely be unforgettab

         We also look forward to celebrating the many accomplishments of our members in 2021, including three past JASG chairs who were recognized by the government of Japan for their contributions to the strengthening of relations between Japan and the United States:  Sachi Koto (2009-2011), who was conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, and Day Lancaster (2011-2013) and Bob Johnson (2015 -2017) who each received the Foreign Minister’s Commendations. We could not be prouder of their achievements!

         As 2021 comes to a close and we get ready for 2022, there are many reasons to feel optimistic. Japan is easing its Covid-era entry restrictions for business travelers, students, and trainees. Hopefully tourists will soon follow. The pandemic has taught us to make better use of digital platforms, and we are exploring ways to make virtual programming and networking a permanent part of The Society’s offerings, enable us to better reach our members in other parts of the state and beyond. While there are many societal problems to consider – diversity, sustainability, equity, inclusion, and technological change are top of mind – exploring these issues together provides us with an opportunity to change things for the better.

         I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions, so please reach out to me anytime. I hope you are as excited as I am about future possibilities.

    Jessica Cork

    JASG Chair

    YKK Vice President of Community Engagement

         and Communications

The Japan-America Society of Georgia and the Japan-America Society of Houston placed a friendly ‘bet’ on the World Series. Thank you Houston for the Texas pecan pie. It was delicious. It is too bad you all didn’t get to enjoy Georgia peach cobbler this year.

(Carter Bell) The Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta and the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta solicited donations to purchase the bell, and on July 24, 1985, Consul General of Japan in Atlanta Tadayuki Nonoyama and Hiromitsu Araki, Chair of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, presented the bell on behalf of the Japanese community to President and Mrs. Carter to commemorate construction of The Carter Center and groundbreaking of the Japanese Garden, and to appreciate President Carter’s work promoting world peace. When Hajime Akiyama, a member of Japanese parliament, visited The Carter Center, he discovered the bell was inscribed with the name of Shoganji Temple.

      On September 26, 1987, Mr. Akiyama and Noriyuki Oku, former Consul General of Japan in Atlanta, visited Shoganji to report that their temple bell had been donated to President Carter. Shoganji was pleased to learn their bell had survived and was carefully preserved at The Carter Center as the “Peace Bell,” a symbol of goodwill between Japan and the U.S. The mayor of Konu invited President Carter to visit, which he did, together with Amy, on October 21, 1990. His visit consisted of the unveiling of a monument featuring his handwritten message at Shoganji Temple and his expectations for world peace and mutual exchange through the “Bell of Friendship,” the replica bell the people of Konu had constructed. The following year, Konu (now Miyoshi City) and Americus, GA established a sister city relationship. Visits between the two cities continue annually to this day. President Carter has always taken time to meet the Konu students and teach them Sunday school in Plains. In return, Konu citizens have hosted delegations from Americus.

     In 1994, Miyoshi built the Jimmy Carter Civic Center, which includes a gallery called the Peace Learning Center that tells the story of President Carter’s life, his presidency, and the work of the Carter Center in Atlanta. On July 7, 1994, President and Mrs. Carter attended the opening ceremony for the building. Today, Konu’s main street is named Carter Avenue and the town boasts a baseball stadium named after President Carter as well as four houses built to resemble homes in Plains, Georgia. Many of Konu’s farmers grow “Carter Peanuts,” and there is a Carter Peanut Festival each year in November.


“The Carter Center has been the paragon of the Japan-Georgia relationship for many decades in myriad areas ranging from business relationships, cultural exchange, youth exchange, and sister city relationships,” said Kazuyuki Takeuchi, Consul General of Japan in Atlanta. “What lies as the underlying guiding light has always been the Carter vision of and dedication to peace and humanity. The Peace Bell donated by the Japanese community in Georgia to The Carter Center in 1985 has been a symbol of the steadfast relationship between Japan and Georgia. The Bell Tower initiative will bring it to a new height by enshrining the bell in a fitting abode on the premises of The Carter Center. Just as the then Consul General represented the Japanese community along with the Japanese Chamber of Commerce when the bell was donated in 1985, I am wholeheartedly delighted to be able to cooperate with this initiative.”

     “The Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia is dedicated to supporting the activities of Japanese companies and people in Georgia,” said Nagachika Kikuno, Chair of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia. “By introducing Japan and its culture to the local community, we are able to not only deepen understanding of Japan but also strengthen the exchange between the U.S. and Japan, which in turn will increase the presence of the Japanese community. Understanding and exchange are difficult to express in a tangible way. By participating in this project, we believe we will be able to express the meaning and importance of deepening mutual understanding and continuing exchange through the symbol of the Peace Bell. We hope the Peace Bell will continue to speak to us about the importance of exchange between Japan and the U.S. for many years to come in Georgia.”


“There is no better place in Georgia to build a symbol of enduring friendship between Japan and Georgia than at The Carter Center started by a man who dedicated his life to ‘waging peace,’” said Jessica Cork, Chair of The Japan-America Society of Georgia. “From his work while governor to recruiting Japanese companies to Georgia, to his multiple visits to Japan to hosting students from Hiroshima each year in Plains, President Carter has been building bridges between Japan and Georgia his entire career. When students from Hiroshima visited President Carter several years ago, he told them, ‘I think it’s very important for all students ... to remember the importance of peace, human rights, and love for one another, and the principles that never change in our lives.’ This bell tower will serve as an important reminder of President Carter’s words.”

      “The Japan-Georgia Friendship Bell Tower will not only be a symbol of friendship between Japan and Georgia but will also make Japanese companies feel welcome here in Georgia, which will lead to closer economic relations,” said Takuya Takahashi, Chief Executive Director, JETRO Atlanta.

      To donate to the construction fund or learn how to get involved, visit

JASG Leaders Receive Commendation from Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the recipients of the Foreign Minister’s Commendations for 2021 for their contributions to the strengthening of relations between Japan and the United States. Among the recipients were three former chairs of the Japan-America Society of Georgia: Day Lancaster, Sachi Koto, and Robert Johnson.

•  Ms. Sachi Koto, JASG Chair from 2009-2011, was recognized for her outstanding contribution to promoting exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States through one of Japan’s most prestigious awards, Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. For her bio, visit

•  Day Lancaster, Senior Vice President, Japan Corporate Service, NAI/ Brannen Goddard & JASG Chair, 2011-2013. Day was recognized for his promotion of economic relations between Japan and the U.S. His biography is at: team/?

•  Mr. Robert N. Johnson, Partner, Baker Donelson; Governing Board Chair, International Charter Academy of GA & JASG Chair, 2015-2017, was recognized for his promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and the U.S. His biography is at

JASG Elects Jessica Cork Chair at Annual Meeting


Over 50 JASG Board and general members attended the 2021 Annual Membership Meeting over Zoom on August 26. The meeting served as a chance for members to recap the previous year’s activities and accomplishments. Despite challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Society continued to stay active and keep members and the community engaged through a great number of business, cultural, and educational events. Adapting to the new virtual Zoom environment, the JASG created new ways to bring together the people of Japan and Georgia. JASG membership continues to be healthy as representatives from over 152 Japanese and U.S. corporate and over 450 individual members actively participate in JASG’s various activities.

Kazuyoshi Domoto, the Executive Director, reported on the events and programs, comparing this past year of COVID with previous years:

Program Type

FY 2021

FY 2020

FY 2019













 Community Outreach




 Public Affairs












FY 2018: 98 Programs/     FY 2017: 106 Programs/     FY 2016: 100 Programs/     FY 2015: 72 Programs

 Although the Society adjusted to the times with webinars and Zoom meetings, the school closures and inability to get together did put a crimp on Society programming

The Society thanked Al Hodge for his leadership during his 2-year term and elected Jessica Cork, Vice President of Community Engagement and Communications at YKK Corporation of America, as the new Chair of the JASG.  Jessica is responsible for internal and external communications, community engagement, and government relations for the YKK Americas Group, which spans from Canada to Chile. Jessica has a B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts and an M.A. in Advanced Japanese Studies from the University of Sheffield in the U.K. Prior to joining YKK, she was the Advisor for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta. She spent 3 years on the JET Program in Hiroshima and was an exchange student in Japan three times. In addition to serving on the JASG Board, Jessica is secretary and founding board member of the International Charter Academy of Georgia, Georgia’s first Japanese-English dual immersion charter school. She also serves on the Communication Committee of The Georgia Council on Economic Education. 

Jessica commented: “One of the first things I did when I moved to Georgia twenty years ago was join The Japan-America Society of Georgia, The JASG was instrumental in helping me create a network of friends and colleagues who share a love for Japan and building bridges between our two countries. I am excited about the opportunities afforded by digital technology for further expanding JASG’s outreach far beyond the Atlanta metro area, engaging new audiences, and creating even deeper bonds of friendship statewide. I am grateful for all the work my predecessors did to build the JASG into one of the most active Societies in the U.S. I look forward to continuing their work as well as adding new value in any way that I can.”

In addition to the election of a new Chair, directors were elected for the 2021-2023 term. Other directors were reaffirmed for serving out their 2020-2022 term. For the names and affiliations of all the directors, please see: JASG Board of Directors. The JASG will elect new Board members at next year’s Annual Meeting in the summer of 2023 Please contact the JASG at 404-842-1400 or  at if you are interested in a Board position or serving on a committee in the future.

Testimonial to Fred Chanoki

by Tom Yamamoto

Senior Advisor (ret)

Murata Electronics NA 

     Murata NA was established in 1963.  Murata electronics are inside everything: smartphones, CPUs, automotive parts, and home appliances. Murata US marketing and sales activity initially focused on the automotive industry. In the early '70s, GM was the first US company to buy offshore electronics: Murata's ceramic filters for car radios.

     Fred Chanoki was my mentor. He had a tremendous personality with quick and decisive decision-making ability.  He was also a great motivator and was able to delegate jobs among the teams he created. He had a charm to make you feel you wanted to work for him. Fred’s strength in sales and marketing helped Murata U.S. organize its sales force with a combination of direct sales, manufacturer's representatives, and distributors. Thus, due to Fred’s forward thinking, Murata was able to expand its business aggressively in the most cost-effective way.   

      In the early days, Fred spearheaded the acquisition of two US companies, one in 1973 and the other in the early '80s. The 1973 acquisition was the first by a Japanese company.  We learned a lot about how U.S. legal systems worked.  The second one, was more consequential: we had to wait for almost two years to comply with an order from the Federal Trade Commission to divest a part of Erie Tech. Erie-Tech had European manufacturing and marketing operations, which helped Murata to expand its global presence. Fred helped Murata to navigate these ventures while expanding North, Central, and South American operations.

     Along with YKK, he created a Japanese Saturday School for the children of Japanese ex-pats. He then helped create The Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia and the Japan-America Society of Georgia.In addition, Fred’s wife helped kick off the Tomodachi Club, a women’s group for JASG members. He was like a godfather to everyone in GA, particularly to the Japanese community. He became the first recipient of the JASG Mike Mansfield Award for his contributions to the community and assisted with SEUS leadership when SEUS meetings began in Atlanta. Most of all, he was fun-loving, whether it was golf, mahjong, or karaoke.  Fred is simply an all-around great guy!

Murata Announces

Chanoki Honorary Engineering Fund

at Kennesaw State University

     Murata Electronics NA has announced the Futoshi “Fred” Chanoki Honorary Engineering Fund of $250,000 at Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at Kennesaw State University. Named after Murata Electronics NA’s first president, the funding will support the needs of the Department of Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the school’s MakerSpace. This initiative reflects Murata’s philosophy of advancing society through innovation and extending beyond products to collaborative relationships.


  “When we looked to deepen our engagement with SPCEET and the community, it was an obvious and unanimous choice to honor Fred. For decades he has been a consummate champion of science, technology, math, and engineering education at all levels. He would often say: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ He embodies the notion that sustainable innovation is derived from meaningful partnerships and mutual successes,” said David Kirk, President and CEO, Murata Electronics North America.

     Over the years, the need for capable engineering talent has grown exponentially. Murata currently employs over 20 KSU graduates in its North American headquarters in Smyrna and throughout the country.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development is pleased to share a message from Virgil Miller, Chairman of the Southeast U.S. – Japan Association, announcing a virtual video presentation of the 43rd Annual Joint Meeting:
“On behalf of the member states of the SEUS-Japan Alliance and as Co-Chair for this year’s summit, it is my pleasure to share a video presentation of the 43rd Annual Joint Meeting of the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association and the Southeast U.S./Japan Association.

"While we were unable to gather in-person this year, the alliance continues in its commitment to enhancing strong economic and diplomatic ties, and deepening connections with our Japanese friends. This video highlights the enduring strength of our bilateral partnership - developed over five decades – and recognizes the importance of Japanese businesses in our region. I would like to extend my gratitude to Chairman Asada, and all of our partners as we continue to work together to support this alliance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been an honor to serve as Co-Chair of this important association, and I look forward to joining together in Florida next year”.


This virtual presentation includes welcome remarks from the Co-Chairmen, statements from all Southeast Governors, and case studies from three Japanese companies in the Southeast that have continued to make a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation closes with official remarks from the Co-Chairmen of the upcoming 44th Annual Joint Meeting.  

We value your dedication to strengthening Georgia – Japan connections in diplomacy, trade and investment, and hope that you will be able to join us for the next meeting of the SEUS Japan Alliance in Florida in 2022!  For more information, please contact Mary Waters, Deputy Commissioner for International Trade (


JOI Celebrates 20 Years

    The Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) celebrated its 20th Anniversary at For 20 years JOI has promoted awareness and understanding of Japan by dispatching cultural outreach coordinators to host sites around the U.S. Maria and Yoshi Domoto have helped support this program since it launched in 2002, and JASG hosted JOI Coordinators from 2 different cohorts in 2004 and 2015.

     The anniversary celebration was an unforgettable event! There were panel discussions on program history and the importance of grassroots exchange, a welcome speech from Senator Bill Hagerty, and even a keynote presentation by astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, the second Japanese woman in space and the last Japanese to crew the space shuttle!  The event also included musical performances by the Matsuriza taiko group; Mike Penny and Kyle Abbott on shamisen and shakuhachi; and a beautiful large-format shodo calligraphy performance by SORA. And of course, all of the Year 19 JOI Coordinators gave amazing cultural presentations. 

     Many people agreed that the second panel discussion, "Japan in the South and the Importance of Grassroots Exchange" was a major highlight of the evening. The panel was moderated by JASG collaborator Nozomi Morgan and included our very own Executive Director as one of the panelists. The other two panelists were Consul-General Kayoko Fukushima of the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville and Masami Tyson, the Global Director of Foreign Direct Investment and Trade for Tennessee.

     Follow Laurasian Institution's YouTube channel to catch all the event videos! The Japan Outreach Initiative is co-administered by Laurasian Institution and Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. For more information, please visit

Upcoming Events

(please see for details and registration) 

November 21                    YP Koyo Autumn Leaf Viewing & Hiking

November 28                   Nihongo-Eigo-Kai

December 2, 9, 16           Bigler English Coaching

December 7                       Helping Mamas

December 11                     Ouchi Gohan Japanese Home Cooking Part 3: Matcha Marble Cake and Matcha Latte

December 14                     Bonenkai

December 25                    Nihongo-Eigo Kai

January TBA                    Winter Japanese Language Classes


Due to COVIID-19, JASG has been focusing on virtual programing: webinars, seminars, cooking lessons, children’s programs, and Japanese language classes. Moving forward, we will be attempting more hybrid programs that are both virtual and small groups congregating. CDC guidelines will still be followed.

Nov 18:

U.S. Japan Now: The Impact of Japanese Elections

    After a tight battle for leadership of the governing Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, what can we expect from a new Prime Minister? Will the new leadership bring any change in economic and foreign policies or bring about any social reforms? What are the future prospects of Taro Kono and the two female candidates, Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda, who were not elected? What does this mean for the future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral alliance? The presenter was Brian Woodall, Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology.  See:
        Nov 17:

        J.P. Morgan Global Economic and Market Webinar


        サプライチェーンやインフレの見通しを含め、コロナ経済からの正常化軌道をテーマに、日本語でのウェビナーを開催致しました。 講師は鵜飼博史(チーフエコノミスト)、経済調査部長(JPモルガン証券株式会社)と佐々木融市場調査本部、JPモルガン・チェース銀行 東京支店)でした。

         Oct 11: 

        Global Economy Q&A & Fall Networking Event

          On October 11, the JASG joined the Southeast U.S. Korean Chamber of Commerce for a networking event and presentation by J.P. Morgan’s Commercial Bank Head Economist Jim Glassman, who discussed the global economy and prognostication for the future in Asia.
            Oct 29:

            Toyota Lean Management & Kamishibai Webinar

            JASG, Georgia Tech CIBER and Toyota Material Handling discussed the secrets to Toyota Lean Management and the importance of improving efficiency and effectiveness by developing people and organizational culture.  The webinar showed how Kamishibai, visual management implementation, and elements of lean methodology and Toyota Production System (TPS) can b applied to any industry and any process, ultimately helping any company’s bottom line. To learn more, please visit: Atlanta Forklifts.

            Sept 22:

            Virtual Tour of Toyota Production System & Watch Party Luncheon

            This event could be joined virtually on Microsoft Teams or in-person to get a unique glimpse into Toyota Production System (TSP) in action. It featured a behind-the-scenes look into Toyota Material Handling USA & Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing. Participants learned Toyota’s history, global manufacturing and support, facility production line & capabilities, innovations & technology, dealership network, commitment to quality and value, and business benefits. To learn more, please visit: Atlanta Forklifts

            Hokusai at the High

            The Japan-America Society of Georgia presented a special lecture at the High Museum of Art highlighting the unique role art plays in US-Japan relations featuring a behind the scenes look into Katsushika Hokusai and his iconic woodblock prints.  Dr. Sarah Thompson, Curator of Japanese Art at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), home of the largest and finest collection of Japanese art outside Japan, discussed the Art of Hokusai and the MFA collection, the impact of Hokusai on Western Art, and a look ahead to the upcoming 2023 Hokusai exhibit. The in-person event was held at The High Museum’s Hill Auditorium and a virtual program will be held via Zoom and YouTube Live. The event was followed by an intimate dinner at Nagomiya Restaurant. This program was part of the Richard J. Wood Art Curator Series, which is supported, in part, by an award from the National Association of Japan America Societies with funds from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission. See:

            Sarah E. Thompson is a curator of Japanese art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, one of four curators working with the largest collection of Japanese art outside Japan.  With degrees in linguistics from Harvard and Japanese art from Columbia, she taught Japanese and Asian art history at Vassar College, Oberlin College, and the University of Oregon before moving to the MFA in 2004.  Her specialty is Japanese prints; she has created an online digital catalogue of the MFA’s collection of over 50,000 Japanese prints, and has curated numerous exhibitions at the MFA and elsewhere.


             Nov 17:

            Let’s Talk Japan Webinar

            This webinar focused on Japan’s role in the world. Japan has the world’s third-largest economy, having achieved remarkable growth in the second half of the 20th century after the devastation of the Second World War. Its role in the International community is considerable. It is a Major aid donor and a source of global capital and credit. More than three quarters of the population live in sprawling cities in the coastal fringes of Japan’s four mountainous, heavily-wooded islands.  The webinar was organized by the International Studies Consortium of Georgia, which is celebrating 28 years. The speaker was Jessica Cork, JASG’s new Chair. Click hereto enjoy the webinar.

             Nov 13:

             Oct 30:

            Ouchi Gohan Japanese Home Cooking

            This family event was hosted with JAS Houston and JAS Boston. The first two classes featured simple, healthy homestyle Japanese food Japanese enjoy with family and friends. Onigiri are Japanese rice balls that can be filled with almost anything and Nikujaga is a kind of meat stew especially delicious in cold weather.See Culinary Corner in this issue of the newsletter to make the Nikujaga at home yourselves.

            All the classes were taught by Debra Samuels who is the lead curriculum and recipe developer for Wa-Shokuiku, cookbook author, cooking teacher and 2020 recipient of the John E. Thayer III Award for Outstanding Cultural Exchange Between the U.S. and Japan.

            Nov 1:

            Atlanta Hawks Japanese Community Night

            The Japanese community cheered on the Hawks win over the Wizards. As part of the Japanese community ticket package, fans received a discounted ticket, $10 of food and beverage credit, and an Atlanta Hawks T-shirt.

            Oct 23:

            Midori Goto Concert: Meet & Greet at the Atlanta Symphony

            What can be said about Midori that hasn't already been said? One of the leading concert violin soloists for more than 35 years, Midori remains in constant demand by orchestras around the world. Later this year she will be honored at the 43rd annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington D.C., in recognition of lifetime artistic achievement. No matter what she's playing, Midori brings new life and vision to each performance. While it's challenging to rank Tchaikovsky's works by their beauty, his Violin Concerto is arguably one of his finest, and in the hands of Midori, it was a not-to-be-missed experience.  After the performance, there was a meet and greet reception with Midori herself.

             Oct 15:
             Art in the U.S.-Japan Relationship     Hokusai: A Curator’s Perspective (see article above)


             Sept. 10:
            Swim2Help the Tunnel Towers Foundation

            JASG supported Jim Whitcomb in his Swim 2 Help Tunnel 2 Towers Fundraiser as he swam his heart out to raise money for families of our military and first responders who make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country. The Live Stream featured Jim swimming 10 miles at Mountain View Aquatics Center in Kennesaw with messages from supporters and people who came to the pool to cheer Jim on. All proceeds went to Tunnel to Towers, a non-profit supporting the heroes who continue to risk life and limb in the line of duty. To mark its 20th anniversary, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has promised to deliver 120 mortgage-free homes to our nation's heroes by the end of the year. To learn more about Tunnel to Towers, visit


            Tomodachi Club was established in October 1981 under the sponsorship of JASG to promote friendship, cultural exchange, and understanding among Japanese and American women.  Membership ranges between 55-60 women who attend our General Meetings and Small Group Meetings.  Our General Meetings are held five times each year on Wednesdays in September, November, January, March, and May, and consist of a program followed by lunch at a local restaurant or club. The small groups meet at least twice a year and arrange their own activities. To become a member of our Tomodachi Club or for additional information, please contact Ms. Maki Murahashi at the JASG office, Tel. 404-842-1400 or

            The Tomodachi Club, JASG’s Women’s Friendship & Culture Group, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year in its mission to foster friendship and cultural exchange between Japanese and American women. 

            After a year of virtual meetings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we kicked off our 2021-2022 season with an in-person meeting on Wednesday, September 8th by visiting the bonsai exhibit at the Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw. Lisa Bartlett, the Gardens Manager, introduced us to the historic Hiram Butler House on the garden grounds, explained how the bonsai plants are created and cared for, and toured us through favorite sections of the gardens, including the waterfall, conifer display, rose garden and camellia garden. Along the way, Lisa pointed out the 31 sculptures in the gardens that complement the foliage.  Following the garden tour, we enjoyed a catered lunch in the carriage house attached to the historic home.

            The theme for our November 3rd meeting was “Discover Historic Marietta,” as we visited the William Root House & Gardens, one of the earliest homes built near the famous Marietta Square.  Built in 1845, the house was the home of Hannah and William Root, one of the earliest merchants and the first druggist in Marietta. The home offers an in-depth look at daily life for a middle-class family and the enslaved people who worked and lived on the property. From the Root House, we strolled along the Marietta Square to the House of Lu, a Chinese restaurant just off the Square, to enjoy a Chinese lunch and fellowship.

            Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 12th. Normally, the co-chairs of the Tomodachi Club plan all five of our meetings in advance, but with the uncertainty of the covid-19 virus, we are now planning each meeting closer to the date. Invitations with program and venue information for our January meeting will be emailed to members in mid-December. The remaining two meetings are scheduled for March 2, 2022 and May 4, 2022.


              The JASG Young Professionals (YP) was established in 1996. YP is dedicated to creating a friendly, stimulating environment in which young professionals enjoy informal, informative and interactive programs to enhance member knowledge of Japan and U.S.-Japan relations. The YP meetings are also about having fun socially. Please consider joining them in 2022. To join, go to:

              The JASG Young Professionals (YP) group has begun in-person activities again. The shibori workshop held in August was a great summer activity allowing members to spend time together outside, be creative, and learn about Japanese dyeing techniques. Fifteen people attended, the participation cap for this event. All tried out 3 shibori techniques on t-shirts. The first technique used rubber bands and folding to create squares. Next, YPers created a swirl pattern by twisting a shirt and tying it with twine. The final technique used rubber bands and rocks to create small circular patterns. Everyone chose red or traditional indigo blue dye. A simpler shibori workshop was held in October a younger crowd for Bridge Club Atlanta.

              The YPs gathered together again on October 1 at an Atlanta Braves game versus the New York Mets. About 20 members, friends and family cheered on the hometown team. Although they lost 4-3 in a close game, they clinched the National League East Division for the fourth year in a row the night before versus the Philadelphia Phillies… and recently won their first World Series since 1995. 

              In-person Kayobi-Kai dinner outings also resumed in October with the first meeting at Taka Sushi in Sandy Springs when a full table of YPers socialized over dinner. The November/December dinners were at Nakato Japanese Restaurant and Wagaya. Kayobi-Kai is an on-going dinner outing that meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at different restaurants in the metro-Atlanta area. Kayobi-Kai dinners are informal and anyone who wants to come to make new friends and re-connect with old friends.

              Other YP upcoming gatherings include a Koyo Autumn Leaf Viewing Hiking Trip to Kennesaw Mountain and a Holiday Party in December. The YP group is always looking for more ideas and people to join its planning committee to help organize fun programming in 2022, please do not hesitate to contact the JASG office and let us of your interest in getting involved.

            Member Spotlight

            Have a Coke and Tea Society

            For over a  year, the JASG has instituted a series of interviews with its individual and corporate members that are posted on the JASG YouTube page. We hope that the JASG members learn more about each other by enjoying these interviews.

            Mike Malaghan is the author of two novels about the Japanese/Japanese-American experience in Hawaii in the early 20th century: Picture Bride and A Question of Loyalty. He delves into the issues of acculturation, service, diversity, and tolerance as he bridges history, culture, and beliefs. The books are based on interviews and historical documents. JASG especially enjoyed discussing these issues with Mike and listening to his perspective. To listen to Mike, please go to: 


            The JASG will welcome back students from Japan for Obirin University’s Business Management Global Outreach Study Abroad Program. Students will study a total of 16 weeks of English at Georgia Tech or Georgia State University, as well as learn how U.S. and Japanese businesses operate in today’s global economy during the last 8 weeks of the program. The JASG is seeking 14 Host Families (from March 8 – July 2, 2022 for students going to Georgia Tech) and 10 Friendship Families (from April 2 to May 2, 2022 for students going to Georgia State University before students move-into dorms) to help these students get acclimated to living and going to school in the U.S. Please see for application forms and for more details about becoming a host family or friendship family.

            Homestay Program

            The JASG Host Family Program (HFP) gives Japanese undergraduates the opportunity to become acquainted with local families in the metro-Atlanta area. The Host Family Program pairs students with families who welcome them to the U.S. and help them adjust to life in Atlanta. 

            Why Host?

            - Meet exceptional students from Japan 

            - Introduce your family to a new culture & language 

            - Change the course of a young person's life 

            - Receive a $850/month stipend for room & board 

            Bridge Summer Camp: The APCC is normally held in-person in Fukuoka, Japan – Atlanta’s Sister City, but because of the global pandemic, this year’s program was held online through the APCC’s BRIDGE Virtual Summer Camp. The JASG invited four 10-11 year-old Junior Ambassadors (JAs), in addition to 3 JAs from 2020 two Peace Ambassadors (PA), and one Chaperone to represent Atlanta/Georgia in 2021.

            Junior Ambassadors: Isalyn Calleroz-White, Samuel Skinner, William Marschke 

            Peace Ambassador: Nithya Guthikonda & Jamie Marlowe

            Chaperone: Debra Owen

            As Isayln Calleroz-White commented: “ Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, me and a few others couldn’t go to Japan this year. Although we couldn’t go physically, we still enjoyed many Japan related activities over zoom. This year and a half has been a great experience for me. I have learned about other cultures, different countries, and made new friends. Over all, this has been an amazing experience!”

            Atlanta Bridge Club: Consisting of former APCC, JAs, PAs, and Chaperones who have previously participated in the APCC, the alumni group has engaged in a variety of online programming including virtual meetings with other Bridge Clubs, APCC video shorts, video promo for JapanFest 2020 Finale, and more.

              Culinary Corner:

            • NIKUJAGA

              This Japanese nikomi, stew, combines sweet and savory flavors with a classic method of cooking down the liquid until it permeates the ingredients. This comfort dish of home cooking is easy to make and will become a favorite in your house. Vegetarians can use yaki dofu (grilled tofu in a package) or tofu cutlet.

            • INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)

              2 cups cooked rice                            10 snow peas, string beans or ½ cup green peas, cooked                           5 tablespoons sugar 
              1 large onion, cut into strips                2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and put in bowl with cold water            
              1 tsp salt       
              2 large carrots, peeled                       
              1 tsp Hondashi granules or 1 cube bullion (beef)     2 tablespoons oil         1 tbsp  + 1/4 cup soy sauce
              1 cup water, or more if needed           1/2 pound sirloin or ribeye steak, thinly sliced, or shaved steak                  
              1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup mirin

            •  1/4 cup sake                                      1 packet shirataki noodles or dried clear Chinese vermicelli noodles

              1.    Cut a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper to fit inside your saucepan.
              2.   Remove the strings from the pea pods. Cut diagonally into 2-3 pieces.  Set aside.
              3.   Place the beef in a bowl and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon mirin.
              4.   Carrots: Peel carrots. Lay carrot on its side and cut at an angle. Roll the carrot a 1/4 turn away from you and cut at an angle. Continue cutting in this fashion. Place carrots in a bowl and set aside.
              5.   Potatoes: Peel potatoes and cut in quarters length-wise. Then cut into 2-inch chunks.  With a paring knife or vegetable peeler, trim around the potato edges to form a beveled edge. Place in a bowl of cold water.
              6.   Onions: cut into ½ inch strips. Drain the shirataki in a colander and rinse with cold water.
              7.   Measure soy sauce, mirin and sake into a small bowl and set aside.
              8.  In a saucepan add oil.  On medium heat add onions and cook for 1 minute.  Add beef. Sprinkle on sugar.  Cook until meat is no longer pink.

            • 9.  Add potatoes and carrot and cook for a minute.
              10.  Add water, dashi granules or bullion; cover and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Pierce the potato to check for doneness.
              11.  Add seasoning mixture and place the foil or parchment paper directly on the food.
            • 12  Add the shirataki. Cook 4 minutes longer, until liquid begins to evaporate and has been absorbed by the meat and vegetables. 
              13  Place steamed snow peas on top of the nikujaga and serve with a bowl of rice. 

            • Debra Samuels is the lead curriculum and recipe developer for Wa-Shokuiku, cookbook author, cooking teacher and 2020 recipient of the John E. Thayer III Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cultural Exchange Between the United States and Japan. Debra leads the program content and curriculum development of TABLE FOR TWO USA’s  Japanese inspired food education program,  “Wa-  Shokuiku -Learn. Cook. Eat Japanese!”. She was a food writer and contributor to the Food Section of The Boston Globe and has authored two cookbooks: My Japanese Table and The Korean Table. She curated the exhibit, “Obento and Built Space: Japanese Boxed Lunch and Architecture,” at the Boston Architectural College (2015) and co-curated  “Objects of Use and Beauty: Design and Craft in Japanese Culinary Tools,” at the Fuller Craft Museum (2018). Debra worked as program coordinator and exhibition developer at the Boston Children's Museum (1992-2000).  She lived in Japan for 12 years and specializes in Japanese cuisine.

              Japan America Society of Georgia

              Newsletter Contributors:

                   Jessica Cork

                   Maria Domoto

                   Yoshi Domoto

                   Anne Godsey

                   David Kirk

                   Georgia Department of

                           Economic Devt

                   Sophie Monsibais

                   Maki Murahashi

                  Gabe Rebeck

                   Debra Samuels

                   Tom Yamamoto


                   Shirley Susilo

              To advertise in future newsletters,



              The Japan-America
              Society of Georgia

              1900 Century Place NE
              Suite 112

              Atlanta, GA 30345

              Tel: (404) 842-1400
              Fax: (404) 842-1415



              New Corporate Members

                Mitsubishi Electric Trane H/VAC (METUS)  Silver Member
                Clayton County Tourism Authority  Silver Member

              New Individual Members    

                Taylor Abenanter   Kurtis Anderson   Tara Atkins    Brenda Beckler
                Sacha Brickey   April Buben   Eric Buckenmeyer    Keileigh Bufallo
                Trinh Bui   Justin Chang   Marquis Daly    Kathryn Dodd
                 Ian Evans   Nino Fasula   Njeri Gachago    Bradford Genzano
                Paul Gordon   Nao Gransberry   Michelle Haney   Jason Kim
                Hannah Kinkead   Ashlee Labastida   Kristine Majeski   Michael Malaghan
                Tricia McIntosh   Phillip McIntyre   Roberto Moreno   Hunter Pascal
                Ryan Riegner   Erin Sansoucy   Toshie Sato   Elizabeth Smith
                Katherine Sumpter   Richard Tapp   Sasha Tarassenko   Monet Versipellis
                Jesse Weinick   LiLian Wong   Kevin Wong  


              2022 marks the JASG's 42th anniversary. Whether you've been with us every step of the way or have just joined, we truly appreciate your involvement in Georgia’s Japan-connected community.

              We would like to ask you for your cooperation and assistance in getting a better understanding of our members’ wishes by completing a MEMBERSHIP & PROGRAMS SURVEY at your earliest convenience .

              旧年中は一方ならぬお引立てを賜り、心から御礼を申し上げます。お陰をもちまして当会も設立42周年を迎えることができました。皆様のご繁栄をお祈り申し上げるとともに、本年も変わらぬご愛顧のほどよろしくお願い申し上げます! 当協会も2021年に行なったイベントの反省と共に、また今年のためにもますます有意義な企画を考えております。そのためにも会員の皆様にアンケート -にご協力していただくようお願いいたします。 

              Find the JASG on:



              Facebook: @thejasgeorgia

              LinkedIn: The Japan-America Society of Georgia

              Youtube: The Japan-America Society of Georgia

              The Japan-America Society of Georgia, Inc.

              is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to promote

              mutual understanding between the people of Japan

               and the state of Georgia 


              Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software