Beach Season in Japan

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th July celebration with your family and friends.  Most of July is solidly in the rainy season in Japan.  The good news is that the rainy season is over in Okinawa and Southern Kyushu, and Hokkaido doesn’t have rainy season.  Good thing to keep in mind if you’re planning to visit Japan in July.  On average, the rainy season ends around July 20th in the Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto areas. 
 
Beach season starts from July 15th to August 31st in Japan, but it varies widely from prefecture to prefecture and even by town.  “Japanese Emerald Beach, the most tropical beaches” are located in Okinawa, the sub-tropical islands with palm trees and coral reefs on the north coast of the main Okinawa island.  Since I’m from Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, so I’d also like to mention about a couple of wonderful beaches in Hokkaido prefecture.  Ranshima beach is located about 2 hours from Sapporo city by car, and has nice sandy beach and clear water.  Shakotan beach is located in Shiribeshi sub-prefecture, Hokkaido.  This is rocky beach, good place to do snorkeling, and I used to catch sea urchins at this beach.  

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Manabiya Iowa Finished First Semester

We have finished our first semester.  At the last day in the classroom, they had presentations of their research about the places in Japan.  They picked the prefectures that they wanted to know about and made posters and slide shows.  The parents came to enjoy traveling though the country of Japan by their presentations.
 
We ended the semester by participating CelebrAsian representing JASI's culture tent on May 27th and also performed on the main stage.  We danced "Sakura Yosakoi" in the light rain.  Regardless the weather, we all had a great time.  Through this dance, we have built a strong team work and a great spirit of Manabiya members.
 
Our second semester will start on Aug. 19th.  The following week will be our annual summer festival where there will be fun games and food to taste.  Until then, our students will be busy doing their summer homework.
 
Chikako Brown
Manabiya Principal

2017 CelebrAsian

Thank everyone for your hard work over the 2017 CelebrAsian, 15th anniversary event.  JASI has being a part of this annual Asian Festival since the 1st year, and we’re continuing to build our good memories year after year.  Throughout this year’s event, I felt high energy from everyone and all volunteers worked tirelessly.

I received wonderful feedback from our members, volunteers, event partners as well as the event audience that how well each tents were organized and how friendly we were to everyone.  Once again we got hit by a rain, but tents and grounds were very well protected that the impacts from the rain was very small or almost none.  Most importantly, despite the rain, our passion and spirits weren’t washed away with it, it seemed the rain refreshed our spirits to even work harder and brought us closer. 
I’m very proud to be a part of this organization, and I truly appreciate your time, talent and dedication for our organization.

Chie Schiller
Board Chair / Executive President

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Manabiya Iowa New Academic Year

Manabiya new academic year has started on April 1st.  We celebrated our first day with some fun activities such as slide show of Japanese school year, games and making the signs for the doors followed by a pot luck party.  Hiyoko Club kids and families joined and had a chance to get to know each other better. 
 
A new student joined us in mid April.  Now nine students are leaning the language as well as the culture through small learning groups and project base "theme learning."  Currently, we are busy with the dance practice for the performance at CelebrAsian.  The Japanese performance on the stage starts at 2:00 p.m. on May 27th.  Please look forward to seeing us dancing "Sakura Yosakoi."
 
Manabiya will be also be at the cultural tent at CelebrAsian.  We will have some Japanese games and water Yo-Yo sale.  Please come stop by our tent and enjoy the event!
 
Manabiya Principal
Chikako Brown

Manabiya April 2017
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Manabiya Iowa 1st Quarter 2017 Update

Manabiya Iowa started our third and the last semester of 2016 – 2017 school year on January 7th with our annual New Year party.  We celebrated a couple other cultural activities of Japan within the third semester with the Hiyoko Club. On Jan 28th , we celebrated Setsubun which is a celebration of the last day of winter.  The kids learned about getting rid of evils and welcoming good luck by throwing beans. On Feb 25th , we celebrated Hinamatsuri (Girls' festival). We made our own Hina dolls with Origami as a part of Hinamatsuri activities. 

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For our third semester theme learning, we participated in a volunteer work at Meals from the Heartland on March 4th.  It was a great opportunity to do a community service as Manabiya Iowa team. Our last day for the 2016 – 2017 school year will be March 18th and will start the new school year on April 1st.  It will be a celebration with some activities and a pot luck party with Hiyoko Club.

Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan Delegates’ Tour

The delegates, led by Ken Shimanouchi, a retired career diplomat and former Ambassador of Japan to Spain and Brazil, included Tokuro Miyake X, a 20th-generation performer and practitioner of kyogen (Japanese traditional comedic theater); Eriko Tawa, a compliance attorney at Global Bank in Tokyo; Misaki Tsuchiyama, a creative planner for a Tokyo-based advertising agency; and Yurika Kanai, a student at Waseda University in Tokyo.

As part of a tour that included Nebraska and New Mexico, the five delegates stopped in Des Moines for two days, during which they attended a number of events organized by JASI to discuss the arts, culture, economy and politics of Japan. A welcome dinner at Miyabi 9 kicked off their visit, which was followed by a full day at the Iowa State Capitol building and Drake University.

At the Capitol, the delegates met with Governor Branstad and many members of the state legislature. All senators and representatives were invited to meet the delegation and attend a sushi lunch, served by members of JASI and community volunteers—which proved very popular. In addition, visitors to the State House were treated to a short kyogen performance beneath the rotunda by Tokuro Miyake X, one of only two women kyogen performers in the history of the art form.

At Drake University the delegates received a warm welcome from students and instructors of the Japanese language programs at Drake and area high schools. The events culminated in a dinner reception at the Des Moines Embassy Club, whose 34th floor location offered a beautiful view of downtown. About 70 guests enjoyed a dinner thoughtfully prepared under the direction of Chef Michael LaValle. Members of the delegation gave brief presentations on the importance of friendship between Japan and the U.S., the influence of women in the changing Japanese workforce, features of Japanese advertising, and even the Japanese influence on the Star Wars movie franchise. It was a gracious end to a busy two days in which many personal connections were made through ‘handshake diplomacy’.

On April 13th and 14th, JASI welcomed a delegation of five citizen diplomats as part of a program called Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan (http://www.japan.go.jp/features/talks/). This program, sponsored by the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan, sends annual delegations of volunteers to cities across the U.S. to talk about Japan and strengthen ties between U.S. communities and Japan.  

Teahouse Project Update

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The Tea House was moved from the basement to the 5th floor of Central Campus on March 19th due to construction on campus. Thank you to all volunteers worked on the 5-hours move: Kiyo Matsuyama, Tanis Sotelo, Ben Blystone, Vivian Hayashi and her son, James. Research on the history of the Tea House and Garden Model continues. Ben Molloy believes the original plan site was the south side of the Iowa capitol grounds, so obtaining the initial plan documentation would help the approval process when presenting to the Iowa State Capitol grounds committee. Anyone with information or an interest in historical research please contact Ben Molloy at yurikakanai-molloy@mchsi.com

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