NCJC News/Activities

*Update: August 26, 2020:*

In accordance with Chancellor Randy Woodson and Provost Warwick Arden’s guidelines regarding NC State University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spring Hill House will be CLOSED for classes until further notice.

For more details and for a message from the NC Japan Center Director, Jonathan Brewster, please click HERE. For any and all questions, please contact Jonathan at

Despite the temporary close of the Spring Hill House, there are many options to learn, connect, and enjoy! Click on the links below to:

Take a 3D tour of the Spring Hill House

Practice and benefit from Zazen meditation

Explore Japanese language self-study resources

Listen to George Takei’s wonderful voice and his uplifting story

Learn some easy ways to support local Japanese businesses right now

Please send us (email or by posting on the NC Japan Center Facebook page) your pictures and notes on ways you are enjoying and sharing Japanese food, music, or conversation while staying at home, so that these can be shared in our upcoming issues of the NC Japan Center “Yajirushi” newsletter!


NC Japan Center Blog:

The NC Japan Center regularly sponsors a variety of events that are announced on our blog. In addition, you will find updates on Japan-related activities of other organizations, as well as announcements of conferences, guest lectures, and the arrival of delegations and other visitors from Japan.

NC Japan Center Blog!




“Japanese Jobs 101” Webinar (Ikigai Connections):
The founder of Ikigai Connections, Ms. Kasia Lynch, hosted this very informative webinar for students at the University of Michigan Flint, on the subject of studying Japanese and finding professions where their Japanese language skills will be an asset. She is joined by a number of speakers from places like Shiga Prefecture, Ohio and Michigan, talking about their own experiences. Please click on the link above to view!


JapanFest 2020 Atlanta: Virtual Festival (June 1 – September 30):
From the website: “Wasshoi” in Japanese means ‘to unify the peoples’ hearts together, rise up and be full of enjoyment.’ This is our theme for JapanFest Atlanta 2020! To adopt our ‘new normal with COVID-19’ JapanFest 2020 will go virtual for the first time in its history! Have fun exploring the multi-layered culture of Japan. We will be hosting plenty of events for you to participate in at our virtual festival! Immerse yourself, together with your family and friends, in all things Japanese!









Online “Ikenobo” Ikebana Classes:
The NC Japan Center offering a special opportunity to learn how to make ikebana online for absolute beginners! Ms. Emiko Suzuki, an “Ikenobo” ikebana instructor, will teach a series of webinars using Zoom. Please register with Reiko at the NCJC by emailing:


NC State Working to Address Recent Student Visa Directives:

“International students are an essential and valued part of our NC State community,” Chancellor Randy Woodson affirmed in a message to the university’s international student population and all members of the university community. “As a university, we are dedicated to doing all we can to ensure your educational pathway at NC State is not interrupted.” (Click the link below to read more about how NC State is assisting our valued international students in the face of new visa restrictions)

NC Japan Center: Webinar with Ambassador Sugiyama:
The NC Japan Center is honored to host the Ambassador of Japan to the U.S., the Honorable SUGIYAMA, Shinsuke, J. Ambassador Sugiyama will be speaking with our audience about COVID-19 and U.S.-Japan relations, and the Honorary Consul of Japan in North Carolina, Mr. David Robinson, shall be serving as our esteemed moderator for this event. The webinar will also feature real-time Japanese interpretation. This is a free event, and shall be hosted on Webex.

To register (and submit a question to Ambassador Sugiyama), please click on the following link:

We’re looking forward to seeing you all for the informative and enjoyable event.


6月24日:JETRO 緊急ウェビナー: 特定の非移民ビザの入国を一時停止する大統領令の解説


International MANGA Award
Good news for aspiring manga artists, the application deadline for the International MANGA Award has been extended until July 10th, so don’t miss this chance to share your art with the world! Not quite ready to draw your own manga? JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles has a free, four part drawing class that covers emotions, characters, animals and perspective! Anime fans should keep an eye on JICC’s Facebook and Instagram for free virtual screenings of popular anime movies. Finally, digitally connect with other fans at Funimation’s Virtual Anime Convention on July 3rd & 4th!


NCJC Board of Advisors Member Ms. Eiko Goti Featured in 企業概況ニュース (June 2020):
Our very own Ms. Eiko Goti, President of JTA, Inc., was recently featured in the online newspaper 「企業概況ニュース」, or “News on the State of Business” in English, in their June 2020 issue. Her story is on page four (in Japanese). Congratulations, Goti-san!


JASC 2020: Application for Delegation Invite:
The JASC 2020 International Student Conference is looking for students to apply for their online conference in August, and the in-person conference in January 2021.


“Zazen” Meditation by Taizo-in Zen Buddhist Temple (Kyoto)
Taizo-in Zen Buddhist Temple providing free “Zazen” meditation instruction.
(sourced from JAS-NC)

Taizo-in Zen Buddhist Temple (YouTube Channel)

During this very difficult time in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of one’s mental health is extremely important. Deputy Head Priest at the Taizo-in Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Rev. Daiko Matsuyama has made the kind offer, through our good friends at the Japan-America Society of North Carolina, to provide free “Zazen” meditation instruction.


NC-Japan Business Conference
The return of the biggest Japan-related conference in North Carolina will take place in Spring, 2021 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel!

The NC Japan Center will be hosting the “NC-Japan Business Conference” this spring, returning again to this highly valued past tradition. The event will take place at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel (Imperial Ballroom) in Spring, 2021.

Event Agenda (tentative):
1:00 PM: Arrival and Registration
2:00 PM: Opening Remarks (North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Anthony Copeland)
2:10 PM: Speaker Series #1
3:00 PM: “Coffee Break” (coffee, tea, and light hors d’oeuvres)
3:30 PM: Speaker Series #2
4:30 PM: Closing Remarks (North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall)
4:40 PM: “After-Event Networking” (alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres)
6:00 PM: Event closes

The conference serves all companies, organizations and individuals involved in the wide spectrum of relationships between North Carolina and Japan. Knowledgeable speakers from government and from the highest levels of some of the most successful Japanese businesses in our state will provide the latest information on trade and commerce. We will hear not only about the triumphs in our partnerships with Japan, but also the current challenges we all must come together to solve.

There will be ample opportunity to network, including catered coffee breaks and an after-event networking reception. Convenient parking is located right in front of the entrance doors to the Imperial Ballroom!


All NC Japan Center Corporate Members have a number of free tickets, depending on their level of membership. Non-member registration is $50, with two options for payment:

•Online at the NC Japan Center eStore (3% convenience fee applies).
-Please select the first option from the menu on the right
•Mailing a check payable to “NC State University” to:
NC Japan Center, Campus Box 8112, Raleigh, NC 27695


We are very pleased to offer a special discount on NC Japan Center Corporate Memberships (one year) with a sponsorship of this event, according to level. This sponsorship can be make by check or through our e-store (3% convenience fee applies).

Platinum Level Sponsorship: $5,000 (50% discount on any membership)
Gold Level Sponsorship: $4,000 (40% discount on any membership)
Silver Level Sponsorship: $3,000 (30% discount on any membership)
Bronze Level Sponsorship: $2,000 (20% discount on any membership)

*All sponsors shall be promoted at the event through marquee display and announcement at the event opening.*

Please forward all questions to


NC Japan Center Summer Camp 2020:
Join us next summer for another amazing week of immersive Japanese language and cultural instruction, including field trips! We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Five-day summer camp:
Tuition: $325/camper
Camp size: 20 campers (13 – 18 years old) – first come, first served!
Camp time: Drop off: 9:30AM / Pick up: 5:00PM (camp shall start at 10:00AM and wrap up at 4:30PM)

Lunch shall be provided for all five days: Lunch will be at an NC State dining hall, and this is included in the $325 tuition. Each camper shall receive one NC Japan Center t-shirt.

The NC Japan Center will have limited Japanese drinks and snacks for our campers; they are strongly encouraged to bring their own drinks from home (please do not bring snacks).

If any campers require medication during the program period, they must bring their own medication and administer it, themselves. The same goes for Epi-pens, although in an absolute emergency, camp staff are authorized to administer life-saving medicine (such as an Epi-pen) that campers have brought for their own use.

Basic Camp Schedule (tentative):

9:30 – 10:00AM: Camper drop-off at Spring Hill House

10:00 – 11:30AM: Japanese language class (beginner/intermediate level)
(one 5-minute break at 10:45AM)

11:30AM – 12:45PM: Lunch at an NC State Dining Hall

12:45 – 1:15PM: Japanese Meditation (“Zazen”)

1:15 – 3:30PM: Japan-related workshops (origami, “shodo” (calligraphy), making Japanese lanterns, “manga art class,” karate workshop), field trips to Sarah P. Duke Japanese Gardens / Teahouse, Toyo Shokuhin, Japanese restaurant). Similar activities may be substituted at the discretion of the leadership.

3:30 – 4:30PM: Language Review (Japanese conversation using practical topics)4:30 – 5:00PM: / Wrap-up / Camper Pick-up at Spring Hill House (watch Japanese anime during this time)


Hosting Japan’s Ambassador to the U.S., Shinsuke Sugiyama:
The NC Japan Center was honored to co-host the Japanese Ambassador to the U.S.!

The NC Japan Center was very honored to be co-host with the Triangle Japanese Business Association for Ambassador Shinsuke Sugiyama’s lunch reception today (Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019) at the NC Biotechnology Center in RTP. The ambassador came to visit North Carolina to speak with stakeholders in the Japanese-American community, including Governor Cooper and Senator Tillis, as well as leadership in NC-based Japanese companies. David Robinson, Honorary Consul for Japan in North Carolina, was instrumental in organizing and facilitating today’s reception, and we’re honored to have him on the NC Japan Center Board of Advisors! We hope that Ambassador Sugiyama can come back and visit us, soon!

Check out the Ambassador’s tweet on the event, below!


Take a 3-D Tour of the Spring Hill House:

We were very fortunate to have the Spring Hill House 3-D scanned, this past week. A special thank you to the Associate Director of the NC State Communications & Marketing, Enrollment Management & Services Team Mr. Brantley Atkinson for making this happen! Please give it look at the following link:


Interview with George Takei:

On Sunday, July 28th, 2019, the NC Japan Center was very honored to have the opportunity to sit down with revered actor, author, and activist George Takei, to speak about his and his family’s experience during the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans on U.S. soil during World War II. Please refer to the link above to see the interview video!


New NC Japan Center T-shirts:

The new NC Japan Center t-shirts have just come in! They are available now for a very reasonable $20, in sizes S through XXL! Stop by the Spring Hill House and pick up yours, today!



Ongoing/Upcoming Activities:

Please check out the following link to see the ongoing cultural activities at the
NC Japan Center, including “ikebana” (flower arranging) and the “Daruma Club”
(cultural exchange), as well as upcoming one-time activities! (Some activities might be temporarily on-hold until the COVID-19 pandemic allows us to come back on-site)


“A Taste of Japan” / Global Film Series: “Shoplifters”

The NC Japan Center, in cooperation with the Office of Global Engagement, Dining Services, and Morinaga America Foods, Inc., are very pleased to bring you a very special “dinner and a movie” event on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020!
The NC State University Fountain Dining Hall shall be hosting an incredible selection of authentic Japanese fare starting at 4:30PM, including okonomiyaki, chirashi-zushi, yakisoba, ramen, mugicha, ryokucha, and more! Attendees will also be treated to activity tables, including origami and newspaper samurai helmet-making! Don’t miss out on this unique and great event!
Following this, the Office of Global Engagement’s ever-popular “Global Film Series” continues right across the street at Witherspoon Student Center Campus Cinema, with a free showing of the critically acclaimed Japanese movie Shoplifters, introduced by our very own esteemed Dr. David Ambaras (Dept. of History, focusing on East Asian and Japanese history and society), who will provide context for the film. The film will begin at 6:30PM, and we’d like to thank Morinaga America Foods, Inc. (coming all the way from Mebane, NC) for co-sponsoring!

For more information about this specific Global Film Series showing, click HERE.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all!


Japanese Heritage Night: Hornets / Wizards w/Rui Hachimura!

The Charlotte Hornets will be hosting the Washington Wizards at the Spectrum Center. This is “Japanese Heritage Night” at the Spectrum Center, and the spotlight will be on the 9th draft pick Rui Hashimura, who was born in Toyama, Japan! Here is your chance to see one of the hottest up-and-comers in the NBA and celebrate Japanese culture at the same time! For more information, please contact Mr. Kevin Cobb at (704) 688-9068.


Recent Activities:

2020 JASNC Speaker Series in the Triangle:

The Japan-America Society of North Carolina, in cooperation with the National Association of
Japan-America Societies and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, hosted a wonderful speaker event on February 3rd, 2020, at the Umstead Hotel in Cary, NC.
The speaker event topic was “Securing Freedom and Liberty in the Pacific; the Japan-US Military Partnership.” The presenters were Mr. Richard Fontaine, the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and Dr. Ryo Sahashi, an Associate Professor of International Relations, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo. The event was a huge success, and the NC Japan Center is looking forward to participating in the next one! Kudos to the JASNC and the Sasagawa Peace Foundation for facilitating such an excellent event!


Yayoi Kusama: Open the Shape Called Love Exhibit:

Our very own NC Japan Center Program Coordinator Reiko Chosokabe went to the Ackland Museum yesterday to check out the new Yayoi Kusama exhibit, and we can state that it’s worth your while to see it, yourself! Not only can you view works by the celebrated Yayoi Kusama, but there are also other works by Japanese artists and artisans worthy of attention!


New Year 2020: Traditional Japanese Celebration (TJBA):

The Triangle Japanese Business Association hosted their always-popular, annual new year’s
celebration at the beautiful Sarah P. Duke Gardens on Sunday, January 26th, and it was a big hit! Over 150 attendees were treated to incredible musical and cultural performances, “mochitsuki” (traditional new years rice-pounding), a raffle for some great prizes, delicious food and drink, and games!
Among the all truly impressive performances, we had the chance to witness Okinawan culture through the music and dance of the Jacksonville Okinawa Kenjinkai, which is representative of the unique cultural tapestry of “Uchina”/ the Ryukyuan Islands.
We do hope to see you next year at this very enjoyable and important event for the Japanese-American community in the Triangle!


2019 Activities

2018 Activities