NC Japan Center Activities

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!


*Registration is open now!*

NC-Japan Business Conference

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

Sheraton Imperial Hotel (RTP):

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) on Thursday, April 16th, 2020.

Event Agenda:
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.

Speaker List:
North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Anthony Copeland, Consul General of Japan in Atlanta Kazuyuki Takeuchi, Honorary Consul of Japan in North Carolina David Robinson, President and CEO of AW North Carolina Susumu Kasai, President and CEO of Morinaga America Foods Toshiaki Fukunaga, President and CEO or Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Nobuyuki Suzuki, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina CEO Christopher Chung, and Economic Development Partnership at NC State University President Thomas White!

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).
•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 refer to the flyer below and please distribute to your colleagues and anyone else you feel would benefit and be interested in this conference! Please forward all questions to

We look forward to seeing you there!


NC Japan Center Summer Camp 2020:

Five-day summer camp: Monday, June 15th – Friday, June 19th
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:

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)

Any camper picked up after 5:05PM will incur $1/per minute late.  Cash only!  Jonathan and Reiko will stay until all campers have been picked up by their parent/legal guardian.  A parent/legal guardian shall have to sign a registration book when dropping off their child in the morning and picking them up in the afternoon. Self-driving campers shall be provided a waiver they will sign and return to NC Japan Center.

All field trips shall require all campers to ride in an NC State vehicle; vehicle shall be driven by Jonathan Brewster only.

If your child is interested in participating in this program, please send an email to Jonathan Brewster at You will then be sent documents that a parent/legal guardian must sign and send back via digital format via email – campers will not be registered for the program until all documents are signed and returned! Payment is by check only (please write “NCJC Summer Camp 2020” in the memo line). You may drop off this check or send it to: NC Japan Center, Campus Box 8112, Raleigh, NC 27695. Payment must be received by June 5th, 2020.

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Hosting the Japanese Ambassador to the U.S., the Honorable Shinsuke Sugiyama:

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 following link to view 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!


NU Tech Looking for Two Staff Members to Join Their Team:

The Technology Partnership of Nagoya University, Inc. (“NU Tech”) is looking to fill two positions, locally: a “Junior Associate” and a “Senior Associate.”
This is a great opportunity for those with the requisite skills and experience to work for a wonderful Japanese organization, in RTP!
For more information, please contact Mr. Tomohisa Koyama at! As this is not an NC Japan Center position, please do not contact the NC Japan Center with questions and utilize the aforementioned link.

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!

“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!


4th Japanese Anime Film Night:

We’re pleased to announce the fourth “Japanese Anime Film Night,” to take place on Saturday, February 29th, 2020, at 5PM. This time, we have a live action adaptation of a popular manga and anime called Rurouni Kenshin and occasionally referred to as Samurai X; a story about a former assassin who seemingly escapes his former life of death to become a roaming protector of the innocent, vowing to never take another life. This live action version of the story was released in 2012 and received praise for being incredibly faithful to the manga and anime.
This movie shall be screened once again at Witherspoon Student Center Campus Cinema at NC State University, and is co-hosted by the NC Japan Center, the Japan-America Society of North Carolina, and the Nippon Club of the Triangle. Admission is free on a first-come, first-serve basis, but donations are welcome! We look forward to seeing you there!

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

The Charlotte Hornets will be hosting the Washington Wizards at the Spectrum Center on Saturday, April 11th, at 7:00PM. 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! Tickets for this game can be purchased HERE . For more information, please contact Mr. Kevin Cobb at (704) 688-9068.

Live Night Out with Yamato: Taiko Drumming Concert / Afterparty

On Friday, February 28th at 8PM, NC State LIVE will host the incredibly skilled and entertaining “YAMATO” Japanese taiko drumming troupe at Stewart Theatre. This is a great opportunity to come and see why taiko drumming is taking the world by storm, and a ticket price of $8 for NC State students and $15 for NC State faculty/staff can’t be beat! There are numerous other ticket packages and discounts, and those can be found HERE
Following the concert, UAB has partnered with NC State LIVE to treat students to a special Japanese bento-box dinner (sushi included) in 1887 Bistro for a meal swipe!

To get your tickets, please visit

Yayoi Kusama: Open the Shape Called Love Exhibit:

Beginning in February and running through the beginning of April, there will be a very special
exhibit of renowned contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at the Ackland Art Museum
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Curated from the private collections of James
Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach, this exhibit is titled “Open the Shape Called Love,” and is
comprised of multiple mediums of her art. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to see the
artwork of one of the most famous contemporary Japanese artists in the world!
For more information, please refer to the following LINK.
There are also a number of other very interesting Japan-related exhibits at the Ackland Art Museum during the same time-frame. Please refer to the press release below for more details.

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! Please go and experience this very unique and enjoyable exhibit.

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!

“Mochitsuki” Event 2019:

On Saturday, December 14th, 2019, the NC Japan Center partnered with the Nippon Club of the Triangle to host the annual “Mochitsuki” Event at the Spring Hill House! There were numerous fun activities and performances, including the traditional pounding of rice into soft, delicious “mochi” – and our younger event attendees did their part, too! There was also taiko drumming from the Triangle Taiko Club, as well as a number of wonderful songs performed by the Triangle Chorus Club. The delicious food (including freshly pounded mochi, of course) and drink were very popular, and over 450 attendees came together to make this event a resounding success. We hope to see you next year!

Keynote Speech at JET Returnee Reception at CG Takeuchi’s Residence:

On Thursday, December 5th, 2019, the NC Japan Center director, Jonathan Brewster, was invited to give the keynote speech at the JET Returnee Reception at the beautiful residence of our new Consul General of Japan in Atlanta, the Honorable Kazuyuki Takeuchi. The event was supported by the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta, and the JET Alumni Association of the Southeast, headquartered in Atlanta. We welcomed back our 2018/2019 JET Program participants, and listened to their stories and experiences. Jonathan was also a JET Program participant in Shiga Prefecture, from 2007-2010; he shared his background, experience in Japan, the NC Japan Center’s history and mission, and advice for our returning JETs. It was a wonderful evening, and we want to thank Consul General Takeuchi, Consul Yasuda, the staff of the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta, and the JET Alumni Association of the Southeast for inviting the NC Japan Center to participate.

To learn more about the JET Program, its history and importance, please see more at this LINK.


Visit by Consul General of Japan in Atlanta Kazuyuki Takeuchi:

On Friday, November 22nd, 2019, our new Consul General of Japan in Atlanta, the Honorable Kazuyuki Takeuchi, as well as Consul Ayako Yasuda, were kind enough to visit us at the NC Japan Center. We were also joined by Honorary Consul to Japan in North Carolina David Robinson and Director of the Global Training Initiative Michael Bustle. We were so happy and honored to welcome Consul General Takeuchi to North Carolina, NC State University, and the Japan Center, and we had a very informative discussion on how we may better collaborate to support the Japanese-American community – not only in North Carolina, but in the Southeast and the U.S. The Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta does very important work in the areas of education, community outreach, government relations, economic development, and providing current and useful information to Japanese nationals. We are looking forward to supporting and collaborating with the Consulate General’s office, in the months and years ahead.


Visit by Nagoya University Vice President Dr. Akihiro Sasoh:

On Tuesday, November 19th, 2019, the Vice President of Nagoya University, one of NC State University’s oldest and strongest academic partners, visited the NC Japan Center to discuss this partnership and ways to bring our two institutions closer together. Vice President Sasoh was joined by Mr. Tomohisa Koyama, Executive Director of NU Tech, Deputy Manager of the Community Relations Division Ms. Junko Hatcho, and Director of Administration Services Mr. Shigeru Yamaguchi. On the NC State side, we were also joined by Mr. Tom White, Director of the Economic Development Partnership, Dr. Mladen Vouk, the Computer Science Department’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Development and Administration, and Mr. David Dixon, Director of Global Partnerships at the Office of Global Engagement. We were honored to host Vice President Sasoh and his staff.

10th Anniversary NU Tech Roundtable:

Nagoya University hosted its 10th annual NU Tech Roundtable at North Carolina Biotechnology Center on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. This event, focused on discussing the “AgBiotech” field, featured two researchers from NC State! All of the presentations, as well as the panel discussion, were incredibly informative and interesting. The next Roundtable shall occur at Nagoya University in Japan, next year! Our thanks to NU Tech for inviting the NC Japan Center to attend!


Third Japanese Anime Film Night – Raleigh Sister Cities:

The NC Japan Center once again teamed up with Raleigh Sister Cities, the Japan-America Society of North Carolina, and the Nippon Club of the Triangle to host our third Japanese Anime Film Night at NC State’s Witherspoon Cinema. The turnout for this event was the best yet, and the film, “Wolf Children,” was very well received! Our next Japanese Anime Film Night is scheduled for February 2020 – as always, admission is free, but donations for the Raleigh Sister Cities: Japan Sister City Exploratory Committee are very welcome! We hope to see you there!

NC Global Advantage Forum 2019:

The N.C. Coalition for Global Competitiveness held its “NC Global Advantage Forum” at RTI International in Research Triangle Park on Thursday, November 14th, 2019. The event was incredibly informative, inspiring, and had a wonderful turnout! Representatives from government, industry, and academia came together to be informed about the current status of global partnerships with North Carolina, and how best to take full advantage of opportunities to strengthen those international ties. The keynote address by former NC Governor Mr. James B. Hunt, Jr. was a great way to get everyone focused on improving our international connections, and the closing remarks by NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall re-affirmed our commitment to a global perspective.


Wake County Economic Development Partners Meeting:

NCJC director Jonathan Brewster was invited by Wake County Economic Development to attend their Partners Meeting on Thursday, November 7th, 2019, to give a short introduction on the NCJC and a truncated version of the “Japanese Business Protocol” workshop currently offered by the Japan Center. The workshop was very well received by the meeting participants and showing some of the most important economic development and training personnel in the state what the Japan Center can do was much appreciated. Many thanks to Kathleen Henry at Wake County Economic Development for making this happen!



Nagai Tabi: Tales and Travels of Japanese Works of Art to America”

The NC Japan Center, in partnership with the Japan-America Society of North Carolina,
co-hosted Dr. Janice Katz, the Roger L. Weston Associate Curator of Japanese Art at the
Art Institute of Chicago, at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at NC State University on
Wednesday, October 30th, 2019.
Dr. Katz’s gave a wonderful, informative and incredibly interesting talk on the ukiyo-e prints at the Art Institute of Chicago, and how they came to be part of one of the largest collections of its kind in the world. A light reception followed, with traditional koto music by Ms. Kanako Ford, which was also a thoroughly enjoyable experience as attendees networked and sampled delicious food and drink! A special thanks to the National Association of Japan-America Societies for providing the Richard J. Wood Grant to sponsor this event! We hope to see you at the next one!


SEUS-Japan/Japan-U.S. Southeast Association 2019 Conference:

This year’s “SEUS Conference” was held in beautiful Savannah, Georgia. Each of the southern states sent delegations to attend the conference, as did representatives from the Japanese government and various companies and organizations from both countries. In attendance was the Ambassador of Japan to the U.S., the Honorable Shinsuke Sugiyama, as well as our new Consul-General Kazuyuki Takeuchi, the North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Anthony Copeland, and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. The purpose of this annual conference (held alternately in Tokyo and a city in one of the US southern states, every year) is to bring together all stakeholders in commercial and governmental relationships between Japan and each of these states. Knowledgeable and experienced individuals from these sectors are invited to speak on current trends and topics, as well as to update everyone about the status of trade and commerce between the U.S. and Japan.



“The Spirit of Haiga: A Workshop and Gallery with Ion Codrescu”

The NC Japan Center, in collaboration with the North Carolina Haiku Society, was very honored to host Dr. Ion Codrescu, a renowned and celebrated haiku poet and “haiga” master, at the Spring Hill House last Sunday, September 22nd. Haiga is a unique and beautiful Japanese art form, and “…are typically painted by haiku poets (‘haijin’)…often accompanied by a haiku poem.” Learn more about haiga HERE.

Dr. Codrescu displayed a gallery of his works, and also gave an inspired and educational lecture, “Japanese Haiga and Western Artists.” Attendees to this event were able to learn about the history, contemporary styles, and influence of haiga on western art, as well as how Dr. Codrescu became involved and rose to prominence in this field.

A special thanks to the North Carolina Haiku Society, Dave Russo, our attendees, and of course Dr. Codrescu!



NU Student Cohort: Hosted by NC State Japan Club and NCJC:

This past Saturday, September 14th, the NC Japan Center and the Japan Club at NC State hosted the visiting cohort from Nagoya University at the Spring Hill House. The Nagoya University students and our NC State students from the Japan Club played games, had a picnic, shared some laughs, and made new friendships! Everyone had a great time!



Japanese Anime Film Night:

The NC Japan Center again co-hosted the second “Japanese Anime Film Night” with the Raleigh Sister Cities: Japanese Sister City Exploratory Committee, the Japan-America Society of North Carolina, and the Nippon Club of the Triangle, at Witherspoon Cinema on NC State main campus, on Saturday, September 7th, 2019. The film shown this time was the very popular “Your Name,” and the event was free to the public. Our sponsor was the Nippon Club of the Triangle, and we collected some very kind donations for Raleigh Sister Cities. Thank you, and we look forward to our third planned “Japanese Anime Film Night” in November! Stay tuned!



NC Japan Summer Festival 2019:

The Nippon Club of the Triangle hosted the enormously popular NC Japan Summer Festival on Saturday, August 3rd, 2019. Held inside the NC State Fair Grounds, it was a wonderful event; booths selling Japan-related items and wares, fun activities to educate the public about Japanese culture and festivals, and top-notch festival food and drink! The NC Japan Center had a booth at the event this year, and we were overjoyed to connect with so many people interested in Japanese culture and language, and what the Japan Center offers in these areas!

If you weren’t able to make it out this year, please plan on coming in 2020; it’s an event you shouldn’t pass up! We look forward to seeing you there!


Sunflower Fields Trip:

The NC Japan Center headed over to the nearby beautiful sunflower fields on Dorothea Dix campus, last Thursday. Although it was very hot outside, it was absolutely gorgeous! Thanks to all who came out!


NC Japan Center Summer Camp:

The inaugural NC Japan Center Summer Camp was a huge success! Last week, we welcomed eight wonderful campers here at the Spring Hill House to learn about and experience the Japanese language and culture, complete with classes, workshops, and field trips! Some highlights included our sojourn to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens to tour the Asiatic Arboretum, including the Durham-Toyama Sister Cities Pavilion and Garden, our wonderful “Bushiken” karate workshop with Sensei Saint-Cyr, our “Shodo” (Japanese calligraphy) workshop, and learning about Japanese “zazen” meditation.
We’re already preparing for a bigger, better summer camp for 2020! If you or anyone you know is interested in being a part of our camper cohort for next year, please send us an email at!
We hope to see you next year!!


Bonsai Workshop with Sensei Taka Chubachi:

The NC Japan Center held its first-ever bonsai workshop this past Saturday, June 22nd, here at the Spring Hill House. We were honored to host Sensei Taka Chubachi, a “Master Gardener” who studied for more than a decade under the late Peter Carter, who was the owner of “The Ploughmans’ Nursery & Garden” and a lavender expert from New Zealand. Everyone had so much fun learning about how to properly prepare, prune, and take care of our very own juniper bonsai trees!
On behalf of the NC Japan Center, we want to sincerely thank Chubachi Sensei for lending us his time, expertise, and contagious enthusiasm about bonsai! Stay tuned to this page to see when we are able to snag him for a future workshop!


Animazement Convention: May 24th-26th, 2019

The NC Japan Center participated in the wonderful “Animazement” convention this past weekend. Animazement is an all-volunteer, fan-run anime convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, celebrating popular Japanese visual culture in all of its forms. The parent organization of Animazement, Educational Growth Across Oceans (EGAO) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

What a great event! Thousands and thousands of people from all over the country (and world) coming together in their love for anime – what’s there not to love? It was such a treat to meet so many individuals interested in learning about Japanese language and culture, and we were honored to be there.

Make sure to book your tickets now for Animazement 2020! There’s a discount, but only if you purchase before June 2nd, 2019!

Please check out the Animazement website: Animazement 2020


“Reiwa Celebration” Event at “Sono Sushi Bar & Restaurant:”

On Tuesday, May 7th, 2019, from 6:30-8:30PM, the NC Japan Center hosted a “Reiwa
Celebration” Event at Sono Sushi Bar & Restaurant in downtown Raleigh.
This incredible, multi-course dinner and saké tasting was to celebrate the advent of the new
imperial “Reiwa Era” in Japan, and to commemorate the abdication of Emperor Akihito as his
son Prince Naruhito ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne.
With 50 guests attending, the event was lively and thoroughly enjoyable experience!  Friends connected and caught up with each other, while many new friendships and connections were made. We were even fortunate enough to receive and hear a note of honor commemorating the occasion sent from James T. Fain III, the former North Carolina Secretary of Commerce.
Sara Guterbock, the Director of Education and Sake Portfolio Manager for Mutual Bros. Distributing Company, was our saké sommelier and event facilitator, and she did a wonderful job, as always! It was very interesting for everyone to hear about the various types of nihonshu served, their history and unique qualities, and how they pair with various foods (many of which we all sampled from Sono’s skilled chefs!).
Thank you to all who attended!  We look forward to hosting you at a similar event in the near future.


“Kodomo no Hi” (Children’s Day) Event with the Nippon Club:

This year’s “Kodomo no Hi” (Children’s Day) Event, co-sponsored with the Nippon Club of the Triangle this past Saturday, May 4th, was a huge success. We welcomed over 350 people to the Spring Hill House to learn about this Japanese holiday, and to celebrate it with us!  Thank you to all the volunteers who worked very hard to make this event truly enjoyable for everyone.

We’re looking forward to seeing next year!


NC Japan Center / Raleigh Sister Cities Japanese Anime Night:

On Saturday, May 4th, 2019, the NC Japan Center and the Raleigh Sister Cities “Japanese Sister City Exploratory Committee” co-hosted a Japanese Anime Film Night at NC State’s Witherspoon Campus Cinema.  This was the first of four such planned events, and this first showing was sponsored by the Honorary General Consul of Japan in North Carolina, Mr. David Robinson!  The movie, “Summer Wars,” was a big hit with the audience.  We’re currently scheduling the next movie for early September, so please check back soon!


Sakura Radio Interview:

On Tuesday, April 30th at 11:30AM and 12:10PM, a short interview (Japanese) was broadcasted with Director Brewster by Ms. Eiko Goti from JTA, Inc., talking about the NC Japan Center and the upcoming “Reiwa Celebration” Event!


March 5th, 2019:

On March 5th, 2019, at Talley Student Union at NC State University, Nagoya University-affiliated
high school students from Japan made wonderful presentations about their experiments regarding “Mathematics and Society.” The English skills these students exhibited when presenting were very impressive, as was their enthusiasm to show their work! Chancellor Woodson was kind enough to stop by and take a photo with these exceptional students!  Otsukaresamedeshita!

February 9th, 2019:

The 2019 Lunar New Year Event, organized and run by the Confucius Institute at NC State,
took place this past Saturday at Crabtree Valley Mall. Celebrating the “Year of the Pig (or Boar)”
in the Chinese Zodiac, there were many wonderful activities for people to participate in, and
wonderful performances to watch! The NC Japan Center had a table at this event, and we also
had the honor of bringing in the very talented Ms. Kanako Ford to grace us all with her
incredible shamisen and koto performances. It was a great event, and we hope to see you next
year (the “Year of the Rat!”).


January 19th, 2019:

The 2019 Triangle Area Shin-Nen-Kai, hosted by the Triangle Japanese Business Association,
took place this last Saturday. The event was a bit hit with the Japanese-American community
in the Triangle area, with many attendees celebrating the new year at the beautiful Sarah P.
Duke Gardens.  The event program included wonderful musical performances, raffles, and
games, as well as delicious o-bento and Japanese sake!  The event was attended by the
Honorable Takashi Shinozuka, the Consul-General at the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta,
as well as many other leaders and members of Japan-related companies and organizations in
North Carolina.  Please be sure to reserve your tickets early when they go on sale in December,
2019, for the next Shin-Nen-Kai!

Honorary Consul David Robinson!
NC Japan Center Jonathan Brewster
Kenya Inoue playing classical guitar!
TJBA President and Shin-Nen-Kai Organizing Committee Head Mr. Noriyoshi Inoue
Shamisen and koto musician Kanako Ford!


January 11th, 2019:

Happy New Year 2019, everyone! 今年もよろしくお願いします。
We kicked off the new year with a wonderful “ikebana” (Japanese flower arranging)
workshop with the very talented Mrs. Emiko Suzuki, master of the “Ikenobo” style
of ikebana.  Everyone had a wonderful time and as “Suzuki-Sensei” has this work-
shop on a regular basis here at the Japan Center, please contact us if you are
interested in attending!


December 15th, 2018:

The Nippon Club of the Triangle’s annual “Year-End Mochitsuki Event” was a hit!
It was wonderful to see so many people from the community make it to Carolina
Pines Park to come together and participate in this Japanese cultural activity.
There were a number of delicious, seasonal dishes to try, like “o-den,” “anko,” and
of course, freshly pounded “mochi,” or gluttonous rice!  There were also some
great “taiko” drum performances, and an instructional class for the little ones!
If you were unable to attend this year, please do mark your calendars for next year,
as this is an event you’ll want to bring your family to participate in! 良いお年を!

Honorary Consul David Robinson pounding mochi!
A taiko drum class for the kids!


December 7th, 2018:

Director Brewster, along with the Office of Global Engagement’s Associate Vice
Provost of External Relations and Development Ingrid Schmidt, attended the Japan
America Society of North Carolina’s Annual Dinner Meeting, held at the Carolina Country
Club, last Friday evening. The event was a wonderful experience, with a beautiful koto and
shamisen performance and silent auction, as well as a number of awards and a speech by
the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta’s Consul General Shinozuka-san. We’re looking
forward to next year’s event!

With Nomura-sensei's (RJLS) family
Koto and shamisen musician Kanako Ford
With Consul-General Shinozuka-san


November 7th, 2018:

Director Brewster visited our academic partner Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe.
This, like his on-site visits to Waseda University and Sophia University last month,
was to strengthen and grow NC State’s exchange programs with our partner institutions.
Please check back soon to see our Japan-based academic partner descriptions!


October 18th – 19th, 2018:

Director Brewster participated in the annual joint meeting of the Southeast-U.S. /
Japan and Japan-U.S. Southeast Association (“SEUS”), held at the New Otani Hotel
in Tokyo.  This conference, held alternately in Japan and in the southeast U.S. since
1976, is paramount for successful economic and business development between
Japan and the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi,
Alabama, and Tennessee.  Director Brewster was attached to and helped facilitate the
delegation from North Carolina, headed by Chief Deputy Secretary of Commerce Elizabeth
Crabill.  The U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Mr. William F. Hagerty, was also in attendance.
The conference was a resounding success, with a great deal of new information
shared and connections made.  SEUS 2019 shall be held in Savannah, Georgia.


October 15th – 17th, 2018:

Director Brewster visited two of NC State’s academic partner institutions in Tokyo:
Sophia University and Waseda University, to further strengthen and expand our
exchange program relationships. Be on the lookout for NC State Japan-based academic
partner institution descriptions here on the NC Japan Center website!


September 28th, 2018:

Director Brewster was able to come and participate in final presentations
and the graduation ceremony for the Nagoya University student group at GTI.
Great job and congratulations to all the students! お疲れ様でした!


September 23rd, 2018:

The NC State Japan Club welcomed the Nagoya University student group studying at
GTI here at the Spring Hill House! Lots of fun was had and friendships made!


August 28th, 2018:

Director Brewster was on-hand to help facilitate the Dowa Thermotech
delegation from Japan for the official announcement of the construction
of a new facility in Central Carolina Enterprise Park, bringing in a $22.5 million
investment and 109 jobs into North Carolina.
Read more about it here:

(With Dowa Thermotech President Tsuji)