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  • 9 Aug 2018 2:55 PM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    August 9, 2018

    MEDIA CONTACT

    Christina Burchette

    cburchette@sistercities.org

    202.347.4876

     

     

    SISTER CITIES INTERNATIONAL ELECTS SHIN KOYAMADA TO THE NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

     

    WASHINGTON, DC (August 9, 2018) – Sister Cities International (SCI) elected Shin Koyamada (小山田 真), Actor, Producer and Philanthropist of Los Angeles, California to the Board of Directors on August 3, 2018 at the 2018 Annual Conference in Aurora, Colorado. Koyamada was voted in by SCI’s individual member sister cities, counties, and states from all over the country.

     

    “We are deeply honored to have Shin Koyamada join the Board of Directors and the Sister Cities International leadership team,” said Ron Nirenberg, Chairman of the SCI Board of Directors and Mayor of San Antonio, Texas. “His passion and contribution as a world citizen diplomat are inspiring and will help the organization to highlight the critical importance of the role of the everyday citizen in promoting world peace.”

     

    Koyamada is the first native-born Japanese member of Sister Cities International’s Board of Directors, and also serves as the Country and Regional Representative for Japan and East Asia. He is originally from Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan and immigrated to the United States in June of 2000. In 2004, Koyamada became best known to global audiences after his co-starring roles in the Warner Bros. blockbuster Tom Cruise film The Last Samurai, with a worldwide box office of $456 million. He starred in the Disney Channel hit TV movie Wendy Wu Homecoming Warrior, making it one of the highest viewed Disney Channel movies in the U.S and the highest rated kid’s channel in Europe, U.K. and Japan. He is Co-Founder and Chairman of KIF (Koyamada International Foundation) and Shinca Group CEO. He has dedicated a large portion of his life to philanthropic work that focuses on promoting the role and importance of citizen diplomacy, especially in empowering global youth and women and strengthening and deepening the ties between Japan, East Asia, and the United States. For more information about him, please visit http://ShinKoyamada.com.

     

    Koyamada first become involved with Sister Cities International when he participated in the 60th San Jose-Okayama Sister Cities Anniversary in San Jose, California to support his hometown of Okayama, Japan. In July 2017, he was appointed to the SCI Board of Directors as the Young Professional Representative, and then elected as Director-at-Large this year. For Koyamada, the highlight of the 2018 Annual Conference was receiving the Chairman’s Award before hundreds of sister cities members for his tremendous contributions and achievements he made in the past year as a board member, including two international trips to Japan with two different U.S. delegations, nine separate domestic sister cities trips across the U.S., creating SCI Youth national branding, bringing in a major corporate sponsor, and more.

     

    After his election, Koyamada stated, “I am sincerely honored to be elected to the Director-at-Large position by the Sister Cities International network, and I am looking forward to continuing my work with Sister Cities International to bridge global communities for world peace.”


  • 9 Aug 2018 2:54 PM | Anonymous

    “Lionbridge is an American company with headquarters in Massachusetts (USA) and offices in 26 countries. We deliver translation and localization, global content management, and application testing services to the world’s top brands. Currently we are urgently looking for Japanese native speakers over the age of 65 to participate in our paid Japanese Language Research Project.

    Please see below the project overview:

    Lionbridge is helping to develop modern speech recognition systems for computers and mobile devices and is now starting a Japanese Language Research Project, which consists of collecting voice samples in Japanese. The task is simple and does not require any specific knowledge or previous experience. It can be performed from home, using a mobile device or computer. The entire project should take no longer than 45 minutes and each participant that successfully completes the task will receive $35 (USD) via PayPal or Direct Bank Transfer (via XendPay). Below you will find the task overview.

    Timeline: As soon as possible.

    Location: The task can be completed remotely from any location as long as there is a mobile device/computer with stable internet connection.

    Requirement: Japanese native speaker in the age group of 65 years and older.

    Task description: The participants will see sentences in Japanese and will need to record their voice while reading them aloud.

    The duration of the task: approximately 45 minutes per participant.

    Rate: 35 USD per participant for the entire task. The payment will be done via PayPal or Direct Bank Transfer (via XendPay). 5USD (per participant) can be provided to those who refer participants who successfully complete this study.

     

    Interested candidates can register for the project by filling in this short registration form: https://fs30.formsite.com/LB2014/form294/index.html

     

    Once the registration form has been completed and you have qualified to participate, our production team will contact you with additional details and instructions.

    Kindly note that this is a one time task, you cannot participate again if you have already completed this project.

    We offer a referral fee of 5 USD per person that you recommend for this project if they successfully complete the task. If you know many native speakers who would be interested in this project, please let us know and we will send you the details on how to proceed. Also, please ask candidates (referred by you) to write your name in other comments “Referred by <your name>”.

    Visit us at:

    Website: http://www.lionbridge.com/solutions/global-services-for-machine-intelligence/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LionMachineIntelligence/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lionbridge_GSMI

    Instagram: http://instagram.com/lionbridge_gsmi


  • 24 Jul 2018 2:53 PM | Anonymous

    JASA has been notified of several positions available for individuals skilled in both English and Japanese.

    EPAM Systems is looking to hire Japanese/English-proficient Systems and Software Engineers, a Team Lead, Team Manager and Quality Assurance Analyst. Job postings can be found below.

    Team Manager

    Team Lead

    Systems Engineer

    QA Developer

     

    Akorbi is looking for two Japanese interpreters for work with Panasonic. Please contact interpreterjobs@akorbi.com

    Alternatively, call 214-396-8236

    Please let us know in the comments if you applied for any of these positions, or if you have a posting you would like advertised.


  • 18 Jul 2018 2:50 PM | Anonymous

    The JASA community is saddened by the passing of Charles Wesley Wood, 98, founder of the Mobile Japanese Garden and recipient of the Imperial Conferment of the Order of the Rising Sun, and the Gold and Silver Rays. The impact he left on the Mobile community will be remembered.

    A link to the full obituary can be found here.


  • 18 Jul 2018 2:49 PM | Anonymous

    We’re back with another movie night! This time we’ll be celebrating the wonderful world of modern Japanese fashion with a presentation from designer and cosplayer Robin Ray and a screening of the award winning Japanese comedy Kamikaze Girls*. As always, we will have free Japanese snacks for everyone to try!

    Robin Ray is an Alabama based artist, designer, and cosplayer. She specializes in Japanese lolita fashion and has modeled for Japan’s most famous lolita fashion store, “Baby The Stars Shine Bright.” You can see her work on her Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/hellomermaid/ Robin will also have some of her crafts for sale. We here at JASA are pleased to have her present!

    Kamikaze Girls (下妻物語――ヤンキーちゃんとロリータちゃん) is the story of the unlikely friendship —and ensuing chaos— that forms between Momoka and Ichiko, who wear contrasting fashion styles: lolita and Yanki.
    For a quick rundown on Japanese fashion, please check out its Wikipedia page.

    Schedule: 5:30 pm- Doors open
    5:45- Presentation from Robin Ray
    6:30- Movie Screening Kamikaze Girls
    8:00- Hanashikai – Socialize with your fellow attendees!
    9:00- Good night!

    Click here for the Facebook event page.
    RSVP here.

    Admission for the event: a donation of any amount to the Japan America Society of Alabama, pay what you want!

    *Kamikaze Girls is rated PG-13. Robin Ray’s presentation will be for all ages.


  • 11 Jul 2018 2:48 PM | Anonymous

    Welcome to our new series of interviews with the local JASA community. To kick things off, we interviewed our former intern Junho Jeong!

    Junho Jeong has been interning at the Japan-America Society of Alabama for the past six months. He is a Japanese and Financial Engineering major at Korea University in Seoul, Korea. He’s been studying Japanese since 2011 and English since childhood.

    Q: What brought you to Alabama and to JASA?
    “I participated in the Korea West Program, a joint program between the Korean Government and the US Department of State, so I was in Texas for three months and then got matched with JASA for an internship by the Program.”

    Q: What do you at JASA?
    “So I usually do social media stuff: I post Japan related news on our Facebook page and website and translate the posts into Japanese too. I also get the opportunity to participate in our board meetings and cultural events. I also do our ‘Japan in a Suitcase’ presentation.”

    Q: What have you learned from working at JASA?
    “I’ve learned how to manage a company’s website and see how that all works. Also, translating English into Japanese is quite an experience. And, I think if you’re a foreigner, you get so many opportunities to make friends, a lot of friends, around here. Like at our monthly dinner Kayobikai.”

    Q: English is your third language and Japanese your second; what is it like working in your non-native languages?
    “I just think it’s cool, it’s so cool!
    When it comes to working in English I think it’s much easier because I know so much more grammar. I’ve been learning English grammar for so long and it made me realize that you never really learn grammar in your first language [Korean]. It’s also a really interesting experience to notice how people make sentences or express their feelings in different ways, depending on what culture you’ve been raised in.”

    Q: What got you interested in Japan?
    “The reason I got interested in Japan is that I wanted to be a journalist covering issues in East Asia. Since Korea is an ally with Japan and the US, I thought it is critical to understand the history between the nations and why we became allies. When I was a high school student, I felt like I needed to get exposed to Japanese articles too to get more correct information and not to be biased. That was the first time I started learning Japanese.”

    Q: What have you liked about living in Alabama?
    “People! It’s really different from what I expected. When I googled Alabama -I had never heard of Alabama before I came here- I noticed it had not a very good reputation with various problems, and even my teachers in Austin were worried about me going to Alabama with no one I know. But, it turned out it was not like that at all; people were so warm and sweet hearted. Everyone I met here has been understanding and, I think most of all, it has been really precious for me to be in a family orientated culture in my life. It’s been really cool just to get a family dinner or have a Christmas party, or Easter or any kind of holidays spent with family members here, and to be part of those events was so nice. I will never forget southern hospitality I got here.”

    Q: What’s next for you?
    “I have three semesters left at my University and am planning on learning more about finances. I’m planning to apply for a Japanese company and am seriously thinking of applying for Dai-ichi Protective Life [headquartered in Birmingham] so I can maybe come back here. That’s how much I liked living here.”

    “Thank you for having me here and thanks to JASA for having me here. I enjoyed it a lot!”


  • 5 Jul 2018 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    Celeste Pfau, a gifted young Birmingham artist, will soon begin work as an artist-in-residence at Moriumius in Ogatsu, Japan. Moriumius is an area of Tohoku hard hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami; the organization aims to bring about healing through nature-focused programs. Celeste’s work includes creating beautiful prints using plant materials and will contribute to the mission of Moriumius, reconnecting children with nature.

    Celeste received the honor of “emerging artist” at the Magic City Art Connection and is one of the driving forces as a community organizer in the Art Town East Lake Project working to make East Lake a hub for the arts in Birmingham.

    During her time in Japan, Celeste will be traveling to Gunma prefecture, home to Birmingham’s sister city, Maebashi.

    http://moriumius.jp/en/ (Learn more about Moriumius here)


  • 3 Jul 2018 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    One year ago today, July 3rd 2017, Birmingham formalized a Sister City relationship with Maebashi, Japan. Maebashi had previously been a Friendship City since 1998. Maebashi is the birthplace of famed poet Hagiwara Sakutaro and hosts an expansive Museum of Literature, which also features Birmingham poet Samuel Ullman.
    Learn more about Birmingham’s Sister Cities Program here and visit Maebashi’s English language site.

  • 3 Jul 2018 2:45 PM | Anonymous

    Join us at the Samuel Ullman Museum for a presentation on Japanese Literature and a screening of “Tokyo Girl.”
    Free snacks and refreshments will be provided. Come try Japanese confectionaries! This event will be a great opportunity for those interested in learning more about Japanese literature, history, and film.
    Click here for the Facebook event page.

    5:30-6:30 Japanese Literature Presentation & Snacks

    6:30 – 8:30 Movie Screening: Tokyo Girl

    8:30 – 9:00 (Optional) Hanashikai – Socialize with other guests

    Tokyo Girl (東京少女) is a drama-romance-scifi film and representative of most Japanese movies: “The occurrence of an earthquake in Japan is not unusual. What would be, however, is the existence of a hole through time and the passage of a phone through which two people – one hundred years apart – can communicate. When a schoolgirl comes into communication with an aspiring writer, who is studying under poet and novelist Soseki Natsume, the most unlikely of romances ensues.” -IMDB

    Admission: Donation at the door (Any amount is appreciated!)
    **JASA Members enter free!

    RSVP on our website here: http://jasaweb.org/?page_id=1548 or email intern@jasaweb.org.

    If you are able to make it for one of the events but can’t stay for the whole evening, don’t worry! Just let us know in your RSVP.

     

    This program is funded by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership as part of a long-term project to build a Japanese community around the Samuel Ullman Museum. We are grateful for their support!


  • 26 Jun 2018 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    On Saturday, June 23rd, author Sucheta Rawal gave a reading of her book “Beato Goes to Japan” for local families at the Samuel Ulman Museum. The book features a fictional version of her cat Beato traveling to Japan and learning about Japanese culture with Kazumi-san, a character based off her real life friend. The real life Kazumi-san attended the event and gave origami lessons to the children, teaching them how to make paper cranes. JASA gave our “Japan in a Suitcase” presentation and offered Japanese snacks to the visitors. Thank you to everyone for coming and learning about Japan!

    Keep an eye out for our other events and more chances to learn about Japanese culture!

    You can RSVP here for our upcoming events.

    For more information about the author, and a series of Beato books, visit here


CONTACT US

Tel: +1 (205) 703-0960

2150 15th Ave S

Birmingham, AL 35205

executivedirector@jasaweb.org


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