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  • 28 Jan 2019 8:30 PM | Anonymous

    JASA hosted a Japanese Calligraphy class with professional calligrapher, Ayako Suzuki. We'd like to extend a warm thank you for making our Japanese Calligraphy class a success! We had a wonderful time as she shared her passion for the Art of Writing! Guests of all ages came to participate in the relaxing and informative class and we'd love to have her again some day.

    Do you practice Calligraphy at home too? Like us on Facebook and tag #JASA when you post your art so we can see! 


  • 24 Jan 2019 1:12 PM | Anonymous

    Did you know that this Japanese native flower is an official state symbol of Alabama? It was adopted 60 years ago in 1959 and we want to celebrate the anniversary with all of you!

    This weekend event will also be part of our Alabama Bicentennial celebration, honoring 200 years of statehood. How better than to celebrate one of our state symbols? The biggest public event will be Saturday, February 17, attended by dignitaries like Governor Ivey and other leaders at the Mobile Convention Center. A public ribbon cutting at 1:00 pm will start a “second line” marching band that will lead us into the show – where Camellia Japonica will be the star! 

    Place: Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel, Mobile Alabama.

  • 22 Jan 2019 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    Ayako Suzuki was born and raised in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. She began learning calligraphy when she was 8 years old. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Daito Bunka University, Tokyo, Japan, An institution well known for its  Department of Calligraphy. Her concentration was Japanese calligraphy, and she acquired a wide range of perspectives on calligraphy through the mastery of history, theory, and artistic appreciation. While also studying calligraphic techniques to achieve artistic expressions.

    She established her professional career as a calligraphy artist in New York where she both collaborated with other calligraphers, and held a personal exhibit from 2007 to 2008, then held a group exhibition in Paris, France in 2011. Ayako now teaches calligraphy to children to pass the tradition of the Japanese culture down to future generations. In her session, she will demonstrate calligraphy and explain its history, and social and academic role in Japanese contemporary society. Ayako is recognized internationally as an expert Japanese calligrapher.

    The event is Wednesday February 06, 2019 2:00p - 3:00p at UAB's Humanities Building, room 424.

    This event is free and open to the public.

  • 22 Jan 2019 1:36 PM | Anonymous

    Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019.

    Time: 3:30p - 4:30p

    Place: UAB Humanities Building 105

    The event is free and open to the public.

    Yasuhiro Daiku is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Human Sciences at Osaka University, Japan. He serves as a research fellow at Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and is a visiting scholar in the Department of Communication Studies at UAB. He studies Social Psychology, and investigates human behavior as a member of society. His research mainly focuses on lie /deception detection. 

    Generally, it has been thought that Japan has more collectivist culture compared to America. Recently, however, some cultural psychologists counter the traditional views of Japanese collectivism vs. American individualism. Here, I will introduce arguments on both sides, and give the audience the opportunity to think twice about both cultures. Also, I will explain cognitive biases that humans have generally, which sometimes make us misunderstand cultures.

  • 18 Jan 2019 3:34 PM | Anonymous

    On Saturday, January 12th, the Center for Entrepreneurship provided a group of student innovators the opportunity to have a small group discussion with Mark Jackson, Honorary Consul General of Japan for Alabama. Mr. Jackson also owns Moreson Conferencing, a company with offices in 65 countries around the world. The visit was arranged by Stanley Harper, an economic development specialist working with the Japan America Society and American Diabetes Association. 

  • 18 Jan 2019 2:15 PM | Anonymous

    Ayusa International is introducing their annual Japan summer camp for young people interested in Japan and Japanese culture. 

    PROGRAM DATES: June 30, 2019 - July 22, 2019(3 weeks)

    Immerse yourself in Japanese culture through volunteer activities, meeting local Japanese people, and unique sightseeing opportunities.

    Learn Japanese or improve your language skills, not only with daily classes from experienced professional teachers but also through school and home visits. (No previous experience required!)

    Kyoto is world-renown for its beautiful shrines, temples, and Japanese gardens. Explore the cultural heart of Japan and be charmed by Kyoto’s many traditional delights.

    DEADLINE TO APPLY: March 15, 2019.

    COST: $3,800

    FEE INCLUDES: Housing, meals except lunch, Japanese language classes, volunteer, high school visit, home visit, activities, local transportation, and 24-hour supervision.



  • 16 Jan 2019 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    We're excited for the development of the new Mazda-Toyota plant in Huntsville!

    Mazda is seeking a Bilingual Quality Engineer who is proficient in both Japanese and English. Below is a link to the position:



    Please click on the above link to apply. Questions can be directed to Laura O’Meara at lomeara@mazdausa.com.


    Position Summary:

    Quality Engineer II position is responsible for the quality assurance of parts that are supplied to Mazda and its affiliated vehicle & powertrain assembly plant.  

    • To assure the parts quality that satisfies customer specification and expectation with the experience of quality, manufacturing, engineering, financial, and regulatory knowledge.
    • To resolve quality concern through the investigations and manufacturing process review/audit.
    • To improve supplier quality system through the process and system audit.    
    • Responsible for administration and enforcement of Quality Operating System (QOS) processes used within MNAO and Mazda manufacturing affiliates.
    • This position is expected to have mind set of Challenger spirit, Self-initiative, Integrity, Flawless execution, Continuous Kaizen, Co-creation, and Teamwork.


    Application of Mazda Quality Standard Requirement for Suppliers (QRS)

    • Promotes and applies procedures stated in the manual of Mazda Quality Requirement for Supplier.
    • Execute Mazda QRS training for assuring supplier thorough the understanding of Mazda’s quality requirements and expectations.
    • Train, assist, and support suppliers to maintain 100% MQRS compliance for all production stages (pre-production through mass-production).

    Manufacturing Site Assessment (MSA)

    • Perform Mazda System Assessment (MSA) audits to ensure the effectiveness of quality operating systems (QOS) on all potential supplier candidates and make recommendations for suitability to Mazda requirements and development needs.
    • Perform Mazda (MSA) Mazda System Assessment Audits on current supplier.
    • Provide feedback and report results to Mazda responsible groups/departments when determining supplier suitability for business awards.

    New Parts Launch and Change control (APQP, PPAP)

    • Project Management Tracking: Monitor progress (QRS APQP Tracking Sheet) of schedule, objectives and targets for development, continuous improvements implementation. Report results to Mazda responsible groups/departments. Take appropriate recovery actions when progress of monitored actions are not achieved.
    • As a part of (CFT) Cross-functional Team collaborate with suppliers and Mazda Engineers during design reviews to ensure the design is appropriate for Manufacturability and Assembly.
    • Review Design Drawings / Component Drawings / Engineering Standards to properly address Critical (CC) and Significant (SC) characteristics.
    • Review high impact characteristics for correct dimensioning to ensure manufacturing, processing, measuring and testing feasibility.  
    • Perform production readiness assessment process audits (PPAP reviews) at suppliers manufacturing facilities.
    • Report assessment readiness status results with identification of all deficiencies, corrective action plans, timing and responsibilities.
    • Supplier Production Readiness: Conduct on-site manufacturing trial run process reviews to assess supplier manufacturing capability and quality systems effectiveness. Report results and corrective actions to be implemented.
    • Train, support and assist Suppliers to effectively execute Mazda QRS APQP PSD PPAP activities.
    • Promote and implement the use of (SPC) Statistical Process Control with added safety margins in efforts to reduce process variability for achieving and maintaining Process Control.

    Corrective Actions and Continuous Improvement of current on-going parts product/Improvement of warranty parts performance

    • Train, support and assist supplier corrective action and continuous improvement activities for effective and timely resolution.
    • Initiate and track corrective actions 8D reports. Identify both “root cause” and “systemic root cause” to drive systems and manufacturing processes improvements, using tangible objective evidence (Statistical data) to prioritize actions/work to be taken.
    • Support and assist Mazda production assembly plants for RN, DI, corrective actions, continuous improvement activities and warranty concerns to prevent reoccurrence.    
    • Use lean and PDCA tools to optimize on-going process efficiency and effectiveness (Lean, Quality/Problem Solving Skill).

    Focus Supplier Improvement

    • Identify focus suppliers and conduct intensive continuous improvement activities.
    • Negotiate with suppliers to initiate investigations and support resolving warranty issues through corrective action activities.
  • 31 Dec 2018 3:25 PM | Anonymous

    Applications for the 2019 Keizai Koho Center Teacher Fellowship are now open!

    Are you a social studies teacher interested in broadening your knowledge of international education? Take advantage of this unique opportunity to visit Japan! More information on the fellowship is available here. You can follow the fellowship on Facebook here.

    Keizai Koho Center (KKC), in cooperation with the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS), will offer “KKC Study Tour to Japan 2019” for U.S. and Canadian social studies teachers.
    Dates in Japan:
    June 24 (Mon) – July 2 (Tue), 2019 (Tentative)
    Primarily in Tokyo,the itinerary will be developed to provide vivid and enjoyable experiences with participants, which include:
    Visits to Japanese schools to interact with students and teachers,
    Meetings with scholars and experts on Japanese society and its education system,
    Visits to major Japanese companies and meetings with senior company executives,
    Home stay with a Japanese family, and
    Cultural and fun events.
    Costs covered by KKC:
    KKC provides round trip air transportation from participants’ home city to Japan, as well as accommodations, ground transportation and meals associated with the ten day program.
    To be eligible, applicants must:
    Have skills and experience in developing curriculum and a strong interest in Japan,
    Have never lived in Japan nor visited Japan on a similar study tour,
    Be middle or high school classroom teachers of Economics, Social Studies, Geography or History (grades 6-12).
    To participate in the Study Tour, applicants are required to agree to:
    Make a presentation and contribute to discussions at a symposium organized as part of the program.
    Submit a lesson plan on Japan for their own classroom to KKC by Oct. 31, 2019.
    Submit a final report to KKC by January 10, 2020, which describes how experiences and findings on the tour are used in the classroom and other occasions. Relevant copies of any school newspaper/magazine articles are appreciated.
    Consent that the lesson plans and the final reports become the property of KKC to be posted to its website for use by other school teachers.
    Understand that the demands of the itinerary are such that only individuals physically able to travel without special assistance should consider the participation, special diets cannot be provided and a smoke-free environment cannot be assured.
    Understand there will be no provisions for spouses to accompany fellows due to the nature of the program and logistical requirements.
    Internet connection cannot be assured by KKC.

  • 26 Nov 2018 3:04 PM | Anonymous


    ◆THEME: Kyoto (English language submissions only)
    ◆DEADLINE: March 31st, 2019 (Midnight JST)
    ◆GENRE: Short Shorts (unpublished material only)
    ◆WORD LIMIT: 300 Words (to fit on a single page)
    ◆FORM: Short poems, character studies, essays, travel tips, whimsy, haiku sequence, haibun, wordplays, dialogue, experimental verse, etc. In short, anything that helps show the spirit of place in a fresh light.

    ●Limited to one submission per person
    ●You do not need to be located in Kyoto to participate. We accept submissions from anywhere in the world.
    ●Must be submitted by Microsoft Word attachment file. (Submissions by PDF attachment are NOT accepted.)
    ●At the top of the Microsoft Word attachment (not in the body of the e-mail), please include the following: Full Name, E-mail Contact, Nationality, Current Residence (Town, Country).
    ●Please send your Microsoft Word attachment file to: kyotowritingcompetition2019@gmail.com

    [First Prize] ¥30,000, Kyoto Craft, publication on the Writers in Kyoto website, and inclusion in the Writers in Kyoto Anthology
    [Second and Third Prize] Kyoto Craft, Zen Gardens and Temples of Kyoto, publication on the Writers in Kyoto website, and inclusion in the Writers in Kyoto Anthology

    [Within Japan] Selected Ceramic Piece from the Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery
    [Within the USA] Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America by Kendall H. Brown

    Writers in Kyoto reserves the right to publish entries on its website. Winning entries will be eligible for publication in the WiK Anthology. Authors retain the copyright of their own work.

    Kyoto crafts are generously provided by the Kyoto City Tourism Association. Quiet Beauty is awarded by the Japan-America Society of Greater Philadelphia. This competition is also sponsored by the Kyoto Journal, Kyoto International Community House, and the Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery.


    Former prize winners

    For the prize winner in the 2018 competition, please click here. For the second prizewinner, click here. And for the third prize winner, see here.

    For the winner of the 2017 competition (‘Joys of Silence’), see here. and for the first competition winner (‘Kimono Memories”) see here.


  • 26 Nov 2018 3:03 PM | Anonymous

    Thank you to our incredible hosts in Maebashi and
    Hitachi, Japan!

    Last month, JASA representatives had the honor of visiting Birmingham’s two Japanese sister cities. We are so grateful for the warm welcome and hospitality we experienced in both cities and hope to visit again.Visit Birmingham Sister Cities Commission for more information about Birmingham’s relationships with Maebashi and Hitachi. For information on other Alabama sister cities in Japan, please contact us!



    JASA Delegates visit the dedication to Samuel Ullman’s “Youth” in Maebashi, Japan.

    Maebashi – Gunma Prefecture

    Our two days in Maebashi were filled with sightseeing, including to the Maebashi Museum of Literature. Outside is a statue dedicated to Birmingham poet, Samuel Ullman (pictured right). We were able to meet in Maebashi City Hall with several city officials including Deputy Mayor Kurashima and members from the Maebashi International Association. Thank you to everyone in Maebashi for a fantastic welcome dinner and a great visit to the city!






    JASA Delegates visit the first building of Hitachi Manufacturing.

    Hitachi – Ibaraki Prefecture  

    While we were only able to spend one day in Hitachi this year, we had a wonderful time meeting with Hitachi City Officials and Hitachi Mayor Haruki Ogawa and experiencing the city. We toured the Hitachi Manufacturing Plant and visited various sightseeing spots around Hitachi City. This included Kamine Park (pictured right), which features a Vulcan Statue gifted to Hitachi by Birmingham Sister Cities Commission. Thank you for showing us your beautiful city by the sea!







    Hitachi’s Vulcan statue, gifted by Mayor Richard Arrington and Birmingham Sister Cities Commission.

    JASA delegates pose with Vulcan.

    JASA delegates visit Hitachi Manufacturing in Hitachi, Japan.

    Maebashi Museum of Literature – Sakutaro Hagiwara’s home.

    JASA delegates with Maebashi’s statue of Samuel Ullman’s “Youth” in English and Japanese.

    JASA delegates with Kazunori Tago of Maebashi International Association and Seishun Society of Japan.

    JASA delegates with Kazunori Tago of Maebashi International Association and Seishun Society of Japan.

    JASA Delegates with Deputy Mayor Kurashima of Maebashi, Japan.

    JASA delegates pose with Sakutaro Hagiwara’s statue in front of the Maebashi Museum of Literature.


Tel: +1 (205) 703-0960

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Vestavia Hills, AL 35216


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