Archive for February 2017

PART-TIME JOB OPENING in TOKYO: International House of Japan | Arts Programs Coordinator

February 28, 2017 – 

  • In its longstanding mission to support the U.S.-Japan relationship through the arts, the Creative Artists Program of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) annually sends five mid-career U.S. artists to spend three to five months in Japan, to further their artistic experience and research into Japanese art and culture. Artists are selected through a highly competitive process organized by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in Japan are supported by the Arts Program at the International House of Japan (IHJ). In order to promote this dynamic and artistic cultural exchange, the program is pleased to announce an open search for an Arts Programs Coordinator.
  • The successful candidate will have excellent native English speaking and writing abilities and familiarity with a broad range of contemporary American art. Duties shared between program associates include pre-departure support and orientation for incoming fellows; planning, moderating, and interpreting for Artists’ Forum events; consulting on art-related and practical matters; and producing written communications in English for public release as well as internal reporting. As such, the following qualifications are also required: fluent Japanese (speaking, reading, listening) and knowledge of art, culture, and life in Japan; digital media fluency; and willingness to share professional contacts with incoming artists. Possession of Japanese working visa is required.
  • The Arts Programs Coordinator must commit to working 1-2 days at IHJ per week, and more as necessary. About five Artists’ Forum events per year will require late nights. Remuneration shall be in the range of JPY 1,000,000 – JPY 1,400,000/year, plus… » READ MORE

JUSFC-Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange Kicks Off in Tokyo

February 23, 2017 – 

This week U.S. Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI5) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX20) arrived in Tokyo for the start of the first Asia trip under the new Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange.  

The first day of the exchange began with a meeting with representatives of the Japanese media, followed by a lunch for U.S. and Japanese business representatives co-hosted with the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.  Representatives Sensenbrenner and Castro then joined other visiting U.S. lawmakers for a U.S. Embassy Tokyo briefing and a meeting with Prime Minister Abe. 

Their final meeting of the day was with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.  The U.S. legislators participated in a bilateral session with Diet members in Tokyo February 21 and then traveled to Seoul for a February 22 trilateral session with Diet and National Assembly members. 

JUSFC Meet our Grantees Series: MarkSearch Sue Mark and Bruce Douglas — Cultural Researchers

February 21, 2017 – 

Cultural researchers Sue Mark and Bruce Douglas of MarkSearch were awarded the Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship in 2016 and traveled to Japan in May 2016 for a six-month residency. Sue and Bruce are passionate about experiencing different ways of living and viewing the world through another perspective. They do this by viewing people and places through their creative lens.

They are no strangers to living abroad. In 2013, they traveled to Portugal to research the disappearance of handicraft and agricultural practices in a region comprising 26 villages. When they learned they would be living in Japan, they began intensive Japanese study. While Bruce learned to read and write, Sue worked on conversation and listening comprehension. With their combined Japanese language skills, they were able to communicate with Japanese locals.

Their main goal while in Japan was to learn about how architectural traditions are shared over time, and how these traditions may change as time goes on. Their creative process blends artistic, visual and performative work with sociology and anthropology.  Sue and Bruce made Kanazawa, Ishikawa their home in Japan. Kanazawa is one of the few Japanese cities that was not destroyed during World War II or harmed by any natural disaster. Much of the traditional architecture — such as the Machiya, traditional townhouses from the Edo period (1603-1867) — are still intact. These historic homes function as both residences and businesses. Sue and Bruce were interested in understanding local policies and the process of Machiya renovation, especially because more than 200 Machiya in… » READ MORE

JUSFC Meet Our Grantees Series: The National Bureau of Asian Research

February 9, 2017 – 

JUSFC is delighted to support the National Bureau of Asian Research’s (NBR) Pacific Trilateralism project.  Pacific Trilaterism is designed to increase public understanding of the evolution of the dynamics between the United States, Japan and South Korea, and how the three nations can work jointly to strengthen their relationship in the coming decades.

“Grant support from JUSFC was critical for this project because it allowed NBR to engage and inform key Members of Congress and the media,” says Dan Aum, Director of NBR Government and Media Relations. “Our goal is not to just present issues, but also to provide informed recommendations derived from our network of experts to key policymakers.”

The first phase of the project identified scholars from each of the three countries to author policy briefs that addressed the history of the trilateral relationship from their own country’s perspective. Daniel Sneider of Stanford University, Yoshihide Soeya of Keio University, and Yul Sohn of Yonsei University, authored preliminary briefs that would later develop into a larger report and be the focal point for a policy event on Capitol Hill.

The second phase of Pacific Trilateralism began in late 2016 and will continue through August 2017. Later this year, experts will travel to Japan and South Korea for in-depth discussions with stakeholders in Seoul and Tokyo. The groundwork for this visit was laid at a Washington, D.C. workshop where the experts identified four key issues in the trilateral relationship: regional security threats, energy security threats, non-traditional security threats, and cyber and new… » READ MORE