News / Blog

October 26, 2017 – 

In 2012 Deborah Dash Moore, Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, presented her research on American Jewish history in a series of lectures at the University of Kitakyushu in Japan. Her work interested many Japanese students and scholars, particularly women, who found similarities and shared experiences in her seminar.

Moore is one of the many American historians granted a two-week Japan Residencies Program fellowship facilitated by the Organization of American Historians (OAH) and the Japan Association for American Studies (JAAS), with support from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission. Moore, now chair of the OAH/JAAS committee, says “It’s an interaction among a diverse group of people that allows for professional and personal growth, often sparking long-term relationships.”

The program, which began in 1997 sends two OAH scholars to Japan each year. The  awardees travel to assigned host institutions in different parts of Japan. There they offer six lectures to undergraduates and graduate students, creating scholarly dialogue and exchange, and contributing to the expansion of scholarly networks among students and professors of American history in both countries.

The institutional grant from JUSFC has typically covered housing and the seminars. The grant also allows three Japanese graduate students studying in the United States to attend the OAH annual meeting, providing opportunities for networking with other many scholars. In 2017 Rikkyo University and Osaka University hosted the American scholars. “One of the major highlights was having both scholars attend the JAAS annual meeting at Waseda University,” said Professor Akiyo Okuda of Keio University and JAAS… » READ MORE

September 21, 2017 – 

Please join us for a discussion on the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission’s current programs and funding priorities. The event will take place on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 12:30pm to 2:00pm at  Musashi University (room 8-602) Toyotamakami 1-26-1, Nerima-ku, Tokyo 176-0011 and will be led by the Commission’s Executive Director Ms. Paige Cottingham-Streater and Associate Executive Director Ms. Niharika Chibber Joe.  Attendance is limited to 20 people. If you would like to attend, please respond by Monday, October 2 to Dr. Brian Masshardt, (bjmass@cc.musashi.ac.jp).

 

August 28, 2017 – 

Eighty-three years ago, before World War II, students concerned about the relationship between the United States and Japan created the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC). JASC is a student-led exchange that allows young people from each country to spend a month together learning, growing and finding new ways to build the bilateral relationship.

In 2008, the Korea-America Student Conference began, which

then led to the creation of a parent organization, International Student Conferences (ISC). Both programs work to identify future leaders for the Asia-Pacific region to expand interest in and strengthen relationships between the countries.

JUSFC recently spoke with ISC’s Executive Director Linda Butcher. Butcher says the mission and values of JUSFC and ISC-JASC are closely aligned, both working to strengthen the U.S.-Japan partnership through education, culture and intellectual conversation. “As an institutional grantee, we’re very fortunate to have JUSFC’s support. These relationships are stronger because that financial support allows us to continue the conversation,” Butcher adds.

JASC is the first and oldest student-led exchange program. Benefits of participating include professional growth, leadership skills development and increased cultural understanding.

“The confidence that the students gain through speaking opportunities is inspiring,” Butcher says. The program helps expand communication skills and gain insight beyond media headlines and stereotypes. Alumni report the program changed their life and many continue to stay engaged with the U.S.-Japan relationship.

This year, JASC is hosting its 69th conference, bringing together 72 Japanese and American students of all backgrounds and perspectives. Host cities include Tokyo, Kyoto, and first-time host prefectures Ehime and Mie.

A… » READ MORE

August 2, 2017 – 

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C., August 2, 2017: The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that a group of five outstanding artists from the United States have been selected to participate in the 2017 U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program. The artists will travel to Japan during the 2018 calendar year to pursue their residency. Since the program’s inception in 1978, more than 170 U.S. artists, representing a diverse range of disciplines, have been selected to travel to Japan for this residency.

The 2017 group of U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program fellows includes:

Phu Hoang and Rachely Rotem, Brooklyn, NY – Interdisciplinary Architects

Derek Gromadzki, Florissant, MO –  Translator and Author

Jose Alfredo Navarrete-Perez, Oakland, CA – Choreographer

Laurel Salinas-Nakanishi , Miami, FL – Writer

Jesse Schlesinger, San Francisco, CA – Visual and Social Practice Artist

“We are delighted to announce the new group of the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program”, said Paige Cottingham-Streater, Executive Director of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission. “The program continues to be a priority for the Commission as well as the National Endowment for the Arts as we promote cultural and artistic exchange between the United States and Japan.”

Since 1978, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with the International House of Japan (I-House) and the Government of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs have administered the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program. Each year five leading U.S.-based artists, representing all genres, are selected to spend three… » READ MORE

June 20, 2017 – 

In 2014, JUSFC awarded the Mansfield Foundation an institutional grant for its U.S.-Japan Space Forum (USJSF), comprised of space policy experts from the governments of the United States and Japan, private sector, and think tank and academic communit

ies. The Foundation held meetings in Montana, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Tokyo, inviting informal discussion and dialogue about concerns and perspectives from all sides.

“The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission helped us establish this program,” Mansfield Foundation Director of Programs Ryan Shaffer noted. “The Foundation’s support for the bilateral relationship closely aligns with JUSFC’s mission. This grant makes this type of programming possible, further enriching and strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship. The Obama Administration and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe established a ‘Comprehensive Dialogue’ between the two countries (which continues under the Trump administration), bringing both countries together on space policy. Noting the increasing role of private sector innovation in our national space capabilities, the U.S.-Japan Space Forum provides a platform for private sector and other non-government experts to respond and contribute to this official dialogue, Shaffer explained.

Based on its series of meetings and discussions, the USJFC released Recommendations for the Japan-U.S. Comprehensive Space Dialogues in July 2016. The Mansfield Foundation also published the report in Japanese.

Although their JUSFC grant has concluded, the Space Forum continues moving forward. This year its group met with four of Japan’s most important space entrepreneurs.

“Adding voices like theirs to our dialogue, we continue to foster relationships and ideas that are enriching space policy discourse within each country… » READ MORE

June 5, 2017 – 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC June 5, 2017: The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) is pleased to announce that Congressman Mark Takano has joined JUSFC as a Commissioner.

The Congressman was elected to the United States House of Representative in 2012. He represents the people of Riverside, Moreno Valley, Jurupa Valley and Perris. Congressman Takano serves as the Vice Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and as a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Prior to being elected to Congress, Congressman Takano was a public school teacher for 24 years and served on the Riverside Community College District’s Board of Trustees for two decades.

“We are delighted to have Congressman Takano join the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission,” said Executive Director Paige Cottingham-Streater. “His deep background in education and his long time commitment to public service will play a vital role in supporting the Commission’s mission to promote cooperation and understanding between the United States and Japan.”

“As two nations guided by democratic principles, the opportunities for the U.S. and Japan to deepen our relationship are abundant and significant.” said Congressman Takano. “Our economic partnership, our security alliance, and our shared values are critical tools for improving the lives of both the American and Japanese people. I am honored to join the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and look forward to working with my colleagues to advance its mission.”

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission was established as an independent federal government agency by the United States Congress in 1975 (P.L. 94-118)… » READ MORE

May 22, 2017 – 

Join us for a Twitter chat (May 25, 2017) at 3pm Eastern Daylight Time to discuss JUSFC Institutional Grants. Learn about JUSFC’s grantmaking priorities. Learn how to apply and get tips and advice during the chat! Applications are due July 3, 2017.

Find us on Twitter @J_USFC and hashtag #JUSFC.

May 8, 2017 – 

The Japan U.S. Friendship Commission is pleased to support the National Association of Japan America Societies’ (NAJAS) Richard J. Wood Art Curator Series. This program offers a series of talks at Japan-America Societies by curators of Japanese art at major museums in the United States. The participating curators are well known in the field and represent some of the best known collections of Japanese art in the America.

NAJAS facilitates the signature events in this art series by selecting three Japan-America Societies (JAS) as hosts. The three JAS are competitively chosen from amongst NAJAS’ 37 member organizations.

On April 24, 2017, the Japan-America Society of North Carolina (JASNC) hosted the first talk of the 2017 Richard Wood Art Curator Series. “Our goal was to partner with museum curators and share their wonderful collections of Japanese art with Japan-America Society cities throughout the United States.,” explains NAJAS President Peter Kelley. “Curators give presentations about their favorite objects in the home museum’s collection, who the collectors were and why the art is important.”

In North Carolina, Dr. John Carpenter of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art presented the conference’s keynote address at the Ackland Art Museum on the topic, “The Three Perfections of Japanese Art: Painting, Poetry, and Calligraphy – Masterworks from the Mary Griggs Burke Collection,” which is currently on exhibit at The Met. “These human interest stories regarding the collectors are just as appealing as the art,” adds Peter Kelley. “It is important to mix the art with the fascinating… » READ MORE

April 13, 2017 – 

With degrees in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and in Interactive Telecommunication from NYU, Alex Dodge’s work combines the promise of technology as it interacts with and shapes human experience. He focuses his attention as an artist between new media and traditional fine art disciplines including painting, printmaking, woodworking and sculpture. His work is in the collections of the Museum

of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Dodge was awarded a JUSFC Creative Artist Fellowship in 2016. He traveled to Japan in October 2016 to pursue his interests in technology and traditional woodworking.

On the technology side, working at a pure code level led him to create generative systems that can build self-evolving sculpture and other art. Dodge put his ideas into motion by experimenting with language, writing code for programs that would generate new words that were statistically similar to real words but did not have any meaning.

“I took a Japanese language class in high school and fell in love with it,” he explains. “Using Japanese as my model, the idea was to create an empty container of meaning that could be experienced much like art.”

These language programs evolved into physical, visual forms, generating billions of unique shapes, similar to Tetris shapes that self-formed and assembled based on the conditions of their environment.

Dodge combined this fascinating project with his interest in Japanese joinery, a form of traditional woodworking. Two years before, he had contacted… » READ MORE

March 14, 2017 – 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is delighted to announce that two outstanding scholars from the United States have been selected to participate in the 2017 Fellowship Program for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan. The Fellowship is a joint activity of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Awards support research on modern Japanese society and political economy, Japan’s international relations, and U.S.-Japan relations.

Aaron S. Moore Arizona State University Engineering Asian Development: The Cold War and Japan’s Post-Colonial Power in Asia

Amy Borovoy Princeton University Organ Donation and Medical Practices in Modern Japanese Culture

For more information on the Fellowship, please attend NEH’s panel at the Association of Asian Studies’ meeting this week. March 18, 10:45a.m., Birchwood Ballroom, Sheraton Centre Toronto. Please also visit  NEH’s website.