Japan/America News

Keep up to date with news about the Japan/Kentucky connection by reading it here. Connect to our RSS feed to keep up with new content in any feed aggregating program such as Google Reader.

News may be submitted through the JASK office: programs@jask.org. Comment on articles to share your opinions.
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  • 30 Mar 2009 2:13 PM | Anonymous member


  • 01 Mar 2009 9:50 AM | Deleted user

    About five years ago Ms. Kumiko Fukuhara came to Lexington to work with JASK.
    Kumiko did not actually work for JASK directly. She was here as a cultural liaison from Japan for all of Kentucky. Then Director, Julie Blythe, had worked with the Center for Global Partnership to arrange for Kumiko to come to Kentucky through the Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI).

    JASK members were sad to see Kumiko go; however, last year the University of
    Kentucky’s Asia Center picked up where JASK left off and applied for another Japan Outreach Initiative Coordinator. JASK offered its support for the proposal and promised to partner with the Asia Center if a new Coordinator was selected. Luckily, the application was successful. In August, 2008, Ms. Keiko Fukuzaki came to Kentucky as the new JOI Coordinator.

    Many JASK members have now met Keiko at our events. Keiko has jumped-in to her
    new work vigorously. She is already busy with school visits and has begun planning cultural events for adults as well. We asked Keiko to share with us some of her thoughts about bringing Japan to Kentucky.

    Q. What do you hope Kentuckians understand about Japan?
    A. Japanese culture has many facets and is deep on many levels. Some aspects can
    be hard to understand. I want to help Kentuckians approach Japan in an understandable way.  There is certainly more to the Japanese way of thinking than meets the eye but I want to help Kentuckians understand us better. The Samurai, for example, are gone but we have their traditions still among us in the tea ceremony, kendo, or other places. By learning about these things together, our friendship can be much deeper.

    Q. Where do you spend most of your time?
    A. Visiting schools around the State and planning events for the Asia Center, JASK,
    and UK’s student-run Japan Club: JKICs. We have an Origami art exhibit at the UK library and a Japan festival on campus in April. We have started holding the Culture Club and Conversation Club events again. I am even working with Jessie Clark Middle School to make 1,000 cranes for the art exhibit!

    Q. What question do kids ask most?
    A. “Is Japanese technology different than American technology?”

    Q. What has surprised you most about Kentucky?
    A. It may seem odd, but I expected Kentuckians to be like Japanese. In fact, they
    are different! Honestly, Kentuckians are more hospitable and welcoming. They smile at me even if I don’t know them. Everyone is very friendly. I have been assisted by many people when I got lost or needed help. Kentuckians are also more interested in Japan than I expected. I hardly advertise our activities but I have had a flood of requests from schools and people actually bring project ideas to me.

    Q. What do you want JASK members to
    know about your work?
    A. Already through my work I have met many people and have come, truly, to hope that the Japan/America friendship in Kentucky always stays strong. Also, we have
    planned many, many interesting events that I hope JASK members will attend and learn more about the Japanese culture and way of life.
  • 02 Jul 2008 4:23 PM | Deleted user
    The way communities in Kentucky welcome Japanese companies is something about which all Kentuckians can be proud.  The Elizabethtown News Enterprise wrote about Japan in their community recently.  Read the article by clicking on the blue link.
  • 02 Jul 2008 4:16 PM | Deleted user
    Logo-JapanKentucky top.jpgAs most of you know, JASK has been working with leaders across Kentucky in eleven cities to prepare for over 200 Japanese guests.  The Herald Leader published a story about our program on Monday, June 21st.  Cultural exchange is at the core of what JASK does and this event gives us all, throughout Kentucky, a chance to say: thank you, to the Japanese who live here and to those who visit us. 
  • 29 May 2008 9:52 AM | Deleted user
    Schieffer___J_Thomas.jpg The U.S. Department of State has opened Ambassador Schieffer's door for the world to ask him questions.  Through May 30, go online and submit any question to the Ambassador.  After that date, you can go online to see what the Ambassador had to say

    JASK Director, Matt Krebs, met with Ambassador Schieffer in Washington D.C. last February.   when he spoke to Japan/America Society Directors from the U.S. and Japan.  Ongoing warm relations between Japan and America allow our friendship in Kentucky to flourish. 
  • 29 May 2008 9:38 AM | Deleted user
    According to the Economist Magazine, Japan's financial trauma that began in 1989 might have been a warning to the United States.  Both crises -Japan Mortgage - 5.29.08.jpg in Japan and now in America - were tipped over by shoddy lending and borrowing. 

    Read the article here

    Has the mortgage crisis affected your business?  Has your connection to other American and Japanese firms in Kentucky had an impact on your business as you move forward?

  • 09 May 2008 2:00 PM | Deleted user
    Who knew our University of Kentucky Cheerleaders were world traveled?  Apparently, they are great ambassadors for Kentucky in Japan!

    Thanks to Jane Ahrends at the Yuko-En Garden in Georgetown for the tip.

    Click the picture below to start the video:

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