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August 2008 Newsletter

Come see Pittsburgh's own enka phenom Jerome White August 27, 2008

University of Pittsburgh alumnus Jerome White Jr.--aka Japan's pop sensation "Jero" -- will give a free hour-long concert at 8:30, Aug. 27 in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. White's unique blend of hip hop with Japanese ballads known as enka has made him incredibly popular in Japan, where his first single "Umiyuki" (Ocean Snow) debuted in February 2008. Jero is the first black enka singer in Japanese music history and his interest in the genre was inspired by his Japanese grandmother's love of the music.

The event is sponsored by Pitt's Asian Studies Center in the University Center for International Studies in conjunction with the Pitt Program Council, the Department of Africana Studies, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation/Mitsubishi Endowments at the University of Pittsburgh, and by the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania.

Tickets are free but seating is limited. Priority seating will be given to those affiliated with the University and JASP members who reserve ticket passes. The only way to reserve a ticket is to write to kchaney@us-japan.org or call 412.433.5021. To allow the maximum number of people to enjoy the concert, you may request two tickets only. We are also seeking a few more volunteers to help on the 27th, including those who can assist in unloading sound equipment. Write or call us soon to take part in this exciting opportunity and welcome Jero back home! Read more: Jero concert info

Above right: Kazuko Macher and the JASP's first Japan Speech and Language Contest First Place Winner Jerome White, 1996


Sept. 12, 2008
5:30-7:30 pm
Come to JASP's First Open House

Tour downtown with Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation followed by a happy hour visit to the JASP office at USX tower

Join docents from Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation for a one-hour tour of some of downtown's finest historic buildings and places during this walk along Grant Street, once the edge of our frontier town and now Pittsburgh's grand civic boulevard. We'll see H. H. Richardson's Courthouse; three historic landmarks commissioned by industrial magnate Henry Clay Frick; modern skyscrapers, historic churches, and Mellon Square Park. At the end of the tour, come to the newly reconfigured JASP office in the US Steel building for hors d'oeuvres refeshments and conversation.

Details to follow.


Sept. 20, 2008
4:00 -7:00 pm

Partnership with Venture Outdoors

Frick Park Hike followed by sushi and sake party -- stay tuned for details!


Aug. 1, 2008
5:30-8:00 pm
Art Exhibition, Pittsburgh Filmmaker's Gallery: 2/F, 417 Melwood Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213

In her exhibit "Doppel Ganger" (German for "double-goer" or "second self") artist Fumino Hora explores the ambiguous, multiple nature of self. Through the use of shadows and silhouettes and many media, including photo transfer, digital prints, etching, laser-cut on perspex and sculpture, Fumino coaxes us to see the "second self" which is often concealed, disguised and camouflaged by an outward façade. Directions Pittsburgh Filmmakers Contact: 724-759-0766
(Fumino Hora)


Western PA Japan-related Resources

Click here for our first stab at a resource list of Japan-related goods and services in the Western PA and tri-state region. Do you know of a source for taiko drum instruction, shoji screen preparation, an on-site traveling sushi maker? The JASP often receives requests like these and we would be happy to add your business or skill to our list. Please email your valuable information to the JASP administrative assistant, Kelly Chaney. Thank you!

  Submit an Event or Article

If you have an event or an article to suggest for an upcoming newsletter, please email the JASP at
jasp@us-japan.orgor call the JASP office at (412) 433-5021.

Click here to visit our web site for details about all of our programs

Butoh performance in Cultural District this Sunday, August 3, 2008

This weekend, in another event with ties to both Pittsburgh and Japan, the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania and no wall productions have teamed up to co-sponsor dance theatre artists Jennifer and Mitsuru Sasaki from Wuppertal, Germany. They will present “Fish Engine,” a two-part workshop and performance event influenced by Butoh, the contemporary Japanese dance art.

A free Introduction to Butoh Workshop will be offered Saturday August 2nd from 3-6pm, and a Chamber Performance presented on Sunday August 3rd at 7:30 pm. Both events will be staged in the Cultural District at 947 Liberty Avenue, no wall productions’ space flanked by James Simon’s statues.

Mitsuru and Jennifer Sasaki are purveyors of imagistic, eclectic dance theatre with roots in the expressionist work of the legendary Pina Bausch with whom they performed for years in the late 1980s. Before that, Mitsuru studied mime and Butoh in Japan with Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno, two originators of this art. Butoh is an avant garde performance art with origins in Japan in 1959. According to the Sasakis, Butoh is no one thing, no single style, but it always has at its center a fragile transformative spark.?? The Sasakis will present the workshop for anyone working with the body. No specific experience in dance or Butoh is required. The performance the following evening will incorporate several workshop participants in an all live, all improvised collaboration. Jennifer, originally from Pittsburgh, and Mitsuru have choreographed and taught independently for over a decade, earning kudos from audiences in Japan, Italy, South America and Europe. This is their first appearance in the US.

Archived JASP Newsletters
2009 2008
December 2009 December 2008
October 2009 October 2008
September 2009 September 2008
August 2009 August 2008
June 2009 July 2008
May 2009 June 2008
April 2009  
March 2009  
February 2009  
January 2009