e-japan journal
September 2021
Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago
image of painted moon at dusk for Tsukimi moon viewing flyer

Japan-Related Events

Japanese cultural events happening online in the Midwest and around the country
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Grants & Scholarships

A list of currently open Grants and Scholarships related to Japan
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JIC Review

This month we review the Japanese movie "Rurouni Kenshin: The Final"
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Important information and updates

CG Okada and Tom Ricketts standing in Wrigley Field, Chicago

Month in Review

Take a look back at some of the important news from last month
headshot photo of Dan Carolin

Featured Interview

Interview with Daniel Carolin, Japanese teacher and recipient of the 2020 Elgin Heintz Outstanding Teacher Award
cartoon image of pyramid of dango mochi outside under a full moon

This Month in Japan

Learn about the month of September in Japan
Announcements Header
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 Consular Office Hours

The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago currently offers the following operating times for Consular Services:

- Consular Service windows will be open from Monday - Friday 10:00 am to 12:15 pm and 1:15 to 3:00 pm.

- The Consular Section’s phones will be available to call between 9:15 am and 12:15 pm, and again from 1:15 to 5:00 pm.

We do ask that all visitors cooperate with following necessary precautions:

- If you are feeling ill, please wait to come in until you are feeling completely well again.
- Please only come in to the Consulate for essential activities. If it can wait, please consider doing so.
- In accordance with CDC guidelines, a maximum of 10 people will be allowed in the waiting room. Be aware that you may need to wait outside the waiting room should more than 10 people be present.


The Consulate-General of Japan will be closed on September 6 for Labor Day.

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image of female taiko drummer smiling wearing traditional clothing and holding taiko drumsticks

Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden 

Celebrating the history, culture, and people of Japan, the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the largest and oldest festivals of its kind in the United States.

Since 1977 the Garden has proudly hosted this unique event at one of the largest Japanese gardens in North America. A fruitful collaboration with several local Japanese-American organizations provides authentic Japanese music, art, dance, food, and entertainment for thousands of visitors each year. 

Labor Day Weekend, September 4-6
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110
Saturday and Sunday, 9am - 8pm (CDT), Monday, 9am - 5pm (CDT)
General Admission: $16 ($5 for 12 and under)
image of Japanese movies to be played during Asian Pop Cinema Season 13

Season 13 Japan Cinema Lineup with Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Asian Pop-Up Cinema: Season 13 will present 30 films at an in-person and drive-in festival, with select titles available for online streaming. The festival opens September 15 and runs through October 12, 2021, at AMC River East 21, The Davis Theater and ChiTown Drive-In.

The programming celebrates the best Asian-centric cinema, with new work made by filmmakers from China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S. and Canada. This season will highlight women in film, stories with humanitarian themes and action thrillers, including four restored martial arts classics.
IN-PERSON (Online screenings also available)
In Cinema: Adults - $15/Seniors - $12/Students - $10 or FREE (with proof of vaccination)
Drive-in: $25 per vehicle or $15 walk-ups/own folding chairs
APUC13 Virtual: $10 per rental

Black and white images left and right of athletes in wheelchairs competing in the Paralympics in the film
Enjoy a special virtual screening in celebration of this year's Tokyo Paralympics!  The tickets for these screenings are limited and only for attendees in the US.  You will have 48 hours to watch.
This frank and intimate documentary—recently rediscovered and restored after being forgotten in storage for decades—offers a fascinating glimpse of the first occasion in 1964, the 2nd official Paralympics, by following the journey of several pioneering Japanese athletes whose participation (along with that of over 300 other athletes from 20 countries) helped raise disability awareness and change prevailing stigmas in their home country.
From Friday, Septemeber 3 at 6:00pm to Sunday, September 5 at 6:00pm (CDT)
picture of satellite in space orbiting the Earth
Making up two of the five principal countries involved on the International Space Station, the United States and Japan continue to directly work together on exploring the final frontier. This program, led by several esteemed speakers from across the U.S. and Japan, will dive deep into the evolving landscape of historic and startup space industries, the business factors playing into current space exploration, the government policies affecting space regulations, and the benefits of U.S.-Japan joint research. More information will be shared closer to the date of the event.
Thursday, Septemeber 16 at 6:00pm - 7:15pm (CDT)/Friday, September 17 at 8:00am - 9:15am (JST)
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These mini-workshops offer the beginning student of Japanese the opportunity to quickly and efficiently master the reading of the two Japanese syllabaries, hiragana and katakana. It is these two writing systems, in combination with the more complex kanji (ideograms which represent meaning), which constitute the written Japanese language.

Hiragana was developed from the cursive style of kanji at the beginning of the Heian era (794 – 1192). Its function is to represent sound rather than meaning, and it is used to write native Japanese words as well as verb inflections, adjectival endings, etc.

Katakana was developed in the Nara period (710 – 794) by either simplifying the kanji imported from China or by squaring off its cursive style. It is used to represent foreign names and words imported into the Japanese language, for onomatopoeic and mimetic words, certain slang expressions, telegrams, technical terms, and so forth.
Tuesday, Septemeber 14 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm (EDT) - Hiragana
Thursday, September 16 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm (EDT) - Katakana 
$37 for nonmembers, $30 for members
black and white image of Japanese musician playing a violin on stage in front of a standing mic
Singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Kishi Bashi makes his SLSO debut with a multimedia program including Improvisations on EO9066, a heart-rending musical exploration about the internment of innocent Japanese-Americans during World War II. Known for writing the score to the 2020 AppleTV+ show “Stillwater,” performing at large festivals such as SXSW, and performing with popular artists including Regina Spektor and of Montreal, Kishi Bashi brings life to the stage with his electric and vibrant presence.  
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
718 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103
Friday, Septemeber 17 at 7:30pm (CDT)
Ticket prices range from $40 - $70 (Student Tickets may be available)
picture of a man holding a large blue bottle of sake on the right, and a cocktail glass on the left
Jun Takanarita will lead this presentation offering an in-depth explanation of Japanese alcohols such as Japanese whiskey and shochu. Takanarita will also walkthrough how to make two of Murasaki’s cocktails: “Sweet Oak” and “Far East” that are perfect for the fall season. “Sweet Oak” is a Japanese whiskey based cocktail with Amaretto and Godiva White Chocolate Liquor. “Far East ” is a layered cocktail with barley shochu, Midori, Soho, orange juice, cranberry juice, and cherry.
Thursday, September 9 at 6:00pm - 7:00pm (CDT)
Free - $20
black and white picture of a tatooed yakuza,poster for the movie Battles Without Honor & Humanity
Join the Japanese Arts Foundation and Culture Center of Chicago for Japan Week at Logan Theatre! Japan week runs from 9/8 through 9/15!
On Wednesday September 8th, we will host a viewing of Kinji Fukasaku’s Battles without Honor or Humanity, also known as Yakuza Papers. This cult classic will be accompanied by a pre-viewing 21+ party, talks by guest speakers Tatsu Aoki and Lee Ferdinand, and an additional Q&A session after the film. 
The Logan Theatre
2646 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
Wednesday, September 8 at 8:00pm - 11:30pm (CDT)
Tickets for screening: $14  
cartoon versions of the actors in Lost in Translation in black and white, comic book-style
Join the Japanese Arts Foundation and Culture Center of Chicago for Japan Week at Logan Theatre! Japan week runs from 9/8 through 9/15!

On Friday, September 10th, we’re continuing the film festivities with Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Accompanied by a pre-film VIP Party sponsored by Suntory Times that also includes a large-scale calligraphy performance by master Japanese calligrapher Hekiun Oda, this fundraising event is an opportunity to support the great work that the Japanese Culture Center and Japanese Arts Foundation do for the Chicago community and beyond. 
The Logan Theatre
2646 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
Friday, September 10 at 8:00pm - 11:30pm (CDT)
Tickets for screening: $14  Suntory Times VIP Party Ticket (including screening): $35
images of people in masks cleaning up the beach at Lake Michigan
The Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago (JCCC) will once again participate in the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ “September Adopt-a-Beach” program, a cleanup of the Lake Michigan shoreline that annually draws many volunteers to remove trash and collect valuable data throughout the Great Lakes region. Join us for the 2021 “JCCC Beach Sweep” as a volunteer!
57th Street Beach (East of Museum of Science and Industry)
5700 South Lake Shore Drive 
Chicago, IL
Saturday, September 11 at 10:00am - 12:00pm (CDT)
flyer for Flee Market/Yard Sale with red background
Over 25 vendors will be offering a variety of unique items.  Great chance to hunt for bargains, find rare items, Japan related items, handmade gifts, Japanese calligraphy and more.   
Corner of Arlington Heights & Algonquin Road (Lot next to Mitsuwa Marketplace)
100 East Algonquin Rd.  
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Saturday, September 4 at 9:00am - 5:00pm (CDT)
left: image of homemade tofu topped with spring onions, right: chef Akemi Yokoyama
Delicate and delicious, tofu is a versatile food enjoyed in many Japanese dishes, from silky, chilled hiyayakko to deep-fried agedashidofu. At this online workshop, learn how to make fresh, authentic tofu at home with London-based chef and culinary educator Akemi Yokoyama. In the spirit of sustainability embodied by the Japanese concept of mottainai, participants will also use the tofu by-product to make tasty okara mochi. Discover what this plant-based protein has to offer, from bean to block and everything in between!
Wednesday, September 22 at 6:30pm (EDT)
Non-members: $25  Members: $20
image of someone writing on a pink table with a cafe latte beside them writing a letter that says
Captivated by the Japanese Kanji, Hiragana, or Katakana? Wanted to write a heartfelt, hand-written letter to your Japanese family or friends? Looking for ways to use your learned Japanese vocabulary and Kanji? We are here to help! We are now offering a 60-minute PRIVATE writing session with our youthful, friendly and energetic Yuri-sensei.

Whether you discovered Japanese from anime or manga and want to write properly or learned Japanese from a textbook but find it awkward to communicate casually, this is a completely customized session tailored to your needs. Let us know what you want to write in Japanese, and we can help you master it!
September 2 - September 17 at 6:00pm - 7:00pm (PDT)
Members: $35 (membership required)
Tsukimi moon viewing flyer with a painting of the moon on the right
Tsukimi Moon Viewing with the Japanese Arts Foundation and Culture Center

A Tsukimi (tsoo-kee-mee), or moon viewing celebration, honors the autumn or harvest moon. Here in Chicago, we will be celebrating with taiko drum performances by Tsukasa Taiko, a traditional tea ceremony led by Omar Francis-sensei of the Urasenke tradition of tea, and shamisen / Japanese lute performances by Toyoaki Shamisen. Tea will be provided to all guests courtesy of ITOEN. Suntory Toki Highballs will also be provided by the House of Suntory, making this event exclusive to guests 21 and older.

Our night also includes a discussion by all participating artists and Saira Chambers, director of the Japanese Culture Center and Arts Foundation, about expansive monosyllabic concepts embraced in the arts we will experience together; Ma, Mu, and Wa respectively. This all occurs outdoors within the beautiful Garden of the Phoenix.
Garden of the Phoenix
6300 South Cornell Avenue  
Chicago, IL 60637
Saturday, September 18 at 7:00pm - 9:30pm (CDT)
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Sumi-e, the Japanese word for black ink painting, focuses on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush as it captures the essence of nature. Participants will use the beauty of the Gardens to inspire their art works as National Watercolor Society Signature Instructor, Stella Dobbins, demonstrates a new painting from nature each week. Subjects will include flowers, fish, birds and landscape plants. Ms. Dobbins will also demonstrate calligraphy and different water color techniques. Access to the Gardens prior to class is included in the class fee. Classes are held outdoors under the Anderson Japanese Gardens Pavilion.
Every Wednesday until Septemeber 29
Youth Class: 2:00PM – 4:00 pm | Adult Class: 4:00PM – 6:00PM (CDT)
$20 per class; optional supply kit $25
Flyer for JASC Fresh Market with pictures of food found at the market
What is the JASC Fresh Market?  Enter our small indoor market from the main Clark Street entrance, 4427 N. Clark Street, for the opportunity to purchase fresh vegetables and prepared foods from the following and more:
Hinata Farms – Asian produce with a focus on Japanese varieties.
M Square – pre-order sushi boxes in advance from M Square
Mom’s Chicago – Katsu Sando and more
Onigiri Kororin – authentic Japanese style grilled onigiri
2nd and 4th Thursdays until October 29 at 4-6:00 pm (CDT)
JASC Warehouse, 4427 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
Last Month in Review Header
CG Okada and Tom Ricketts standing in Wrigley Field, Chicago Tom Ricketts giving a tour to CG Okada

Consul-General Okada meets Tom Ricketts

On 8/5, CG Okada met with Tom Ricketts and got a tour of Wrigley Field! Thank you to Mr. Ricketts and the Chicago Cubs for your kind hospitality and your continuous support for the Japan-US friendship!

CG Okada (center) standing with the eight JOI Coordinators from Japan at the JIC

Consul-General Okada welcomes JOI Coordinators

On 8/5, CG Okada met with the new JOI coordinators before their departure to 8 cities across the U.S, including Lincoln (NE) and Mayville (ND). We wish great success and the best of luck to all of you!

Dr. Takata and CG Okada (left to right) stand between the US and Japan flags while Dr. Takata poses with the CG Commendation diploma

Dr. Nozumu Takata receives the Consul General's Commendation

On 8/16, CG Okada presented Dr. Nozumu Takata, organizer of the Northwestern University Japanese Researcher Association (NUJRA), with the Consul General's Commendation for his contributions to the development of the Japanese researcher community in Chicago, the advancements of science, and the development of the Japan-US relationship.

Takuma Sato and CG Okada (left to right) standing between the US and Japan flags in the foyer of the Official Residence

Consul-General Okada welcomes two-time Indy 500 champion

Takuma Sato 

On 8/11, Consul General Okada welcomed two-time Indy 500 champion Takuma Sato to his Official Residence.  He expressed his best wishes for further success in the 2021 Indy car series.

left to right: Douglas Tono, CG Okada, Megumi Ishikawa, Consul Tsutomu Shibata

Consul-General Okada welcomes former Judo champion Megumi Ishikawa to Chicago

On 8/18, Consul General Okada welcomed former Judo champion Megumi Ishikawa to Chicago.  Ms. Ishikawa has already her second career as a Judo trainer at Tohkon Judo Academy in Chicago and USA Judo since August of this year.  In Chicago, she will be working with Douglas Tono, President of the Tohkon Judo Academy.  Consul-General Okada expressed his best wishes for her success to further promote Judo in the Midwest and the U.S. as a whole.

Stephen Lyman giving a presentation about Shochu in the Official Residence bottles of Shochu and Awamori sake lined up outside of the Official Residence Stephen Lyman at the tasting table for Japanese Shochu and Awamori sake

The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago hosts Shochu and Awamori Seminar and Tasting

On 8/26, the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago hosted a Shochu and Awamori seminar and tasting by Shochu and Awamori expert Stephen Lyman. Food journalists and food and beverage industry professionals attended the event, where they learned about the special history of Japan's National Liquor, its traditional production methods, and the differences in taste.

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Japan Foundation Logo

Japan Foundation Grants

Grants to teachers, institutions, and students engaged in Japanese language, as well as arts and cultural programs. 

Japanese Language Education Project Grant
Performing Arts Japan Grants
Exhibitions Abroad Support Program
JFNY Grant for Online Japanese Studies

Featured Interview Header
Image of Dan Carolin, wearing black sunglasses on mountain top overlooking a city in Japan

Interview with Daniel Carolin,  Japanese teacher and 2020 Elgin Heintz Award Winner

This month we interview Daniel Carolin, a Japanese teacher at Kennedy High School in Iowa since 2004 who was awarded the Elgin Heintz Outstanding Teacher Award last year. Read about his experiences discovering Japan, learning Japanese himself, and his dedication to providing grassroots connections between his students and Japanese high schoolers. 
JIC Monthly Review
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Rurouni Kenshin: The Final

This month we are reviewing the Japanese movie, "Rurouni Kenshin: The Final".  Based on the popular manga and anime series of the same name, "Rurouni Kenshin: The Final" dramatizes the changes of the Meiji Era in a fashion similar to a Marvel movie!

This Month in Japan Header
Nagatsuki or Yonagazuki means "long-night month," and was the lunar calendar name for the month of September.  Respect for the Aged Day and Autumnal Equinox Day are the two national holidays of September.
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Dear Subscribers,

     Summer is on the way out so we have some cool fall weather to look forward to!  This month there are movie screenings, festivals, and other in-person events, as well as a variety of online events and workshops you can check out from the comfort of your home.  
For our September issue we interviewed Daniel Carolin, a Japanese teacher at a high school in Iowa that was awarded the Elgin Heintz Outstanding Teacher Award in 2020.  We also review the Japanese movie "Rurouni Kenshin: The Final", an action movie that dramatizes the Meiji Era and is based on the popular manga and anime series of the same name.
     As always, please stay healthy and safe this month!

Itsumo arigatou gozaimasu,
Japan Information Center
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