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Calendar of Events

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Upcoming Festivals and Conventions
Swampcon 2015


Date: February 7th, 2015

Time: Please check website for times

Where:University of Florida, J. Wayne Reitz Student Union

Details: event details


SwampCon is a multi-genre convention for all ages hosted at the University of Florida and held in the Student Reitz Union. For three years, University of Florida students, representing several student organizations, organize the annual convention. It is a free convention featuring a combination of Anime, Gaming, and Sci-Fi themed events. This year, the fourth year, SwampCon and its staff will continue to provide exceptional entertainment for fans and first-time attendees alike.



Date: February 27th thru March 1st, 2015

Time: Please check website for times

Where:Crowne Plaza Pensacola Grand

Details: event details


Seeking to be an all inclusive convention for the fan community, Pensacon will incorporate many genres - Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Comics, Anime, Gaming and more!

  25th Annual Asian Culture Festival


Date and Time:

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 7, 2015
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, March 8, 2015



Fruit & Spice Park
24801 SW 187 Avenue
Homestead, Florida 33031


Details: event details


The Asian Culture Festival offers a virtual day trip to Asia. Festival-goers will enjoy a variety of Asian arts, crafts, entertainment, plants and exotic cuisine. Highlights include folk dance and classical music from different asian countries, demonstrations of Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangements) and Origami (Japanese techniques by folding papers into decorative shapes such as flowers, animals, etc.)


The festival is sponsored by the Thai-American Association of South Florida, the Miami-Dade County Asian Advisory Board, Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation Department and the Consulate General of Japan in Miami.

  ALT*Con: Tallahassee

Date: March 14th-15th, 2015

Time: Please check website for times

Where:University of Florida, J. Wayne Reitz Student Union

Details: event details


Tallhassee's geek convention is back for a third year with its ongoing mission to bring the wide world of geeks and nerds to the quiet canopy roads of Florida's capital city.






Special Events
  Coffee会話(Japanese Conversation Group Meet-up)

When I was growing up in Miami, I never met a single Japanese person, much less anyone that spoke Japanese at all. It was no surprise to me, then, that when I returned from Japan this summer it was difficult to meet people with similar interests. The more my friends at Florida JETAA and I discussed it, the more apparent it became that we need to build a community where Japanese natives and South Florida locals can meet and share their interests.

This is our opportunity!

Join me, Lauren Sorondo, for Coffee会話(kai-wa), a unique opportunity to foster friendship through language learning and cultural discussion.

When? Saturday, January 31st at 3:00pm

Where? Pasion del Cielo Coffee, 8915 Southwest 72nd Place, Kendall, FL (Across from Dadeland mall; parking available in the garage and validation is available in the café.)

Who should come? Ex-JETs, students, 日本人、アメリカ人 , singles, couples, families…YOU!

While this is primarily an opportunity for Japanese language practice, people of all proficiency levels are welcome! We'd love to get a mix of JET Alumni, students, and Japanese natives together, so please tell your friends and contact me at LSorondo1@gmail.com with any questions.

  LIVE YOUR DREAM: The Taylor Anderson Story Screening and Q&A with director Regge Life



Date:February 6th and 7th, 2015



2/6/2015- 6:30 P.M.~8:30 P.M.

2/7/2015- 4:00 P.M.~6:00 P.M.



Florida International University - MMC Campus- GC 150

11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33174

Sponsored by the Florida JET Alumni Association and the FIU Asian Studies Department.



Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library

3910 S. Manhattan Ave., Tampa, FL 33611

Sponsored by the Florida JET Alumni Association and the Hillsborough County Library System.


LIVE YOUR DREAM: The Taylor Anderson Story

This film is a story about Taylor Anderson and all the young people who travel the world trying to make a difference. Taylor was an extraordinary American who dedicated herself to teaching Japanese children, living her dream right up to the events of March 11, 2011. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan was a disaster that no one could have expected.  In my 21 years of working on Japan based projects, I had witnessed earthquakes, but never the devastation of a tsunami.

Taylor’s story came to me via the internet as stories from the areas that were affected began to be shared. I had met JET teachers in the course of my previous film work, so I knew the dedication and the hard work that goes into being an assistant English teacher, but there was something special about Taylor’s story that touched me.  A passion and zest for the people of Ishinomaki where she was based, that not all teachers feel while in Japan. I began to seek a way to reach out to Taylor’s family and share my interest. I am so humbled to have their consent to tell Taylor’s story.​ - Regge Life

  Miami Contemporary Dance Company Presents: LIGHT

Date:February 6th and 7th, 2015


Time: 8:00 P.M.

Place: Colony Theater, Lincoln Road

1040 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139


Miami Contemporary Dance Company (MCDC) presents their first production of the year, Light. It will feature three original choreographies by Artistic Director Ray Sullivan, with music by New York composer Kevin Keller: Shadow Light, Not in My Name and the WORLD PREMIERE of Luz x 3. The evening will highlight the collaboration between Choreographer and Composer, and take you on a journey through three performances. The lyrical choreography of Shadow Light explores shadow and light through movement, Not in My Name sheds light on the unconquerable human spirit and Luz x 3 examines the abstract path that light illuminates, as it intertwines with the captivating movements of MCDC’s stellar dancers. All costumes were designed by internationally acclaimed designer, Jorge Gallardo and light design by the renowned Carla Iparraguirre. Japanese contemporary dancer, Asami Tomida will perform as well.


Celebrating its fourteenth year, Miami Contemporary Dance Company is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing international contemporary dance of the highest level to the stage and is committed to furthering professional dance education in Miami MCDC’s programs are made possible with the support of our sponsors: Celestial Society members, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council, Miami Beach Commissioners and Mayor, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Affairs Council, Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and Mayor and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Tickets are $25, $35 and $40, and are available online at miamicontemporarydance.net or call 305-434-7091, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. For group rates and special discounts, contact JohnM@MIamiContemporaryDance.net.

  Robo G(ロボジー) Film Screening

Date:February 7th, 2015


Time: 2:30 P.M.

Place: Bartram Campus-Parker Auditorium

2264 Bartram Road, Jacksonville, FL 32207


The Consulate General of Japan, Bolles School, and the Japanese School in Jacksonville will be offering a free film screening of the movie, Robo G. This event is free and open to the public!


Synopsis: Consumer electronics company employee Kobayashi (Hamada Gaku) is ordered to develop a bipedal robot, but fails miserably. He comes up with a plan to pass off a human in a suit as a robot, and finds an elderly man named Suzuki (Igarashi) who fits inside the suit perfectly, but...

  Southern Japan Seminar 2015

Date:February 27th, 2015


Time: 3:00 P.M.~5:00 P.M.

Place: Florida International University - MMC Campus

11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33174, United States

The annual Southern Japan Seminar (SJS) promotes research and educational activities of Japan-related scholars in the Southeastern United States. This year’s event will be held in Florida International University’s MMC Campus at the MARC Pavilion on Friday, February 27, 2015.


Drawing upon the strengths and needs of regional Japan studies, SJS fosters critical inquiry, multi-disciplinary discussion, and the dissemination of knowledge, concerning all Japan-related topics, both theoretical and practical. The membership is composed primarily of university faculty, with a few journalists, businesspersons, and other professionals with strong Japan-related interests. Members represent the fields of Japanese art, business management, education, history, language, literature, philosophy, politics, religion, sociology, and other disciplines. SJS is housed in Asian Studies at Florida International University.


The Seminar sponsors conferences, at which members and guests invited from Japan and other regions of North America present and discuss their current research on Japan, and conduct workshops on Japan-related issues. In addition, SJS helps support the Japan Studies Review, a peer-reviewed journal of scholarly research. It welcomes collaborations other organizations and institutions that seek to promote studies of Japan.

  Ikebana International Meetings in Florida


Monthly Group Meeting for Ikebana Chapter of Naples every 1st Wednesday of the month.

Location: Moorings Presbyterian Church, Moss Hall, in central Naples located at 791 Harbour Drive



St. Petersburg

Monthly meetings held on 3rd Monday of the month.

Location: Chapel on The Hill Church in Evan’s Hall, 12601 Park Blvd., Seminole, FL 33776 (unless otherwise noted.)


The public is invited to join us and view our demonstrations (first time free) and see what ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging is all about. Programs are from September through May and a yearly memberships are available for $80 individual and $120 per couple. Our motto is “Friendship Through Flowers”. Themes for the 2013 and 2014 year are based on having fun with ikebana.
All meetings are the third Monday of the month at Chapel on The Hill Church in Evan’s Hall, 12601 Park Blvd., Seminole, FL 33776 (unless otherwise noted.) Meetings begin at 10am and end at 2pm. For further information on membership, classes and exhibitions please visit our website, www.ikebanastpetersburg.com or call our hotline at 727-729-9445.


Location: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL in the ballroom located above the visitors' center


Meetings are held at on the third Tuesday of the month September - November and January - April. We meet at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL in the ballroom located above the visitors' center. The room has elevator access.

Guests are welcome, but preregistration is needed in order to take the flower workshop. Please use our contact form or email i.i.miamichapter131@gmail.com to register. First time guests may attend the program for free. For returning participants there is a small, non-member fee for the program. There is a materials fee if taking the flower workshop.

Meeting Schedule:
9:30 Set-up room/Hospitality
10:00 Business meeting
10:30 - 12:00 Program
12:00 - 12:30 Lunch Break (snacks are provided by chapter members)
12:30 - 2:00 Workshop
2:00 - 2:30 Clean-up


City of Kobe: KOBE Biennale 2015 Call for Applications for International Competitions


City of Kobe: KOBE Biennale 2015 Call for Applications for International Competitions


KOBE Biennale is a comprehensive art festival which has been held every two years since 2007, where diverse foreign cultures and art cultures come together to interact in the Port City, Kobe. Competitions in various categories and a wide variety of project exhibitions are held, making the best use of the beautiful locations with the historical background of the port.


Upon the opening of KOBE Biennale 2015 we are calling for a broad range of artworks for the following four International Competitions:

・The “Art in a Container International Competition” , using a shipping container as an exhibition space http://kobe-biennale.jp/_en/compe/container/index.html

・The “SHITSURAI ART International Competition”, incorporating the Port of Kobe into artwork http://kobe-biennale.jp/_en/compe/shitsu/index.html

・The “Creative Toys International Competition”, using natural materials http://kobe-biennale.jp/_en/compe/toy/index.html

・The “Comic Illustration International Competition”, which is drawing attention from at home and abroad http://kobe-biennale.jp/_en/compe/comic/index.html


For enquiries, please contact:
KOBE Biennale Organizing Committee Secretariat
E-mail: kb_office@kobe-biennale.jp

  38th Annual Joint Meeting of the Southeast U.S. and Japan/U.S. Southeast Associations

“Initiative For A Sustainable Future—Through Continuous Innovation”




Date: NOVEMBER 14-16, 2015


Place: Sheraton Birmingham Hotel in
Birmingham, Alabama


Further Information:
info@fl-seusjapan.org or 786-235-8289
or visit us online at www.fl-seusjapan.org



Education Spotlight
  Two Japanese Summer Study Abroad Programs now accepting applications!



Asia Immersion in Japan (Summer B, July 15– July 31, 2015)


This summer study abroad program provides a wonderful opportunity for immersion not only in Japanese culture but also in other Asian cultures. With almost half of the faculty and student body comprised of foreign nationals, from all over Asia and other parts of the world, Asia Pacific University (Ritsumeikan) has a truly international campus environment of cultural coexistence. One of the program’s attractions is that APU students participate as “buddies” to help program participants. There are a few activities that can only be experienced through this program such as Hotsprings Tour and Farm Stay.


February 28, 2015
Interviews: March 2015
JPN 1130 Japanese I (5 credits)
JPN 1131 Japanese II (5 credits)
JPN 4931 Special Topics in Japanese (3 credits)
JPN 3955 Foreign Study: Japan (GL) (3 credits)
*All students will be required to enroll in JPN 3955,
all other courses are optional.


Japan - Intensive Language and Culture in Kyoto (Summer C, May 18– June 19, 2015)



January 31st, 2015


The summer program is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to Japanese language and culture. Program participants are immersed in an optimal environment for short-term intensive language study with the added benefits of cultural exchange and exploration. One of the program’s attractions is that Ritsumeikan University students also participate as “buddies” and help in the Japanese classes as well as accompanying participants on most of the fieldwork excursions. Upon successful completion of the program, participants receive a Certificate of Completion listing hours of participation and grades for all courses taken


JPN 2200 Intermediate Japanese I (3 credits)
JPN 2201 Intermediate Japanese II (3 credits)
JPN 3400 Advanced Japanese I (3 credits)
JPN 3401 Advanced Japanese II (3 credits)
JPN 3955 Foreign Study: Japan (3 credits)
*All students will be required to enroll in JPN 3955

  Family Fun: Origami @ Yamato-kan

Date: February 14th, March 14th, 2015

Time: 12:00 P.M. ~ 3:00 P.M.

Where: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens- Yamato-kan

4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, Fl 33446

Details:event details


Learn simple origami shapes!


Join us for Family Fun and Origami at the Yamato-kan! Kids (and adults!) will learn a simple origami shape from our education staff. Afterwards, explore Japan Through the Eyes of a Child and discover what every day life is like in Japan.



  Into the Fold: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Horvitz Collection

Date: October 7, 2014 - July 15, 2016


Where: Harn Museum of Art, 3259 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32607


Details: event details


Into the Fold: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Horvitz Collection highlights the diversity, creativity, and technical virtuosity of 20th- and 21st-century ceramic artists working in Japan.


The exhibition features both artists whose work is inspired by traditional themes and those who work in (or are influenced by aspects of) the avant-garde. Tensions between form and functionality, traditional and modern, national and international are often evident across works in the exhibition and within individual works. More information here:




A symposium featuring on Sunday, November 2nd will be held at the Harn’s Chandler auditorium, beginning at 1:15pm. Speakers include Daicho Tomohiro, Aichi Prefectural Museum; Hyeyoung Cho, Seoul Women’s University; Joan Mirviss & Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, Mirviss Ltd. and private collectors; Halsey and Alice North, private collectors; and Akiyama Yō, artist and department of ceramics chairman, Kyoto City University of Arts. A Visiting Artist Workshop will be also be held at the UF School of Art and Art History (FAC, B14) on Monday, November 3rd from 10am-1pm.

  Brickell Urban Encounters: Yutaka Toyota – Manuel Carbonell
Two master sculptors. Two disciplines


Date: December 1st~2014~ February 27th, 2015

(9:00 A.M.~4:00 P.M.)


Where: Banco do Brasil Americas

800 Brickell Ave., Suite 103


Details: event details


Banco do Brasil Americas presents “Brickell Urban Encounters” bringing together works for the first time by internationally acclaimed master sculptors Manuel Carbonell and Yutaka Toyota. The second in the inaugural season of the Banco do Brasil Cultural Series, this exhibition opens Monday, December 1 and is on display through Friday, February 27.“Banco do Brasil Americas has a proud tradition of supporting culture and one of our number one assets is the multicultural nature of our clients and staff,” said Banco do Brasil Amerias President and CEO Cassio Segura. “Yutaka Toyota’s monuments grace São Paulo and Manuel Carbonell’s ‘The Pillar of History’ is an iconic part of Miami’s Brickell Avenue Bridge, which makes this exhibition particularly appropriate for our series.”The exhibition is curated by Stella M. Holmes, director of the Brickellian, and Carolina Lucero as part of the art consultancy’s West Encounters East® project.

“Both Toyota and Carbonell developed their own aesthetics through a syntheses of different traditions in their artistic training,” the curators said. “In ‘Brickell Urban Encounters,’ their works bridge cultural differences and present two different but complementary visions of reality” explained Ms. Holmes.

Considered among the most important Latin American Masters, Carbonell (1918 – 2011) belonged to a generation of Cuban artists that studied at the Academia de Bellas Artes “San Alejandro” in Havana. He traveled to and studied in Europe before returning to Cuba and ultimately coming to the United States and, later, Italy. Searching for the essence of the form and the absence of details, Carbonell imparted a sense of strength, simplicity and monumentality to his work. His modern monumental works are part of important collections and public spaces.“Carbonell’s works have a universal beauty that can be appreciated in a variety of contexts and we are pleased to have his works shown for the first time alongside those of Yutaka Toyota,” said Ricardo J. Gonzalez, III, director of the Beaux Arts Gallery which serves as the exclusive representative for the works of Carbonell.

Born in Japan in 1931, Toyota arrived in Brazil in 1962, where he currently lives. From 1965-68, he lived in Milan and worked with designer Bruno Munari while developing his research on sculpture with reflexes. He then joined the movement of optical and kinetic artists who pioneered the use of stainless steel in artworks. Influenced by the spatial theory of Argentine artist Lucio Fontana, he creates artworks that, through the application of physical laws such as Einstein’s theory of relativity and the influence of Zen Buddhist philosophy, encourage art to be viewed in new ways. Artworks are available for sale through the Brickellian with a portion of the proceeds benefiting ArtesMiami, Inc., which supports and promotes South Florida Hispanic artists and cultural organizations, in order to generate greater understanding and appreciation for their work among the diverse publics of this region.
The Banco do Brasil Americas Cultural Series promotes local artists and the diversity of the local community. Each exhibit is free to the public and may be seen Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 800 Brickell Ave., Suite 103, in Miami.

  Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art

Date: January 31st- April 25th, 2015


Where: Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at Florida Institute of Technology

150 W. University Blvd.

Melbourne, FL


Details: event details


The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at Florida Institute of Technology is pleased to announce its latest exhibit, Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art, an exhibition exploring the innovative shape bamboo art has taken since the mid-20th century.

Modern Twist is on view at the Funk from Jan. 31 through April 25, the show’s only stop in Florida. It will conclude its national tour with two exhibitions in California.
Curated by Andreas Marks at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and organized by International Arts and Artists, Modern Twist features a stunning selection of works from the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, Calif. With rare wall-hung installations and pieces never before seen in the United States, this exhibition, which was developed by Asian art specialist Margalit Monroe, both engages and educates audiences about a vibrant cultural art form.

“The Ruth Funk Center is thrilled to be the only Florida venue for this unique exhibition of Japanese art by world-renowned artists,” said Carla Funk, Florida Tech’s director of university museums. “We hope that Modern Twist, in presenting contemporary interpretations of the ancient tradition of bamboo weaving, will also expose our audience to the vibrant diversity of the textile arts and widen their appreciation of fiber as an artistic medium.”

Bamboo is a quintessential part of Japanese culture, shaping the country’s social, artistic and spiritual landscape. Although bamboo is an abundant natural resource, it is a challenging artistic medium with less than 100 professional bamboo artists in Japan today. Mastering the art form requires decades of meticulous practice learning how to harvest, split and plait, or braid, the bamboo. Modern Twist brings the work of 17 of these artists to the Space Coast, and their pieces display a mastery of the supreme technical skills inherent in their innovative and imaginatively crafted sculptures.

The emergence of bamboo as a sculptural art form has religious and cultural roots. In Japan, functional objects have been woven from bamboo for hundreds of years. By the 8th century, bamboo baskets were incorporated into Buddhist ceremonies, and held flower petals that were offered to deities in sacred rituals. During the 15th and 16th centuries, bamboo vases, tea scoops, ladles, and whisks became important features of Japanese traditions, such as flower arrangements (ikebana) and tea gatherings (chanoyu and senchadō).

Modern Twist examines the rising awareness of this medium as an innovative art form. In the last 100 years, the creativity and talent of bamboo basket makers have elevated their status from artisans to artists. These artists have redefined aesthetic conventions by experimenting with nonfunctional forms, and their creations have evolved from functional vessels to increasingly sculptural objects.
Since 1967, six bamboo artists have been named Living National Treasures, a designation created by the Japanese government after World War II in an effort to celebrate and preserve the nation’s traditions and culture. Only two living bamboo artists —Katsushiro Sōhō (2005) and Fujinuma Noboru (2012) — currently hold this title, and both have works in Modern Twist.

In addition, the exhibition features works by other visionary artists: Matsumoto Hafū, Honma Hideaki, Ueno Masao, Uematsu Chikuyū, Nagakura Ken’ichi, Tanabe Chikuunsai III, Tanabe Yōta, Tanabe Shōchiku III, Tanioka Shigeo, Tanioka Aiko, Honda Shōryū, Mimura Chikuhō, Nakatomi Hajime, Sugiura Noriyoshi and Yonezawa Jirō.

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts is the only textiles center in the state of Florida and one of very few in the nation. The center preserves and displays an international collection of textiles through rotating public exhibitions and educational programs.
Admission to the center is free. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The center is next to Evans Library on the Florida Tech campus, 150 W. University Blvd. in Melbourne. For more information, visit http://textiles.fit.edu or call (321) 674-8313.


Poetry in Clay: The Art of Ōtagaki Rengetsu

Date: February 12, 2015 – May 24, 2015


Where:Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, Fl 33446


Details: event details


Ōtagaki Rengetsu (February 10, 1791 – December 10, 1875) was a Japanese Buddhist nun and perhaps the most well-known female artist and poet of 19th century Japan. Rengetsu collaborated with potters, lacquerware craftsmen, and a variety of other artists to create myriad objects. Poetry in Clay brings together paintings, ceramics, decorative fans, tea ceremony utensils and calligraphy pieces. The objects comprising this exhibition are part of the largest private collection of works by Ōtagaki Rengetsu in the United States.

Date Event Location
Mar. 7-8 25th Annual Asian Culture Festival

Homestead, FL


Anime Conventions
Date Event Location
Feb. 7 Swampcon 2015 Gainesville
Feb. 27-Mar. 1 Pensacon Pensacola
Mar.14-Mar. 15 ALT*Con: Tallahassee Tallahassee
Date Event Location
Oct 7 - July 15 Into the Fold: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Horvitz Collection Gainesville, FL, Harn Museum
Dec 1 - Feb 27 Brickell Urban Encounters: Yutaka Toyota – Manuel Carbonell
Two master sculptors. Two disciplines

Miami, FL, Banco do Brasil Americas
Jan 31- Apr 25 Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art
Melbourne, FL, Florida Institute of Technology
Feb 12- May 24

Poetry in Clay: The Art of Ōtagaki Rengetsu

Delray Beach, Morikami Museum
Date Event Location

Jan. 31


Feb. 6 and 7

Miami Beach

Feb. 6th


Feb. 7th


Feb. 7th

Robo- G Film Screening


Feb. 27th


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