to May 9

USJC Japan-Texas Economic Summit

  • Marriott Marquis Houston (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Japan-America Society of Houston (JASH) is pleased to support the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) as it hosts the Japan-Texas Economic Summit in Houston on May 7 - 9, 2018. Following the highly successful Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit in 2017, the Japan-Texas Economic Summit will bring together business leaders, investors, state and local officials, and economic development organizations from across the Lone Star State and Japan. 

Texas is a leading destination for foreign direct investment from Japan, and we will welcome government and business representatives from the Government of Japan and prefectures throughout the country to explore further opportunities to strengthen the relationship between Japan and the state of Texas. The Summit will feature keynote addresses from prominent leaders from both countries, showcase Texas cities and their economic development opportunities, and focus on topics of importance to the Japan-Texas relationship such as industry innovation, workforce development, energy, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, finance, national security and more.

JASH members can register with a $50 discount before April 30, 2018.  Click here to learn more.

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7:00 PM19:00

An Evening With Akutagawa Prize Winner Masatsugu Ono


JASH is delighted to join Brazos Bookstore in presenting Masatsugu Ono.

Ono is one of Japan’s most lauded contemporary authors. His novel Mizu ni Umoreru Haka (The Water-Covered Grave) won the Asahi Award for New Writers, and Nigiyakana Wan Ni Seowareta Fune (Boat on a Choppy Bay) won the Mishima Prize. He also received the Akutagawa Prize, Japan’s highest literary honor, in 2015.

The author will discuss his latest novel translated into English - Lion Cross Point (Shishi Watari Hana)- and take questions from the audience.

The event is free and open to the public.  Click here for more information.

About the book Lion Cross Point

How does a shy, traumatized boy overcome the shame, anger, and sadness that silence him? In Lion Cross Point, celebrated Japanese author Masatsugu Ono turns his gentle pen to the mind of ten-year-old Takeru, who arrives at his family’s home village amid a scorching summer, carrying memories of unspeakable acts against his mother and brother. As Takeru befriends Mitsuko, his new caretaker, and Saki, his spunky neighbor, he meets more of his mother’s old friends, discovering her history and inching toward a new idea of family and home. All the while he begins to see a strange figure called Bunji—the same name as a delicate young boy who mysteriously vanished long ago on the village’s breathtaking coastline at Lion Cross Point. At once a subtle portrayal of a child’s sense of memory and community, an empowering exploration of how we find the words to encompass our trauma, and a spooky Japanese ghost story, Lion Cross Point is gripping and poignant, reminiscent of Kenzaburō Ōe’s best work. Acts of heartless brutality mix with surprising moments of pure kindness, creating this utterly truthful, cathartic tale of an unforgettable young boy.

About the Translator

Angus Turvill’s translations include Tales from a Mountain Cave, by the great humorist and anti-militarist Hisashi Inoue, Heaven’s Wind, a bilingual collection of stories by some of Japan’s finest contemporary women writers, and The Art of Discarding by Japan’s original decluttering guru Nagisa Tatsumi. He has won the Grand Prize in the Shizuoka International Translation Competition, and has received John Dryden and Kurodahan translation awards. An instructor of Japanese translation, he lives in Norfolk, U.K.

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10:00 AM10:00

Japan Festival 2018


Mark your calendars!  Houston's much beloved JAPAN FESTIVAL will be returning to Hermann Park April 14-15, 2018!

As we celebrate 25 YEARS, the festival promises family-friendly fun with authentic food, entertainment, arts and crafts, exhibits and demonstrations.  For details and programming highlights are to come, visit for information. 

第25回ジャパン・フェスティバルは、2018年4月14-15日に Hermann Park で開催されます。



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10:00 AM10:00

Japan Festival 2018


Mark your calendars!  Houston's much beloved JAPAN FESTIVAL will be returning to Hermann Park April 14-15, 2018!

As we celebrate 25 YEARS, the festival promises family-friendly fun with authentic food, entertainment, arts and crafts, exhibits and demonstrations.  For details and programming highlights are to come, visit for information. 

第25回ジャパン・フェスティバルは、2018年4月14-15日に Hermann Park で開催されます。



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8:00 PM20:00

Celebrate Japan! at Miller Outdoor Theatre


25 Years of Japan Festival & 50 Years of Japan-America Friendship in Houston

Join us at Miller Outdoor Theatre to mark these milestones with a special performance of Japanese drum troupe ASKA-GUMI!

ASKA-GUMI’s striking performances have set a new standard for Japanese drumming.  From Cairo Opera House and the Russian Kremlin to their 5-star performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, ASKA has amazed audiences around the world.  Visit ASKA-GUMI's Official YouTube Channel to watch videos of their exhilarating performances!

This is a ticketed event for the covered seating area. Free assigned seat tickets are available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between the hours of 10:30 a.m. -1p.m. If tickets remain at 1p.m., the box office will re-open one hour before show time to distribute the remaining tickets. As always, open seating on the hill. The show goes on rain or shine.

The celebration is made possible by:

  • Glen and Kathy Gondo
  • Yasuhiko and Akemi Saitoh
  • Shintech-Kanagawa Fund
  • Donna Cole


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9:00 AM09:00

2018 Spring Garden Cleanup

Every spring, we come together to ensure the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park looks its best!

This year's Spring Garden Cleanup is ever more special, as we will be preparing the grounds for Japan Festival's 25th Anniversary Celebration.

From cleaning the teahouse to raking leaves and pine needles -- there is so much to be done and only a short period of time to do it in!  Tools & instructions will be provided by the Houston Parks and Recreations gardening staff.  Volunteers are encouraged to bring your own gloves, individual water bottles, sunscreen, and insect repellent, if needed.

To join the efforts, please complete the form below.

Name *
JASH Membership *
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11:00 AM11:00

2018 Texas State Speech Contest

The 29th installment of the Texas State Japanese Language Speech Contest will take place on March 10, 2018.

The goal of the Texas State Japanese Language Speech Contest is to inspire Japanese language learners of all levels and ages to challenge themselves and improve their Japanese by providing an opportunity to demonstrate oral language communication skills.  The contest also strives to bring together the Japanese and American communities to advocate for and to celebrate Japanese language learning, and to encourage students to further their understanding of Japan, its people, and its culture.

Scholarships are provided to winners of the High School Aurora and College/University Divisions.  Contestants in the Open Division will compete for a round-trip ticket to Japan courtesy of JASH Sponsor All Nippon Airways.

For more information on the format and content of the 2018 State Speech Contest, please review the contest handbook.

Registration will be open from February 19-29, 2018.


  •  9:00 AM - Judge Orientation
    • POETRY
    • AURORA
    • HAIKU
    • OPEN


  • Consulate-General of Japan in Houston
  • Japan Business Association of Houston (JABH)
  • Japanese Association of Greater Houston (JAGH)
  • Japanese Teachers Association of Texas (JTAT)
  • Shintech-Kanagawa Fund







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1:00 PM13:00

Memorial of Tokiko Matsumoto


On January 21, 2018, longtime JASH friend and valued supporter, Mrs. Tokiko Matsumoto, passed from complications of pneumonia.

Mrs. Matsumoto is survived by Dr. Toshimatsu Matsumoto, her husband of 66 years, son Dr. Yutaka Matsumoto, daughter Eriko Matsumoto, and granddaughters Hana Kiyoko Bosenbaum, Blanca Akane Matsumoto, Eliana Yoko Rosenbaum and Claudia Yayoi Matsumoto. 

A celebration of Mrs. Matsumoto's life will be held at The Forum at Memorial Woods on Saturday, February 17, 2018, from 1:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Tokiko Matsumoto's name to any organization of one's choosing.

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12:00 PM12:00

2018 Houston Regional Speech Contest

  • University of St. Thomas - ANDERSON HALL (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Houston Regional Japanese Language Speech Contest will take place on February 10, 2018.

Japanese language learners of all levels and ages in the Greater Houston area will demonstrate their oral Japanese communication skills for a chance to compete at the 28th Annual Texas State Japanese Language Speech Contest. 

The contest strives to bring together the Japanese and American communities to advocate for and to celebrate Japanese language learning, and to encourage students to further their understanding of Japan, its people, and its culture.

For more information on contest divisions, format, eligibility and rules, please review the contest handbook.

Click here to register online.  Registration will remain open through February 4, 2018.





Consulate General of Japan in Houston

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11:30 AM11:30

Japan Update Houston Conference 2018


JASH is pleased to present the Third Annual Japan Update Houston Conference, on Friday, January 26, 2018.

This conference, made possible with support from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and the National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS), will provide the Houston-Harris County community with the opportunity to explore the significance of Japanese investment in Texas.

Over the last several years, Houston, Harris County and Texas have welcomed a large number of new Japanese companies and residents.  During this period, Japanese manufacturing confidence has been on the rise and Texas has witnessed substantial new Japanese investment in areas such as HVAC systems, electrical equipment, automobiles and the high-speed rail. 

One overlooked contributor to this growth has been financing provided by Japanese banks, particularly the Japan Bank of International Cooperation.

Join distinguished guests and industry leaders for an in-depth look at Japan's investment Texas.


  • Dr. Carlos Aguilar, CEO, Texas Central Partners
  • Mr. Norman Bafunno, Chief Competitiveness Officer, Toyota Motor North America
  • Mr. Takeshi Ebisu, President and CEO, Goodman Global Group, Inc.
  • Dr. Shinya Miyake, Regional Head for the Americas, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) 

Click here to view speaker bios.


$45 Individual Member Ticket*
$55 Individual General Public Ticket*

*includes lunch


$425 Member Table*
$525 General Public Table*

*includes lunch for 10


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6:30 PM18:30

JASH Annual Member Meeting to Kick-off 2018

Owing to the holidays and the availability of our board members, we will be moving our Annual Member Meeting to January 2018.  We look forward to kicking off the new year with you.

Join fellow members and the JASH board as we welcome 2018 and look to the year ahead.

This event will convene leaders from the Japanese community and set the stage for JASH's 50th year.

Light bites and beverages will be available for all to enjoy.

FREE for all JASH members. Complete the form below to register.

Name *
JASH Membership *
If more than one, please provide additional names under "Memo."
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8:30 AM08:30

Fall Japanese Garden Cleanup

  • Japanese Garden in HERMANN PARK (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS


Join the annual Fall Japanese Garden Cleanup and help us tidy the teahouse and groom the garden grounds!

There is much to be done and only a short period of time to do it in!  Tools and instructions will be provided by the Parks gardening staff.  Volunteers are encouraged to bring your own individual water bottles, sunscreen, and insect repellent if needed.

To join in efforts, please complete the form below. 

We look forward to seeing you!

Name *


毎年恒例になりました、秋の日本庭園清掃が、12月2日(土)午前9時より Hermann Park内日本庭園で行われます。当日は、清掃に必要な道具は公園側で用意されております。公園スタッフの指導のもと、楽しく作業をする予定です。屋外での作業となりますので、各自お飲み物、日焼け止め、虫除け等をご準備されることをお勧めします。ご家族、お友達をお誘いの上、是非ご参加ください!

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to Dec 2

Film Screening: Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and The Fight for Justice

  • University of St. Thomas - Cullen Hall (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

On the 75th anniversary of his challenge of military orders that led to the forced removal of from the West Coast of over 120,000 Japanese Americans, the University of St. Thomas will screen a documentary on Minoru "Min" Yasui.

SUMMARY: Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice relates the life history of an American hero. Minoru (Min) Yasui was born and raised in the small farming town of Hood River, Oregon in 1916, by Japanese immigrant parents, Masuo and Shidzuyo Yasui. He was the first Japanese American attorney in Oregon and during World War II, he initiated a legal test case by deliberately violating military orders that lead to the incarceration of over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry in U.S. War Relocation Authority concentration camps. He spent 9 months in solitary confinement awaiting his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against him. After the war, he moved to Denver and continued to defend the human and civil rights not only of Japanese Americans but for Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, religious minorities, children and youth, the aged, low income people, etc. As Executive Director of the Denver Commission on Community Relations, he helped to initiate and oversaw a plethora of programs and organizations serving diverse communities. In the 1970s and 80s, he spearheaded the redress movement to win reparations and a formal apology from the government for the injustices against Japanese Americans during World War II. He also reopened his wartime case, and it was in appeal when died in 1986. He is buried in his hometown of Hood River, Oregon.

Learn more about the film here ==>

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6:00 PM18:00

2017 Sister Cities of Houston Annual Fall Concert


The annual Sister Cities of Houston, Inc. international variety show features local & international performers from Houston and its 18 Sister Cities.


  • Mixteco Ballet Folklorico
  • HSPVA Chamber Singers (Julia Hall, Director)
  • Nao Kusuzaki (Ballerina from Japan) Accompanied by Adrian Ciobanu
  • Newman Liu, Master Chinese viola player, formally with Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by Lawrence L. Xie
  • Wawel Polish Folk Dancers

Click here for more information.

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2:30 PM14:30

Ryu Goto - Gallery Concert

  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston - Beck Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join the The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) for a concert in the Museum’s European art galleries featuring celebrated Japanese violinist Ryu Goto.

Goto, who is in Houston for the 50th Anniversary of the Japan Business Association of Houston, presents this musical afternoon at the MFAH as a gift to Houston to show JAPAN STANDS WITH HOUSTON and to convey his wishes for Houston's speedy recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

The concert is free with Museum admission!  Drop in to participate.  Seating on campstools is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For additional details, please click here.

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to Nov 30

Washoku for Harvey Relief


JASH is pleased to be partnering with Kata Robata to raise funds for our JAPAN STANDS WITH HOUSTON Harvey relief campaign.

When you order Chef Horiuchi's special washoku dinner bento during the month of November, which is notably Washoku Month, 10% of the sales will go towards Harvey relief efforts.

 The $58 washoku bento will include the following:

  • Sashimi
  • Tempura
  • Miso Gindara | Miso-Marinated Black Cod
  • Chikuzenni | Braised Chicken and Vegetables
  • Grilled Kobe Beef
  • Miso Dengaku | Broiled Egglant with Miso Glaze
  • Spinach Gomaae | Spinach with Sesame Dressing
  • Tamagoyaki | Rolled Omelette
  • Tsukemono | Pickled Vegetables
  • Miso Soup
  • Steamed Rice

Enjoy washoku and help Houston recover one bento at a time!

What is Washoku?

Washoku, literally translated, is the food of Japan. 

Passed on from generation to generation, it encompasses a variety of know-how and techniques that are used to prepare and present different dishes. For each dish, which includes ingredients such as rice, noodles, fish and edible herbs, there is both harmony and balance of flavor.  Special attention is given to the bounty of the season to take full advantage of the essential taste of each ingredient.

In 2013, washoku became inscribed in UNESCO's representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


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6:00 PM18:00


JASH Gala 2017 will not be held as scheduled on October 14.  The Omni Hotel remains flooded and will not be operational by the event date.

If it can be rescheduled we will advise. 

Join us in celebrating the spirit of "ki" – the driving force of the U.S.-Japan friendship – at "JASH GALA 2017."

Click here for details.

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11:00 AM11:00

Buffalo Bayou Park KBR Kids Day

JASH is proud to be a non-profit partner of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s (BBP) signature KBR Kids Day event.

Join us on October 7 for FREE family fun at Guadalupe Plaza Park.

Activity stations will include numerous hands-on activities, local entertainment and performers, Dia de los Muertos face painters, balloon artists, a rock climbing wall, Sports Zone and so much more! Costumes welcomed!

Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

This year's event is being held as BBP oversees bayou revitalization efforts, and we are pleased to be able to support recovery initiatives for the bayou and East End elementary schools that have been impacted by the floods.

We encourage you to bring school supplies:

• Material sturdy backpacks (not clear plastic or mesh)
• Pencils
• Crayons
• Glue
• Pencil pouches
• Water colors
• Paint brushes
• Clorox wips
• Kleenex tissue

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6:30 PM18:30

The U.S.-Japan Partnership on Energy, Business, and the Challenges of China and North Korea

JASH is pleased to support Sasakawa USA’s inaugural event in The Alliance Working in America (TAWA) series, which focuses on engaging regional leaders across America with the U.S.-Japan alliance. 

The event, co-hosted by the Sasakawa USA, World Affairs Council of Houston, and the East-West Center in Washington, will feature a panel discussion on “The U.S.-Japan Partnership on Energy, Business, and the Challenges of China and North Korea.”

Expert analyses and data will provide a comprehensive view of how strong U.S.-Japan relations serve U.S. interests and values, and how various sectors contribute to strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship.  In particular, the event will explore key areas such as energy where U.S.-Japan ties make significant contributions to national security as well as state and local communities.

Click here for a full agenda and information about the speakers.


To register, please click through to the WACH website here.


6:30-7:00pm | Registration
7:00-7:05pm | Welcome Remarks
7:05-8:00pm | Panel Presentations: Security Environment in the Asia-Pacific & the Role of the U.S.-Japan Alliance; Japan Matters for America and Texas; and, Case study: U.S.-Japan Energy Cooperation in Houston and Texas
8:00-8:15pm | Discussion and Audience Q&A


Ambassador James Zumwalt, CEO, Sasakawa USA
Ambassador David Shear, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia-Pacific Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense and Chairman, National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS)
Dr. Satu Limaye, Director, East-West Center in Washington
Clara Gillipsie, Senior Director of Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs, The National Bureau of Asian Research

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8:00 AM08:00

Helping Hands For Houston


Volunteers are still needed to assist in running the BakerRipley shelter for Harvey evacuees at NRG Center.

Please complete the registration form below to join JASH as we lend a helping hand and show JAPAN STANDS WITH HOUSTON.

Things you need to know:

1. NRG Center (not the stadium) is located at 1 NRG Park, Houston, TX 77054.

2. Check-in at the volunteer table at NRG Center - not the stadium - enter through the glass doors located at the entrance facing Kirby.

3. Bring a photo ID for verification.

4. Volunteers must be 16 and older.

5. Please wear comfortable clothes and your earn, learn, belong shirt if you were issued one.

6. If you have dietary restrictions, please bring your own food. We will do our best to accommodate you, but cannot guarantee.

7. PARKING: Enter through Gate 10 and Park in the Red Lots 2 or 4.

8. You will check-in and check-out with a JASH representative at the volunteer check-in area.

Volunteer Name *
Volunteer Name
Please include full name. Note volunteers must be 16 and older.
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6:30 PM18:30

[POSTPONED] JASH Annual Member Meeting

  • Museum of Fine Arts - Beck Bldg - American General (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Greater Houston region has been deeply impacted by Hurricane Harvey, and we recognize that recovery and rebuilding efforts deserve full attention.

For this reason, JASH has decided to reschedule the 2017 Annual Meeting.

We know there will be a right time to host the event in the coming months, and we look forward to sharing a new date with you in the near future.

To learn more about JASH's support of Harvey relief efforts, please click here.

Join fellow members and the JASH board as we celebrate 2016-2017 successes and highlight 2017-2018 prospects.

Food, drinks and a special art tour will be available for all to enjoy.

FREE for all JASH members.

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to Sep 9

Harvey Recovery School Supply Drive


JASH's JAPANESE LANGUAGE PROGRAM will be collecting school supplies for Harvey victims between Tuesday, September 8 through Saturday, September 12.

Items in need include:

new pencils, scissors, calculators, highlighters, crayons, pocket folders, spiral notebooks, tissues, backpacks, rulers, erasers, graph paper, 3 ring binders, glue sticks, notebook paper, pens, and colored pencils

Donation boxes will be placed in the office entry area.

Join us as we help in recovery efforts and ensure that students of Houston-area KIPP schools have the supplies they need to start school.

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to Jul 23

Dance Project Japan

  • Chiba City Mihama Culture Hall (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
 “TSURU” Courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center (Lynn Lane Photography)

“TSURU” Courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center (Lynn Lane Photography)

Former Houston Ballet soloist, Nao Kusuzaki, of Creative Minds Collaborative, in partnership with CLAY Production, will be presenting select works in Chiba City, Houston's Sister City in Japan.

Included among the works is the Asia Society Texas Center-commissioned piece TSURU.

Kusuzaki will be joined by Houston Ballet Principal Dancers Connor Walsh and Charles-Louis Andre Yoshiyama.

A workshop for students of ballet in Chiba will be conducted ahead of the scheduled performances.

For more information, please click here.

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7:00 PM19:00

[CANCELLED] Allegiance - Meet Writer/Producer LORENZO THIONE

This event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled in the near future.

After an unprecedented cinematic premiere and a single encore presentation on the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, known as the Day of Remembrance marking the beginning of the forced relocation and internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII, Broadway musical Allegiance returns to Houston for special screenings at the Queensbury Theatre!

Inspired by true events, Allegiance is the story of the Kimura family, whose lives were upended when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 forcing them and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor.

Watch the Allegiance Original Broadway Cast on the big screen, including legendary performer George Takei — (“Star Trek,” “Heroes”), who was himself an internee as a child, and Tony® winner Lea Salonga – (“Miss Saigon,” “Mulan”).

VIP Screening

Take a trip back stage as Allegiance lead producer and show writer, Lorenzo Thione, shares insights into the making of the production.

  • Thursday, July 13th  – 7PM – VIP Screening (includes refreshments and a talk back with Lorenzo Thione, lead producer and show writer of Allegiance) -  Price $62 + $3 box office processing fee

General Screenings

This event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled in the near future.

  • Friday, July 14th – 7:30PM – Price $32 + $3 box office processing fee
  • Saturday, July 15th – 7:30PM – Price $32 + $3 box office processing fee
  • Sunday, July 16th – 2PM – Price $32 + $3 box office processing fee

For tickets go to or call 713-467-4497


Q: Is Allegiance okay for children to see?

A: Allegiance is a family friendly drama, and most children above the age of eight should be fine. There are some adult themes, as well as use of weapons, during the show, but there is no strong language or sexual content.



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to Aug 19

The Ephemeral Beauty in Nature - HARUMI SHIMAZU

  • Nicole Longnecker Gallery (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
  The Ephemeral Beauty in Nature.  Glass balls, brass, and wax. Nakanojo Biennale 2015.  (photo courtesy of artist)

The Ephemeral Beauty in Nature. Glass balls, brass, and wax. Nakanojo Biennale 2015.  (photo courtesy of artist)

Fragments of wax like flower petals are fluttering in the room. Glass balls are floating and swaying in space and they catch the light and reflect the room in their surfaces. I'm trying to represent the beauty and sadness of life with fragile materials. - Artist, Harumi SHIMAZU

Tokyo-based artist Harumi SHIMAZU views nature as a vast living organism and reflects the energy of life and the ephemeral beauty of nature in her work.

SHIMAZU makes her Houston debut at Nicole Longnecker Gallery in a site-specific installation, The Ephemeral Beauty in Nature, on view from July 8 through August 17.  This exhibition is made possible by Art Alliance「英語を使ってアートを学ぼう!」


Opening -- Saturday, July 8, 5-8 PM

Artist Talk -- Wednesday, July 12, 6-8 PM


Harumi Shimazu is a visual artist based in Tokyo, Japan. She graduated with a degree in painting from the Kyoto University of Art and Design in 2005. In her painting, Shimazu examines motifs based on the natural world, specifically flowers, plants and vegetables, and uses microscopic imagery as source material for her near abstract works. More recently, she has been working on site–specific installations and encaustic paintings, exhibiting domestically and internationally. Through the work, Shimazu attempts to evoke or connect with the origin of life, primitive memories and the universe. 

To learn more about the artist and view select works, click here.


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10:00 AM10:00

Tanabata Star Festival 2017

Steeped in legend, Tanabata (七夕/ star festival) honors the tale of Orihime and Hikoboshi. 

According to folklore, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. 

With the stars aligning for this reunion, wishes are destined to come true.  Therefore, on this day, Japanese write their own wishes on colorful paper (tanzaku) and hang them from bamboo branches. 

JASH, in collaboration with the Consulate-General of Japan (CGJ) in Houston, will be giving young Houstonians the opportunity to make a wish Tanabata-style at the Children’s Museum of Houston.

Activities ranging from traditional dancing, storytelling, and craft making have been planned.  Join us for:

  • Kamishibai:  Experience Tanabata 七夕 with traditional storytelling in Kids’ Hall.
  • Bon Odori:  Embrace Japanese culture through an ancient traditional dance in Kids’ Hall.
  • Tanzaku:  Make a wish, write it down on a wish card, and hang it on a bamboo tree in Kids’ Hall.
  • Origami:  Master the art of Japanese paper folding by making stars in Kids’ Hall. 
**Note: All volunteer shifts have been filled.  Thank you for your enthusiasum and support.
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10:00 AM10:00

Sogetsu School Ikebana Demonstration

Unlike simple flower arranging, ikebana is a disciplined Japanese art form in which nature and humanity are brought together and represented with the use of living branches, leaves, grasses, and blossoms. An asymmetrical form and the use of empty space are essential features of the composition, and a sense of harmony among the materials, the container, and the setting is crucial.

YuMei Montalvo, First Jonin Somu (professor) of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, will provide a short history of ikebana, the Japanese art and philosophy of flower arranging. As she demonstrates the creation and composition of several arrangements, she will explain the relationship of the materials being used and the importance of their placement within the arrangements.

Contact event host City of Sugar Land Cultural Arts Manager, Lindsay Davis to reserve a seat.

YuMei Montalvo

Mrs. Montalvo, born in Taiwan and married to an Ecuadorean, has been practicing the Sogetsu style of flower arrangement for over 20 years.  A member of the Teachers of Ikebana Association, Tokyo, Japan, Mrs. Montalvo has taught ikebana in Singapore and Ecuador.  In addition to serving as President of the Quito Chapter of Ikebana International, she also served as director of floral decorations for Quito's J.W. Marriot International Hotel.

Mrs. Montalvo established the Houston Sogetsu Group in 2014 after moving to Houston.  While Houston is now home, she travels regularly to Ecuador and across the U.S. conducting workshops and exhibitions.




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