Japan ICU Foundation - Full Tuition Scholarship Opportunity for US Students

ICU Scholarship 2018.jpg

The JAPAN ICU FOUNDATION will once again be offering the merit-based JICUF Global Scholarship - U.S. Scholars Initiative (USSI) scholarship for US citizens to attend the INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY (ICU) in Mitaka, Tokyo.

The USSI will cover the entire cost of tuition for four years of undergraduate study at ICU. 

Eligible applicants must :

  • be a United States citizen
  • be graduating from U.S. high school in spring 2018
  • exhibit strong interest in Japan and the Japanese language
  • have interest in liberal arts education
  • be single with no dependents

Applications are being accepted through December 1, 2018.  Apply online here.

For those students or families who are interested in learning more, JAPAN ICU FOUNDATION is hosting information sessions via webinar on September 11, September 27, October 17, November 7 and November 16.  Click here to register.

Celebrating the 2018 Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassadors

On August 29, the Consul-General of Japan in Houston, The Honorable Hideo Fukushima, graciously hosted a reception celebrating the 2018 Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassadors and the 35th Anniversary of the Youth Ambassador Program.

Each of the 2018 Youth Ambassadors shared highlights from their trip to Chiba City, Japan from May 31 - June 14, 2018.  Stories were told of host family hospitality, school cleaning experiences, food adventures, and meetings with city officials.

Remarks from Consul General Fukushima, City of Houston Chief Development Office Andy Icken, and JASH President Bill Weiland stressed the importance of youth exchanges in the growing and strengthening of collaborative cross border alliances.

Written greetings received from Second Lady Karen Pence also noted how people-to-people exchange provides a "strong foundation for diplomacy." (To read the letter, please scroll down.)

In the words of Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai conveyed through a letter addressed to JASH President Bill Weiland to mark 35 years of youth exchange, it is our hope that the Youth Ambassadors "will expand their horizons using the knowledge they gained through this exchange, and serve as bridges of friendship between our two cities."

Special thanks go to River Oaks Baptist School and Chiba City International Association for their efforts in support of the program.

SLOTUS Greetings Letter to 2018 Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassad...-1.jpg

Japan Stands With Houston: One Year Later


On this the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, we want to say ありがとう (arigatou; thank you) to all those, both near and far, who came to Houston's aid in a time of need.

Owing to your generosity, the Japan Stands With Houston campaign exceeded our initial fundraising goal of $25,000 and raised $52,364.58 for Houston flood relief.

In addition to monetary gifts, you entrusted us with supplies and food - from 300 onigiri prepared by Seiwa Market for first responders to cases of cookies sent from Japan by Akie Abe, wife of Prime Minister Abe, for flood victims.

You also ran alongside us as we raised funds for the Houston Food Bank through the Harvest Marathon, spent time with us volunteering at shelters, and purchased special "bento boxes" from Kata Robata Sushi + Grill during Washoku Month.

Your support - channeled through Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) and BakerRipley - has made possible the rebuilding of schools and homes as well as hope and emotional healing.

One year later, we remain humbly #HoustonStrong!


Celebrating Diversity With MD Anderson

On August 16, 2018, JASH joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in highlighting the beauty of MD Anderson's diversity at its annual Diversity Celebration.

JASH was invited to reprise our role as the representative of Japan and provide participants with the opportunity to try their hand at shodo - Japanese calligraphy.  Nearly 150 patients and staff took part and walked away with a personalized JASH uchiwa fan.

Diversity is not only MD Anderson's strength, it is the strength of Houston! 

Thank you, MD Anderson, for featuring JAPAN in a special "Fusion of Inclusion."

Welcome Consul-General Fukushima

On July 24, Japan-America Society of Houston Board of Directors and Benefactors had the honor of welcoming to Houston the new Consul-General of Japan in Houston Hideo Fukushima, Mrs. Kaori Fukushima and Miss Mika Fukushima.

At a reception held at The Briar Club, Consul-General Fukushima greeted guests and shared his firm belief in the importance of promoting understanding of Japan in America as the key to further strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance.

JASH looks forward to working with Consul-General Fukushima to foster friendship at the grassroots level.

Learn more about Consul-General Fukushima below.


Consul-General Hideo Fukushima and his family arrived in Texas from Thailand, where Fukushima-san served as Minister, Deputy Chief of Mission, and Permanent Representative to the United Nations ESCAP at the Embassy of Japan in Thailand. 

Prior to his time in Thailand, Fukushima-san served as Minister, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Italy (from 2012) and Minister, Head of Chancellery at the Embassy of Japan in the Russian Federation (from 2010).  Fukushima-san also served as the Minister of Public Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in the United States (from 2008).  He has also held the role of director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan's Public Diplomacy Division (from 2007), Global Environment Division (from 2005) and Climate Change Division (from 2003).

Consul-General Fukushima is a graduate of University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law (B.A.) and earned his Master's degree in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University.



Tanabata - Celebrating With The Stars

On July 7, JASH volunteers joined the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston at the Children's Museum of Houston to celebrate Tanabata (七夕/ star festival)

Steeped in legend, Tanabata 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.

Participants in the Houston Tanabata event not only had the opportunity to make their own tanzaku wish cards, they also had the chance to experience kamishibai storytelling, dance traditional bon odori dances, and fold a variety of origami shapes.

Many thanks to all who came out to enjoy Tanabata with us!

JASH Board of Directors


At the ANNUAL MEETING held on June 28, the JASH membership elected the following individuals to the Board of Directors:

Vice President, Government Relations and Senior Counsel, The Friedkin Group

Chairman, Commonwealth International Trust

CEO, Gondo Company Inc.

Hiroki HABA
General Manager, Houston Branch, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
(Concurrently) General Manager, Houston Branch, Mitsubishi International Corporation

Yukihito HONDA
Senior Vice President Tubular Products Group and General Manager Houston Office, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas

Executive Vice President, Satake USA, Inc.

Hiroko SATO
Retired Japanese language professor, Rice University

Advocate of Japanese culture

William H. WEILAND
Retired Partner, Vinson & Elkins, LLP

The newly elected/reelected members join the following individuals on the JASH BOARD.

Takeshi EBISU
President and CEO, Goodman Global Group, Inc.

Joseph A. HAFNER, Jr.
Retired Chairman of Riviana Foods Inc.

Yasushi KOKAZE
Senior Vice President, Divisional Operating Officer Energy Division and Southern States Regional Officer Energy Division, Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.

Vice President and General Manager Houston Office, All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Director, Kane Russell Coleman Logan PC

Director of Sales Houston Office, United Airlines

Advocate of Japanese culture

Japanese businesswoman

We are grateful for the hard work and commitment of our Board of Directors who donate their time and expertise to the JASH mission of leading U.S.-Japan exchange in Houston.


On June 28, JASH held its 2018 ANNUAL MEETING at the home of the HOUSTON ROCKETS to mark 50 years of Japan-America friendship in Houston, discuss plans for the future, and conduct our Board of Director elections.

Members were treated to food and refreshments as well as a special prize drawing and a bespoke daruma anniversary cake.

Following the presentation of the 2017-18 Annual Report by JASH President Bill Weiland, members were taken beyond the velvet ropes and into the premium areas of TOYOTA CENTER for a special glimpse of the inner workings of the arena.

Thanks go to JASH President Elect Laird Doran and JASH Corporate Sponsors The Friedkin Group and Gulf States Toyota for making JASH's 2018 ANNUAL MEETING an evening to remember.


Click here to view the JASH FY2017-2018 Annual Report.

2018 Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassadors

Five students from River Oaks Baptist School (Camron Baldwin, Lily Durden, Amy He, Lucy Katz and Ava Winn) are having a summer of a lifetime as Houston and Chiba mark 35 years of youth exchanges.

From May 31 – June 14, 2018, the 2018 Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassadors will experience Japanese culture and customs through a home stay with a Chiba family, visits to Chiba schools, and outings that highlight Chiba's history. 

The Sister City relationship between Chiba City and Houston has long provided invaluable educational and enrichment experiences, and we are very pleased that we have been able to continue this meaningful grass-roots program. 

Special thanks to Mayor Toshihito Kumgai and the City of Chiba for an enduring commitment to the fostering of friendship and understanding between the youth of Houston and Chiba City.


"Having a Ball" Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

This week, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrations took us out into the community where we “had a ball” with the staff of Johnson Space Center and United Airlines Houston.

With the generous support of KendamaUSA and KendamaUSA-Texas leader Michael Martin, we were able to showcase the art of the traditional Japanese toy kendama through aerospace-themed tricks such as airplane, zero gravity, space walk and lunar lander.  We also took the opportunity to share how the kendama has played a role in NASA's International Toys in Space program.

Many thanks to all who stopped by to give kendama a try, and congratulations to our KendamaUSA Classic Kendama winners - JANE CLARKE and DIPAL PATEL!


Japan Festival Houston, one of the city's largest free outdoor music and entertainment weekends, returned to Hermann Park on April 14-15 with two full days of Japanese-inspired music, dance, martial arts, food and merchants presenting an array of items reflective of traditional Japanese handicrafts and the latest Japanese trends.

In honor of the festival's 25th anniversary, the Japan-America Society of Houston (JASH) worked to highlight aspects of Japanese cuisine and culture that had long been absent from the event or had yet to be featured at the festival. 

For the first time, Houstonians were able to enjoy at the festival sweets handcrafted by a Japanese pastry chef.  Chef Nobuharu Nakanishi from Yoshinoya, a traditional Japanese "wagashi" sweets shop from Nara, Japan, gave four demonstrations on the festival's Presenter's Stage and worked without break to form sweet bean creations for those who patiently waited as long as an hour for the special treats.

Also making its festival debut was "teyaki senbei."  Rice cracker artisan Yoshinori Nemoto of Nemoto Shoten from Houston's sister city of Chiba, offered grilled rice crackers flavored with Yamasa soy sauce or chocolate.

JASH also provided festival goers with the new opportunity to procure written divinations about their near future with the help of a Texas-sized "omikuji" shaker.  After a few turns and rolls, the shaker would produce a stick bearing a number.  According to the number, a fortune-telling paper strip would be issued declaring one's level of luck.

And lucky festival attendees were to see the long-awaited return of "okonomiyaki."  JASH friends joined forces with Japanese Language Program teachers and students to grill over 800 savory Japanese pancakes.  Click here to watch JASH share an "okonomiyaki" soul food experience with KPRC's Jacob Rascon.

Special thanks go to our spirited volunteers who worked tirelessly to make JASH's many festival offerings possible!  Makoto ni arigatou gozaimashita.



JASH Harvey Relief Fund Supports MAM

JASH's Japan Stands With Houston Harvey Relief Fund contributed $35,000 to Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) in support of initiatives offering families in our community a new start after Hurricane Harvey.

MAM's mission is to help ensure those in need have the means to meet their basic needs by offering programs that enable long-term financial self-sufficiency, assist families in avoiding homelessness, and assure children receive an improved school experience.

We are grateful to those who helped make possible this gift in support of Harvey recovery efforts.

Learn more about MAM here:  https://www.maministries.org/about

29th Annual Texas State Japanese Language Speech Contest


On Saturday, March 10, 2018, JASH and the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston presented the 29th Annual Texas State Japanese Language Speech Competition.

48 participants - ranging from middle school students and life-long Japanese learners - gathered at Rice University to demonstrate their Japanese language skills.

The contest showcased students reciting poetry and presenting original speeches and, moreover, featured a creative display of student determination, devotion, and tenacity as language learners.

Special recognition was given to the top three contestants in each competition division.  The top two contestants from the Aurora Division will advance to Nationals.

Congratulations to the following students:


1st          Mark ONCHENGCO         Berkner High School (Dallas)                                                 9th

2nd        Simone LIM                      Bellaire High School (Houston)                                             10th

3rd         Markschanne ESPERE     Winston Churchill High School (San Antonio)                     12th



1st      Yinou CHEN                      Bellaire High School (Houston)                                               11th

2nd     Brennan MOHRER           Johnson High School (San Antonio)                                        11th  

3rd     Tori WENDELL                 Winston Churchill  High School (San Antonio)                       10th



1st       Katera SCOTT                   Skyline High School (Dallas)                                                   12th                                                         My Dream Becoming a Reality

2nd      Hang QUANG                   Berkner High School (Dallas)                                                  11th                                                         Vietnam after Two Years

3rd       Caitlin RINEHART            Winston Churchill High School (San Antonio)                       11th                                                           Be Aware of Mental Health



*1st       Heewon HUH                     Newman Smith High School (Dallas)                                  12th                                                            The True Happiness

*2nd      Jiaqi ZHU                          Bellaire High School (Houston)                                           12th                                                             Don't Stop Imitating Solitary Gourmet

3rd         Andrea LOPEZ                Winston Churchill High School (San Antonio)                     12th                                                            The Reason for Learning a New Language

*1st and 2nd place winners will go on to compete in the National Aurora Japanese Language Speech Competition in Los Angeles, CA.



1st       Frenci NGUYEN                  The University of North Texas (Denton)                            Senior                                                           A Light in the Darkness

2nd      Alex BOGAEV                    Texas A&M University (College Station)                            Junior                                                          The Technical Collaboration between Japan                                                                                        and America for the Advancement of Medicine

3rd      Crystal SALINAS                University of Texas at San Antonio (San Antonio)            Senior                                                          Dream for the Future


FREE SPEECH - OPEN             

1st        Bowen LIU                           Texas A&M University (College Station)                         Junior                                                            'Speaking Tatemae' by Hone       

2nd      Marie ROMANO                   The Beauty of Matcha   

3rd       Mario DEPAVIA                   William P. Clements High School (Houston)                     10th                                                              Keeping Promises



·         The Consulate General of Japan in Houston

·         Rice University Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication

·         Japan Foundation

·         Shintech-Kanagawa Fund

·         Japanese Teachers Association of Texas

·         Japan Business Association of Houston

·         Japanese Association of Greater Houston

·         Texoma JET Alumi Association

·         Seiwa Market Japanese Grocery




As Seen/Heard in the Media - Japan Update Coverage

The 3rd Annual Japan Update Houston Conference received multiple print and radio mentions.

Click on the titles below to read press coverage of the 2018 event.


Japanese Investment in Houston is Growing - Abner Fletcher, January 23, 2018

2018 Houston Regional Japanese Language Speech Contest

On Saturday, February 10, 2018, Japanese language learners from across the Houston region came together at the University of St. Thomas to compete in the 29th Annual Japanese Language Speech Contest.

Thirty-eight (38) contestants demonstrated their Japanese skills in the areas of (i) POETRY RECITATION, (ii) HAIKU, (iii) FREE SPEECH WITH TEXT, (iv) FREE SPEECH AURORA, and (v) FREE SPEECH COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY.

"Otsukaresama" to all participants and "omedetou" to all winners.

Winners are listed below by division.  Those placing in the top two will move on to the TEXAS STATE JAPANESE LANGUAGE SPEECH CONTEST, which will be held on March 10, 2018.


1.       Thomas Kaldahl – 10th, William P. Clements High School

2.       Simone Lim – 10th, Bellaire High School

3.       Kievencia Dougé – 11th, Morton Ranch High School


1.       Yinuo Chen – 11th, Bellaire High School

2.       Thomas Girardet – 10th, Bellaire High School

3.       Emily Wong – 10th, William P. Clements High School


1.       Guido Brevi – 10th, Clements High School

2.       Dante Stramber – 11th, Bellaire High School

3.       Natalia Garcia-Sanchez – 10th, George Bush High School


1.       Alice Liu – 11th, Bellaire High School

2.       Jiaqi Zhu – 12th, Bellaire High School

3.       Joel Mina – 12th, Morton Ranch High School


1.       Christopher Bogaev – Junior, Texas A & M University

2.       Leyla Kilci – Sophomore, Houston Community College

3.       Vivian Zhang – Senior, Rice University


Consulate-General of Japan in Houston

Second Lady Pence Visits Houston's Sister City in Japan

On February 7, 2018, Second Lady Karen Pence made Chiba City her first stop on the #VPinAsia tour.

The Second Lady, who serves as Honorary Vice Chairwoman for Sister Cities International, was welcomed to Chiba City Hall by Mayor Kumagai and the 2017 Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassadors who visited Houston in August of last year.

The visit began with greetings from Mayor Kumagai and Second Lady Pence.  Following formal introductions, Second Lady Pence engaged the 2017 Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassadors in casual conversation and photos were taken.

During the visit, Mayor Kumagai highlighted the positive impact of the longstanding youth exchange between Houston and Chiba. The mayor also touched on how the “kizuna” bond between Houston and Chiba has been strengthened through mutual support and aid given in times of need. In addition, Mayor Kumagai took care to note that on his most recent trip to Houston last October he was warmly received by the Japan-America Society of Houston and the Houston community.

Second Lady Pence recounted how she, at a young age, was introduced to Japanese culture and language through her older sister who spent time in Ota City, Gunma on a sister city youth exchange program. Through her sister, the Second Lady learned the words to 『上を向いて歩こう』, also known as the “Sukiyaki” song, which she happily sang in Japanese.

Megumi Tanaka, chaperone of the 2017 Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassador Program, provided an overview the program.  Each of the Youth Ambassadors then shared what they gained from their Houston experience.  While the Youth Ambassadors were quite nervous, they all did their best to share their thoughts in English. Ambassador Hagerty’s wife, who accompanied Second Lady Pence on her visit to Chiba, stated how impressed she was by the English proficiency of the students.

It is quite honor for JASH's work on the Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassador Program to be acknowledged by the Vice President and Second Lady of the US, and we are pleased that we were able to help make Mrs. Pence’s visit to Chiba possible.

Read the White House briefing statement on Second Lady Karen Pence's visit here.

[Photos courtesy of Chiba City]

Press Release: Japan Update 2018

Japan’s Burgeoning Impact on Houston Focus of Upcoming Conference

HOUSTON, TX (January 8, 2018) – Japan’s escalated investment in Houston, from financing of the Texas bullet train to the more than 150 Japanese-affiliated companies now in the Bayou City manufacturing products ranging from air conditioning systems to coatings for laundry detergent pods, will be on full display when the Japan-America Society of Houston presents its Japan Update Conference on Friday, January 26.

The third annual conference exploring Japanese investment in Houston and the Lone Star State will be held at the Petroleum Club, 1201 Louisiana, starting at 11:30 a.m.  

Featuring presentations by Shinya Miyake, Regional Head for the Americas, Japan Bank for International Cooperation; Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central Partners, developer of the Houston-to-Dallas high-speed train; Norman Bafunno, Chief Competitiveness Officer for Toyota Motor North America; and Takeshi Ebisu, President and CEO of Daikin’s Goodman Global Group, the luncheon will provide the most comprehensive look at the scope of Japan’s influence in the region as the second-largest foreign investment market for Houston, outpaced only by the United Kingdom. 

“Japan’s impact on Houston in terms of jobs, exports and investments tends to fly under the radar,” notes William Weiland, president of the Japan-America Society of Houston, now in its 50th year of advancing the mutual interest of American and Japanese peoples.  “The reality is Japanese businesses can be found in almost every sector of Houston’s economy.”

Between 2010 and 2015, Japanese-affiliated businesses in Houston grew by more than 34 percent.  During the same time span, total trade between Houston and Japan grew from $2.2 billion to $5.1 billion.

There are currently 156 Japanese-affiliated companies in the Houston area, according to the 2017 Japan Business Association of Houston directory.  

In 2015, Texas exported more than $8.6 billion of goods and services to Japan, second only to California, according to a 2015 report by the East-West Center in Washington D.C.  The same report shows Japan as the fourth-largest creator of U.S. jobs from trade after Canada, Mexico, and China, including more than 46,000 in Texas.

Most recently, Japan Central Railway, the company that developed the system for the Japanese Shinkansen bullet train, announced plans to collaborate with Texas Central Partners to develop the Texas bullet train from Houston to Dallas.

In addition to Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sumitomo, notable Japanese majority-owned companies in Houston include Daikin, a multinational air conditioning manufacturing company; Kuraray, a manufacturer of adhesives and chemical products such as water-soluble films that encase single-dose detergent packs; and Satake, a manufacturer of food processing equipment for the rice industry.    

Tickets are $45 for members of the Japan-America Society of Houston and $55 for non-members.

For tickets and information, go to www.jas-hou.org or call 713-963-0121.

The Japan Update Conference is supported by the National Association of Japan-America Societies with a grant from The Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

About The Japan-America Society of Houston

The Japan America Society of Houston (JASH) is the leading organization that connects Houston’s diverse community, local businesses, and individuals to advance the mutual interest of American and Japanese peoples. Its programs in language and education, arts and culture, and business initiatives and networking provide opportunities for collaboration and important people-to-people exchange. www.jas-hou.org

About The National Association of Japan-America Societies

The National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS) is a private, non-profit, non- partisan organization that offers through its member Japan and Japan-America Societies education, cultural and business programs about Japan and the U.S.-Japan relations to the general public. NAJAS is the only national non-profit network in the United States dedicated to public education about Japan. NAJAS consists of approximately 40 independent Japan-related organizations located in 32 cities around the country. Its membership cuts across usual group boundaries (business, political, academic, American, Japanese, etc.) and affords a variety of perspectives on U.S.-Japan relations. www.us- japan.org

About The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) was established in 1986, in Japan, with a mission to contribute to the welfare of humankind and the sound development of the international community, and, thus, to world peace, by conducting activities fostering international understanding, exchange, and cooperation. The Foundation’s efforts in support of this mission include surveys and research, development of human resources, invitation and dispatch of personnel, organizing and supporting international conferences and other forums. www.spf.org


For all inquiries regarding the event, please contact the Bernard Kaplan of Kaplan Public Relations at (713) 784-1077.


"The program allowed me to build incredible connections, complete a successful research project that has given me insight into many issues, and challenge myself to understand what a leader is and how I can become one." —Participant from Linwood, NJ

The Japan-America Society of Houston’s sister organization in New York – Japan Society – is offering an exciting opportunity for high school students to visit Japan..

The Junior Fellows Leadership Program is a three-week culturally immersive learning experience for high school students who possess strong leadership skills and demonstrate potential to become future leaders.

During this program conducted in New York and Japan, Junior Fellows have the opportunity to build networks with current industry leaders and program alumni, stay with a host family in Tohoku (northeast Japan), attend a local high school, and experience Japanese history and culture through hands on experiences and historical site visits.



  • JUNE 3: Program orientation at Japan Society, New York (long distance Fellows will participate via Skype)
  • JULY 9—11: Pre-departure orientation at Japan Society, New York
  • JULY 12—13: Depart for and arrival in Japan
  • JULY 13—29: In-country program
  • JULY 29: Return to the U.S.

*Program contents and dates are subject to change.


  • Meet and learn from industry leaders in business, arts and sciences, nonprofit organizations and government
  • Visit leading companies to learn and compare what they value and look for in building the future
  • Live with a host family and explore local communities in northeast Japan
  • Experience Japanese high school life
  • Carry out an independent project on a global issue
  • Learn about Tohoku’s current status and recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011
  • Visit significant cultural and historic sites
  • Learn basic Japanese in an immersive setting


U.S. high school students from 9th to 11th grade are eligible to apply.

Junior Fellows will be selected based on demonstrated leadership potential and skills, as well as the qualities necessary to have a successful and engaging experience with other program participants; including (but not limited to): ability to adapt to a foreign culture, emotional and interpersonal maturity, strong academic background and a demonstrated interest in Japan.

Knowledge of Japanese language is helpful, but not required.



Need-based scholarships are available.

8-day Fellowship in Japan For Social Studies Teachers


Keizai Koho Center (KKC), in cooperation with the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS), will be hosting the KKC Study Tour to Japan 2018 for U.S. and Canadian social studies teachers from June 25-July 2, 2018.

The 8-day study program is designed to allow educators to learn first hand about contemporary Japanese society and to enhance their classroom teaching of global perspectives.  Highlights of the fellowship include visits to Japanese schools, major companies, and industrial facilities.  In addition, sightseeing excursions are planned to provide fellows with memorable cultural experiences.

KKC provides round trip air transportation from participants' home city to Japan, as well as accommodations, ground transportation and meals associated with the ten day program.

Click here to download the program brochure.


 To be eligible, applicants must: 

  • Have skills and experience in developing curriculum and a strong interest in Japan;
  • Have never lived in Japan nor visited Japan on a similar study tour; and
  • Be middle or high school classroom teachers of Economics, Social Studies, Geography or History (grades 6-12).


  •  To participate in the Study Tour, applicants are required to agree to: 
  • Make a presentation and contribute to discussions at a symposium organized as part of the program.
  • Submit a lesson plan on Japan for their own classroom to KKC by Oct. 31, 2018.
  • Submit a final report to KKC by January 10, 2019, which describes how experiences and findings on the tour are used in the classroom and other occasions. Relevant copies of any school newspaper/magazine articles are appreciated.
  • Consent that the lesson plans and the final reports become the property of KKC to be posted to its website for use by other school teachers.
  • Understand that the demands of the itinerary are such that only individuals physically able to travel without special assistance should consider the participation, special diets cannot be provided and a smoke-free environment cannot be assured.
  • Understand there will be no provisions for spouses to accompany fellows due to the nature of the program and logistical requirements.


Applications are being accepted on-line through February 1, 2018.

For details, please click on the link below.



The Keizai Koho Center (KKC) is the independent, nonprofit organization affiliated with Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation). Its mission has been to promote a better understanding of Japan's economy and society, both in Japan and abroad through a variety of publications, programs, fellowships and exchanges.

The  National Association of Japan-America Societies, Inc. (NAJAS) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that offers educational, cultural and business programs about Japan and U.S.-Japan relations to the general public through its member Japan and Japan-America Societies. NAJAS is the only national non-profit network in the United States dedicated to public education about Japan. NAJAS consists of approximately 40 independent Japan-related organizations located in 32 cities around the country. Its membership cuts across usual group boundaries (business, political, academic, American, Japanese, etc.) and affords a variety of perspectives on U.S.-Japan relations.

Baylor & Tohoku Universities Joint HUMANS OF MINAMISANRIKU Project


JASH is pleased to share that the students of Baylor University and Tohoku University, inspired by the "Humans of New York" photoblog, have joined forces to share the stories of the citizens of Minamisanriku who were impacted by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.

Scroll down to learn more about how the project came to be and to watch the newly-released "Humans of Minamisanriku" videos.


The Baylor in Japan (BIJ) Summer Intensive Japanese program began in 2012, merely a year after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. The BIJ program not only focuses on language learning but also emphasizes community service. In the summer of 2012 following the tsunami disaster, during a time where basic shelters were practically non-existent, we had the privilege of visiting the tsunami-stricken area owing to everyone’s support. We initially arrived with trepidation at Minamisanriku in fear that our presence would further cause burden, but as we met the people and volunteered in the community, the people of Minamisanriku welcomed us with smiles despite the catastrophic devastation. We realized that we needed to go back to Minamisanriku and continue our support. 

We have been visiting Minamisanriku ever since. We were amazed by the resilience and determination of the people of Minamisanriku as we witnessed their town improve year after year. Amidst their unwavering strength, their worst fear was to be forgotten by the rest of the world. It was then we began to consider what we could do to create a lasting impact.

Inspired by the photoblog “Humans of New York”, which has touched the lives of about eighteen million people, Baylor and Tohoku University students in 2017 collaborated to establish the Humans of Minamisanriku project (BIJ’s cultural exchange program with Tohoku University was established in 2015). We dream of showcasing the town of Minamisanriku, its people, and their stories to the world.

Building on our experiences in Minamisanriku, we aspire to grow as human beings and reflect on what it means to serve.

We would like to extend our thanks to the town and residents of Minamisanriku, the “Shuketsu: Disaster Prevention Dream Team and the Shuketsu Assist Team” for their support since 2012, and Mr. Seietsu Sato, the local guide, for leading the students since 2013.

ベイラー・イン・ジャパン(Baylor in Japan:BIJ) 夏季訪日日本語研修旅行は、東北地方太平洋沖地震(東日本大震災)の翌年、2012年より実施しています。このプログラムでは、言語学習だけではなく、被災地支援を始めとした地域奉仕活動にも重点をおいています。震災から1年ほど経過したばかりの2012年夏には、一般宿泊施設もほとんどなく、誰にも迷惑をかけないようにと恐る恐る南三陸町を訪れ、交流やボランティア活動に従事しました。地元の方々は、想像も絶するような体験をしたにもかかわらず、笑顔で私たちを受け入れてくれました。そこで、気づいたことは、一度限りの訪問による自己満足で終わらせずに、同じ場所を毎年訪れ地元の方々との絆を強め継続して地域の支援に取り組むということでした。


BIJの東北大学での交流は2015年から始まりましたが、この、ベイラー大学と東北大学の学生共同プロジェクトであるHumans of Minamisanriku*(ヒューマン・オブ・南三陸)は、2017年に立ち上げられました。Humans of New York からインスピレーションを得て、現在、「Humans of 〜〜」という名前で、世界中様々な国や地域でそこに住む魅力的な人々を取り上げるプロジェクトが実施されています。このプロジェクトもそれに擬え、素敵な南三陸町とそこで暮らす素晴らしい住民の方々を世界中に紹介することを目的としています。