During the coronavirus lockdown, the Japan-

America Society of Hawaii staff — in lieu of hosting JASH’s many “face-to-face” events — curated a webpage of high-quality online resources for community members in quarantine who wish to home-school their tweens or teens about Japanese customs, or who simply seek spiritual relief from the stressful pandemic era by devouring all kinds of social and historical knowledge about Japan.

Though JASH’s office is once more open for business, following Gov. Ige’s Phase I of bringing some island nonprofits out of shutdown status, the Society’s “Virtual Programs & Resources” page still serves as a bright virtual venue for Japanophiles. Its wide-ranging weblinks, informative videos and fascinating opportunities to participate in cultural and U.S.-Japan friendship events while still social distancing, help Hawaii people teach their kids, entertain and uplift anyone who has felt like a shut-in, and aid staff at ARCHs as well as nursing homes in engaging their cloistered elderly. These and other digital resources encourage JASH members, plus the community at large, to participate in stimulating virtual activities themed to things Japan:

  • JASH ORIZURU (Paper Crane) Project — ByJuly 31, you can make, write messages on, photograph and mail origami versions of the tsuru (Japanese crane), a symbol of longevity, to “our friends in Japan” via JASH, for an international communication of hope for illness recovery. This project parallels the earlier Origami Cranes Mosaic Project, organized by the Nakayoshi Kai Japanese Club of Leilehua High School.
  • WA-SHOKUIKU (“Learn. Cook. Eat Japanese”)— Through July 7, TABLE FOR TWO offers free Japanese cooking lessons to families with children of all ages, especially middle and high school learners.  The six learning units focus on: (1) Rice, (2) food from the sea, (3) popular Japanese food, (4) soy, (5) bento and (6) sweets.

Parents are encouraged to assist their kids in making these easy dishes. Additionally, each unit contains “10 short sections which include fun and educational videos, cook-off competition videos, nutrition, recipes, activities, global food issues, interactive comment boxes and a unit quiz.”

  • ROSES IN JAPAN (by Martha Yokomichi) —For students and lovers of the botanical sciences, a five(+)-minute educational slideshow showcases Japan’s indigenous and special roses and the carefully manicured gardens across that country in which they have been featured. Yokomichi, Vice President-External of the Hawaii Rose Society which uses volunteers to maintain the UH Urban Garden Center’s Rose Garden in Pearl City, marshaled over 20 years of rose-cultivating experience to create this vibrantly colorful, musically relaxing video clip of various roses unique to, and typical of, Japan’s ecology.

Add the site to your list of digital favorites at jashawaii.org/virtual-events and check out the growing list of programs. For information on the status of JASH’s regular slate of in-person, non-virtual events, email the Center at admindir@jashawaii.org.


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