Wednesday, February 3, 2016

2016 3.11 Events in Boston

If you're aware of a 3.11 event that I haven't listed, please post a comment with a link to the event or details if the info isn't on a public webpage. This page will be updated if I find out about more events.

This year is the fifth anniversary of the tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear disaster that happened in Japan on March 11, 2011. Although the world's attention has moved on to other disasters, some groups in Boston continue to be involved in supporting Japan through this crisis and educating the public. If you're interested in learning more, please consider attending one of these events. Events are listed in chronological order.

3.11 Japan Memorial Charity 2016: Remembrance of Earthquake and Tsunami

MIT Japanese Tea Ceremony will hold their annual remembrance and fundraising event at the Sanzashi-An Tea House on Showa Boston's campus. Each session is about 75 minutes, includes Japanese Tea Ceremony performance with Japanese confectionery and green tea. Children are welcome to join and babysitter available upon request.

This charity event is to commemorate the North-Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster that happened on March 11, 2011. We hope to support the survivors to improve their living conditions, rebuild the area, and for each of us to remember the tragedy.

The major part of the areas where struck by the earthquake and Tsunami started to recover and rebuild little by little, but is still suffering from the long-existing damages. Even with all the donations and funds collected by countless organizations, groups, and individuals from all over the world, they are still experiencing difficulty making improvements from the destructions. With a great help of our supporters, we hope to become a part to help Japan's retrieval of the losses from the affects.

We believe that we learned something important from this incident. Please do not forget what happened on March 11, 2011, and how the struggles have been made. Take this opportunity for memorials and to support.

"Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea" is phrased by Sen Genshitsu, the Great Grandmaster of Urasenke Japanese Tea Ceremony. He has always been flying around the world to spread the Japanese Tea Ceremony along with peacefulness; to share one bowl of tea together with all. We, as a part of his family clan, attempt to succeed his expression in the United States as well.
As a extent of our effort, we try our best to support Japan to come together to successfully overcome the tragedy.

Date & Time
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Registration form must be received by Friday, February 19, 2016

Showa Boston, Sanzashi-An Tea House 420 Pond St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Free admission, with suggested donation from $20
*Donations without participation in Ceremony or at the door is also appreciated

All Proceeds from this event with be donated to Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, Japan Society of New York to support reconstruction of the disaster.

3/11: Five Years After the Triple Disaster in Northeastern Japan

Panelists Richard Samuels (MIT, Political Science), Tatsujiro Suzuki (Former Vice Chairman of Japan Atomic Energy Commission of the Cabinet Office), Kenneth Oye (MIT, Political Science & ESD) and Miho Mazereeuw (MIT, Architecture) will speak on the current state of Northeastern Japan five years after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. This panel is part of the Starr Forum.

Sponsored by the MIT-Japan Program and the MIT Center for International Studies.

Date & Time
Thursday, March 10, 2016
5:30 - 7:30pm

Stata Center, 32 Vassar St., 32-123, Cambridge, MA 02139

Panel: Five Years Later: Research and Fieldwork Borne from the March 2011 Disasters in Japan

Moderator: Theodore C. Bestor, Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology and Director, Reischauer Institute, Harvard University

This panel is part of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies Forum and the Weatherhead Center Program on U.S.-Japan Relations Special Series on Post-Disaster Japan.

Date & Time
Friday, March 11, 2016
4:00 - 5:45pm

Harvard University
Belfer Case Study Room S020, Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse, CGIS South Bldg., 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138<

Harvard has been doing a great job of hosting talks year-round about the problems Japan is still facing after 3.11 as part of their Reischauer Institute Japan Forum and Weatherhead Center Program on U.S.-Japan Relations Special Series on Post-Disaster Japan. There are other talks scheduled from February to April. Talks are open to the public, though inconveniently scheduled for people with 9-5 jobs. Some past talks are archived on the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations Vimeo page.

"Natural and Unnatural Disasters: 3/11, Asbestos, and the Unmaking of Japan's Modern World," the talk given by Brett L. Walker on January 29th will be given again at MIT on Friday, February 19th. The talk was very interesting and Professor Walker also talked a little about his research on 9/11 as an environmental disaster.

Trees Make Happiness

This will be the fourth year that Boston Children's Museum welcomes students from Tohoku University of Art and Design to mark the anniversary of 3.11. For the second year the students will have an art and friendship exhibit. The public is invited to attend the exhibit opening. Children can meet the artists from Japan and engage in a hands-on activity. See photos from last year (here and here) when they had fun making monsters. The exhibit is brought to the museum by artist Minatsu Ariga and her “ART THINKING” project team at the university.

Date & Time
Friday, March 11, 2016 & Saturday, March 12, 2016
Hours: TBA

Boston Children's Museum
308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210

Please see the museum's website for admission details.
Please note that "Adults unaccompanied by children must leave proper photo identification at the Admissions Desk. Examples: State Driver’s License or Passport."

3.11 Memorial Event

Tewassa, a Cambridge-based volunteer group that produces "message quilts" for schools and organizations in the Tōhoku region, will be holding a memorial event. I will post further details when I have them.

Date & Time
Saturday, March 12, 2016
2:00 - 6:00pm

GrayMist Studio & Shop
364 Huron Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Public Transit & Parking
GrayMist is accessible by the 72 and 75 buses from Harvard Square. There is free on-street parking along Huron Ave. and neighboring streets.

Cranes on the Square 2015
Photo courtesy of Timothy Nagaoka

Cranes on the Square

This year is the fourth annual Cranes on the Square event organized by local Japanese language teacher Timothy Nagaoka with support from the Boston Parks & Recreation Department, the Japanese Consulate, and the Japan Society of Boston. Volunteers will teach people how to fold origami cranes which will form a temporary public art piece in Copley Square then be collected and delivered to people in the disaster area.

Date & Time
Sunday, March 13, 2016
11:30am - 4:30pm

Copley Square, Boston, MA 02116

5th Anniversary Commemoration for Tohoku: ~ Tohoku, 5 Years After ~ :: 東北は今 :: 

Date & Time
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
6:00 - 8:30pm

6:00 - 6:15pm: Registration & Opening Remarks
6:15 - 6:30pm: Keynote Speech by Mayor of Ofunato Kimiaki Toda
6:30 - 8:00pm: Speakers Presentations & Performance by TOMODACHI Suntory scholars at Berklee College of Music

  •  Ken Buesseler, Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Andrew Gordon, Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, Harvard University
8:00 - 8:30pm: Reception

Christian Science Center, Reflection Hall
235 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115

Free - tickets must be reserved

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tour: Bend by Kimi Maeda

Japanese American theatre artist, Kimi Maeda, is bringing her one-woman show, Bend, back to New England this month. She'll have five shows in the Boston area (details below) as well as three more at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont, Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire (please see her website for details on these shows). The tour was made possible by the New England chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League through a grant from the national JACL Legacy Fund Grants Program. Kimi's tour is part of the New England JACL's commemoration of the Day of Remembrance.

I saw Kimi perform at Brandeis University last April. The show was deeply moving and the most innovative theater I had seen in a long time. It seemed like the sort of show you need to see more than once so I'm looking forward to seeing it again.


Using sand, shadow, and projection, Bend tells the story of two men interned in a Japanese American relocation camp during World War II. The first is Robert Maeda (puppeteer Kimi Maeda's father) an Asian Art historian who was only a young boy when he went into the camp. The second man would become the subject of Dr. Maeda's research: Isamu Noguchi, a half-Japanese-half-American sculptor whose work appears in a wide range of spaces and contexts from the giant Red Cube in New York’s Financial District to countless lamps, tables, and stone sculptures in private homes.

Late in life, Dr. Maeda began working on a book about Noguchi, but as dementia gradually overtook his life, his work was never finished. His daughter, Kimi, was inspired to take on the task he started decades ago, exploring the life of Noguchi in relation to his (and her) own personal history. Using sand as her canvas, Kimi skillfully transforms image after image, combining live feed projection of these drawings with archival footage from WWII. The result is a sublime evening of visual theater that captures the transient, elusive quality of time and memory.

Date & Time
Friday, February 19, 2016

UMass Boston
Snowden Auditorium, Wheatley Hall, 1st Floor, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125


Date & Time
Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tufts University
Balch Arena Theater, 40 Talbot Ave., Medford, MA 02155


Date & Time
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tang Center, Bldg E51 Room 095, 2 Amherst St., Cambridge, MA 02142


Date & Time
Friday, February 26, 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Followed by a reception hosted by the New England JACL.

Puppet Showplace Theater
32 Station St., Brookline, MA, 02445

$15 - purchase tickets here

Friday, January 8, 2016

Panel: Kimono Wednesdays: A Conversation @ MFA

Sign held by counterprotester in support of Kimono Wednesdays
July 15, 2015

Please see my original post for background: Monet's La Japonaise Kimono Wednesdays at the MFA.

Update 2/4/16: I just received word from the MFA that although the Remis Auditorium is sold out, they will have an overflow room. This information will be posted to the event page shortly.
A limited number of first-come-first-serve free tickets for a live-feed in the Museum’s Riley Seminar Room will be available starting at 12:30pm on Sunday in-person at the MFA. For MFA members, proceed to the Remis Box Office to pick up a live-feed ticket. For non-members, visit any ticket desk for a free admission ticket and then proceed to the Remis Box Office to pick up a live-feed ticket. 
Update 2/3/16: Tickets now seem to be available again. ... and they're sold out again.
Update 1/30/16: The panel is now "Sold Out."

Yesterday the MFA announced that they will be hosting a panel discussion on the Kimono Wednesdays protests of last summer and the issues raised by the protests (Facebook event page here, but make sure you register for tickets on their website). The panel will be recorded and posted to their YouTube channel a few days after the event.

Last year The Boston Globe reported that it would be a symposium "developed with input from MFA audiences, on art history and traditions of representation." I had been told that it would present the topic of representation broadly and would not be focused only on Asian art and that the MFA was planning the event on their own. They apparently decided to go in a different direction. Here is a statement I received from the MFA:
"The MFA recognized that in order to foster an inclusive and open dialogue around the issues raised by “Kimono Wednesdays,” all perspectives needed to be welcome, including those critical of the MFA such as Decolonize Our Museums (DOM). DOM and the MFA held in-person meetings, phone calls, and e-mail exchanges throughout the fall and early winter, with DOM advising the MFA on speaker choice and the event’s structure. Additionally, input was sought from other internal and external individuals and communities." – Jasmine Hagans, Curator of Lectures, Courses, and Concerts, Museum of Fine Arts
Those who have been following the story since the beginning will recognize the names of three of the panelists: Dr. Elena Tajima Creef and Xtina (Christina) Huilan Wang were on the AARW/NAPAWF panel last September (the promised audio recording and transcript are not available but I wrote about it here Update 1/28/16: audio recording is now available without transcript) and Ryan Wong was on the Hyperallergic panel in Brooklyn last October (archived here).

Kimono Wednesdays: A Conversation

Date & Time
Sunday, February 7, 2016
1:30 - 3:30pm

Museum of Fine Arts, Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium (Auditorium 161)
465 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115

Admission is free but tickets must be reserved. The auditorium seats 380. Note that if you order online you will be required to set up a login on the MFA's website. If you don't want to do that you can also order by phone or in person.

Moderator: Elena Tajima Creef, professor of women’s and gender studies, Wellesley College
Jasmine Hagans, curator of lectures, courses, and concerts
Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director
Reiko Tomii, independent scholar; co-director, PoNJA-GenKon
Xtina Huilan Wang, Decolonize Our Museums
Ryan Wong, writer and visiting scholar at New York University’s A/P/A Institute

Last summer, the MFA offered programming focused around Claude Monet’s “La Japonaise,” with the goal of exploring the painting with visitors, as it documents both Monet’s interest in Japanese art and his reaction to the fad of “Japonisme” in Paris. Reproduction kimonos made in Japan for a Japanese audience were available for visitors in Boston to try on, an experience intended to engage them both with the garment and Monet’s rendering of it. The framing of the event through a Western lens sparked protest, counter-protest and much conversation and debate about issues including Orientalism, racialized iconography, institutional racism, representation of minority groups, and cultural appropriation.

How can institutions such as the MFA be more accountable to their publics? Who speaks for whom? Following an hour-long panel discussion, moderated by Elena Creef and featuring Xtina Huilan Wang, Reiko Tomii, and Ryan Wong, we invite you to join us in an informal dialogue: we want to hear your opinions and thoughts. We invite you to critically shape this conversation with all comments, ideas, and questions welcome.

Related posts

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Genki Spark documentary online + fundraising campaign

Tufts alumna Misako Ono's documentary The Genki Spark is available online here! It's an incredibly moving look at what The Genki Spark does and why a group like theirs is so important. Launched in 2010 at the Boston Asian American Film Festival, they are the only multigenerational, pan-Asian, women's taiko troupe in the United States. While based in Boston, they have traveled around the US and to the UK to perform and host workshops. Locally they're known for hosting two annual events –  their Making Women's History event (video from 2013 & 2014)  and the Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival which they host with Brookline High School.

The Genki Spark just celebrated their 5th anniversary which is remarkable for a niche arts organization. Running a nonprofit is always challenging and even more so for arts and minority nonprofits. They're currently fundraising so they can continue their amazing work for another year. and are trying to reach $10,000 by Wednesday, December 16th. Any amount is appreciated! Details for how to donate are available on their website. If you don't have any spare cash you can still help by spreading the word on social media. Please help them reach their goal!

See also:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

G Yamazawa in Mass. this week!

"Dear Grandma" at the National Poetry Slam 2014 Semi-Finals

The awesome wordsmith, poet and emcee G Yamazawa, will be in Massachusetts this week with two shows!

Nisei George Masao Yamazawa, Jr. hails from Durham, North Carolina and is currently based in Washington, DC Los Angeles (11/20/15: oops, he just moved). Over the past six years he's won a slew of awards and has performed everywhere from open mic nights to local and national poetry slams to the Sundance Film Festival and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. G has also worked as a Teaching Artist Poet with non-profit Split This Rock, facilitating writing and performance workshops for inner city youth in the DC public school system. He doesn't get to the Northeast often so this is a rare chance to see him perform here. Both shows are free and open to the public.

Date & Time
Thursday, November 19, 2015

UMass Dartmouth
Woodland Commons, 285 Old Westport Rd, North Dartmouth, MA 02747


Date & Time
Friday, November 20, 2015

Location Mount Ida College
Campus Center Theater, 777 Dedham Street, Newton, MA 02459
Update 11/18/15: I'm told by a Mount Ida student that there is lots of free parking on campus.


The shows are listed here but there don't seem to be any details on the web. Info was provided by G on Twitter. No details on parking. Hope some folks can make it!

"Elementary" at the National Poetry Slam 2014 Finals

See also:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Shino Takahashi photography special to benefit Tewassa

I just heard that local photographer and friend of Tewassa, Shino Takahashi, is generously donating 40% of proceeds from her holiday portrait special to Tewassa. If you haven't gotten your holiday cards together please consider booking with her! Read more about why she's doing this over at her blog.

For the past few years, Hana Japan, which is owned by Shino's family, has hosted a Natsu Matsuri that Tewassa and The Genki Spark have participated in. Hana Japan and Shino are also among just a few places where you can get kitsuke (dressing up in kimono) photos taken in the Boston area.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Japanese art exhibits at Harvard

Update 11/23/15: The teamLab exhibit has been extended through Saturday, December 19, 2015!

There are currently two very different Japanese art exhibits at Harvard that folks should check out. Both are free and open to the public.

One is Dr. David Odo's From Artistry to Ethnography in Early Japanese Photographs. I thought I missed this exhibit because it was originally scheduled through September 27th but the next exhibit fell through so Dr. Odo's exhibit was extended. It is located on the lower level of the CGIS South building which houses the Harvard University Asia Center and the The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, co-sponsors of the exhibit along with the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University. Make sure to continue around the corner at the back of the building. The exhibit is spread out over much of the lower level. Two copies of Dr. Odo's book The Journey of “A Good Type”: From Artistry to Ethnography in Early Japanese Photographs are also available to browse near the stairs. The Concourse is home to rotating exhibits. In the past they have used it to display a traditional Japanese tea house, part of an exhibit on the "tools, traditions, techniques, and woods of traditional Japanese carpentry."

When: Through Tuesday, January 5, 2016, Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm (although I was told the building is actually open from 7am - 7pm)
Location: Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse, CGIS South, Lower Level, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138

The other exhibit is teamLab at Radcliffe: What a Loving and Beautiful World, an interactive exhibit by Japanese creative collective teamLab. Note that this is only open until mid-November.

When: Through Saturday, November 14, 2015 Extended through December 19, 2015, Monday - Saturday, noon - 5pm (they will be open on Veterans Day; closed 11/26-27 for Thanksgiving)
Location: Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery, Byerly Hall, 8 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

See also: