Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

November JASO Activities-

November was a very busy month for JASO between grant, Japan in a suitcase at the Library and the Manga and Anime Conference in OKC.  If you have pictures, please send them.  Thank you.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Japan in a suitcase continues

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Japan in a Suitcase at the Library

We had a good Japan in a suitcase at the Library. Cynthia did extensive research to share her passion for Manga and anime. I will add pictures and all these e-mails to the blog this weekend. I collected evaluations too.

Shinako and Mari want to help Clydia, but she needs to connect directly with them because I cannot be the connector this time. It seems that only Mari is available, but they have questions I cannot answer. I am sending this e-mail to Clydia too.

I am assuming we will still have a board meeting at the end of October. Elections were moved to March, but we need to go over November activity, which I hope someone will illuminate me. Am I the one who needs to share my trip to Japan? I am attaching the short version for the ones unable to attend. I will love to have a tea ceremony that day and a Koto player welcoming the participants.. Anyone knows people with ability in those areas?

Workshop at YMCA
I did want to let you know that we had a wonderful workshop on October 5th at the YMCA Senior Center. It was on “Living Strong, Living Long –Japanese Style.” The instructor was Massayo Bowles. She gave the participants a quick lecture of healthy eating then provided various Japanese delicacies and foods for the participants to try. She also gave a quick origami lesson. This workshop is the first of a two part workshop. She intends to provide more origami instruction and additional Japanese snacks at the next workshop in the spring. I have attached a few pictures. (Participation was limited to 15 people due to the costs associated with purchasing food and dishes to serve the food). Participants were allowed to take home the dishes and chopsticks from the workshop if they so desired. It was a wonderful workshop –Very well received!  Thank you again for your support of our programs, Keri Williams Foster, Development Director, Rebuilding Together OKC, Inc., 730 West Wilshire Blvd., #108,
Oklahoma City, OK 73116, office(405)607-0464, fax (405)607-0362,

Another workshop
Ms. Shafer had offered us a presentation plan by JASO. To welcome the event provided by an organization outside campus for the first time, I just wanted a little official explanation as we the college have been also working on it. If we succeed in coordinating the event with you this time, we might start inviting cultural presentations by other organizations.   Regarding the flyer I made, it is in the process of printing with my supervisor, Ms. Olsen’s approval. Fortunately, we will get a few extra copies of the flyer in color, in the same manner as the other events which will take place on the same day. For extra promotion of your Japan in a Suitcase, we will print/post your flyer on campus. Please advise me if you see a problem.  In the future, when you have cultural events in the community, please don’t hesitate to send us your posters to promote on campus. Another tool to attract more people to your events will be the WLCC Facebook page. Please feel free to post information.  It seems that your entire project is wonderful. Thank you again for offering the cultural workshop in the Center. Sincerely, Chiaki, Chiaki Troutman, World Languages and Cultures Center Coordinator, (405)-682-1611 X7104,
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Thursday, September 29, 2011


Thank you to JASO and the Japan Foundation, Center for Global Partnership for Japan in a Suitcase at Casady School
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Monday, September 26, 2011


Special thanks to the Shinnyo-en Foundation for providing a unifying t-shirt for the festival participants

On 9/21/2011, United Nations, International Day of Peace's 30th Anniversary, multilingual peace pinwheels spun at the Casady lake aligning our paths to peace with "finding and acting from a state of peace within ourselves to commitment to practical acts of peace for the good of others; and to an ongoing peace building practice."   The Peace One Day, Global Truce 2012 video inspired us to equate the observance of the day to saving lives because the projected cease of fire would allow children to be immunized, and food would reach people in need through the United Nations World Food Programme. We were also inspired by Jeremy Gilley's passion for an intentional avoidance of conflict and violence on International Day of Peace.

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       La clase de la Senorita Croce         

The UD peace pinwheels, designed by Spanish teacher, Eric Chaverri, were the first to be planted around the lake. Miss Brittany Croce, UD Spanish teacher stated, "Pinwheels gave a fun break from grammar. Students did a great job decorating them with thoughtful target language words and haiku poetry."

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Orchestra @ Chapel
At UD chapel, Mr. Larry Moore stated his path to peace as "peaceful resolution of conflicts" at the end of an inspiring speech and before his orchestra performed Mr. Moore's favorite "piece of peace" led by Teddy Nollert'12.

The Middle, Lower, and Primary Divisions, wearing Six Billion Paths to Peace t-shirts donated for the occasion by the Shinnyo-en Foundation,  had special celebration activities through the day.

Mr. Varela, our Assistant Vicar and Miss Lynn Taylor, Foreign Language Department Head, facilitated a reflective and joyful MD planting of peace pinwheels around the lake.  

Mrs. Jeanmarie Nielsen, choir director for Upper and Middle divisions stated, "All MD choirs and the UD Choir learned a setting of the "Pie Jesu," Latin prayer for peace. The composer, Mary Lynn Lightfoot, is an Oklahoma musician who wrote this piece after the OKC bombing.  The MD choirs came together to form a mass choir of 73 singers, and sang "Pie Jesu" in chapel on Wednesday, 9/21/11.  The UD choir sang the piece in their chapel on Tuesday, 9/20/11."

At the end of the day, fifth graders joined the Eno Environment online, PEACE IS GREEN and planted a sapling of the Oklahoma Memorial Survivor Tree brought to our campus by the museum's education coordinator, Mrs. Lynn Porter.  Inspirational tree planting speeches were given by fifth grade students, Dalton Schumaker, Lucy Greene and teacher and  environmentalist,  David Braden. 

The LD planted their laminated piwheels on a drawing of a peace symbol.   At chapel students joined children around the world singing Rock our World, facilitated by Tammy Rice, LD music teacher.   

The Primary Division students were so attached to their pinwheels they could not part from them.  They had a reflective walk and delighted observing the pinwheels created by the other divisions across the lake.  Emma Sharp'12 volunteered at the event.
Susan Bruce, LD Math teacher, as she did in 2006, when she brought the pinwheels for peace project to the Casady community in  support of the then first OKC citywide Pinwheels for Peace festival, took hundreds of LD pinwheels to the OCU International Day of  Peace, Pinwheels for Peace Festival.  Khadija Hamid'12 and Carmen Clay, Service-Learning Director took the UD and MD pinwheels to the festival.   Festival volunteers planted over 800 pinwheels in front of the Great Hall of the OCU McDaniel Student Center.  One of the Casady pinwheels made the morning headline in the Daily Oklahoman on 10/22/2011.

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Japan America Society Community Dance

Inside OCU's Great Hall, intergenerational performers delighted the audience demonstrating the rich multicultural talented tapestry of our city.

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Waka Waka, Capitol Hill High School Dance Club

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Seaworth Academy Music Class

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Giant Pinwheel Workshop at Woods Community Room

The giant pinwheels created by Khadija Hamid'12 at a workshop facilitated by LWPB architectural firm intern Morgan Robberson, received OCU's giant pinwheel contest trophies. Pinwheels were donated to non-profit organizations through festival organizer, Respect Diversity Foundation CEO, Joan Korenblit.

At the culmination of the OCU festival, Joan Korenbilt stated, “Guests participated in a drumming circle that set the mood for our festival.

Participants were asked to ‘imagine peace.’ They joined in during several dances including a lovely Japanese folk dance. The festival was truly an interactive celebration! People of all cultures were reminded that the diversity within our world enhances the Earth.”

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Peace Flash Mob choreographed by Elizabeth Mueller

 Khadija Hamid'12 from Casady School stated, "It was awesome to make the pinwheels, dance the flash peace mob, and see the talented youth who celebrated the International Day of Peace at OCU. I wish more people would have been able to participate because it was amazing. I loved Capitol Hill's High School's Waka, Waka and the Dragon Dancers ."

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Give Peace a Chance by Steve McLinn  
Carmen Clay'74 stated, "Our only regret was not to have been able to share the festival with our Shinnyo-en friends-kind providers of the Six Billion Paths to Peace t-shirts for Festival participants-, Foundation Vice-President, Ben Takagi and Program Director, Ineko itsuchida, who spent the day resolving peacefully conflicts with flight cancellations and  missed connections."

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Japan in a Suitcase Peace Film Series: On a Paper Crane,

Tomoko's Adventure OCU workshop on 9/21/2011

Let's keep on working at making Sadako's Origami "esperanza de" paix a reality. 


Friday, September 16, 2011

Japan in a Suitcase, Saturday, September 17, Casady School

11:00-12:00 Fee Theater or Harper Wing: Taro the Dragon Boy. Anime Film


Student Center: Sumi-e: Japanese Brush Painting

Woods Community Room: Japanese Language and Etiquette

Japan in a Suitcase, On a Paper Crane, Tomoko's Adventure @ Casady School

On Saturday, September 10, 2011, Casady School Service-Learning hosted Japan in a Suitcase anime film series as part of Casady's celebration of WE, THE WORLD, ( 11 DAYS OF GLOBAL UNITY (9/11-9/21-International Day of Peace)

The small group of participants had an eye-opening discussion after the showing of the movie, On a Paper Crane, Tomoko's Adventure. In the movie, a young girl named Tomoko travels alone to Hiroshima's Atomic Bomb Museum where she meets Sadako, a girl whose life is linked to the events that occurred during and after the bombardment of the city. Dr. Gigi Hu, expert in Japanese film animation, shared the film's production background, the symbolism of cranes, and her experience with children's questions after the film.

After school care students made a peace banner, which Mrs. Clay, Casady's Service-Learning Director, presented to the society as a thank you for selecting Casady School as part of its Japan in a Suitcase outreach program. The next Japan in a Suitcase program at Casady is September 17, premiering the anime movie Taro the Dragon Boy and workshops on sumi-e; Japanese brush painting and Japanese language and etiquette.

Japanese tea and snacks were enjoyed before the peace paper crane making lesson. Participants also made pinwheels and placed cranes in the heart of the pinwheels The pinwheels will be displayed at the 5th International Day of Peace, Pinwheels and Multicultural Festival at Oklahoma City University, Wednesday, September 21, 2011. At OCU, Dr. Hu will provide similar workshop and Mrs. Mari Lesli, JASO's Vice President will perform a Japanese dance.

On Saturday, September 17, 2011, Japan in a Suitcase anime films returned to Casady School. This time Dr. Gigi Hu, Japan America Society Education coordinator, presented Taro the Dragon Boy. The film, about the journey of a brave boy to find his mother by giving to others, kept participants' interest from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The presentation began with personal introductions, origami crane making, and reservations for Japanese bento lunches at Tokyo Restaurant. The Casady children participating related to Dr. Hu that their advisory period had began watching On a Paper Crane, Tomoko's Adventure on Friday. They were going to continue to watch the film as part of their International Day of Peace activities next week. 60 fifth graders will know the story behind the paper cranes of peace.

After viewing Taro the Dragon Boy, Dr. Hu showed a Power Point presentation of the artistic and cultural merits of the film and the author of the children's book. Dr. Hu explained several traditions within the movie like Taiko drumming, Sumo wrestling, Sumi-e art, and Japanese baths. After the film discussion ended, participants enjoy a Japanese bento lunch at Tokyo Restaurant before returning for the afternoon workshops.

From 2:30-4:00, members from diverse backgrounds of the Oklahoma City community began their Sumi-e, Japanese brush painting introduction. It was facilitated by Mrs. Nina Shuler, Japan America Society Vice-President. Participants from 9-87 years of age were engaged in creating fish and bamboo scenes with gentle black paint strokes.

The Japanese language and etiquette workshop was facilitated by Mrs. Keiko Shaffer, who involved participants in hands on activities. Participants learned how to greet in Japanese, the reasons behind taking off shoes upon entering a Japanese residence and the tradition of offering something to drink upon being welcomed in homes. Mrs. Shaffer provided Japanese soft drinks for members of her workshop and the Sumi-e workshop. Mrs, Shaffer also taught how to use eating utensils and participants learned how to write their name in Japanese.

Casady School Service-Learning thanks the Japan America Society, Rebuilding Together, Iochen Corporation, and the Center for Global Partnership for providing a stop of Japan in a Suitcase at our school and helping us enhance our understanding of the Japanese culture in engaging and relevant ways.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

JASO gets a grant from Center for Global Partnership Japan Foundation

JASO IN collaboration with Rebuilding Together applied and received a grant for $4,000+ from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partneship for JASO's outreach work, Japan in a Suitcase.  Thank you to Kari, Gigi, and Carmen who were the grant writing team.

The Smile Box has pictures of the first workshop and memories from August 2010-June 2011.

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Dear JASO Board:

On behalf of Casady School Service-Learning YAC and the Casady Middle School International Club, I want to “Arigato” to all the JASO members who participated in Walk the World OKC 2011 and for your donations of time, talent and funding. Your contribution helped us collect enough funding to feed 14 children for a year through the United Nations World Food Programme School meals and 2 Oklahoma children through the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. See results, memory slide show and program of the small walk at . We are also honored that the WFP worldwide website linked our blog to their .

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Japan Disaster Spiritual Relief,lending hearts in OKC and online

1. Buddha Mind Monastery,
The Sutras said: “All the world is impermanent. The earth is fragile and perilous." We are very sorry that a devastating tsunami swamped Japan after one of the largest earthquakes on record, killing more than a thousand people while many more are still missing.
As we know, the core value of Buddhism is compassion and equanimity. To practice the bodhisattva way means that we act with a compassionate mind in every situation to benefit all sentient beings. We will chant the Sutra of Impermanence, followed by a memorial service to dedicate merits to all the people who have suffered from this tsunami disaster
2. Baptist Temple, contact Keiko;

3. Windsong Dojo Sangha: Contact Dylan Walling from Teavana. Maurice from Dojo Sangha would happy to help in any way. He is in touch with many Buddhist Sanghas and temples throughout the area.

4. Soka Gakkai International - USA / Oklahoma: Contact: Dee Freeland,

5. Shinnyo-en Foundation: 

6. Inspirational quote
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.

–Barbara Bloom, photographer, designer, artist

Japan Relief Around Oklahoma City and Casady

Casady students Sarah C. and Melissa D. were Wings of Rotary fellows to Sendai, Japan.  Sarah is attending Tulane Univeristy.  Melissa starts a Bake Sale-4-Japan today. Michelle R., Keiko Shaffer's daughter, a JASO family, will help Melissa's efforts by having a chapel announcement and bringing a box for Japan relief next Thursday.

"My name is Michelle, and I was asked by Carmen Clay to speak to Casady School about the recent tragedies in Japan on behalf of the Japan America Society of Oklahoma. I will be giving a two minute speech and bringing a donation jar to place at the school. I, as well as the Japan America Society of Oklahoma, appreciate your efforts with the bake sale to help Japan at such trying times. I understand that you have some friends in Sendai, and I hope that they are all safe and well. I send my regards to you, as well as your friends there. Sincerely,Michelle Reith, University of Oklahoma

Wings of Rotary will have a fundraiser for Sendai.  We plan to attend once we get details from Melissa.

Keiko Shaffer, member of JASO, is collaborating with fundraisers around the city. 
"I have just came back from meeting at UCO. They have planning fundraising and consort. It was bigger than I was expecting. I also spoke with the president of JSA at OU.  He is planning a big event at OU,too. He wants everyone to come this events. Keiko

The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation and some JASO members were collecting money for Japan Relief at the Vietnamese Store, Super Cao Nguyen last Saturday and Sunday.
JASO attended a brainstorming fundraising meeting at the Baptist Temple wher Keiko workships.  Jeremy, Cynthia and Carmen presented with Keiko the recent JASO website where people can donate to a reputable organization providing 0 charges for handling the relief effort.  Check the website for organizations recommended by JASO and the Consul General of Japan in Houston and OKC,

Keiko is also meeting Wednesday, March 22 at the Governor's Mansion in Oklahoma City.  The meeting will be from 1:30 and 2:30.  Keiko will speak twice during that period of time for 2-3 minutes to audiences of 100-150 people.  She hopes to collect money after her speeches.  We hope members of JASO will be able to accompany her.  If interested contact her at 405-808-3183.

The Japan America Society solicited help from Teavana.  The manager was helpful providing some tea for JASO Relief meetings.  A member of his working staff offer help from a Buddhist Organization.  Cynthia, JASO Secretary kept in contact with the manager of Teavana and sent the following e-mail, "Hi Cynthia, how about telling him that the board will meet this Wed. at Rebuilding Together at 5.30pm - we can take a picture of him for our website? Jeremy, have you booked RT and get their permission for our meeting, " I heard from Matthew from Teavana this morning. Their corporate in Atlanta is not going to donate tea for our support meetings. However, the staff was extremely touched by us asking them that they have pooled together and are giving us 1/2 a pound in the specialized green tea that he donated for yesterday." Cynthia

Also from Cynthia: For OU Japanese student Association president's from Russell Kabir" "I just spoke with a clinician who oversees recovery groups. She might be able to assist us with counseling, but has recommended that we contact Tom Thompson (522-8300) about relief trauma counseling. He works with the RedCross in dealing with counseling. I think he's worth contacting."

Actualizing the Six Billion Paths to Peace at Casady

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

JASO board communication: January New Year Event and next Board Meeting

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Congratulations, a wonderful New Year’s celebration. My student’s eyes were opened to a new reality. He learned experientially origami making, loved the food, enjoyed the games,and thought the displays were incredibly beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to teach him so much. I wish the others who volunteered at the Food Bank would have taken advantage of the opportunity. It was also nice to see the ASO support for this activity, Mr. Sparks, and people from!

Monday, January 03, 2011

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Happy New Year of the Rabbit: JASO Board Meeting, Wednesday, 1/5, 5:50 Tokyo Restaurant

New Year's Party and Educational Component

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.–Edith Lovejoy Pierce, poet (1904-1983)

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. –Oprah Winfrey, American television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist (b. 1954)