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About Us

The Japan Society of Boston, Inc., is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote cultural and economic ties and active interchange between Japanese and Americans for mutual understanding, business exchange, social connection, and friendship. We serve as a programming nexus for individuals, institutions, and businesses linked together by a strong interest in Japan and a shared recognition of the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship.

Staff Board  |  Contact  |  Subscribe  |   History

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Staff

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Naoko Takayanagi
Director

 

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Chris Ellars
Special Events Associate

 

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Marie Romano
Intern

 

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Danielle Cochran
Volunteer

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Julia Napier
Operations

 

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Ian Malloy
Media/Communication Associate 

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Will Tatge
Intern

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Bowen Wang
Volunteer

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Joanne Ha
Program Manager

 

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Kira Wencek
Media/Communication Associate

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Noah Coltani
Volunteer

 

 

Naoko Takayanagi was born and raised in Tokyo. She received a B.A. in Modern Languages from McGill University and an M.A. in International Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She worked in corporate banking, asset management, and financial translation, and has extensive experience teaching Japanese.

 

 

Christopher is a student at Boston University, where he majors in both Voice Performance and Japanese. He wishes to bridge his studies together to explore and spread Japanese music and culture throughout the world.

Marie Romano has cultivated a life-long interest in Japan. She double-majored in Philosophy and Japanese with minors in Asian Studies and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. While she loves many aspects of Japanese culture, she is particularly interested in Japanese tea and was even on a TV show to learn all about tea production in Japan in 2018. Since then, she has traveled to Japan many times to further her knowledge of tea harvesting and processing, including working on a tea farm for three months. Having recently moved to Boston from Austin, Texas, she is excited to make new connections with the community and share a cup of tea.

 

 

Danielle Cochran has studied the Japanese language for almost 20 years. She has a BA in East Asian Studies and minor in Japanese Language from UMass Boston. The first time she lived in Japan was to study at Intercultural Institute of Japan and the second was for an internship at the Sakae Institute of Study Abroad. Her interests include gaming and horror movies!

 

 

Julia Napier has a BA in East Asian Studies and a minor in Art History. She has spent three years in Japan and loves learning about Japanese pop culture, traditional culture, literature, film, and food.

 

 

Ian was born and raised in Bristol, Rhode Island. He has been interested in Japanese history and culture from an early age after wearing out old VHS tapes of Godzilla films. Ian graduated from Roger Williams University with a degree in History, East Asian Studies, and Film, Animation, & Video. He lived and worked in Noto, Ishikawa through the JET Program and is now back home working to bridge US and Japanese cultures. 

 

Will Tatge was born and raised in Portland, Maine. A current junior at the University of Puget Sound majoring in Japanese Language and Culture and Economics, he is focused primarily on building a foundation of research on the intersection of language and culture’s impact on economic decision-making. He is planning on studying abroad in Tokyo in 2024. Will spends his free time with the school’s lacrosse club and taiko group.

 

Bowen Wang was born in Dalian, China. He is currently an undergraduate student of Connecticut College majoring in East Asian Studies. He is a big fan of Japanese animation and history. In the fall of 2023, Bowen will be studying abroad in Kyoto at Doshisha University.

 

 

Joanne Ha was born in South Korea, and was raised in a multilingual and multigenerational household in Maryland. She graduated from Boston University with a BS in Film and Television, a BA in Religion, and a minor in Japanese language. Outside of JSB, she works as a freelance videographer and her current hobbies include tennis, nail design, and crochet!

 

 

Kira graduated from the University of Rhode Island and studied abroad for a year at Kochi University in Japan. She double majored in Art and Computer Science and minored in Japanese. In the summer she works as a kayak guide in southeast Alaska. She loves Japan and Japanese, anime, the outdoors, drawing, climbing, music, and adventures of all sorts!

 

Noah Coltani was born in Seattle and attended public schools in Tokyo throughout his childhood summers. His family lives in Setagaya-ku, and he enjoys visiting them every summer and winter. He graduated from Boston University and is currently attending Boston University School of Law. He hopes to one day practice law in both Boston and Tokyo.

Staff
Board

Board

ADVISORY BOARD

Michael H. Armacost
Lawrence K. Fish
Heisuke Hironaka
Seiji Ozawa
John Curtis Perry
Robert D. Reischauer

PRESIDENT EMERITUS

Peter M. Grilli

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
*denotes Executive Committee

Brian Chiappinelli*
Nicholas Elfner
Glen S. Fukushima
Megan Gates
Andrew Gordon*
Todd Guild
William W. Hunt, Chairman*

Kiyoshi Kurokawa
Midori Morikawa
Kiyoko Morita*

Susan Napier

James Nuzzo

Bernard Pucker

Toby Rodes, Treasurer*

Roger T. Servison*

John A. Shane, Vice Chair*

John Sinclair

Hirotaka Takeuchi
Keiko Thayer

Mikio Yoshimura

Contact Us

617-514-7345

Japan Society of Boston

50 Milk Street, 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109

info@japansocietyboston.org

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JSB History

The Japan Society of Boston began as an informal discussion group sympathetic to Japan in the Russo-Japanese War. Until it disbanded during World War II, the Society was primarily an informal social organization, and mainly hosted visiting Japanese dignitaries.

Under the leadership of the late Ambassador Edwin O. Reischauer, with his return to the U.S. and to Harvard in the late 1960s, interest in the U.S. Japan relation in Boston and the surrounding regions was revived. In the late 1970s, the Society began to expand, acquired office space, and hired its first part-time staff member. Beginning in 1980, the Society received a series of milestone grants from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission that enabled it to hire a full-time executive director, expand its membership, increase its level of programming, and introduce new publications and other services.

 

The Japan Society of Boston has continued to thrive and grow, and currently offers its members and the general public a wide array of programs and informational services.

History

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