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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.

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Naoko Takayanagi



Chris Ellars
Special Events Associate


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Eli Berman


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Noah Coltani

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Julia Napier


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Remy Kaldawy

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Kani Adebimpe


Joanne Ha
Program Manager


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Bowen Wang


Danielle Cochran



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.


Eli was born and raised in the Boston area and is a rising junior at Dickinson College. He has spent the last few years learning Japanese including taking part in an eight-week Japanese immersion program at Middlebury College. He has a passion for Japanese history and culture and is especially interested in current Japan-U.S. relations. Among his favorite Japanese films and novels are Isao Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies and Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro. Eli plans on studying abroad in Nagoya, Japan for his junior year.


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.



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.


Remy Kaldawy was born in New York and grew up in the greater Boston area. He is currently a student at Columbia University, where he studies mathematics. He has a passion for Japanese literature, which he has been cultivating since stumbling upon Kobo Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes. His favorite Japanese author is Yukio Mishima, the majority of whose works he is proud to have read. When he’s not puzzling over math, you can find him reading literature of all types, struggling to squeeze a half hour of exercise into his day, and scouring the mean city streets for a decent café.


Kani Adebimpe was born in Boston and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Masters in International Business and a BS in International Business and Marketing with a Japanese minor. He is very interested in Japanese business and economics, especially its intersection with Japan's entertainment industries. He will be traveling to Japan for the first time to participate in the JET Program later in the year. Some of his other interests include watching movies, discovering new coffee shops, and writing short stories. 



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!



Bowen was born in Dalian, educated in China and Switzerland before coming to the US. He is currently enrolled in Connecticut College as an East Asian Studies Major, focusing on Bakumatsu period and Otakuology.


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!




Michael H. Armacost
Lawrence K. Fish
Heisuke Hironaka

John Curtis Perry
Robert D. Reischauer


Peter M. Grilli

*denotes Executive Committee

Brian Chiappinelli*
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


Japan Society of Boston

50 Milk Street, 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109

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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.



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