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, benefit and enjoyment. We serve as a programming nexus for a network of individuals, institutions, and businesses that are 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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Yuko Handa - Executive Director

Yuko Handa has been a business professional for over 20 years, with experience in both the for profit and not-for-profit sectors. Born and raised in Japan, in the Shonan region of Kanagawa prefecture, from a young age, she was educated in International Schools in Yokohama. She attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where she earned her BA degree in Sociology. Returning to Japan after graduation, she worked for three years at an Asian Airline, before joining Analog Devices in Japan. In 2005 she relocated to the United States with her family and now calls New England her home.


Naoko Takayanagi - Operations Manager

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 later taught Japanese at Berlitz and tutored through Wyzant. She is CELTA certified.

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Tim Morrissey - Communications Manager

Tim Morrissey is a 2020 Graduate of Boston College with a degree in English and an interest in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development. He began working with the Japan Society of Boston in September of 2021 and hopes to work in Japan in the near future. 

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Julia Napier - Language Associate

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. 

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Fen Bowen - Programs Associate

Fen Bowen is a 2017 graduate of Colby College in Maine. He has a BA in Environmental Studies, and hopes to pursue a doctorate degree in the near future. Fen is a nisei, who's father and grandmother immigrated to the U.S. from Japan in the 1970's. He has a deep personal interest in Japan due to his heritage, and hopes to one day have the opportunity to live and work in Japan. He is currently serving as a Program Associate with the Japan Society Boston.


Chris Ellars - Program Associate

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.

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Sandy (Yen Yun) Jen - Public Relations Coordinator

Sandy has a bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in public relations at Boston University. Following that, she continues pursuing a master’s degree in media science at Boston University. She has spent one semester studying abroad at Doshisha University in Kyoto and wishes to apply fundamental knowledge of public relations with fluency in Mandarin, English, and Japanese to achieve media relations goals for organizations. 


Joanne Ha - Videography Intern

Born in South Korea, raised in Maryland, and fascinated by Japan! Joanne is a 2022 Boston University graduate with a B.S. in Film and Television, and a B.A. in Religion with a Japanese language minor. A sample of her favorite things would include movie marathons, steamed egg, nail art, and green.



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


Peter M. Grilli

*denotes Executive Committee

Brian Chiappinelli*
John Cullen*
Nicholas Elfner
Glen S. Fukushima
Megan Gates
Andrew Gordon*
Todd Guild
William W. Hunt, Chairman*
Midori Morikawa
Kiyoko Morita*

Susan Napier

Bernard Pucker

Toby Rodes, Treasurer*

Roger T. Servison*

John A. Shane, Vice Chair*

John Sinclair

May Takayanagi

Hirotaka Takeuchi
Keiko Thayer

Mikio Yoshimura


Contact Us

617-514-7345 [text or call]

Japan Society of Boston

50 Milk Street, 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109



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JSB History


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Founded in 1904, 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, the Society was revived in 1953 and was legally incorporated in 1958. 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 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.


Since operational support from the Commission ended in 1986, the Japan Society of Boston has continued to thrive and grow, and currently offers its members and the general public an annual slate of more than 30 programs as well as publications and informational services.