Member Highlight - Arthur Segawa

Updated: Sep 5


How long have you been a member of the Japan Society of Boston?

I have been a member for close to a year. I joined the Japan Society of Boston in June of 2021.


What drew you to the Japan Society of Boston? The Japanese way of life, culture, and names use consonants and vowels in their word creation. I am Segawa, a Bantu name from the Kiganda culture in East Africa. I was surprised the Japanese carry that name. Equally surprising is the Nagawa; the Japanese have that too - I gather it's a town in the Aomori prefecture (I should take my sister there for a visit). And that is my elder sister's name. These two coincidences were too many to ignore; I sought more information about Japan which led me to the JSB, where I learned anyone could join, so I reached out, and Naoko welcomed me. What about JSB makes it special from other groups within the Boston area?

The other groups I belong to are veterans-based, the American Legion, and VFW, a special kind of brotherhood and sisterhood with the folks I served and deployed with. Being with the veterans is like what I felt about joining the JSB. The first events were about Poetry and Home cooking. The latter is my favorite. I find Japanese food to be in concert with good nutrition and the promotion of healthy living, something that is needed now more than ever. Do you have a favorite event or program that you have participated in with JSB? Of course, Japanese home cooking is my favorite, but the Language Room is also of great interest to me. I used to do calligraphy in High school and feel writing out the characters of the language as I believe learning it would be a worthwhile experience. How would you describe yourself and what you're passionate about? I am passionate about the environment as an environmental engineering graduate. The spirit of Mottainai embraced by the Japanese culture is something I deeply admire and respect about the culture. The Japanese are not a wasteful people. That speaks volumes more, especially now with Mother Nature turning on us for the wasteful handling of the universe, which is arguably the cause of the climate change we are observing. ​ Gloomy as the situation may seem, I believe the spirit of Mottainai employed can solve some significant problems. I have always thought of using Mottainai to tackle the Invasive fish species problem in the Missouri River Basin, MRB. And use the same spirit to inform a new way of constructing our homes to be energy and resource efficient. ​ Finally, I am grateful for the JSB welcoming me, and I look forward to many years of shared friendship and work to enhance the deep friendship between the US and the Japanese people through the JSB.


Interested in becoming a JSB Member? Click here or reach out to info@japansocietyboston.org for more details.

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