August 2023 Newsletter

Featured: Pharmavite

Pharmavite is a pioneer in the health and wellness industry, earning the trust of consumers, healthcare professionals, and retailers by developing innovative vitamin and supplement solutions backed by science that adhere to strict manufacturing practices. Through its Nature Made ® , Nature Made ® Wellblends, EQUELLE ® , MegaFood ® , Nurish by Nature Made ® and Uqora brands, Pharmavite is dedicated to helping people live healthier, more vital lives.

Pharmavite has provided customers with quality products for more than 50 years and since breaking ground on its third manufacturing facility in 2011, Pharmavite has maintained an important presence in Opelika, Alabama. Since joining the community, Pharmavite has continued to expand on the number of jobs available and currently employs 550+ Alabamians and Georgians. 

When the facility opened, it marked the first time the vitamin, mineral, and supplement (VMS) industry came to Alabama. In 2021, the facility got a nearly $8M dollar expansion, adding more space for manufacturing and more jobs. Employees from the local facility also participate in a number of local charities including the East Alabama Food Bank, Relay for Life, Miracle League, and many more.


Pharmavite also has several locations in Southern California, including its headquarters. They will also be opening up a new production facility in Columbus, Ohio in 2024.

Thank you for joining us at the Tanabata Festival!


Thank you all for joining us at the Tanabata Festival held at Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Saturday, July 8th!

Approximately 260-280 attendees enjoyed experiencing the traditions of Tanabata and Japanese activities including tea ceremony, calligraphy, Ikebana, Bonsai, and origami. Let the wishes written on Tanzaku bring them luck and happiness, and make their dreams come true!

We're grateful to have the support from our members at all levels and our volunteers to help us coordinate events like Tanabata!

Upcoming Events

JASA 2023 Annual Dinner and Business Forum

Dinner: Thursday, November 9

Forum: Friday, November 10

@ Birmingham Ross Bridge (located in Hoover)

Each year, the Japan-America Society of Alabama hosts a celebration dinner to allow our members and guests to gather, network, and dine with a special program to recognize the companies and individuals that contribute to Japan’s presence in Alabama.

Stay tuned for more information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities!

August Kayoubikai /8月の火曜日会

August 15, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

@ JASA Office

Participation Fee: $10 (Members), $15 (Non-Members)

Learn about Obon and enjoy dinner with friends!

Join us for our August Kayoubikai at the JASA Office (2081 Columbiana Road #10 Birmingham, AL 35216), a great opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests and stay connected with other people in our JASA community.  All are welcome, whether you're a JASA member or not!

During this gathering, we will learn about Obon an annual Japanese holiday that commemorates and remembers deceased ancestors and enjoy catered Japanese food!


Welcome! New JASA Member

Madison Metal Processing, LLC

Madison Metal Processing is a full service, steel processing service center, which specializes in blanking and warehousing in North America. Our product range includes hot rolled steel, cold rolled steel, exposed and coated steel products. As a Tier 1 supplier and a Tier 2 and Tier 3 supplier to many other automotive suppliers, our major customers are within the automotive industry. MMP’s major suppliers include domestic and foreign integrated steel mills.

MMP is joint venture, Steel Summit Holdings, Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. and Southern Mobility Products.

Family-owned and operated, MMP’s top leader, Kirk Lewis, is a Detroit, Mich., native who previously served as deputy mayor and chief of staff for the city of Detroit. Lewis has held executive leadership roles in finance, operations, and sales in the auto industry for more than 25 years and comes from entrepreneurial parents who once owned several Detroit area restaurants. 

His son, Joe Lewis, is following in the family tradition as MMP’s Vice president. His wife, Denise who is active in the business and serves as a board member. She is half Japanese, lived in Nagoya for 12 years and is fluent in Japanese.

In addition to MMP, the Lewis family oversees similar steel operations in Mississippi and Kentucky.

Learn more about Madison Metal Processing, LLC.

Become a JASA Member!

We are grateful to have the support of our corporate members and individual members at all levels!

Our members enjoy basic benefits as well as special support from JASA for welcoming Japanese guests, coordinating events, and more. Whether you are Japanese or American, represent a group related to Japanese business and culture, or just have an interest in Japanese culture, we welcome all members. 

If you are interested in our membership program or would like more information, please contact us at or visit our website.

Thank you for your continued support!

Recently renewed JASA corporate members:

PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

Other News and Opportunities

Job Posting: Japanese-Speaking Translator/Interpreter

Company: TS Tech Alabama, LLC.

Location: Boaz, Alabama, USA

Job Type: Full Time

Located in Boaz, Alabama and part of the TS Tech Americas group, a global supplier of automobile seats and interiors, with operations in 72 locations in 14 countries. TS Tech Alabama has a unique opportunity for a Japanese-speaking Interpreter to support Japanese team members including Plant President with day to day communication between local and Japanese team members and visitors. The selected candidate will work closely with Japanese team members.

More Info

2023 Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT): Registration opens soon!

2023 Registration opens 11am CST in a staggered sequence:

N1: August 7th (Mon) N2: August 10th (Thu)

N3: August 17th (Thu) N4: August 19th (Sat)

N5: August 21st (Mon)

Test Fee: $100

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) was developed in Japan, and has been offered since 1984 in countries all around the world as a means of evaluating the proficiency of non-native learners of Japanese.

More Info


From August till October 2023, the Japan Foundation (JF) will hold a special feature "JFF+ INDEPENDENT CINEMA 2023" which will shine a spotlight on the "mini-theaters" that support the diversity of Japanese film culture and adding to the vibrancy of local communities.

We are happy to announce we will distribute 12 Japanese movies recommended by mini-theaters around Japan and filmmakers around the world, additionally we will provide complementary access to videos that introduce 10 mini-theaters. 

Enjoy this FREE online streaming program!

More Info

Virtual August Sumi-e Classes by Japanese Culture Center

Dates: August 6, 13, 20 & 27

Time: Sundays 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM CST

The Blooming Lotus Path

As we take a contemplative journey along The Blooming Lotus Path, you are invited to Practice the sumi-e vocabulary of strokes. Each class will begin with a meditation, followed by some lessons in technique for Step-by-step instruction for several paintings of Lotus, Kingfisher and Dragonfly.) Line, “Tsuke Tate” technique, and “Bokashi” shading technique. Composing and practicing painting using Paper from The Advanced Paper Roll. All levels are welcome, plan to let go and have fun while learning a few new stroke techniques.

More Info

Virtual Shodo Class for August by Japanese Culture Center

Dates: August 6, 13, 20 & 27

Time: Sundays 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CST

The Japanese Culture Center is excited to hold a 書道 – Shodo / Japanese Calligraphy program with Chicago’s own Shodo master, Hekiun Oda!

In the Shodo program you learn the art of Japanese calligraphy from Hekiun Oda-sensei, a calligraphy master from the Japanese Calligraphy Association in Japan, aka “Genshin-kai”. Thanks to Oda-sensei’s rank as “Shihan” in the association, students in this program will be able to send their work to the headquarters in Japan and potentially be an awarded a rank. A very rare opportunity! The classes are focused on learning various writing techniques while working on assignments that are tailored to each student’s level and ability. Whether beginner or advanced, all levels and ages are welcomed!

More Info

The IYRC Fall 2023 Conference: Submissions Open Soon!

The International Young Researchers' Conference is an interdisciplinary conference that offers high school students the opportunity to publish their original research and present it to an international audience. Over the years, the IYRC has successfully organized seven conferences, attracting aspiring young researchers from 25 countries and accepting more than 322 papers. 

This year's winter IYRC research projects have a chance to win the prestigious Lewis-Nguyen Research Scholarship of $5,000 USD exclusively for one outstanding student with the best overall paper and presentation at the In-Person Day of the conference. This scholarship aims to recognize and encourage high-achieving students who demonstrate exceptional research prowess. 

Paper submission deadline: September 24, 2023

More Info

Please contact us at

if you'd like us to feature your organization/event in our newsletters!

Japan-America Society of Alabama

2081 Columbiana Road #10

Birmingham, AL 35216

(205) 703-0960


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