July 2023 Newsletter

Featured: The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama envisions being known as the university of choice for the best and brightest students who seek exceptional educational opportunities to advance the intellectual and social condition of the people of the state, the nation and the world. UA provides a premier undergraduate and graduate education that offers a global perspective and is characterized by outstanding teaching, high-quality scholarship and distinctive curricular and co-curricular programs.

The Capstone International Center (CIC), led by the Associate Provost for International Education and Global Outreach, coordinates programs and opportunities on and off campus that have an international focus. Dr. Teresa E. Wise currently directs the CIC and sits on the 2023 JASA Executive Committee. The CIC also offers advising and support for prestigious international scholarships such as the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and Boren Awards to name a few. The CIC fosters partnerships with various universities worldwide and participates in student exchange programs at 29 different universities in 14 countries including Japan. These campuses include Hiroshima University, Kansai Gaidai University, Meiji University, Ritsumeikan University and Chiba University which has been a partner for over 25 years.

Many international students at UA also participate in the accredited Intensive English Program coordinated by CIC’s English Language Institute (ELI). The institute provides top quality instruction to non-native speakers of English while providing students with orientation to U.S. culture. ELI enrolls approximately 75 students per session from 16 different countries mostly from Japan, China, Colombia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Some students participate in customized group programs such as Chiba University’s English + Nursing Program where students attend English language sessions with a focus on medical terminology and observe UA nursing classes, attend clinical immersion and tour local medical facilities. Serving as a “Gateway to UA”, the specialized Intensive English Program provides an opportunity for international students to matriculate into UA degree programs at both undergraduate and graduate degree levels. The ELI plays a major role in international student recruitment at UA.

Dr. Wise and fellow CIC staff, Sonya Harwood-Johnson and Ruzanna Yolyan, pose for a photo with international students and fellow volunteers on United Way’s Day of Action. The CIC provides opportunities for international students and scholars to interact with the community in a positive light.

In the Fall of 2022, the CIC’s International Student & Scholar Services served 1,118 active, enrolled international students, including 246 new international students from 88 countries, territories and regions. Of the 246 new international students, there were 188 first-time and internal transfer graduate students, 50 first-time freshmen, and eight first-time undergraduate transfer students. The university is also currently sponsoring 175 recent graduates who are working on Optional Practical Training (OPT). UA also employs 277 non-immigrant scholars, faculty and staff representing 44 countries and territories.

While UA welcomed many international students last year, the CIC’s Education Abroad (EA) program sent 1,115 students to more than 55 countries to participate in over 235 unique programs internationally in 2022. After a pause from in-person programs worldwide, the EA office saw heightened demand for studying abroad as the world emerged from the pandemic. When international borders opened once more, 40% of the students who participated in an EA program had never been abroad before and 36 students travelled on a Gilman Scholarship Award.

The CIC provides many opportunities for cultural exchange on and off campus through the Global and Cultural Perspectives Minor, Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), and community outreach. In 2018, UA received an American Council on Education grant to initiate COIL activities with a partner institution in Japan, Chiba University, with support from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. This partnership allows the Chiba nursing students to collaborate online with UA students prior to their arrival for the English + Nursing Program.

In 1987, the CIC held Tuscaloosa’s first Annual Sakura Festival in collaboration with Tuscaloosa's Sister Cities International and has continued the tradition each spring to engage the local community with Japanese culture. This year, Consul General Mio Maeda gave a speech to the community and students from UA and Kansai Gaidai University held demonstrations and matsuri games for the all ages. The CIC supports international groups and events such as the weekly Multi-Cultural Coffee Hour that invites all international and domestic students, scholars, faculty and staff to enjoy a culturally themed snack over great conversation with new and old friends from around the world. In an effort to internationalize the campus and community, the CIC coordinates these programs and opportunities with a worldwide focus.

Kansai Gaidai students demonstrate the Morning Taiso Stretch routine at the 37th Annual Sakura Festival.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date!

2023 JASA 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!

Tanabata (Star Festival) / 七夕イベント

July 8, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

@ Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Join us at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Saturday, July 8 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm for Tanabata (Star Festival).

Experience the Japanese tradition of making wishes on Tanzaku (a piece of colored paper) and hanging them on bamboo trees! Enjoy Japanese cultural activities, Tea Ceremony demonstration by Urasenke Birmingham Association and the beautiful bonsai display by Alabama Bonsai Society!

More Info

July Kayoubikai /7月の火曜日会

July 18, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

@ Okinawa Sushi and Hibachi Steak House

Join us for our July Kayoubikai at Okinawa Sushi and Hibachi Steak House (148 Wildwood Pkwy, Homewood, AL 35209)!

Kayoubikai is an opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests, practice Japanese, and stay connected with other people in our JASA community. Both JASA members and non-members are welcome!

Please RSVP at least one day in advance! There is no cost to attend this event but everyone will be responsible for their own ticket at the end of the meal. 


Welcome! New JASA Member

Revere Control Systems

For over 40 years, our industrial automation systems have allowed Revere to form relationships that help water, energy, and manufacturing customers by safely delivering turnkey or standalone solutions. We do this through an unmatched portfolio of electrical, automation, information, and I&C construction expertise. We’ve earned the confidence of users, contractors, and OEMs.

Learn more about Revere Control Systems.

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 officemanager@jasaweb.org or visit our website.

Thank you for your continued support!

Recently renewed JASA corporate members:

Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, Mauldin & Jenkins

Other News and Opportunities

New Website Page: Japan in Alabama

Discover the organizations and places in Alabama that have a special connection to Japan by visiting our website: Japan in Alabama!

We are constantly updating this page to include more organizations and places. If you are aware of any places in Alabama that showcase Japanese culture, art, food, or any other aspect related to Japan, we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to reach out to us through our email officemanager@jasaweb.org

We have also released the 2022 New and Expanding Japanese companies, JASA newsletter archive, and Japanese learning tools!


開催日時:2023/7/20(木) 09:00pm (CST) 

2023/7/21(金)11:00am (JST)

開催方法:Zoom オンラインセミナー




Business Alabama:

Largest Manufacturers 2023

Ranked by number of employees. The source is Dun & Bradstreet and local economic development agencies.

Click here to view the complete listing.

Visit the Business Alabama website

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

Please contact us at officemanager@jasaweb.org

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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