June 2023 Newsletter

Featured: The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama’s “Roaring With Excellence” Strategic Plan challenges UNA to be Innovative, Inclusive, Engaged, Evolving, and Global. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) guides the university’s international education mission by providing specialized student services, academic support, and enriching cultural experiences.

UNA’s strategy of offering competitive scholarships, pursuing innovative partnerships, and promoting attractive academic programs has created greater interest and awareness among students globally. Comparing fall 2019 and fall 2022, on-campus, online, and on-site international enrollment increased 35 percent. Comparing spring 2020 to spring 2023, international enrollment increased 54 percent. Overall, more than 900 international students studied with UNA during the 2022-2023 academic year, representing nine percent of UNA’s total student population.

The Academic English Program (AEP) provides comprehensive instruction and services to UNA students who wish to improve their English language skills. Courses are taught in person for students studying on campus and online for students living internationally. More than 250 AEP students enrolled during the 2022-2023 academic year. Students receive 25 hours of language instruction per week in five skill areas: Speaking, Reading, Writing, Listening, and Grammar. UNA’s Academic English Program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.

The Office of International Affairs supports numerous activities to help UNA’s international students establish themselves on campus. The annual “Grill & Greet” in August welcomes new and returning international students with a campus-wide cookout at the UNA President’s home. During International Education Week each November, UNA’s international students host “Passport to the World.” This signature event celebrates the cultures and cuisines of more than 50 countries represented on campus. Attendees get a passport and then collect stamps as they visit country tables, dance to global music, and eat foods of cultural significance. UNA’s traditional Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival marks the arrival of each spring with a picnic near an authentic Japanese stone lantern that dates to 1700 C.E.

UNA has hosted hundreds of Japanese students during the past decade. Some came to UNA to earn a degree, while others participated in student exchange programs. In spring 2023, 44 Japanese students were enrolled on campus, and 43 of them were undergraduates. Japan’s National Collegiate Network (NCN) has had a liaison at UNA for more than twenty years. Based in Tokyo, the program partners with American universities to provide higher education and workforce development training for Japanese students. UNA’s relationship with NCN remains strong and productive.


Dr. Butler Cain is a member of the JASA Board of Directors, and he is Assistant Vice Provost for International Affairs, Director of Global Learning, and Professor of Mass Communication at the University of North Alabama. JASA appreciates Dr. Cain’s contribution of this feature article about UNA and its international programs.

Upcoming Events

June Kayoubikai /6月の火曜日会

June 20, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

@ Samurai Japan

Join us for our June Kayoubikai at Samurai Japan (700 Montgomery Hwy #178, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216)!

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. 


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

Save the Date!

2023 JASA Annual Dinner and Business Forum

Dinner: Thursday, November 9

Forum: Friday, November 10

@ Birmingham Ross Bridge

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!

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:

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., KPMG LLP, Topre America Corporation, Alabama State Port Authority, ENEOS USA Inc. (JX Nippon Oil), High-Purity Silicon America Corporation (HSA) , AHI Properties, Alabama Technology Network), AITC (Alabama International Trade Center), Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Morgan County EDA, 58 INC | Shelby County EDC, Shoals EDA, Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International

Other News and Opportunities


2023年6月16日(金) 1PM(中部時間)


参加費:  無料

登壇者:  橋本 武士 (VP/ Property & Casualty Division Manager)




米国損害保険ブローカーライセンス及びLife and Healthライセンス保持。



Samurai: Armor from the Collection of Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

June 23 - September 17, 2023

@ High Museum of Art in Atlanta

This summer, the High will present an exhibition featuring one of the most important collections of samurai armor outside of Japan. Through a dazzling array of more than one hundred fifty helmets, swords, and other objects spanning almost nine centuries, including nearly twenty complete sets of armor, the exhibition will illuminate the exceptionally high level of design and craft dedicated to these elaborate instruments of ceremony and combat and reveal the culture, lifestyle, and artistic legacy associated with the samurai warrior in Japanese society. The High is the first museum in the Southeastern United States to present this exhibition, which has traveled to cities around the world.

More Info

JapanFest 2023

September 16, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

September 17, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

@ Gas South Convention Center

JapanFest Atlanta is an annual celebration of Japanese culture designed to promote understanding between Japanese and Americans in the Southeast! ​

Purchase your ticket now to save money:

​​$13 Before July 31st, $16 Before August 1st to 15th, $20 Price at the door

You can now apply for General Vendors, Food Vendors, and Anime Vendors. 

More Info

2023-2024 Japanese Language Grants by The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA)

Grant for Nationwide/Statewide/Region-wide Events for Learners

Japanese Language Learners Event Grant

(Examples: Speech Contest, Quiz Contest, Japan-themed Festival for Learners, etc.)

Deadlines: September 1, 2023

More info


Grant for Nationwide/Statewide/Region-wide Projects for Teachers

Japanese-Language Education Project Grant

(Examples: Conferences/Seminars/Workshops for Teachers, Teaching Material Development, Research Projects, etc.)

Deadline: 2 months before the project start date

More info


Grants for Individual Japanese Language Programs

Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant

Deadlines: September 15, 2023

More info


Advocacy Support Letter

If your Japanese language program is in danger of being cut due to COVID-19, we will send a support letter to stakeholders (Superintendent, Principal, Dean, etc.).

Please contact JFLA for details.

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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