Archive Page 2

Shinnenkai Celebration Successfully Starts the Year

Last month the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association (PSSCA) celebrated the New Year by hosting a Shinnenkai celebration at the Portland Japanese Garden. The event was a chance to network with community leaders, Japanese business associates and supporters of PSSCA. Nearly 100 attended the gala and were entertained by the dynamic Taiko and dance group, Takohachi. Catered by Portland’s new Japanese restaurant, Shigezo, the gathering also featured wine and Japan’s popular Sapporo beer.

Consul General Okabe was present and brought cheer to the event with the traditional New Year’s Kanpai (toast). A short speech and thanks for attending was delivered by Steve Orcutt, Vice President of PSSCA, who also read a welcome statement to everyone from the President, Dr. Thompson Faller, who was out of town.

One of the event highlights was the presentation by Grant High School students representing the Sapporo Summer Institute. Led by Michael Bacon, Immersion Education Coordinator at Portland Public Schools and PSSCA Board Member, this exchange program will allow the bright, hard-working student participants an unparalleled opportunity to experience the lifestyle and culture of Portland’s oldest sister city. As reported by Aurelia Wieber, student spokesperson for the group, they will leave June 18 for their trip to Sapporo and spend five weeks in Japan; while there, they will attend classes, conduct surveys and collect data comparing Japanese and American culture. The teen ambassadors will also spend a week in Tokyo where they will participate in an international debate with university students.

TEAM USA Oregon Snow Sculpture Team Members made a special donation to the students to kick-start their fundraising campaign and to show their support to the program. Team manager Charley Scott was on hand to make the presentation. The team leaves this week for the international competition at the Sapporo Snow Festival. (LEARN MORE)

PSSCA wants to thank the Japanese Garden for hosting this year’s Shinnenkai celebration, as well as Matt Weadick of Sapporo Beer for his donation and support.

Note: The following document is in PDF format.

Do you need Adobe Reader? It’s free!
Get Adobe Reader for Free!

View:
Flyer – Shinnenkai Student Speech [PDF]

Advertisements

PSU Hosts Lecture Series in February

Portland State University’s Center for Japanese Studies is hosting a lecture series in February. The Center brings the languages, literature, thoughts and culture of Japan to PSU students and the community.

On Tuesday, February 8, the lecture will address the cultural challenges of the Ainu, native people of northern Japan, a subject that bears a striking similarity to Native American experience.

The Ainu, indigenous to northern Japan, were deprived of their ancestral land by the Meiji Government in its process of colonization and reclamation in the late nineteenth century. A long oppression, forced assimilation and destruction of natural environment followed. The Ainu have been restoring their culture, identity and community in the middle of mainstream Japanese society, away from their ancestral land. Dr. Yoshiko Kayano will address how they have made this possible, as well as what she’s learned from them about their rich cultural tradition and the difficulties they still face.

Note: The following document is in PDF format.

Do you need Adobe Reader? It’s free!
Get Adobe Reader for Free!

View:
Flyer – Restoring the Ainu Culture [PDF]

LEARN MORE

Toast the Japanese New Year at Shinnenkai

The Portland-Sapporo Sister City’s Annual Shinnenkai (New Year’s Party) is scheduled for January 14, 2011 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Portland Japanese Garden Pavilion. A shinnenkai (“new year gathering”) is the Japanese tradition of welcoming the New Year by toasting its arrival in a gathering of friends and co-workers in January.

Shinnenkai

This year the general public — along with friends and supporters — is invited to come and start the New Year Japanese style with Japanese entertainment, food and fellowship. Community leaders and board members of the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association (PSSCA) will be in attendance.

Michael Bacon, PSSCA board member and Portland Public School Immersion Achievement Coordinator, will be in attendance, along with students of Grant High School who will participate in the inaugural five-week Sapporo Summer Institute (or Sapporo Kakikenshu) program. Attendees will learn about this great new program for Portland area students who study Japanese language and culture through Portland schools.

The TEAM USA Oregon Snow Sculpture Team will be on hand to share details about their participation in the Sapporo Snow Festival Snow Sculpture Contest in February, 2011, when they will host a self-guided tourist and business delegation traveling to the Snow Festival. Shinnenkai guests will meet the team of Oregon master artisans who will complete against 16 other international snow sculpture teams from around the world at this world-renowned event that attracts more than two million visitors a year.

Entertainment for the evening will be provided by Takohachi Taiko, Portland’s newest and most dynamic Taiko and Dance Group. This highly talented group of performers is led by performer and composer Yumi Torimaru and shamisen master Kohei Kimura. This special ensemble will ring in the New Year for this wonderful celebration at the Portland Japanese Garden.

Guests will enjoy delicious bento made by one of Oregon’s newest Japanese Izakaya restaurants, Shigezo, and beverages provided by PSSCA supporter, Sapporo Beer. Wine and soda will also be available.

Emcee for the Shinnenkai celebration will be Steve Orcutt, PC, Vice President of the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association. Steve is a Portland attorney specializing in Real Estate, small business, and asset protection. he’s been a PSSCA board member for the past seventeen years.

Space for this special celebration is limited. Reservations are $20 per person, available through the Japanese Garden, 503.542.0280.

Oregon Snow Sculpture Team Warming Up

The 38th annual Sapporo Snow Sculpture contest begins in February of 2011. Part of the world-famous Sapporo Snow Festival that attracts over two million visitors annually, the contest will host eighteen teams from around the world in its International Division. One of these teams will be Oregon’s own Team USA Oregon Snow Sculpture Team, which will be competing for the eighteenth year.

2011-Snow-Festival

2011 Snow Festival Poster

The all-volunteer team has been working hard for the last several months planning, designing, visiting sponsors and launching their new website, which contains information about the team, its history and its members, as well as a listing of support staff, sponsors and supporters that help make everything possible.

The Team USA Oregon Snow Sculpture Team was formed in 1985 by members of the Schnee Vogle Ski Club; one of the team’s first sculptures was the Hokkaido Bear, which place second overall in the competition. Besides Sapporo, the team often competes in other countries, like Finland, China and locations in the United States. Supporters include the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association, the International Trade Administration-Department of Commerce, the City of Portland, Travel Oregon and the Oregon Economic Development Commission, as well as many business and cultural sponsors in the Portland area.

For the first time in its history, Team USA Oregon Snow Sculpture Team will take sponsors, supporters and others interested in business with Japan on an unescorted ‘Introduction to Japan’ delegation tour. Sponsors have an opportunity to not only support the team with either monetary or in-kind donations, but also are invited to come with the team and partake in contest activities, events and meetings. The ‘Introduction to Japan’ opportunities allow a chance to meet city officials, business organization and introduce their Oregon products.

The trip is also a huge cultural opportunity, as the city of Sapporo hosts teams and offers home stays with Sapporo citizens. This is a wonderful chance to meet and live with some of Sapporo’s finest citizens and their families. Home stays are covered with trip costs and may include some meals and assistance with transportation (although tour and delegation participants should plan their own meals and transportation, as this is an unescorted tour).

For more information, visit the team website at TeamUSAOregon.Com. Downloads of the Festival itinerary and applications can be found there, as well as sponsorship applications and instructions on how to accompany the team. Call Charley Scott (Team Manager), at 503.255.2347 or James Hill (Assistant Team Manager), at 503.297.9268 for more information.

CLICK ME to go to the Snow Festival website!