Japan Festival

Japan Festival in Indianaplois in 1999

The Japan-America Society of Indiana was founded in 1988 as a 501( c)3 cultural and educational organization. At that time, then-Governor Robert D. Orr suggested that Indiana create a bridging organization to address the needs of the growing population of Japanese families locating in the state with the arrival of Japanese manufacturing plants, and to provide a channel for American individuals and businesses to learn more about Japan. Business, academic and community leaders joined together to form the organization as an independent, non-partisan, non-political cultural organization. The Society's purpose is to encourage cultural understanding, to foster business relationships, and to enhance international understanding at the local level by helping Hoosiers understand and develop friendships with Japanese.

Japan Festival

The Japan-U.S. Business Camp presented by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

During the past twenty years, the Japan-America Society of Indiana has established itself as the leading civic organization in the state for building Indiana's relationship with Japan. It has sponsored an array of programs at the highest diplomatic levels, including the hosting of many Japanese Ambassadors, the coordination of an international conference with Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and various state-level receptions and dignitary briefings. JASI's hosting of the founder and Chairman of Sony Corporation, Akio Morita, served as a major event for the Indiana corporate community. State and Japanese consular officials regularly request JASI's support in presenting programs, hosting delegations, providing information resources, and in supporting Indiana's overall relationship with Japan. The Society has led a number of state, business and cultural missions to Japan. JASI serves as the official cultural conduit for the State of Indiana's Sister State Prefecture Relationships with Tochigi Prefecture in Japan. On an ongoing basis, the Society collaborates with a statewide network of cities, mayor's offices, universities and colleges, museums, arts institutions, and sister-city programs to provide speakers, cultural presentations, performing arts events, protocol support, information resources, and network development.

Significant program achievements include the following:

  • The 21st Joint Meeting of the Japan-Midwest U.S. Association
  • The Grand Kabuki Theater of Japan at Clowes Hall
  • Corporate Citizenship Awards Gala featuring Akio Morita, Founder & Chairman, Sony Corporation
  • The Japan-U.S. Business Camp presented by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • The Japan-U.S. Business Internship, Japan
  • The Youth Voices Project Initiative with the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Japan
  • The Tales of Japan Exhibit in partnership with the Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Indiana Fundraising Coordination for Victims of the Kobe Earthquake
  • Support for the KODO Drum performances, Clowes Hall
  • The Welcome Toyota Corporate Gala
  • Publication of the Indiana Guidebook in Japanese
  • Shusaku Endo's "Silence" performed by Theatre Company Subaru
  • Establishment of the Japan Bowl in Indiana, a Japanese language competition for high schools
  • Signing of the Indiana-Tochigi Sister State-Prefecture Relationship
  • The Bridge of Friendship Awards presented by the Ambassador of Japan
  • A50 Caravan and Commemoration of the San Francisco Peace Treaty
  • "The Laughter of Japan" performance at Clowes Hall by Katsura Sanshi, national celebrity of Japan
Japan Festival

The 38th Annual Joint Meeting: Midwest U.S. - Japan -Midwest U.S. Association in Indianapolis in 2006