In the U.S. state of Colorado, the center around which all things Japanese revolves is the Japan America Society of Colorado, which was established in 1989.
“The mission of Japan America Society is connecting Colorado and Japan by creating opportunities through business, education, and culture. So, those are our three pillars that we operate under,” said JASC Executive Director Claudine Locascio.
Locascio, who studied in Doshisha University in Kyoto, has been with the JASC since 2012. She was one of the delegates in Governor Jared Polis’s recent trade mission to Japan. She oversees the JASC’s yearlong schedule loaded with a plethora of cultural, business, and educational events.
A JASC event that students of Japanese culture from the Rocky Mountain Region (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming) always look forward to is the Japan Cup. Hosted by the JASC since 2008, Japan Cup brings together students of all interested middle schools, high schools, and colleges for a day-long competition that challenges them on a wide variety of subjects, like current events and Japanese language and culture.
Another culturally significant event is the annual Japanese Kite Festival. In Japan, making kites using washi paper is a venerable artform passed down from many generations; and flying kites remains a popular pastime and is believed to bring good luck.
JASC keeps this beloved Japanese tradition alive by organizing this widely popular two-day event, which features kite-making workshops and kite-flying lessons conducted by a renowned Japanese kite master.
Thirty-four years into their mission, JASC has stayed relevant and stronger than ever.