Oct 2, 2023 | Annual Events

JASGC Prepares to Welcome Toko Shiiki and Erik Santos for Our 35th Anniversary Gala Dinner

As we prepare to celebrate our 35th anniversary, the Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati (JASGC) is thrilled to announce our upcoming Anniversary Gala Dinner. It will be held on Thursday, October 12, from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at the Hyde Park Golf & Country Club in Cincinnati.

We are delighted to welcome Toko Shiiki as our keynote speaker. A filmmaker, musician, and artist, Shiiki’s work intertwines various art forms to create narratives that are engaging and moving. Her presentation will showcase her new film “鼓響 Kokyo – Resonance of Home.” View a clip of her new film below.

In a conversation recently with the JASGC, Shiiki shared:

“When I decided to film the people of Fukushima, I never thought I would focus on music in the movie. But when I asked them what gives them joy in life, they told me music, coincidentally. And it became very much a music-related film. I can add Genki’s story, of course (he is also a part of the film, “Threshold”).

His personal growth has been remarkable in the ten years! (I shot Threshold in 2013, and the short film I shot during the recent trip was this year in 2023, so ten years apart!) So, I think both films fit the theme, “The Power of Music – Resilience, Community, and Personal Growth – Japanese Style.”

We’re also pleased share two more wonderful Japan-related videos created by Toko Shiiki. The first is “The Story of Ikkyu,” about a famous Japanese monk, created and beautifully narrated by Shiiki with voiceovers by Erik Santos and illustrations by the Japanese artist COCORO. You can watch the video here.

The second is “Hello Japan,” an educational tour of Japan. It was specifically tailored for Greater Cincinnati students but is suitable for people of all ages interested in learning about Japan as well as Cincinnati-Japan connections. Shiiki created this video in 2021 with the help of a generous grant awarded to the JASGC by the Japan Foundation. Watch the “Hello Japan” video here.

Our Gala will not only feature Shiiki’s keynote but also a special performance by Erik Santos, a distinguished composer, musician, and professor. Erik’s father was Rosendo Santos, an award-winning musician from the Philippines. View our past event featuring Erik Santos.

As we look forward to our Gala, we’re excited to celebrate the JASGC’s 35th anniversary with you. It’s been a wonderful journey, and we’re eager to continue fostering a strong connection between Japan and America.