We enjoyed another JASGC Members Happy Hour on June 29 at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse in Cincinnati, with gorgeous views of the Ohio River. Several of our members sampled the Montgomery Inn’s famous barbecue ribs. We enjoyed great food and service from the Boathouse staff, and most of all – great company.
In honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, JASGC hosted a film screening, live performance, and reception at the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. A Thousand Pebbles on the Ground, a short film by Japanese Filmmaker Toko Shiiki, premiered on Wednesday, May 25th at 6:00 pm. We enjoyed light appetizers from Mei Japanese Restaurant during the event along with Asahi Super Dry.
The film explored the hardships during the Covid-19 pandemic. Roger ee, a medical lab technician working on the frontlines of the pandemic, shared the story of his family and their Chinese-American heritage, and how he dealt with rising anti-Asian sentiment during the pandemic.
Toko Shikii met Roger through her husband, Erik Santos — one of Roger’s childhood friends. When incidents of anti-Asian sentiment started to increase recently, Toko shared that she felt lonely and had few chances to talk about her feelings. Then she spoke with Roger and had a spark of creativity; she would share Roger’s story so that others would not feel as lonely during the pandemic’s isolation and struggle. After the screening, there was a short Q&A with the audience.
The second part of the event featured live music performed by Erik Santos, musician, composer, and Associate Professor of Composition and Performing Arts Technology at the University of Michigan. Erik shared his own music and his father, Rosendo Santos’ music and personal story of moving to the US from the Philippines. You can learn more about Rosendo Santos’ story here.
JASGC member Denny Kato was interviewed on May 17 by WVXU’s Lucy May. After retiring from a career in restaurant management in 2014, Kato took a deep dive into his family’s history, including time spent during WWII with other Japanese-American families in an internment camp. Listen to the full interview here.
JASGC Members Happy Hours are a great way to get to know other members in an informal setting. As part of our AAPI (Asian-American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month celebrations in the month of May, we hosted a “JASGC Members Happy Hour” at Taste of Belgium in Rookwood, with 20 of our members in attendance including new members Ruth Shirley and Michael Gallagher. The staff at Taste of Belgium took great care of us, especially Sal, our bartender, and we would certainly like to hold another event there in the future.
A summer happy hour is in the works, and we have scheduled the fall one for September 14 at Big Ash Brewing. Register for the fall happy hour here.
We enjoyed delicious Sukiyaki and Asahi Super Dry beer on March 24, a cold spring evening in Cincinnati. Sukiyaki ‘すき焼き’ is one of the most popular hot pot dishes in Japan.
Sukiyaki is usually cooked and served at the table using a portable gas stove and eaten as soon as it is ready. (Check out our photos below!) At the event, we cooked thinly-sliced beef and various vegetables in the traditional Sukiyaki sauce: Soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. The flavor was sweet and salty; a bit like Teriyaki sauce.
We have to mention that the authentic way the Japanese enjoy Sukiyaki is by dipping the cooked ingredients in raw eggs! We know it sounds odd (or even hazardous) to some, but the egg blends well with the strong taste of the Sukiyaki sauce and makes a perfect balance of flavors.
You may get addicted as we now are — who knows!
I had an amazing time at the Sukiyaki demonstration. The food was incredible and the company was even better! My table started off as total strangers but by the night’s end we were calling each other family – that’s the power of this delicious dish and wonderful community! Thank you to JASGC and our excellent guides Teruko Nesbit and Shoko Konuma for a perfect night.
Amy Miller (Member)
Don’t forget to check out our next cooking event on September 28 — featuring another hot pot dish called Shabu Shabu! View the event page here.
On Thursday, February 17th, we held a Zoom webinar and had the opportunity to listen to the thoughts of 3 Japanese executives from JASGC member companies including Mayumi Moriya from Kao, Masato Sawada from YAC Robot Systems, and Kenji Morisawa of Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc. They discussed a variety of thoughts and ideas about American and Japanese business culture and how they personally dealt with the challenges they have faced on the job.
Below are some quotes from the panelists.
“Changing jobs is common in the United States. In Japan, you stay with a company for 30 to 40 years.” – Masato Sawada
“Presentations are handled differently. For example, a Japanese audience looks at the screen or actual presentation, while Americans are more interested in the speaker.” – Mayumi Moriya
Event moderator, Teruko Nesbitt, asked: “Why is it that with meetings, we are strict about the starting time but lenient about the ending time?” I think this is something that is slowly being learned.
Kenji Morisawa mentioned that since COVID, ‘…many Japanese companies are very strict with the way they use their employees’ time.’ “
Special thanks once again to the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership for sponsoring the event, and to those attendees who made donations. Much appreciated!