Due to logistical difficulties and continued concern with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Summer Institute will unfortunately be CANCELLED this year. We understand your disappointment, as this event is a highlight for many teachers' summer professional development. However, we are still taking the safety of our community as our top priority.

The Hyogo Business & Cultural Center and the Washington Association of Teachers of Japanese hope to reschedule Summer Institute for next year.

All participants who have registered for the event will be refunded. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at:

We sincerely thank all teachers for your understanding.
A big thank you to all 22 participants in the 2020 Washington State Japanese Speech & Skit Contest (renamed “RECord video Japanese Speech & Clip Contest” this year)! Although the original Speech & Skit Contest was canceled this year due to Covid-19, we were able to hold a “video” Speech & Skit Contest and we asked participants to submit videos of themselves speaking in Japanese.

The contest was divided into two categories: the Speech Contest and the Clip Contest. In the Speech Contest, students recorded themselves giving speeches based on the theme of “Making connections through the Tokyo Olympics & Paralympics.”

In the Clip Contest (originally the Skit Contest), students were asked to submit a video based on the theme “What do you know about Japan?” Participants were placed within three “best” categories: “Best Pronunciation,” “Best Script,” and “Best Understanding of Culture.”
To see a full list of the contest results, please visit the official Japanese Speech & Skit Contest website.
On Thursday, June 4, the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington held it’s Virtual JIS (Japan-in-the School) Festival online to celebrate the JIS program’s 25th year anniversary.

Lisa Maria D’Aquila, the Visit Leader for the JIS Program, served as this virtual festival’s enthusiastic MC. Sarah Sanford, former Chair of JASSW, provided an encouraging message to participants, and Kei Tsukamaki, President of the Washington Association of Teachers of Japanese, helped to bring the Virtual JIS Festival to a start with her welcoming video message.

The Hyogo Business & Cultural Center introduced its office to the audience and revealed the results for this year’s Japanese Speech & Skit Contest (renamed as “RECord Video Japanese Speech & Clip Contest”).

Next, JASSW held a Japan Trivia Kahoot Quiz. Participants went head to head as they competed to answer questions of varying difficulty levels in Japanese, and the top 10 winners of this fun quiz earned prizes.

Virtual JIS Festival participants were then treated to a special appearance by UMI, a Seattle-born singer who congratulated the graduating class of 2020 with a heartfelt message and her warm music video titled “Happy Again.”

Following UMI’s video, the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle introduced a video about the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. Two JET alumni (Jessica Brooke Record and Maggie Thorpe) from the Japanese Consulate spoke about their own experiences in Japan while on the JET Programme.

Finally, the Virtual JIS Festival came to a close with inspirational closing remarks from the Consul General of Japan, Mr. Yoichiro Yamada.
At its peak, 69 participants joined the Virtual JIS Festival, and approximately 275 viewers watched the live stream of the Festival from JASSW’s Facebook Page.

We would like to sincerely thank all sponsors, partner organizations, teachers, contest participants, and virtual audience members who all made the Virtual JIS Festival and RECord Video Japanese Speech & Clip Contest possible.

If you would like to watch a recording of the virtual JIS Festival live stream, please click here.
This year, our annual Washington State Japanese Speech & Skit Contest
will no longer be held at the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington,
due to social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions currently in place throughout
Washington State.

Now, we are excited to invite contestants to participate in our “RECord Video Japanese Speech &
Clip Contest.” In this new contest format, contestants can submit a video of themselves
speaking in Japanese and compete with others from the comfort of their own homes.
Top videos will win a prize, and the best submissions may be premiered at the Japan-America
Society of the State of Washington’s (JASSW) “Virtual Japan-In-the-Schools (JIS) Festival”
to be held on June 4.

High school students who are interested in participating in the RECord Video Speech &
Skit Contest should visit the official Japanese Language Speech & Skit Contest website

For more information on participating in the Virtual JIS Festival, please visit JASSW’s
event website

Please contact for any questions.

We eagerly await your participation in this unique opportunity!
Due to recently growing concerns of the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation in Washington State, the 37th Washington State Japanese Speech & Skit Contest and JIS Festival (originally planned to be held on March 8th) have been POSTPONED until further notice.

These events will hopefully be rescheduled to a later date. Until then, please stay tuned for updates and information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:
We thank you for your patience and understanding!

2020 will mark the 37th anniversary of the Washington State Japanese Speech and Skit Contest. This year’s contest will be held at the Japanese Cultural Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) at 9:30am~5pm on March 8, 2020.

The Washington State Japanese Speech and Skit Contest is the largest and most renowned Japanese Speech contest in the state. The contest regularly draws around 60 high school participants from around Washington State. The contest offers students an opportunity to challenge themselves, collaborate with their peers, and show the community their passion for the Japanese language. The first place prize in level 4 of the Speech contest is a trip to Japan, where they can further develop their Japanese skills.

The Contest is jointly organized by the Speech and Skit Contest Planning Committee. The Committee is made up of key organizations including the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington (JASSW), the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle, the Hyogo Business & Cultural Center (HBCC), and the Washington Association of Teachers of Japanese (WATJ). Last year the Japan Business Association of Seattle, Delta Airlines, Nippon Travel Express, Sankei Travel, Gobo Enterprises, Temple University Japan Campus, and Kinokuniya Books supported the contest making it attractive to participate in for students.

This year the contest will be held along with an event that JASSW will be hosting called the JIS Festival. It will be a festival celebrating the 25th anniversary of the JIS (Japan in the Schools) education program. It will be a Japanese immersion camp with four different classrooms containing different activities which the participating students will rotate around to as a group. One of them will be watching the Speech & Skit Contest, which will be held throughout the day along with the festival.

Instructions on how to apply:
1) Sign up for the Speech Contest or Skit Contest on the Japan in the Schools (JIS) Festival website
2) Go to the Japanese Speech & Skit Contest website to fill out an online application and send us a signed permission form
DEADLINE to apply for the Speech & Skit contest is February 14th, 2020.

For more information about the Japanese Speech & Skit Contest, please visit the Official Speech & Skit Contest website
Yokoo Tadanori, born in Nishiwaki, Hyogo, is one of Japan’s most successful and internationally recognized graphic designers and artists.

He was often described as “Japan’s Andy Warhol”, with his work being very attuned to 60’s pop culture. However, Yokoo cites filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and writer Yukio Mishima as two of his most formative influences.

Later in his career, he retired from commercial work and took up painting. Since then he has remained active with exhibitions of his paintings every year and is a prolific graphic designer.
In November 2012, the Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art was opened in the refurbished west wing of the Oji Branch of the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art. The museum’s primary objective is to maintain and display the collection of works donated by Yokoo himself. This collection contains about 3000 works entrusted by Mr. Yokoo.

The museum also features an Archive Room whose staff conducts surveys and research. The archive room contains an enormous number of reference material related to the artist. This vast store of information reveals the secrets of Yokoo’s creations and documents his extensive associations with many notable figures and constitutes an invaluable resource for postwar cultural history. Moreover, the Open Studio presents a host of different events, including lectures, workshops, concerts, and public productions of art, aimed at all generations, from children to adults.

Hours Open: Tuesday through Thursday & Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM
   Friday & Saturday     10 AM – 8PM

For more information about the museum and how to access it, please visit
Hyogo-Kobe Fair 2019 will be held at Uwajimaya Beaverton from September 25 to October 1.
Food companies from Hyogo will sell various food at this event.

From September 27th to 29th, we will have cooking demonstrations at Uwajimaya Beaverton!
Date & Time
27th (Fri) 12pm-6pm
28th (Sat) 10am-6pm
29th (Sun) 10am-5pm

Most* of the products on sale at Uwajimaya Beaverton will be also on sale at Uwajimaya Seattle, Bellevue, and Renton.
*Kobe Sukiyaki Ekiben and Tamba Matcha Roll will only be available at Beaverton.

On the day of the event, Habatan, the mascot of Hyogo Prefecture will come too!

10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale HWY
Beaverton, OR 97005

For more information, please visit our website page.
Hyogo Business & Cultural Center is proud to announce that pre-registration for Summer Institute 2019 has opened. Summer Institute 2019 is here to learn more about language education, and how to improve your Japanese language course for your students.
This year we welcome back Professor Yasuhiko Tohsaku, as he will lead our 3 day workshop from August 20 through August 22, 2019. This year’s course is titled,
“Designing Learning Activities Developing 21st-Century Skills – Golden Principles of Effective Instructional Design.”
WATJ & ATJO members can register at the member price of $50. Non-members can also participate for a $100 registration fee. We also would like to thank the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) for allowing us to use their facility for Summer Institute 2019.
For registration and more information, please go to our webpage:
We are going to hold the Seminar in Kobe by Misao Watabe, Buyer, Uwajimaya.
Please see the our Japanese page.
Tempei Nakamura US West Coast Concert Tour! Please register to get your seats!

3/25: JASO's "Sakura Sunday" & Classic Pianos Portland
More Info:
Sakura Sunday:

Classic Pianos Portland:

3/26: Japanese Baptist Church Seattle

3/27: St. Mark Lutheran Church Lacey

Born 1980, a native of Kobe, Japan, Tempei Nakamura began his studies on the piano at age 5. In junior high, his home was destroyed by the Great Hanshin Earthquake. He dropped out of high school to work in the demolition industry, but despite that he went on to study at the Osaka University of the Arts. In 2006, he relocated to the USA to pursue his career internationally. He performs annually in Europe and Japan. He has dedicated his “Rising Sun” project to the reconstruction efforts of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and was honored by the Hyogo Prefecture Artists Society with the Award for the Advancement of the Arts in 2015. He is currently based in New York City and Tokyo, but Japanese Composer and Pianist Tempei Nakamura will visit and play in Portland, Oregon, Seattle & Lacey, Washington.

His music is attracting many new fans and he is known for creating a maverick style in the piano field. He is influenced by many music styles ( Classical, Jazz, Progressive rock, etc) And his music is not tied to any specific genre.
There are so many questions about Kobe Beef. “Where can I eat Kobe Beef?” or “Where can I buy Kobe Beef.” In 2007, Kobe Beef was registered as a Regional Organization Trademark by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. In this association, all commercial farms including breeding farms as well as traders of Kobe Beef are to be designated and registered. Furthermore all wholesale stores, retail stores and restaurants of the association are to display their designated registration certificate and bronze statue as proof of their membership at the front of their shop.

An online list of each of the Designated Registration Kobe Beef shops can be found below.

Designated Registration Kobe Beef shops
On July 16th a meeting between representatives of British Columbia and Hyogo Prefecture was held at the Vancouver restaurant Ryuu Japanese Kitchen. Eighteen delegates from a variety of fields gathered to eat and discuss topics related to Hyogo Prefecture. Currently there are roughly one hundred people who are registered as a part of this prefectural group.

For anyone who would like to join the British Columbia・Hyogo Prefecture group, please send a friend request to “Naoto Horita” on Facebook, or send her an e-mail at
On July 12th, the famous Taiko drummer from Kobe, Yuichi Kimura, visited Washington and presented a workshop introducing Taiko drumming. In Lacey at the Music Hall of St. Martin's University, Yuichi Kimura gave a performance with a large drum, gave a lecture on the history and different types of Taiko drums, and gave collaborative performances with piano accompaniment and a live calligrapher. All of the approximately 30 participants were able to practice playing the drums, and enjoy experiencing Taiko’s 3-3-7 rhythm.

In the Yelm Public Library there was also a workshop with 14 children on making their own Taiko drum. By using tape on buckets all students were able to perform together with the drums that they made.

There was also a Taiko performance in Olympia’s Percival Landing Park. The thirty plus audience members were fascinated by the performance. In fact, audience feedback at all venues was very positive!

The Olympian newspaper published an article on the St. Martin's event, as well as a brief video of Mr. Kimura's performance!
Check it out at
On July 5-7, the HBCC held its annual Summer Institute, a workshop where Japanese language teachers can come to work with an expert instructor and hone their teaching skills. The class this year was taught by Professor Hiroko Kataoka of California State University, Long Beach. She led her students through three days of intensive training on the topic, “Mid-term and Final Exams: Revisiting Paper and Pencil Assessments with Contextualization and Personalization.”

The HBCC considers the workshop a great success. It was a pleasure to see so many dedicated teachers engaged in improving their ability to help students learn. Thank you very much to Kataoka-sensei, to the Japanese Cultural Community Center of Washington for hosting, and to all of the students who participated in the workshop!
"ART BEASTIES is a Japanese artist collective based in New York City. We live in different time zones: NY, Seattle, Tokyo and Kobe. We communicate online and some of us have never met in person. Having started off experiencing somewhat counter-intuitive and awkward moments created through E-mail, Skype or SNS communication across three time zones, we now explore the gap in our perception of time."

ART BEASTIES investigates new discoveries and possibilities that miscommunications, time lag, digital glitch and cultural and linguistic context create. Their projects include painting, photography, printing, sculpture installation, video installation, clothing, knitting and contemporary dance performance.

Show June 1-5 2016
An exhibition was held on May 1st at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) for Children’s Day. The Hyogo Business and Cultural Center set up a booth along with the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association and the Northwest Nikkei Museum. Visitors to our room could learn about Hyogo Prefecture, try on a yukata, and practice origami. Throughout the JCCCW, building visitors could also enjoy performances of Taiko drums, Soran Bushi, Judo, and a Yokai Dance Workshop. Other activities included tea ceremonies, English Karuta, Kendama competitions, making flying carp kites and water balloons, and trying on traditional armor. Throughout the day many families, making up more than 1,500 people, enjoyed the festivities!
On Friday, April 22nd, the 33rd Annual Washington State Japanese Speech and Skit Contest was held in the Seattle Center Armory. High School students from throughout Washington State participated, some performing short skits they had written and practiced themselves, and others giving three-minute speeches about a variety of topics, including their family, life experiences, and social issues.

The winner of the highest-level skit contest was Bellevue High School’s “Speed Dating in Japan,” a comedy sketch about a young girl choosing a boyfriend - all four performers were male.

The winner of the highest-level speech contest was Garfield High School’s Amira Abdel-Fattah, who gave a speech on issues regarding global warming called, “The Environmental Problem.”

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Full results can be found at

Pictured: Bellevue High School's "Speed Dating in Japan"
We had a booth at the Northwest's largest anime and manga convention, Sakura-con, introducing our office, Japanese culture, and some sightseeing places in Hyogo! Attendees were friendly, interested, and quite well-dressed ...
We have a new intern from this week! Manami is from Kobe and studying international economics at University of Hyogo.
She has also studyed Psychology and Social Justice at The Evergreen State College as an exchange student for nine months. Manami said " My friends and many experiences at The Evergreen State College helped me deeply recognize my own value and broaden my horizons. So in this time, I decided to do internship here because I’d like to support promoting relationships between Washington State and Hyogo Prefecture! I hope what I do here could encourage people to enjoy exchanging culture and advance understanding themselves and others inside and out. I'm also looking forward to staying summer in Seattle!"
June 30th, 2015 – Mayor Hajime Kurihara led a delegation of seven from Tatsuno City, Japan to visit Covington City with the purpose of the signing of a letter of Intent to create a sister city relationship.

Press Release English Version full.pdf
2 year anniversary event  @TENSUSHI 
ITO WAGYU Special Course with Fukuju 福寿
Wagyu can be directly translated as “Japanese beef raised in Japan”.
Japan has the highest standards for beef with its A5 and A4 grades being of exceptional quality. Shin, executive chef of Tensushi , will prepare this delicacy as steak and Aburi sushi for your enjoyment. Please come and experience fresh ITO WAGYU, packed in Japan on May 18th, chilled, and delivered by air to TEN SUSHI.

★A la carte: Aburi Sushi, Steak etc.

★★Four Course Dinner with Japanese Sake Fukuju-$90

Sashimi from Tsukiji

ITO WAGYU Steak 3.5oz

Today’s special and ITO WAGYU Aburi Sushi


June 14th – 20th
500 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109
organized by Hyogo Business& Cultural Center

New Staff has started working HBCC!

Hello Everyone! My name is Zachary Slade Espil. As of this week I will be working as the new Cultural and Educational Project Manager at the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center. After graduating with a B.A. in Linguistics in 2010, I spent a few years studying and traveling in Japan. Most of my time was spent in Osaka, and I have grown to love the Kansai region. In addition to my love for Japanese language and culture, I am also a sports enthusiast, and have been actively involved in athletics my entire life. I look forward to meeting and working with you all in the future!
As of April 1, 2015, Norihisa Mizuguchi is back to Hyogo Prefectural Office to assume his new assignmen at Hyogo Tourism Bureau. Hideaki Kawachi is assigned to new Executive Director of Hyogo Business and Cultural Center. He will be coming here by the end of April.
Our offices will be closed below dates.

12/23 The Emperor's Birthday (Japanese National Holiday)
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/25 Christmas day
12/26 Open
12/29 New Year's Holiday
12/30 New Year's Holiday
12/31 New Year's Holiday
1/1 New Year's Holiday
1/2 New Year's Holiday
1/5 Open
We will be holding Tea Ceremony Event "Experience the Way of Tea"
There are still a few seats. Please check out the flier and contact Brian Chu.

Tea Ceremony 2pm-4pm(Tea and Sweets)
レセプション 5pm-6:30pm (Food, Beer and wine)

【Venue】 Nikkei Concerns(Nikkei Keiro) Garden Room (1601 East Yesler Way, Seattle)

【Fee】 $35 Please send check to our office

Brian Chu
Meet the Brewers on 29th & 30th September!

Please find the flyer below!
9/29 17:00- Tensushi
20140908_Tensushi sake flyer medium3.pdf

9/30 17:00- sake nomi
20140912_sake nomi flyer medium.pdf

7月10日(水) 県立伊丹高校到着

7月11日(木) 登校・授業・講演会出席

7月12日(金) 奈良遠足(奈良公園付近)
7月13日(土) ホストファミリーと過ごす

7月14日(日) 新大阪駅から東京へ

U.S.-Japan Relations – The Implications for the Pacific Northwest Economy and Trade

6月20日(金)June 20th
12:30 ~ 14:00 “Life in Foreign Service” (Japanese 日本語です)
15:00 ~ 17:30 Symposium / Leadership Panel (in English)
17:30 ~ 19:30 Reception
Location: Bellevue City Hall: 450 110th Ave NE, Bellevue WA

Registration fee: JASSW Member $25, Non-Members $35
JASSW Student member $10* Non-member Student $15*
*Student fee does not include reception.
その記念イベントとして6/19 (木)18時から、JTBシアトルさんとともに兵庫県ワシントン州事務所がイベント参加と観光ブースを設置します。
Lottery : one chance with every six plates 6/1 - 6/29
Get Free Items:
$20 Gift Ticket, Free Ten Plate($9.85), Green Tea(SA company),
Green Tea Float, etc.

JTB USA DAY (&Hyogo day) ⇒ ⇒ 6/19 FRYING(FLYING) SPECIAL: art of TEMPURA $5,85 (regular price $7.85)

DATE: 6/19 Thursday 6:00pm – 9:00pm
!!! Key Tips to Enjoy Travel to JAPAN !!!
Date : Friday, June 19th, 2014
Place : Ten Sushi (Lower Queen Anne QFC)

------ Session Schedule ------

6:00PM : Intro to Japan Rail Pass and Hyogo Quiz! – Who can use it and its practical use. 6:30PM : Customized tours to Japan – Plan your visit to Japan to fit your needs.

7:00PM : Airfare Japan 101 – A practical backstage look good for both the business and leisure traveler.

7:30PM : Group Travel – The ABCs of planning a good Group Trip

8:00PM : Same as 6:00PM above

8:30PM : Same as 6:30PM above
— 場所: Ten Sushi
アメリカでは、日本でも大ヒットとなったWalking Deadのようなゾンビがメインとなったドラマが人気です。
撮影にあたり、 200人と俳優さんたち、, 1,300人のエキストラ、100人以上の撮影スタッフの皆さんが来ています。すごい経済効果ですね!