Hello everyone~! I’m Thao, JSA new Webmaster, here to give you the first blog post of this quarter which started off with our biggest annual event of the year, Matsuri Festival!!


We began planning for Matsuri since as early as Fall quarter. I had the honor of being an Advertisement Committee Head, which was a pretty interesting experience :3 It was my first time being a Matsuri committee head, and while Advertisement was one of the easier jobs, there were more things involved than I initially thought. But in the end everything turned out really well, and it was nice working with people in my team. Shout-outs to my co-head Abel Cervantes from NSU, Kathy Huynh for the wonderful poster, Jordan Guymon for designing the website, Elliot Yang for the logo and videos, other people in my team for helping with a lot of miscellaneous stuffs, as well as many many volunteers who helped with Matsuri!

This year's beautiful Matsuri poster, designed by Kathy Huynh. Thank you so much~ <3

This year’s beautiful Matsuri poster, designed by Kathy Huynh. Thank you so much~ <3

In Winter quarter, the Presentation Committee held two Work Parties where we got together and made Matsuri decorations:

WP1_jessica2 Redwhitelamps

The result!This thing was cute too :3

Week 1 of Spring was a busy week when everyone went all out with preparing for Matsuri. For Advertisement, it meant flyering everywhere~

And selfie everywhere, too

And selfie everywhere, too

It wouldn’t be Matsuri if we don’t mention all the food. Yes, all the food shown here were sold at Matsuri this year! XD

So yummy~

A test run of Taiyaki before Matsuri. Taiyaki was one of the hottest treats at the festival!

Man the lines were long

Games too!


Last but not least, Matsuri also featured various awesome performances. I was working at the booths the whole time so I missed most of them, but at least I could still hear the music and the cheering sound of the audience from my booth :3 Some performances:

Asayake Taiko!JSA's Soul Run!

NSU's [N]Motion!Guest koto performer, Reiko Obata!

The festival started at 5pm and went on until about 10pm. Everyone worked really hard, the coordinators and some volunteers started setting up in the morning, and a lot of people helped cleaning up after Matsuri until midnight that day. It was a memorable day for me, meeting lots of new people and working together with everyone. I had so much fun. 🙂

A big shout-out to our 2015 Matsuri Coordinators: Tomoki Tamiya, Emily Kawabata, Jessica Lai, and Chisato Akiba. Also, once again, thank you all the volunteers who helped with Matsuri and everyone who came out to join the fun! Matsuri couldn’t have happened without you guys!

See you again next year at 2016 Matsuri!~


Lake Poway!






ま、まあそれは置いといて先週の土曜日にあったLake Powayイベントの話でもしましょうか。

Lake PowayとはUCSDから車で北上して大体30分ぐらいの所にある池です。Potato Chip rockっていう写真取るのに結構人気な崖を知りませんか?それのすぐふもとにある池ですね。

number 1

午前11時ぐらいにいつものCafé Ventanasを出て11時半ぐらいに到着!まず何をやったかというとHuman knotって言うゲームですね。



















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♪ Bon Odori! (2/26) ♪

Hi everyone! Your friendly staff member Stephanie here again, with a recap! On Thursday February 26th, we had our very first Bon Odori (盆踊り) event! I will explain some history of bon odori (including some of my personal experience with it), and recap what happened at the actual event 🙂 Bon odori is a type of traditional Japanese dance that is performed around a wooden scaffold or a yagura (櫓) during bon (盆) festivals. These summer festivals, which end up usually being around July or August, are a Japanese Buddhist tradition and are meant to guide your ancestors back home so you can pay your respects. These festivals are really fun with a lot of food and dancing, and in Japan, each region will have specialties in food, and the song/dance during bon odori.


Obon in Japan!

I grew up in SoCal, and going to obon in LA is a tradition for my family every year. I’ve been heavily involved with my local community center’s obon over the past couple years: from dancing/teaching bon odori, playing taiko and working booths. American obon festivals are different from the ones in Japan and instead of only doing songs from a specific region, we will do dances from all over Japan [ie, “Kyushu Tanko Bushi”, “Tohoku Ondo”, “Ashibinaa (from Okinawa)”, and many more]. I think that is really representative of the Japanese American community and shows how even though we are all from different places, we take pride in being Japanese, and spreading the culture.

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Me (and my sister in the right picture) at SoCal Obon!

I wanted to do the same here at UCSD, so I was really excited when I got the opportunity to lead and teach a Bon Odori event through JSA. Even though obon is a summer tradition, dancing bon odori this week was a good stress reliever during that second wave of midterms :P.

To start off the event, we began with an icebreaker. It was kind of like the app “Heads Up”, so the groups had to act out famous dances and common movements in order to get points. Let’s just say that it ended up being more scandalous than expected (hehehe)



After the icebreaker, my fellow leaders and I started to teach the dances. The first dance we taught was “Kyushu Tanko Bushi (九州炭坑節)” which is a coal miner’s dance from the Kyushu region. It’s a short and easy to learn dance and there are movements like pushing the coal carts, shoveling and holding a lantern over your shoulder.









Tanko Bushi

Tanko Bushi was just the warm up (hehe), and the next dance we taught was “Hokkai no Abarembo (北海の暴れん坊)”, which is a Northern Fisherman’s Dance. There are some cool moves like rowing the boat and yelling “YOISHO” and some complicated movements. It was really impressive to see how quickly everyone was able to get the hard combinations down (I know it took me waaaay longer ahaha).


Hokkai no Abarembo (YOISHO!)

After everyone had the dances pretty much down, we played a game: Musical Chairs! But the catch was that the songs were the bon odori songs and you had to keep moving and keep dancing the dances you just learned. After some crazy rounds and an unexpected ending, Tomo-kun was our champion!


Obon Musical Chairs

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Bon Odori Event, I hope you had as much of a good time as I did! Also, お疲れ様 to my fellow leaders: Sakurako, Nayuki, Billy, Alisa, and Sam! Our next event will be the JSA Movie Night, this Thursday (3/5) at 8 PM at CSB 002.


Thanks for coming everyone!


Priscilla in Japan


Hello everyone! VP Internal Priscilla here (though not VP Internal for long!) Things are winding down in our winter quarter here at UCSD, which also means that the current term of officers is going to turn over to a new one soon. Though I’m sad that my time as a JSA officer will soon be over, I can’t help but be really excited to see what the new team will be bringing forth!

Something that’s also coming up for me with the end of the winter quarter is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time now. I’m going to Japan y’all! I’ve probably told most of you this by now, but I’m going to be leaving on March 30 and will be in Japan (or somewhere around there) until September 3. That’s basically a whole 5 months!

Of course I’m excited at the prospect of being in a new place and exploring a culture I don’t know yet, but at the same time I can’t help but be really anxious.

Especially considering the concurrent ending of this term, I’m going to miss JSA and the people in it so, so much. When I’m attending school in Japan and joining other clubs, I’ll probably think about JSA and how we would run it differently (lol) and how a lot of these people are so different from the people I know back home.

But of course, different is also good. I know this trip will be important for my own personal growth. I hope that this study abroad trip will help me become a more mature, responsible and independent adult. I think that’s what studying abroad usually does for all people. So if you’re reading this, and you’ve been thinking about studying abroad but weren’t sure, DO IT. I can’t even stress that enough. Studying abroad in Germany was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I’m sure I’ll say the same thing about Japan when I come back in September.

But anyway. This is what I’m gonna be doing in the spring quarter of 2015! You’ll probably see plenty of obnoxious Facebook and Instagram pictures of Japanese food and me in different places in Japan, just in case you’re wondering what I’m up to 😀 (I’m just kidding, I’m sure you all have more interesting things to do in your life)

I also want to take the time to personally thank everyone who has supported me thus far, including my family and friends (in and out of JSA). Maybe you guys didn’t realize it, but everything you’ve done for me has shaped me into a person brave enough to take the initiative to organize a study abroad trip for myself. I’ll miss you when I’m gone and I’ll see you when I get back (bearing gifts). To those of you who will be in Japan from April 1-September 3, please come visit me in Yokohama ♡ (also willing to come to you)

– Priscilla

Valentine’s Day


(Sorry for the stock image. My phone only takes purple pictures. Yes, this time it is actually because it’s an HTC One.)


Hello everyone!

It’s your favorite staff member Billy, here to bring you an exciting new blog post! This one is about Valentine’s Day! I hope everyone was able to to celebrate and have fun during the long weekend! I personally spent my weekend back home in Santa Clarita sleeping. I also went out and bought three new pairs of socks. It’s not exactly the typical Valentine’s Day celebration or even a seemingly fun weekend, but I thought it was pretty exciting. Yeah I kind of like socks. I only like wearing them though, not smelling them believe it or not. I swear.

Anyway, back to Valentine’s Day! As you may already know, JSA has language table every Friday at Cafe V. So, in order to honor the season of love, last Friday we had a Valentine’s Day themed language table. Many people wore red or pink and some even brought desserts and treats! I think there were red cookies but I didn’t get to eat any sadly. I did actually get some chocolate though, courtesy of Sakurako. That was much appreciated. Maybe next year I’ll try to bring red velvet cupcakes or something. I’m probably okay at baking. I think.








They’ll probably look like this^^ except maybe slightly better.

At my table we talked a bit about the differences between Valentine’s Day in Japan and in the U.S. I personally learned quite a bit of stuff, like the concept of giri choco or obligatory chocolate, and honmei choco or chocolate you give to someone you have feelings for.  I’d personally be happy with either. I mean chocolate is chocolate, right everyone? I also learned about White Day when apparently males have to return the favor by giving a gift of their own. Sounds fair! Valentine’s Day hasn’t really even crossed my mind since my elementary school days when we were required to give valentines to all of our classmates, so learning about this was pretty fun.

So, that’s about all I have to say about that. I should probably get back to writing my paper that’s due very soon. Why do I put myself through this?

Have a good rest of the week everyone and thanks for reading! Buh-bye.

Boy-Girl Outing!!

Hello everyoneee! This is your historian, Arisa!
It’s almost 3pm on a Sunday before my hell week…and I’m still in bed on my computer when I’m supposed to be up and studying for my midterms.
But I promise to study after I finish writing this blog. I promise…

okay anyways I’m here today to write about our JSA event yesterday, BOY-GIRL OUTING!

For those of you who haven’t been to a JSA boy-girl outing before, it’s an event where all the boys get together to make something for girls and all the girls get together to make something for boys to exchange at the end for dinner!
I’m gonna be writing about the girl’s side, because I obviously wasn’t with the But it’s okay because girls’ side is always better. Right Priscilla? hehe

So after meeting up at Cafe V, the girls moved to the JSA house to prepare our gift for the guys and played Heads Up! which is like charades.


I don’t remember what this was supposed to be… lol


After breaking the ice, we started on our gift! This year our gift was pie pops!

(It’s basically like a cake pop but with a pie on a stick instead)


So this is a brief summary of how we made it(:


Step 1: First we cut the dough with cookie cutters!


Step 2: Then we put one piece of dough on a stick


Step 3: Put your favorite filling on top of the cut-out dough and close it with another piece of cut-out dough!



Step 4: Put it in the oven 😀





Ooooooo looks so good hehe


P.S. This happened when these were in the oven…

The parchment paper was burning and the whole house was filled with smoke lol
So these girls were trying to fan it haha
shhh don’t tell the guys ^_^;


Step 5: Decorate them!


That’s pretty much it haha


And we also wrote personal messages for each person! 🙂


Now time to go to Koon Thai to meet the boys with our pie pops!


waiting for the boys…

Sorry I didn’t take pictures of the food cause I was too hungry lol


After dinner is exchange time!



This was mine hehe so pretty!


thanks guys for all the $’s.

I think everyone liked their gifts! Good job everyone(:


This concludes my blog about Boy-girl Outing!
Aaaaaand that means I have to go study ugh 🙁
Good luck everyone with your midterms and don’t get sick!
Hope to see everyone at our GBM next Wednesday the 18th!

JSA & NSU joint GBM














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Coffee, Coffee , コーヒー!


           I love coffee. No, seriously, I LOVE coffee. My day officially starts after my first cup of coffee. Now there are dark, medium and light blends of coffee, and I personally like dark blends for their robust flavors. In America, you can find a Starbucks coffee chain on every block, so you would never worry about not having coffee. While contemplating going to Japan, I obviously had to research the coffee game in Japan to ensure that my caffeine addiction could be accommodated.


To my delight, I found that coffee shops are extremely prominent in Japan. In fact, the Starbuck in Ginza, which opened in 1996, was the first Starbucks that was outside of the US, which led the way for Starbucks to expand across the world. Despite only being popularized in the last hundred years or so, coffee has caught on in Japan like wildfire. A year after Starbucks debuted in Japan, Dotour opened the Excelsior Cafe coffee chain, which is spread all across Japan.

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