Film screening of “Persona Non Grata”

The Consulate General of Japan in Miami, The Japan-America Society of North West Florida, Temple Beth El and The Pensacola Jewish Federation invite you to attend the film screening Persona Non Grata at Temple Beth El (800 N Palafox, Pensacola, FL) on Tuesday, March 30, 2017 at 6:00pm.

The movie Persona Non Grata tells the true story of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat who acted against orders and saved thousands of Jewish lives from Nazi extermination during World War II. Mr. Sugihara was born in Yaotsu near Gero, Japan. And because Pensacola is Gero’s sister city, The Consulate General of Japan in Miami is providing this special opportunity for showing the film in Pensacola!
We are fortunate that this screening will take place during the 24th delegation of visitors from Gero to Pensacola including 20 junior high school students and four adults.

For watch the trailer of the movie, click here

You can find additional information about the movie in:

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

NBC News Article


We hope to see everyone there!


2017 New Year Celebration coming to Wright Place Jan. 21

The Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida will usher in the “Year of the Fire Rooster” with its 23rd annual Japanese New Year Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, at the Wright Place in Pensacola. Festivities will take place from 12 noon until 4 p.m. and will include performances by the popular Matsuriza taiko drummers, martial arts demonstrations, traditional Japanese dancing, music, food vendors, and other cultural displays. A silent auction will also be held, and ticket holders are automatically eligible for door prize drawings.

Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $6 for students or active-duty military, and $4 for Japan-America Society members. Children 12 and under enjoy free admission.

Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $6 for students or active-duty military, and $4 for Japan-America Society members. Children 12 and under enjoy free admission. Advance tickets are available from Sake Cafe and Yamato’s, or online at Eventbrite.

The Wright Place is located at 80 East Wright Street and is part of the First United Methodist Church complex. In addition to street parking, there are five lots adjacent to the church that are available for this event.

Contact us for more information, or click here to learn about becoming a JAS member.




Save the date: JUMP Pensacola Event 2016

The Japan-America Society of Northwest FL and The Consulate General of Japan in Miami cordially invite you to attend the Japan-U.S. Military Program that will be held on Sat., Oct. 22, 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Blue Angels atrium in the National Naval Aviation Museum. Reception follows at the USS Cabot flight deck until 4:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but advance reservation is requested. We hope to see you again.



Save the date: Japanese New Year Celebration 2016

In April 2014, the Bayview Community Center, the venue that had hosted the Japanese New Year Celebration for many years, was severely damaged in the flooding rains, and the City of Pensacola determined it would not be repaired. The Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida was not able to find a suitable alternative venue, resulting in the cancellation of the 2015 Japanese New Celebration.

But we are happy to announce that we will be back in 2016 with a new venue!

Thanks to a grant from The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, the Japanese New Year Celebration will take place on January 16, 2016 at the Rex Theatre in downtown Pensacola.

Details will be forthcoming, but mark your calendars for a great day of Japanese food, dance, cultural demonstrations, and of course, taiko drumming!


Learn “Ikebana: The Art of Japanese Flower Arrangement” at Foo Foo Fest 2015


On Nov. 14, as part of the second annual Foo Foo Fest, the Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida will host “Ikebana: The Art of Japanese Flower Arrangement” at the Pensacola Cultural Center.

The featured guest of the event, Chieko Mihori, will host both a morning demonstration of the Sogetsu style of ikebana and an afternoon workshop for those who want to try it for themselves.

Ikebana is the traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement. The Sogetsu school of ikebana was founded in 1927 and focuses on freestyle forms and vernacular materials, which makes it appealing for a wide variety of applications and settings.

Mrs. Mihori is a Sogetsu ikebana instructor of the highest rank. Along with her husband James, she was instrumental in founding the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, where she also serves as Vice President for Cultural Affairs. In 2012, she received The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, an honor bestowed by the Japanese emperor to individuals who have made significant contributions to the promotion of the nation.

“This is a ‘don’t miss’ event for anyone with an interest in floral arrangements or Japanese culture,” said Joe Vinson, president of the Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida. “Mrs. Mihori is a celebrity in the world of ikebana, and we are very fortunate to have her demonstrate her exquisite living craft to a Pensacola audience.”

Doors open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14. Children are invited to participate in Japanese crafts all morning in the Cultural Center’s Mezzanine. The demonstration will start at 10:30 in the Mainstage Theater and last approximately 90 minutes. From noon to 1:30 p.m., pre-ordered bento lunches will be served in the Mezzanine. At 1:30 p.m., Mrs. Mihori will host a hands-on workshop in the Cultural Center Atrium lasting approximately two hours. Workshop attendees will create their own ikebana arrangements, which they can take home with them.

Tickets to the morning demonstration are $5, or free for Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida members. Tickets to the afternoon workshop are $50, or $45 for Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida members. Workshop participation is limited to 30 seats, so early registration is encouraged. If workshop attendees have their own floral scissors, they are encouraged to bring them; otherwise a limited number of scissors will be available to share.

Bento-style lunches will be available for $20, or $10 for a child’s bento. Lunches must be ordered in advance. There is no charge to participate in the children’s craft activities, which include making “chitose-ame” candy bags in celebration of the Japanese holiday “Shichi-Go-San.”

Registration is available online or by calling (850) 361-8750. Click here to register at Eventbrite.



Sept. 4 program to honor U.S. military who have served in Japan

A special event honoring U.S. service members who have served in Japan and their family members will take place on Friday, Sept. 4, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola.

The Japan U.S. Military Program (JUMP) connects past and present service members, families, and government civilians who have served in Japan. Sponsored by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, JUMP is a collaborative effort with the Embassy of Japan in the United States and the National Association of Japan-America Societies. The JUMP Pensacola Event is being organized by the Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida, and local sponsors include the Pensacola Council Navy League and the Cpl. J.R. Spears Det. Marine Corps League.

Featured speakers will include Lt. Gen. Duane Thiessen, past commander of the United States Marine Corps Forces Pacific and current president and CEO of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, and the honorable Shinji Nagashima, Consul General of the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami.

Following the program, which will take place in the museum’s Blue Angels atrium, a reception will be held on the USS Cabot flight deck inside the museum.

The program is free and open to the public, but advance reservations are required. If you would like to attend, RSVP by emailing or calling (850) 361-8750.



2015 Bon Festival to be held Aug. 29



Save the date: Japan-U.S. Military Program on Sept. 4

JUMP Save The Date Flyer


Reception welcoming Gero delegation to be held July 10

The Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida will host a reception at Pensacola City Hall on Friday, July 10, to welcome guests from Pensacola’s Japanese sister city, Gero, and to celebrate the tenth anniversary of sister city relations between Pensacola and Gero.

The sister city relationship actually dates back to 1993, when when Mr. Tsuneji Taguchi, Education Superintendent of the Town of Hagiwara, visited Pensacola. A youth exchange program was launched the following year between Hagiwara junior high schools and Pensacola’s Brown-Barge Middle School. The City of Pensacola and the Town of Hagiwara formally signed a sister city agreement in 1998. In 2004, Hagiwara became one of five towns incorporated as the new City of Gero, and this new municipal government signed a sister city agreement with the City of Pensacola on August 17, 2005.

The reception will take place from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Hagler-Mason Conference Room on the second floor of Pensacola City Hall, 222 West Main Street. It has been made possible thanks to a grant from the JTB USA branch in Miami.

The Gero delegation will include the following individuals:
• Mr. Tetsuji Ohya, Superintendent, School Board, City of Gero
• Mr. Hidehiro Hattori, City Council member, City of Gero
• Mr. Masafumi Tsuchikawa, Director of Pensacola-Gero Association and Director of Promotion and Development of Osaka in Gero, City of Gero
• Mr. Anthony Biondolillo, Coordinator, International Programs, School Board, City of Gero

The reception is free and open to the public, but attendees must RSVP in advance. Please email if you wish to attend.


Japanese Film Festival joins Foo Foo Fest November 14-16


As part of Pensacola’s inaugural Foo Foo Festival, the Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida will present the 2014 Japanese Film Festival on November 14, 15 and 16. Each day will be located at a different venue and will showcase a different aspect of contemporary Japanese cinema. Admission is free on all three days. With seven movies screened over three days, film buffs and fans of Japanese culture will have plenty to enjoy.

On Friday, November 14, the festival will take place in the Mainstage Theater of the Pensacola Cultural Center, 400 S Jefferson St. The evening’s films are “Why Don’t You Play In Hell?” and “Love Hotel.”

Why Don’t You Play In Hell?” is a bloody, comic ode to yakuza gangster movies and 35mm filmmaking that has been likened to American director Quentin Tarantino’s filmography. “Love Hotel” is a documentary about the ubiquitous short-term hotels used for romantic encounters in Japan. With content including graphic language, violence and sexual situations, Friday night’s movies are definitely for a grown-up audience.

Also on Friday, attendees can purchase optional wristbands for $20 (or $5 for JAS members) that grant them access to reserved seating and heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by downtown’s newest restaurant, Nom Sushi Izakaya. Wristbands can be purchased at the event, but advance reservations are appreciated. RSVP by emailing

On Saturday, November 15, the film festival will take place at the West Florida Public Library’s Main Branch. The movies to be screened Saturday are the animated features “Wolf Children,” “A Letter to Momo” and “Patema Inverted.”

Wolf Children” (rated PG) tells the story of a young woman who falls in love with a werewolf and their two children, who must learn to control their wolf transformations as they grow up in human society. “A Letter to Momo” (rated PG) is about a grieving girl, Momo, and a trio of mischievous spirits who help her understand a letter from her deceased father. “Patema Inverted” (rated PG-13) is a sci-fi adventure about a boy and girl with opposite gravities trying to discover the secret of their upside-down world.

November 15 also coincides with the Japanese festival “Shichi-Go-San” (literally “7-5-3”), a day celebrating the coming of age of Japanese children. Kids will enjoy participating in Japanese activities, such as making and decorating their own “chitose ame” (or “thousand-year candy”) bags, learning to write their name in Japanese script and posing with the samurai and kimono dress-up wall.

On Sunday, November 16, the festival will take place at the Tree House Cinema in Gulf Breeze. Sunday’s films are “Uzumasa Limelight” and “Unforgiven.” “Uzumasa Limelight” follows an aging “kirare-yaku,” or samurai stuntman, who wants to teach his craft to a young apprentice even as the studio filmmaking process changes around him. “Unforgiven” is a remake of the Academy Award-winning 1992 Clint Eastwood movie, set in Meiji-era Hokkaido and starring Ken Watanabe in the Eastwood role.

In between Sunday’s movies, Dr. Charles Exley from the University of Pittsburgh will give a presentation on Japanese cinema, explaining why Japanese “jidaigeki” movies are so compatible with the sensibility of Hollywood Westerns.

All seven movies will be screened in Japanese with English subtitles.

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