Premier Patron Feature - Jack and Barbara Bovender


Throughout business, humanitarian, and philanthropic circles, the Bovender name signifies a legacy of matchless leadership, integrity, and generosity.  Like so many other non-profits locally and around the world, JAST owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Nashvillians Jack and Barbara Bovender for their unwavering support as premier partners.

Co-Chairs Emeritus of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival and Planting Project, Jack and Barbara have been instrumental not only as donors, but also as champions of broad community support to plant more than 1,000 Japanese Cherry Trees in the city’s public parks and spaces.  Their personal involvement has been a key factor in the successful continuation of the free annual public festival, established in 2009.

Additionally, it was their significant personal support of humanitarian disaster relief through JAST in the aftermath of The Great Tohoku Earthquake Disaster in 2011 that provided the basis from which donations totaling in excess of $200,000 ultimately were sent directly to Japan. Further, Barbara’s active volunteer leadership with the American Red Cross and its inter-related international organizations continues to make its mark in humanitarian and disaster relief efforts around the globe.

In 2017, His Majesty The Emperor of Japan conferred upon Jack the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun, Golden Rays with Rosette, in recognition of outstanding contributions to Japan-U.S. friendship. The award also acknowledged Jack’s tenure as Chairman of the Southeast-U.S./Japan Association from 2009 until 2012. During the award presentation, (former) Consul General Masami Kinefuchi spoke directly to Jack and Barbara when he expressed Japan’s “deepest gratitude for your work and dedication.” To this sentiment, all of us at JAST add our heartfelt thanks for the multitude of kindnesses they have shared behind the scenes and in the forefront to support strong ties between Japan and Tennessee.

Partner Spotlight - Nashville CVC


Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is a sponsor of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival.

Bringing visitors to Music City is the business of NCVC. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp brands, sells and markets Nashville as Music City to the world as a premier entertainment destination for travelers who seek authentic and unique leisure and convention experiences.  NCVC is a $7 billion industry, generating one-third of all visitor spending in the State of Tennessee. In 2019, Nashville’s tourism industry broke another record with 16.1 million visitors, an increase of 6 percent over 2018’s 15.2 million visitors.

Currently, NCVC is offering virtual Nashville attractions and events, including chef-led cooking classes and live-streamed home concerts from Nashville artists, plus special offers for locals, encouraging Nashvillians to get out of the house and explore safely with discounted hotel, restaurant and attraction deals across Davidson County. 

Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp features the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival each year on their list of Nashville’s Awesome April Events. We are grateful for NCVC’s awesome support of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival!

Memphis Japan Week 


Join us today for the start of a week-long virtual celebration of Japanese culture!

Memphis Japan Festival partners, exhibitors, performers and martial arts groups will share videos featuring taiko drumming, Japanese song and dance, an ikebana demonstration, a tour of the Japanese Garden at Memphis Botanic Garden, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, a beginners Japanese language lesson, origami, and much more! There will also be contests where you can win special prizes.

Join The Fun

Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival Tree Replanting Project


Last week, JAST kicked off the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival Tree Replanting Project, an online fundraising initiative to replace damaged and dead Japanese cherry blossom trees in Nashville parks and neighborhoods. 

The tree planting project began in 2009, the first year of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival. By 2018, 1,000 cherry blossom trees had been planted in Nashville parks and neighborhoods. The cherry blossom trees add beauty in the spring and welcome shade in the summer.

Unfortunately, over the past several years, some of the cherry blossom trees have been damaged or have died. We are raising money to replace these trees so Nashville residents and visitors can continue to enjoy the cherry blossom trees and appreciate the friendship they symbolize between Japan and Tennessee.

Donations made online by October 16th will help JAST qualify to win grants of up to $100,000 so we can plant even more cherry blossom trees.

Donate Now To Replant Cherry Blossom Trees

Cooking with JAST:

Tennessee Kitchens, Japanese Style


Featuring Kumi Alderman 

Asian Culture Center of TN

October 14th at 6:00 pm CDT / 7:00 pm EDT


In the next installment of JAST’s monthly cooking series, Kumi Alderman will prepare tonkatsu curry and rice. A Q&A session will follow the cooking demonstration.

Ingredients List HERE 

Kumi's Bio HERE 


Register Now


Missed last month’s demonstration with Chef Makoto Fujiwara (Ichiban Japanese Restaurant)?

Watch Here

The Sixth Annual Women's Leadership Forum 


Coming this November, be sure to join us for a series of special virtual events  as JAST’s Sixth Annual Women’s Leadership Forum presents “Becoming Leaders: The Power of Authenticity, Mentors, and Role Models.” Stay tuned for dates and details!

Updates Here

Guide to Daily Living in Tennessee 


JAST's Guide to Daily Living in Tennessee is now available! It's for newcomers and long-time residents originally from Japan to familiarize them with essential information on aspects of daily life that may differ from life in Japan and other parts of the world where they may have lived before relocating to Tennessee. Please let your Japanese friends know about this guide. We hope this will be helpful to our Japanese community! 

Upcoming NAJAS Events

Dinner & A Movie - 'Shoplifters (万引き家族)'

September 30, 2020

Japan-America Society of Georgia

Tasty Creations: Vegan Sushi

October 7, 2020

Japan Society

Indigenous Education: Ainu

October 15, 2020

Japan-America Society of Chicago

Paring Sake with Anything but Sushi

October 22, 2020

Japan-America Society of North Carolina

Painting Edo: Early Modern Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection

October 27, 2020

Japan Society


Partner Resources COVID-19 

JAST is generously supported by these outstanding partners


Austin Peay State University

Baker Donelson

BB&T now Truist

Jack and Barbara Bovender

DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc.

Humanities Tennessee

Clay and Cathy Jackson

Komatsu America Corp.

The Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation 


Office: +1 615-663-6060