October 2020

In This Issue

Virtual Events Coming in November

Please register to join JAST members and friends for a series of unique virtual programs coming in November. We've assembled a distinguished group of speakers, panelists, and subject matter experts on a variety of topics. There's something for everyone, so register today. Please share these free offerings with friends, family members, colleagues, and clients. All are welcome!

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    The Sixth Annual Women's Leadership Forum 


    JAST's Women's Leadership Forum brings into focus the critical need to invest in the advancement of women everywhere, but specifically in the U.S. and Japan. By advancing social and economic equality, women from all walks of life stand to benefit from participating in societies free from gender bias. In turn, both the U.S. and Japan stand to reap rewards aplenty in the form of future jobs growth, economic and political stability, and inclusive prosperity.

    Register Here

    Cooking with JAST:

    Tennessee Kitchens, Japanese Style


    "Easy Shopping and Simple Cooking”

    Chef and Restaurateur Jimmy Ishii

    Founder and Owner of Sekisui Restaurants


    November 16th, 6:00 - 7:00 PM CDT


    Chef Jimmy Ishii, owner of the popular Sekisui Restaurants and the man credited for bringing sushi to Memphis, came to Memphis to work for Benihana. In 1989, after seven years, he left Benihana to bring a more traditional Japanese dining experience to Memphis and opened Sekisui of Japan, named Best New Restaurant by Memphis Magazine. Every year since, Sekisui has received Favorite Japanese Restaurant awards.

    Join Chef Jimmy Ishii on a virtual trip to the grocery store and to Jimmy’s kitchen where he will prepare a delicious Japanese meal.

    Jimmy will show us the ingredients and seasonings that you need to prepare great Japanese food and how easy cooking can be without following a recipe. Jimmy says, “If you know the ingredients, you can develop own your taste."

    Chef Ishii will be available for Q&A after his cooking demonstration, and, then, he will host a special virtual Sekisui Restaurant tour!

    East fresh. Stay healthy.

    Ingredients List HERE

    Register Here
    See Other Episodes In This Series Here

    TPAC Salon Series

    So Much More Than Cherry Blossoms


    On November 17th, the TPAC Salon Series will showcase Japanese arts and culture in Nashville. Sponsored by The Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation and hosted by Terry Vo, this virtual event will feature Byron Stithem of Proper Saké Co., Cameron Manning from the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville, Jazz singer Nozomi Takasu and the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival.

    The TPAC Salon Series is a reservation event only. There will be no tickets distributed. The Zoom link and password will be included in the reservation confirmation notice and reminder email sent before 10:00 a.m. on the day of the event. Reservations for this virtual event will close at 4:00 p.m. on November 16th. 

    Register Here

    Memphis Japan Week 


    Missed our virtual celebration? You can watch all of the videos from Memphis Japan Week on the JAST YouTube page!

    Watch Here

    Member Spotlight - Frost Brown Todd


    Frost Brown Todd (FBT) is a full-service law firm backed by a century of experience and success. With more than 525 attorneys in 14 markets across nine states, FBT integrates legal and business savvy with world-class problem solving to meet the needs of a diverse client base, from leading multinationals to small entrepreneurial companies.

    Being a firm as diverse and global as its clients, FBT has a dedicated International Services Team and a Japan Desk staffed by attorneys who are well versed in the business practices and legal issues unique to Japanese companies operating in the U.S. Robert Sartin, who serves on the JAST board, regards FBT’s long involvement with JAST as vital to forging strong relationships and further ingraining Japanese culture into the work FBT does for its Japanese clients.


    Robert Sartin

    Frost Brown Todd Chairman


    Robert joined the firm in 2006 after being initially drawn to FBT because of its collaborative culture, dedication to diversity and inclusion in business and society, and industry-focused approach to client service. In 2009, Robert demonstrated his leadership when he convened FBT’s Automotive Industry Team and later relocated his practice to Nashville where he helped both domestic and international clients capitalize on competitive opportunities in the region’s burgeoning auto sector.

    Eight years later, Robert was appointed FBT chairman by his peers on the Executive Committee. He currently oversees all 14 of FBT’s markets and its ancillary business ventures while continuing to advise clients on large-scale M&A transactions, workouts, and corporate restructurings.

    For Robert, like many business leaders, the global Covid-19 pandemic posed one of his biggest challenges to date — managing a team of more than 1,000 legal professionals in a remote work environment, at a time when clients turned to FBT for experienced guidance and practical solutions. FBT has since proven itself under Robert’s leadership to be a trusted advisor and resource for clients navigating business and workforce disruptions due to Covid-19.


    Anime - Japanese animation - covers a wide variety of genres and themes in vibrant styles and complex storytelling. The Middle Tennessee Anime Convention (MTAC) is a space for enthusiasts and the public to share in collective passions about anime, manga, gaming, music, and Japanese popular arts.

    Over a three-day weekend, MTAC hosts thousands of fans, joining in panels, seminars, workshops, and VIP Q&A sessions. Attendees can shop for anime merchandise and unique works of art. Gamers can play all weekend long, be it video games or tabletop games. Musical acts perform for evening entertainment. Cosplayers present their intricately-crafted costumes, modeled after characters from their favorite anime titles. MTAC brings together fans of all types to celebrate their common joys and to learn more about the media and culture they love.

    MTAC is now gearing up for its 20th event, titled MTAC Score! This latest event is styled around the heavy presence of sports featured in anime.  

    MTAC is a completely volunteer-based organization that has been a staple in the Middle Tennessee area for the past two decades. MTAC is also a valued friend of the Japan-America Society of Tennessee and longtime partner and sponsor of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival. Crowd-pleasing anime and cosplay are eagerly anticipated and popular at the Festival - a testament to the dedication and support of MTAC’s staff, volunteers and fans.


    Walk Bike Nashville is working to build a more walkable, bikeable, and livable Nashville. Since 1998, Walk Bike Nashville has sought to make active transportation an option for Nashvillians, no matter where they live or where they're trying to go. Walk Bike wants our streets, sidewalks, and bikeways to support active living, additional commuting options, and recreational opportunities. They advocate for improved infrastructure, safer streets, and multi-modal transportation through educational programs about how people on foot, bicycle, and in cars can safely share the streets and fun events for walking and biking.

    At events, Walk Bike Nashville provides parking for bikes. It’s a great option to offer for downtown events, like the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival. Each year at the Festival, Walk Bike Nashville staff and volunteers set up the Bike Valet corral on the corner of 3rd and Union at Public Square. People who ride to the Festival can drop off their bikes and scooters for free. They receive a valet tag, and Walk Bike holds on to the bikes and scooters securely until they are ready to leave

    We appreciate Walk Bike Nashville’s support of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival and their staff and volunteers, who provide Bike Valet service at the Festival. We love being able to give NCBF guests another parking option for bikes and scooters, and we thank Walk Bike Nashville for making that possible.

    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


    Autumn in Japan: Music by Koto

    October 30, 2020

    Japan-America Society of Chicago

    Economic Outlook After the 2020 Elections

    November 6, 2020

    Japan-America Society of Georgia

    Soba Noodle & Japanese Whisky Master Class with Candice Kumai

    November 6, 2020

    Japan Society of Northern California

    [Fort Worth Japanese Society] Japanese Fall Festival

    November 7, 2020

    Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth

    New Japan: Shinzo’s Legacy

    November 10, 2020

    Japan-America Society of Chicago

    A Celebration of Pioneers from Japan in Greater Cincinnati (2020 JASGC Virtual Gala)

    November 12, 2020

    Japan-America Society of Greater Cincinnati

    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