Japan Society Education’s Online Programming

While quarantine and this new normal isn’t easy, one thing that is pretty cool is the ability to take classes and experience things you normally might not have in the past, such as via the Japan Society’s classes. Following the theme, Connecting Across Space and Time, their multidisciplinary programs will allow audiences across the world to experience this theme through virtual programs, as a hybrid of online and conventional programs return in 2021.

Japan Society’s Program Highlights

Japan Society Programs

Fall Japanese Courses

September 21 – December 4 (no class 10/12, 11/3, 11/25-11/27)


50+ courses across thirteen levels of Japanese, from beginning to advanced, emphasize conversation, listening, reading and writing.  This semester, we are offering four JLPT preparation & Kanji courses and other specialized courses, including: Japan Right Now (news-based course), Short Stories, J-Drama, and Japanese with Anime.

Tuition: 10-lesson course: $320 nonmembers /$280 Japan Society Individual and Corporate members. 20-lesson course: $540 nonmembers /$470 Japan Society Individual and Corporate members. Courses are for adults, age 16+.  Register here.

Artificial Elegance: Japanese Prosthetics for World-Class Athletes

Tuesday, September 22, 6:30 PM EDT


Rather than imitating the human form, the artificial limbs designed by Shunji Yamanaka are sleek and streamlined, optimized for both peak functionality and aesthetic appeal. An award-winning product designer, Yamanaka has designed products ranging from Issey Miyake wristwatches to Japan’s SUICA/PASMO train-pass system. Yamanaka has brought this talent for design engineering to his next-generation prosthetic creations, garnering the attention of world-class athletes. At this live webinar, Yamanaka, founder and president of Leading Edge Design and professor at the University of Tokyo, reveals the cutting-edge technology behind his innovative prosthetics, and discusses how good design can transform the potential of the human body.

Program Details: This is a free event, with advance registration required here. Participants can submit questions through YouTube during the livestream.

Learn Casual Japanese with Anime

Thursdays, September 24—December 3 (no class 11/26), 4-5:50 PM EDT


This beginning Japanese language course will use various popular anime as a medium to introduce students, age 16+, to basic vocabulary, elementary conversation, and simple sentence structures. Selected anime for this semester: Attack on Titan. No previous Japanese language experience required for this course.

Tuition: $320 nonmembers /$280 Japan Society Individual and Corporate members. Register here, under “Introductory Level.”

Japanese for Kids
Sundays, September 27—December 13
Learn Japanese through a series of fun, interactive course designed just for kids! This fall, we are offering new exploratory sessions for children ages 3-5 and 6-10. Young learners explore Japanese language and culture through a seasonal and theme-based curriculum filled with storytelling, songs, games and interactive activities (PDF). Children will gain basic vocabulary and understanding through fun, online activities.

Tuition: $165/$125 Japan Society members.  Advanced registration required.

Manga for Beginners: Basics for Aspiring Artists

Wednesdays, September 30—December 9, 4—5 PM EDT

Learn to become a manga artist from home! With this series, manga enthusiasts can transform their imaginations into their very own manga. This ten-session course for beginner artists will establish the basic drawing skills, character design and story development needed for manga design. Manga artists will help students infuse their designs with their own unique style, and unlock their inner manga artists through personal attention. No previous experience required for this class. Each semester will cover different characters, styles and techniques.

Tuition: $250/$200 Japan Society members. Designed for students ages 11-18. Space is limited to 10 students: advanced registration required here.

Crash Course for Travelers to Japan

Friday, October 2, 6–8 PM EDT
Monday, November 2, 6–8 PM EDT


This crash course for future travelers offers a quick introduction to the Japanese language as well as Japanese customs, which can be very helpful for first-time or even veteran travelers to Japan. Our mini-workshop will introduce you to basic Japanese phrases for greeting, ordering food, shopping and other aspects of daily life. Begin your Japanese adventure with this useful preparatory course!

Tuition: $40 nonmembers /$35 Japan Society Individual and Corporate members. Workshop is for adults, age 16 +. Register here.

Tasty Creations: Vegan Sushi

Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 PM EDT


Love sushi and looking to enjoy more fresh, delicious vegetables? At this virtual workshop, Yuki Gomi, author of Sushi at Home, introduces sushi-making techniques using flavorful, seasonal veggies. Follow along at home to make your own tasty vegan sushi creations!

This workshop will be conducted online via Zoom. Registrants will receive the viewing link by email on the day of the event. All participants will receive a recipe and suggested shopping list.

Tickets: $25/$22 Japan Society members, seniors & students. 

Japanese History through the Lenses of Arts, Design & Pop Culture

Friday, October 9 — Saturday, December 5 


In this course, teachers will explore how different types of visual forms have been used from pre-modern to contemporary Japanese history, and how these visual primary sources can engage their students. Divided over four interactive online units, this 30-hour online course will help participants develop the resources and skills to create and refine lesson plans for middle school and high school social studies, art, English and Language Arts, Global History and Geography classes by utilizing primary sources, focusing on visual arts. Artworks such as paintings and prints depict Japan’s changing foreign policy during the Age of Exploration; illustration, photography and films will document modernization of Japan in the late 19th – early 20th centuries, and the development of imperialism and wars; and Japan’s urban architectural and industrial designs reflect Japan’s recovery in the postwar period. Animation, fashion and other pop culture forms would connect historical past to the present and its impact in the global society for students to understand.

Registration Information: Teachers who take all 4 Units (2 P/30 hour CTLE) will be prioritized for this Free course. A la carte registration is available. For non-teachers, limited space is available with fee ($100 or $25 a la carte). More information available here.

Painting Edo: Early Modern Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection

Tuesday, October 27, 6:30 PM EDT  


Japan’s Edo period (1615–1868) was an immensely innovative time, during which painters belonging to lineages old and new produced a wide spectrum of visually alluring works. Their paintings both reflected and constructed the pivotal early modern era, and the vibrant city for which it was named. The Harvard Art Museums has a long history of focusing on Japanese art, going back to the 1920s. This vision continues with the extraordinary promised gift of the collection of Robert and Betsy Feinberg, recently displayed in the largest special exhibition ever mounted at the museums (opened February 14, 2020, now temporarily closed). In this talk, Dr. Rachel Saunders, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Curator of Asian Art at the Harvard Art Museums, takes an in depth look at some of the remarkable highlights of this exhibition of paintings from the Edo period.

Program Details: This is a free event, with advance registration required here. Participants can submit questions through YouTube during the livestream.


From Here to There: Virtual Opening & Artist’ Presentations

Tuesday, September 24, 5:00 PM EDT


Serving as the official launch of the online exhibition From Here to There, participating artists Nobutaka AozakiHanako Murakami, and Aki Sasamoto will introduce their newly developed projects in discussion with Tiffany Lambert, Assistant Curator of Japan Society. Presentations will be followed by a round-table discussion exploring intersections among their distinct projects and will contemplate what it means to make art in this time, moderated by Yukie Kamiya, Gallery Director of Japan Society.

Program Details: This is a free event, with advance registration required here. Participants can submit questions through YouTube during the livestream.

From Here to There is supported, in part, by The New York Community Trust. Exhibitions and Arts & Culture Lecture Programs at Japan Society are made possible, in part, by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund, the Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund established by the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation, Raphael and Jane Bernstein, Friends of Gallery, and anonymous donors. Support for Arts & Culture Lecture Programs is provided, in part, by the Sandy Heck Lecture Fund.

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election: How Will It Affect U.S.-Japan Relations?

Tuesday, October 20, 9—10:30 AM EDT

The 2020 U.S. presidential election is right around the corner, with Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee facing the incumbent president, Donald Trump, in November. From the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment and the economic downturn, to protests against police brutality and racial injustice, many critical issues continue to color the 2020 campaign. What is the current political landscape and how will the outcome of the presidential election affect major domestic and international issues, including U.S.-Japan relations? In this webinar, a panel of experts from Japan and the United States zero in on the emerging themes of the presidential election, discussing the possible outcome and its impact on businesses and U.S.-Japan relations.


Anne Gearan, White House Correspondent, The Washington Post
Toshihiro Nakayama, Professor of American Politics and Foreign Policy, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University; Senior Adjunct Fellow, Japan Institute of International Affairs
Candi Wolff, Managing Director & Head of Global Government Affairs, Citi

Moderator: Joshua W. WalkerPh.D., President and CEO, Japan Society

Admission: This is a free event. You must register here for the webinar to receive the login details.


Make the most out of your weekend!

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