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Australia-Japan Society of NSW

Tomodachi Newsletter

  August 2020 Newsletter


Greetings to all our members. We trust you are keeping well in these still unusual times. We hope you enjoy this newsletter, which provides news of interest from us and others in the community.

Announcing our Student Awardees for 2020!

AJS-NSW provides annual awards to outstanding students of Japanese studies from six universities in the Sydney region. This year's winners are:

  • UNSW : Aoi Carmel HallamPastAwardees
  • University of Sydney: Satoria Zheng
  • University of Wollongong: Allison Stone
  • UTS: Samuel Kwok
  • Macquarie University : Ying LOU
  • Western Sydney University : Yao Tong

We are still hoping to have an Awards celebration, possibly in an online format.

Watch this space!                                                                                                                                                                                                      Picture: Previous Award Event

    Announcing AJS-NSW Project to document stories of the NSW Japan relationship!

    We are calling for expressions of interest from people who'd like to be involved in a project to document stories of the NSW Japan relationship. There are some absolutely wonderful stories which deserve to be remembered and shared - before these stories are lost! You may like to offer support in documenting the stories, ideas on how we do it, or to be involved in other ways. We are also keen to identify the stories - from people whose lives have been impacted by Japan or NSW, personally, economically, psychologically, professionally. English or Japanese OK. Please email Board member Diane Vukelic.

    Business matters

    Member and former AJS-NSW Board member Debra Hazelton has been appointed Chair of AMP Limited. Congratulations!

    The AJBCC has released a the first part of a report examining collaboration between Australia and Japan, initially focused on business collaboration. Download the report here.

    Austrade is offering a free webinar on Scaling up your Business in Japan, profiling Hivery, a Sydney-based AI startup in the FMCG/retail field. September 8 2-3pm (AEST). Register at link here.

    Foundation for Australia-Japan Studies (FAJS) grant round open

    Applications for Australia-Japan scientific collaborative research grants are now open under the Rio Tinto Australia-Japan Collaborative Program. Apply by end of September. For more details see the website here:

    Cowra Japanese Garden

    CowrainSpringWhile the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre is open to visitors (see details here) the annual Sakura Matsuri has been cancelled for this year.

    New Podcast about Japanese internees in Hay

    A little known chapter in WWII history, about Japanese internees in Hay NSW, has been released as a two-part ABC podcast.

    See the first part here:

    See second part here:

    Sake Tasting with AJS-Victoria

    Join Victorian colleagues in an online guided sake tasting. September 10 8:00 - 9:30pm. Details here.


    A reminder that we will be sending out 2020-21 membership renewals on October 1st. Considering COVID-19 impacts we delayed our renewals by three months but look forward to your continuing support through membership renewal.

    Not a member but would like to join? Download and fill in the form. Your membership will be valid until July 1st 2021.

    Exploring Japan & Japanese culture

    From The Japan Foundation Sydney

    What's your J-Talent? Online Talent Contest still open until September 16. Prepare a 2-minute video to showcase your talents in

    • Japanese Language (choose from one of four topics)
    • Lifestyle
    • Traditional Arts and Culture  
    • Pop Culture

    More details here:

    Online Japanese language course of 10 weeks. The next course starts on October 6. Sign up here.

    Exhibitions @ JPF

    Seikatsu Kogei: Objects for Intentional Living 

    Seikatsu Kogei: Objects for Intentional Living explores the Japanese craft movement that began in the 1990s known as Seikatsu Kogei, or lifestyle crafts. See how the works of Seikatsu Kogei artists re-examine our relationship to the objects in our lives. 

    Viewable online at:

    Hiroshi Nagai: Paintings For Music 

    Mix sun-drenched summers by the poolside with soundtracks reminiscent of synth-pop and disco, and you’ll get Hiroshi Nagai: Paintings for Music,  an upcoming exhibition exploring the relationship between Japan’s city pop music and the paintings of esteemed illustrator Hiroshi Nagai. From September 25, 2020 to January 23, 2021. Catalogue and event program coming soon.  

    Issho Editions

    Watch pre-recorded videos from this now completed four-part series during COVID that showcases Japanese cultural practices including pop culture, craft, music and dance from local and international artists. 

    odawara online cultural events

    The famous castle town of Odawara City is holding free online events, to connect, educate, and inform those interested in Japanese culture and history.

    Live-streaming of a "Noh" performance, titled "Japanese Noh Theater at Odawara Castle 'Aoi no Ue'--The Tale of Genji," on Sunday, September 13, 2020.  See

    Odawara is also home to the famous Fuma ninja clan. Odawara Tourism is hosting an "Online Fuma Ninja Training Experience" with a real modern day ninja, specializing in the art of Ninjutsu. Numbers are limited to keep a truly personal and interactive experience. For more information, visit the website

    Japanese literature in translation

    August is Women in Translation month! See a weekly update including literature from Japan in Asymptote Journal, along with a short story from Kaori Ekuni and profile of a Japanese to English translator.

    COVID-19 Information in Japanese

    Find COVID-19 information in Japanese here:

    Dept of Home Affairs:

    NSW Health Dept:


    If members have any information to share with us and fellow members, please get in touch:


    [link:ebinar] Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and Meat & Livestock Australia: Japan Market update]

     Japan Local Government Centre CLAIR Sydney Newsletter



    Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections, a film co-created by three acclaimed directors from Asia, is streaming for free worldwide until June 30.

    Co-produced by The Japan Foundation Asia Centre and Tokyo International Film Festival, Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections centres around the theme "Living Together in Asia.” Crew and cast joined forces across national borders to reflect on the lives of characters who journey between Japan and Cambodia, the Philippines and Malaysia.


    The Japanese Film Festival has teamed up with MOOIC LAB for JFF Online, a free online streaming service available worldwide. Explore the lineup of 12 indie films available to watch now, including Japanese Film Festival Australia titles from 2019, Rent a Friend and Moonless Dawn.


    Calling all NSW residents interested in getting a taste of Japanese language. Applications are now open for the May-July Taster course! You'll learn basic conversational Japanese skills in a fun, interactive online classroom.  

    [link: ]

    Learn Japanese through your favourite shows with a free Google Chrome extension. You can add subtitles with furigana or romaji, click on any word to get the definition and pronunciation, and add an English translation.  


    Aspiring translators of contemporary Japanese literature are welcome to apply. Translation from Japanese to English or German of two texts. Submission by end July.


    About the Society

    The Australia-Japan Society of NSW Incorporated (AJS-NSW) aims to bring together Australian and Japanese people living in NSW to explore mutual interests.

    AJS-NSW holds regular business, social and cultural functions, at various locations around Sydney.

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