Shofuso House and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia to merge - JASP

By Stephanie DeMarco, Global Philadelphia Ambassador

As of July 1, 2016, Japanese arts, business, and culture in Philadelphia have a new more effective champion to embody the friendship between Japan and Philadelphia. The America Society of Greater Philadelphia is merging with Shofuso Japanese House and Garden and the Friends of Japanese House and Garden to form the second largest Japan American Society in the United States of America. The organization will be known as the Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP) and hopes to have greater impact as one single organization.

Friends of the Japanese House and Garden’s Executive Director Kim Andrews will be the new Executive Director of JASGP with former Executive Director of Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia Kazumi Teune will joining as Senior Advisor the Executive Director.

The historic Sofuso Japanese House Garden will retain its name and be maintained by existing site staff. The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival will continue its authentic representation of Japanese sakura (cherry blossom) culture with Shofuso as its anchor, with even more Japanese entertainment, activities, and food each spring.

The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia’s vision is to “envision making Greater Philadelphia a nationally and globally known center of Japanese art, business and culture.” JASGP Mission is to promote mutual friendship and understanding between Greater Philadelphia and Japan through:
Preserving, maintaining, presenting, and interpreting Shofuso, a traditional Japanese house and garden.
Enriching connections between the business and government sectors of Japan and Greater Philadelphia.
Offering educational and public programs about Japanese arts, business, and culture.

Zabeth Teelucksingh, Executive Director of Global Philadelphia Association, says the merger is a “well timed opportunity to combine two flagship global organizations in Philadelphia, thereby strengthening the Japan brand and visibility.” Under the new JASGP, Philadelphia will help to attract more regional, national, and international visitors to the area with Shofuso Japanese House Garden at the centerpiece. The elevation of Japanese arts and culture in the region and the strengthening of business and diplomacy with Japan will increase Philadelphia’s prominence as a global city.

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