Japan Society of Fairfield County
Annual Meeting 2006

Sunday October 22, 2006

     The current slate of officers and directors was re-elected to serve another one year term.
      JSFC is financially sound and the board recommends retaining the current dues level to fund the current program.
      The JSFC web site has proved to be very successful. We've logged over 12,000 visits thus far, and have well over 1000 visits per month now. We believe it is desirable to have the maximum participation in our events and will make event information fully available on the web site. Because this has the potential to increase the participation of non members, we have decided to change the fee structure for our events to more effectively recoup the costs of non-member participation and encourage those who participate to join. For 2007 events, we will have a member's price, a price $5 higher for non-members accompanying a member as a guest, and a price $10 higher for non-members.
      Member's dues renewal date is noted on the mailing label; please keep your dues paid up so we don't have to charge you the non-member rate. If you did not receive an email notice for the annual meeting, please send us your email. It will help insure that you receive priority notification and reservation rights for our events. I currently have emails for approximately half our membership. A request for our directory by one of our members was declined at the annual meeting. We do not share our membership list or email list with anyone.
      We are establishing a family board to provide diversions for young children at our events so everyone can enjoy our programs.
      We welcome volunteers to help run our society and serve as future directors and officers. Involvement now trains one for future leadership.
      Future events were discussed and will be appropriately posted on our Upcoming Events page.
      Joan and Jerry Rolnick donated a collection of historic Japanese materials to JSFC from approximately 1920, including an official Japanese rail guide in English and Bridgeport newspaper coverage of the Great Tokyo (Kanto) earthquake of 1923.  This was a wonderful  addition to both our society and our  movie event  as Bluestockings  was set in this period.  Russell Handelman is cataloging the material.
     Diane Barton will attend the presentation of the final plans for Mill River Park in Stamford, home of the Nojima Cherry trees.  It is our hope that these trees will be preserved.  The story of these trees, as told by Noboru Uezumi as a Kamishibai presentation, is now on our web site.
      Vernon, Nancy, and Nina attended a reception for returning JET program participants. This excellent program allows young Americans in spend a year in Japan as an assistant english language instructors, working with students in nursery school through high school as well as their regular language teachers. This program is run by the Japan Local Government Center (CLAIR) which encourages municipal to municipal interactions between Japan and the US. Read about the extensive program of municipal mergers in Japan in the JLGC newsletter.

Jiyuu Renai (Bluestockings):  Set in Tokyo in the early 1920s, Jiyuu Renai explores the beginnings of the Japanese women's movement, the pressures between tradition and modernization and between eastern and western values through the lives of  two friends, Akiko and Kyoko,  who had pledged in high school to become “new women”.  Meeting again after a few years, Akiko is now in an arranged marriage to a wealthy businessman from a conservative family, while Kyoko is a divorcee barely scraping by as a country house caretaker, but who has at least remained truer to her convictions.  Akiko decides to help her friend with money and a job, and by doing so entangles their lives further in the growing cultural tensions of Taisho era Japan.  Compelling, layered performances in a story of forces in conflict, desires pulling characters in unexpected directions, and with lavish period costumes and sets, Jiyuu Renai vividly re-creates a critical period in Japanese history.

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