e-Japan Journal Interviews


Current Interview

Every month, the JIC interviews a person who is active with Japan-related activities and introduces them in our newsletter. This is so our followers can learn more about the interesting people and groups within our community. September 2021 Featured Interview: Daniel Carolin, Japanese teacher and recipient of the 2020 Elgin Heintz Outstanding Teacher Award

Archived Interviews

September 2021 Featured Interview: Daniel Carolin, Japanese teacher and recipient of the 2020 Elgin Heintz Outstanding Teacher Award
August 2021 Featured Interview: Dr. Kazumi Hatasa, Japanese professor and Chair of East Asian Languages in the School of Languages and Cultures at Purdue University
July 2021 Featured Interview: Saku Yanagawa, Japanese Stand-Up Comedian (originally published in the July 2019 issue)
June 2021 Featured Interview: James Kennedy, Alumni of the JET Program and author of "The Order of Odd-Fish".
May 2021 Featured Interview: Lindsey Stirek, Assistant Director of Academic Programming at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
April 2021 Featured Interview: Rachel Kimura, the owner and head farmer at Hinata Farms
March 2021 Featured Interview: Akane Kumagai, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and co-chair of the Osaka Social Services Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International
February 2021 Featured Interview: Megumi Ishikawa, All-Japan National Champion judoka and founder of Global Kids Judo Network
January 2021 Featured Interview: Airi Yamamoto, Japanese teacher

December 2020 Featured Interview: Mami Takahashi, Japanese Artist
November 2020 Featured Interview: Yuta Katsuyama, founder of Onigiri Shuttle Kororin
October 2020 Featured Interview: Ty Yamamoto, Filmmaker, Photographer, and Origami Instructor
September 2020 Featured Interview: Maaya Yamauchi, Founder of Japanese beauty company Keshoume, LLC
August 2020 Featured Interview: Momoko Taguchi, Cultural Exchange Facilitator in Indiana for the GEN-J Program
July 2020 Featured Interview: Chikako Jo, owner and manager of Torino Ramen in Wilmette, IL
June 2020 Featured Interview: Beth Hawley, Aikido Yudansha and Program Coordinator at the Japanese Culture Center
May 2020 Featured Interview: Gabe Coronado and Lara "Zara" Espinoza, JETAA Chicago President and Vice President
April 2020 Featured Interview: Hinano Ishii, Nationally Acclaimed Musician and Associate Producer at Ravinia Festival
March 2020 Featured Interview: Gabriel Kim Wilkinson, MEXT Scholar and Student at Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo
February 2020 Featured Interview: Toshiko Sugii-Steffes, Acclaimed Wagashi Artist and Instructor
January 2020 Featured Interview: Gina Pollara, Chief Operating Officer at Wrightwood 659

December 2019 Featured Interview: Ruby Benigno, Blogger for Kokoro Cares
November 2019 Featured Interview: Derrick Fields, Video Game Designer and Illustrator
October 2019 Featured Interview: Alaina Werkhoven, Mori no Ike Language Immersion Camp and JET Program Participant
July 2019 Featured Interview: Saku Yanagawa, Japanese Stand-Up Comedian
June 2019 Featured Interview: Julia Momose, Award-winning Mixologist and Creative Director of Bar Kumiko
May 2019 Featured Interview: Ronnie Prince, Internationally Renowned Japanese-American Hair Stylist
April 2019 Featured Interview: Akemi Nakano Cohn, Japanese Textile Artist
March 2019 Featured Interview: Deyan Kolev, Kakehashi 2018 Sports Program participant
February 2019 Featured Interview: Joyce Kubose, Urasenke Tankokai Chicago Association instructor
January 2019 Featured Interview: Hitomi Kameyama, Japanese Teacher at Amundsen High School

December 2018 Featured Interview: Aya Fukai, Pastry Chef of Aya Pastry
November 2018 Featured Interview: Van Paugam, Japanese City Pop DJ in Chicago
October 2018 Featured Interview: Natsuki Tsuge, Cheerleader on the Indianapolis Colts
September 2018 Featured Interview: Professor Jennifer Gunji-Ballsrud, Director of Japan House at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
August 2018 Featured Interview: Jessica Prescott-Smith, Family Programs Coordinator at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Chris Baker, Bonsai Curator at the Chicago Botanic Garden
July 2018 Interview: Kenton Knop, Former CIR on the JET Program and Associate Attorney at Masuda Funai
June 2018 Interview: Ikuko Nichols, Co-Vice President of Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai
May 2018 Interview: Jamie Sanchez, President of AnimeChicago
April 2018 Interview: Dr. Kerry Ross, Assistant Professor at DePaul University
March 2018 Interview: Anna Takada of the Japanese American Services Committee
February 2018 Interview: Erika Kono of the Japan America Society of Chicago
January 2018 Interview: Dr. Phyllis Lyons of Northwestern University

December 2017 Interview: Yoshihisa Arai, Joffrey Ballet Dancer
November 2017 Interview: Steven Sundstrom, former MEXT Scholar and JET Program participant
October 2017 Interview: Dr. Patrick Noonan of Northwestern University
September 2017 Interview: Chef Takashi Yagihashi of Slurping Turtle
August 2017 Interview: Shigeaki Aso, Glove Maker at Wilson Sporting Goods
July 2017: Yuka Shibano, Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader
June 2017: Dr. Emily Metzgar, Associate Professor at Indiana University
May 2017: Saira Chambers, Director at the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago
April 2017: Kentaro Yamada, Photographer and Founder of The Uplifted
March 2017: Chef Rick Bayless, Frontera Restaurants (On his recent visit to Japan and Japanese cuisine)
February 2017: Jun Takanarita, Owner of Murasaki Sake Lounge
January 2017: Alex Akira Akiyama, Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator for Iowa Sister States

December 2016: Chef Mari Katsumura of Entente (currently executive chef at Yugen Chicago)
November 2016: Ella McCann, President of JETAA Chicago and Outreach Coordinator at Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago
October 2016: Yasunori and Etsuko Matsumoto of US Shidokan Karate
August 2016: Eric Hattori of Piko Street Kitchen
July 2016: David Anderson, Founding Family Member of Anderson Japanese Gardens
June 2016: Dr. Akihiko Takahashi, Professor at DePaul University
May 2016: Chef Rieko Wada of Chocolatines
April 2016: Hiroshi Sawada of Sawada Coffee
March 2016: Yoko Noge Dean, musician, Chair of the Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International and correspondent for Nikkei America Incorporated
February 2016: Hassan Awaisi, Japanese Language Speech Contest Award Recipient
January 2016: Wesley Julian, President of JETAA Chicago and Associate Director of Public Relations at the Art Institute of Chicago

December 2015: Tatsu Aoki, musician and director of Asian Improv aRts Midwest (Tsukasa Taiko, Toyoaki Shamisen)
November 2015: Dr. Masami Takahashi, Professor at Northeastern Illinois University and Chair of the Chicago Sister Cities International Social Services Exchange Program between Chicago and Osaka
October 2015: Jason Matsumoto, Creative Director of Ho Etsu Taiko