Skip to main content

Japan with Nanaka - Vol. 1

Monthly Newsletter curated by Nanaka Okamura, a Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator

Japanese Woman in a traditional kimono


Japanese Hair



I'm Nanaka Okamura, a Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator based at Western Carolina University. I will stay here until July of 2023 and promote Japanese culture and language through presentations, activities, and events.

Radio Calisthenics

students in class


On September 28, I held my first Japanese cultural event. We learned about healthy life expectancy and average life expectancy and thought about our health. We also learned about Japanese radio calisthenics and did radio calisthenics together.

Job Hunting and Business Etiquette

Job hunting and business etiquette students


On October 1, I held an event about job hunting and business etiquette in Japan. We learned about the differences between job hunting in Japan and the US. We also practiced mock interviews and exchanging business cards.

Onigiri Action



On October 5, we thought about the world's food problems and enjoyed origami and Onigiri stamps. Onigiri Action is a yearly event held by Table for Two in celebration of World Food Day (October 16).

Table for Two is a nonprofit organization that started in Japan and has expanded to the United States. By taking a picture related to Onigiri (Onigiri, Onigiri pose or hand sign, origami, drawing, etc.) and posting it on the Onigiri Action website or your social media, you can send five school meals to children around the world for each post.

Chopsticks Challenge

students who won the chopstick challenge


On October 12, we learned how to pick up, place, and hold chopsticks, as well as etiquette. We played games where we used chopsticks to pick up beans and marshmallows, etc., and flip over rice crackers.

For More Information

For more information about the events I am hosting, please check out my Instagram (@NNK_JOI19_WCU) and Facebook Page (@JapanwithNanaka). I also put posters up in the McKee Building and University Center, so please check those out as well. Please feel free to visit my office (G08C, ground floor of McKee Building).

View the PDF newsletter

Learn more about the Japanese Outreach Initiative at 

Office of Web Services