What is Japanese Outreach Initiative –J.O.I.?

The Japan Outreach Initiative (J.O.I.) is a joint program of the Global Partnerships Department of the Japan Foundation in Japan and the Laurasian Institution, USA that brings volunteer Japanese coordinators to regions of the United States where Japanese culture has been less accessible.

This two-year program provides JOI coordinators an opportunity to engage their American community in Japanese-theme programming; from lectures to hands-on elementary school activities to events focusing on traditional Japanese art forms. 

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West Liberty University through the Rollie Williams International Center has been selected as a host site for J.O.I. Program from 2022 through 2024. In August 2022, Manami Kawazoe arrived from Kyoto, Japan and will stay in West Liberty for two years. While in West Liberty, her mission is to promote awareness and understanding of Japan through activities and events for culture exchange.

Manami is available to collaborate with WLU departments, visit schools, recreation centers, libraries, senior living communities, university clubs, and other public locations in the area. Some sample presentations that Manami can provide include:

  • Origami
  • Tea ceremony
  • Calligraphy
  • Furoshiki (wrapping cloths)
  • Seasonal events and festivals
  • Japanese language
  • Pop culture (music, fashion, etc.)
  • Food/Sweets/Cooking
  • Sightseeing in Japan
  • Chopsticks challenge

To inquire on other topics, presentations or workshops of interest or to request for Manami to visit your organization, she can be reached at: JapanOutreach@westliberty.edu