Matt “Masshuu” Clark Begins Japanese Culture Tour Throughout Midwest

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Matt “Masshuu” Clark Begins Japanese Culture Tour Throughout Midwest

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Matt “Masshuu” Clark Begins Japanese Culture Tour Throughout Midwest #WhereIsMasshuu @MasshuuClark @USCCD
Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 4:00pm

CAMPAIGN: The New Global Citizen

CONTENT: Press Release

Des Moines, IA, August 8, 2013 /3BLMedia/ - Today, Matt Clark, Program Director for the J-Center, a clearinghouse for all things Japanese in the American Midwest, begins a culture tour that includes stops in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa. The tour, which coincides with large Japanese cultural events throughout the Midwest, seeks to engage with organizations and individuals that support citizen diplomacy engagement in local Midwestern communities.

The tour’s first stop will be Chicago’s 58th Annual Ginza Festival presented by the Midwest Buddhist Temple runs August 9th through the 11th in Chicago’s historic Old Town. The festival will include live performances, festival food, and plenty of Japanese beer.

The tour will continue on to Minneapolis, Minnesota to the Annual Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, on Sunday, August 18, 2013. The family-friendly event, reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday, will be held on the grounds of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.

The tour’s third stop, St. Louis, Missouri, will coincide with the Japanese Festival held at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The festival, which is one of the largest and oldest Japanese festivals in the United States runs from August 31st through September 2nd.

The tour’s fourth and final stop in Omaha, Nebraska will visit the Japanese Ambiance Festival from October 4th through October 6th

Matt (AKA “Masshuu” to his Japanese friends) Clark’s tour around the Midwest will be an opportunity to not only highlight celebrations of the vibrant Japanese culture that thrives in the American Midwest, but also to hear from leaders in K-12 and higher education about the initiatives underway to promote the U.S.-Japan relationship as a tool for international education. The J-Center will host a conference in Tokyo later this fall to explore what new citizen diplomacy programs can promote U.S.-Japan partnerships in the American Midwest as a model for global cooperation that spurs a new generation of collaboration and innovation.

Follow Matt’s (@MasshuuClark) USCCD J-Center (@USCCD) adventure on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #WhereIsMasshuu. See blog posts and more photos on the J-Center website at

About the J-Center
The J-Center serves as a clearinghouse for all things Japanese in the American Midwest. An online database of Japanese cultural organizations, community exchanges, sports clubs, language groups, and business associations highlight the vibrant network of Japan-related opportunities in 12 states of the American Midwest. The J-Center strengthens, promotes, and expands existing exchange and outreach activities aimed at fostering ties between Japan and the American Midwest. J-Center operations unite educational, governmental, business-oriented, and non-profit organizations with the shared vision of strong Japan-U.S. relationships.

About the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy
The USCCD is a non-profit organization established to promote citizen engagement in international affairs and honor and expand the important work of over 1700 U.S. based non-profits dedicated to conducting citizen diplomacy programs in the United States and abroad.