Five College Center for East Asian Studies presents traditional Japanese music

To celebrate the inception of its new database—the Japan Artists Information Directory (JAID)—the Five College Center for East Asian Studies invites the public to Aki Matsuri (Fall Festival), a series of cultural events taking place in October. The events are a workshop on Japanese Aesthetics of Sound and Movement, a reception and a showcase of JAID artists, and a concert featuring renowned musicians Masayo Ishigure and James Nyoraku Schlefer.

JAID is a database of performers and teachers of traditional Japanese arts based in the United States. The database exists to bridge the gap between Japan and the United States and increase visibility of and access to Japanese arts. 

Educator Workshop
October 13, 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Arms Music Center, Room 212, Amherst College
The Center for East Asian Studies is offering a day-long educator workshop at which several special guests will be teaching various styles and instruments of traditional Japanese culture. The workshop takes place October 13 from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Arms Music Center, Room 212, Amherst College. The workshop is free and open to K-16 educators; non-educators will be accepted on a space-available basis. Please register at

JAID Showcase and Reception
October 19, 4 to 6 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room, Smith College
A reception and showcase of the JAID database will take place preceding the JAID Aki Matsuri Concert, attended by several JAID artists. With informational displays about JAID artists and demonstrations by some of the artists themselves, the reception will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Neilson Browsing Room at Smith College. It is free and open to the public.

JAID Aki Matsuri Concert
October 19, 7:00 p.m., Helen Hills Hills Chapel, Smith College
Coming off of performances at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Masayo Ishigure and James Nyoraku Schlefer bring traditional Japanese music to Smith College. Ishigure has been playing the koto, a 13-stringed traditional Japanese instrument, since the age of five in her hometown of Gifu, Japan. Since coming to the United States in 1992 Ishigure has performed with symphony orchestras from coast-to-coast and with Yitzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma on the soundtrack of the 2005 Academy Award-winning film Memoirs of a Geisha.

James Nyoraku Schlefer is one of the nation’s leading performers and teachers of shakuhachi—a Japanese bamboo flute. In 2001, he received the Dai-Shi-Han (Grand Master) certificate, becoming one of very few non-Japanese to earn the award. Schlefer has recorded several solo albums and has toured around the globe. Ishigure and Schlefer will be joined by two additional koto players, Claudia Clark Erland and Charles Wei-Ting Tang. The JAID Aki Matsuri Concert takes place on October 19 at 7:00 p.m. at Smith College’s Helen Hills Hills Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Five College Center for East Asian Studies Aki Matsuri  visit

Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, Five Colleges, Inc., is a nonprofit educational consortium created in 1965 to advance the extensive educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions—Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

For more information, contact
Kevin Kennedy