We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Japanese Arts Foundation (JAF)!
The JAF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of Japanese culture and arts in Chicago. Through the JAF, we seek to broaden understanding and appreciation for historical and contemporary Japanese arts. The JAF aims to preserve artistic traditions and practice and nurture innovative artistic collaborations. Our mission is to expand opportunity, education, and the sustainability of Japanese arts in Chicago through outreach to diverse communities like Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Public Library, museums, and other philanthropic organizations.
The JAF’s symbol is the mythical three legged crow, known as Yatagarasu in Shinto. Yatagarasu is an expert navigator, having served as a mystical guide to the historic Emperor Jimmu, the first emperor of Japan. Yatagarasu represents divine interference in the lives of men and helping the lost to find their way. The cultural significance of Yatagarasu continues on to this day, acting as a symbolic guide for modern institutions and their goals. We hope that the JAF will play a similar role in Japanese cultural and contemporary arts throughout Chicago.
The Japanese Culture Center and the Japanese Arts Foundation will partner to continue hosting events and courses in support of Japanese culture and the arts. In the future, we hope to create more free events like the annual Kimono Exhibition. The Japanese Arts Foundation will support cultural classes and arts classes hosted at the Japanese Culture Center like shodo (calligraphy), chanoyu (the tea ceremony), suminagashi (paper marbling), sumi-e (ink painting), ikebana (flower arrangement), shibori (Japanese tye dyeing), and Butoh (a contemporary style of Japanese dance theater).
Please stay tuned for upcoming information on the JAF! We are excited to begin this journey and hope that it will be a fruitful one. We are committed to furthering the Japanese arts in our community, and hope for your support.