To the JASWDC Family:

As many of you have seen, on Friday morning JASWDC announced the postponement of our beloved Sakura Matsuri-Japanese Street Festival. This is just one of the necessary steps that JASWDC is taking in order to help protect our community, while doing our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Today I am also announcing that, as a further such measure, we are closing the JASWDC office until further notice. We regret the inconvenience that this causes to so many of you, and we deeply appreciate your understanding and continuing patience.

In the meantime, just as the sakura continue to blossom undeterred, JASWDC believes that we have an important role to play in continuing to provide our community the kind of enrichment, stimulation, and camaraderie for which you have come to rely on our programs during normal times. I am happy to announce that, though our physical premises are closed, our staff remains hard at work from the safety of our homes, working to create virtual versions of our National Japan Bowl, our Japanese Language School, our cultural classes, and our various other community events. We look forward to sharing details with you in the very near future, and I invite you to continue reading below for information specific to our various programs.

Be assured that, once it has become clear that it is safe to do so, we will reopen our office, and we will reschedule the 60th Anniversary of the Sakuri Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival. Please stand by and keep an eye on our website (, newsletter, and social media platforms Twitter (@jas_wdc), Facebook (@jas.wdc), and Instagram (@jaswdc) for further information. Additionally, we welcome your feedback, now more than ever—please don’t hesitate to e-mail us at [email protected].

Finally, JASWDC would like to offer assistance to those of our community who are experiencing financial challenges as a result of COVID-19. For any such JASWDC members, those who are currently enrolled in Japanese language classes, and those who have previously enrolled in language and cultural classes, we will begin reserving up to two tuition-free seats in all of our virtual classes.I hope that you will all join us in doing whatever you can to keep your friends, family, and community healthy and happy, and thank you all so much for your support during this challenging time.

Ryan Shaffer