Keiko Thayer will receive The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays

Bostonians, JSB Members, to be Decorated by Japanese Emperor and Government

23 May 2019 10:29 AMMatt (Administrator)

Since 1875 when Emperor Meiji established the Order of the Rising Sun, or 旭日賞 (kyokujitsu), Japan has honored global citizens for their distinguished achievements and their contributions to Japan. This year, five individuals from the Boston area have been awarded. In this new Reiwa era, this is a special honor indeed. At JSB, we are thrilled that two awardees are members of our board of directors.William W. Hunt will receive The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette (旭日小綬章). Our current Chair of the Board, Mr. Hunt has been dedicated to the US/Japan friendship for many years. In the official award announcement, Mr. Hunt is cited “for an enormous contribution to enriching understanding and communication between Japan and the United States.” Hunt has lived and worked in Japan, especially in investment management, and has been a leader in many projects to bring Japan to Boston.Keiko Thayer will receive The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays (旭日双光章). Ms. Thayer is a long-time board member of the Japan Society of Boston (since 1987) and a professional Ikebana Master. Ms. Thayer is cited for “promoting Japanese culture and cultural exchange between Japan and the United States.” The Society gives an annual award for cultural exchange named for Ms. Thayer’s late husband, John E. Thayer III.It is also notable that Ashton B. Carter, former Secretary of Defense (2015-2017) under President Barack Obama, will receive the highest degree: Order of the Rising Sun, Grand Cordon (旭日大綬章), for his work building the US-Japan security alliance. Carter is currently Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.Keiko Matsudo Orrall, a former Republican Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, will receive The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays (旭日双光章). As the daughter of Japanese, German, and Irish immigrants, she worked to help Japanese and other groups to have a voice in the State, and to strengthen ties between the US and Japan. Ms. Orrall is now the executive director of the State Office of Travel and Tourism.John Paul Holdren, former director of the US Office of Science and Technology Policy and senior advisor to President Barack Obama (2009-2017), will receive The Order of the Rising Sun,Gold and Silver Star (旭日重光章). Holdren was cited for “advancing the cooperation in science and technology fields between Japan and the United States.” He continues to dedicate himself to studying environmental changes, energy technology and policies, and nuclear energy and weapons.The Japan Society of Boston congratulates these remarkable individuals as they are decorated by the Emperor and government of Japan. We are all inspired by their efforts to make the world stronger by strengthening the US/Japan friendship and alliance. 

Picture Story of Morse, Episode I and II

Edward Sylvester Morse is the key to the Salem-Ota sister city relationship. While living in Japan, member Hugh Stewart also became a member of the Ota Salem Club in Ota, and was invited to participate in a ceremony by the E.S.Morse Commemorative Society last summer.  There he met Masaru Akisawa san.  He created, with others, a PowerPoint show and book about the life of Morse.  It is copyrighted and in Japanese.  However, he elected to create an English story of Morse for our use. Please have a look and enjoy!

Episode I:

Episode II:


Paper Lanterns

Please join us, along with our Japanese visitors from Ota, for a special members-only showing of the movie Paper Lanterns at the Peabody Essex Museum’s Morse Theater.

PAPER LANTERNS tells the little-known story of twelve American prisoners-of-war killed by the atomic bomb at Hiroshima and Mr. Shigeaki Moril, a hibakuisha or A-bomb victim, who devoted nearly forty years to researching their fates and reaching out to their families across the United States. Mr. Mori was personally thanked by President Barack Obama at the Hiroshima Peace Park on May 27, 2016. The picture of their embrace was immediately featured by news media around the world and has since become an iconic image of Japan-U.S. reconciliation. The film has been shown with great success at international film festivals, at many venues in Japan and the U.S., and at the United Nations.

The Salem- Ota Cultural Exchange is delighted to welcome the film’s director Barry Frechette to the screening to share with us his stories about the making of the film.

Please visit our evite page to RSVP!

2019 Adult Trip to Japan!

To residents of Salem and friends of the Salem-Ota Cultural Exchange:

It gives us great pleasure to offer you an invitation to join us on a trip to Ota-ku, Tokyo, Japan this July.

This incredible 15-day excursion includes a 1-night homestay and travel throughout Japan with Tokyo residents and members of our club. This is not a typical bus tour!

Because of the wonderful relationship between our two cities, we are able to offer this opportunity to adults who reside or work in Salem (and if you choose, a non-resident traveling companion.)

The cost of the trip will be approximately $3,800 per person which  includes round trip airfare, lodging, all ground transportation, and meals.

Spots fill early so if you are interested or have questions, mail Peter Dolan, trip organizer, by October 11, 2018.  Travel dates are tentatively July 1st- July 15th, 2019.

I hope that you can join us. Please do not miss the chance of a lifetime!

Goodbye to our Students!

Another exchange has gone by, and we’ve said our goodbyes to new friends. The students and teachers departed from Boston Logan Airport safely this morning and are on their way back to Ota!

2018 Host Family Schedule

Hello host families, Here is:
-a draft schedule which will be updated daily (Pick-up times are always subject to change because of Boston traffic)
-sign-up sheets for the many things we need you for
-a spot for head counts.
Questions text/call Denise 978-587-5649 or

Sign-Up Genius

Monday, July 308:15 amDrop-off and Goodbye to our studentsPEMBring tissues and all their belongings!