28th Annual Japan America Grassroots Summit 2018

in Washington State


What is the Japan-America Grassroots Summit?

The Japan America Grassroots Summit is an annual large-scale exchange of Japanese and American people, held alternatively in Japan and America. The Summit aims to strengthen the peaceful relationship between our two countries by fostering friendship at the grassroots level.

The Summit honors the friendship between Captain William Whitfield and John Manjiro Nakahama. In 1841, the 14-year-old Nakahama Manjiro joined a fishing expedition off the coast of Usa, Japan. The boat was caught in a terrifying storm and Manjiro found himself marooned on an Island for 6-months. He was eventually rescued by Captain William Whitfield, who offered Manjiro his own home in America and the opportunity to receive an education there. The relationship they formed and Manjiro’s rare command of English became pivotal in building the Japan-US relationship after Japanese isolationism ended.

The Japan-America Society of the State of Washington is partnering with the John Manjiro-Whitfield Commemorative Center for International Exchange in Japan to host the 28th Annual Japan-America Grassroots Summit 2018 in Washington State. Nearly 150 Japanese visitors will come to Seattle, where they will participate in tours, activities, home stays, and ceremonies over the week-long program

Current Sponsors





Costco Wholesale     FUJIFILM SonoSite, Inc.

Achilles USA     Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP

Uwajimaya, Inc.

*Additional Donors

Tom & Yoko Sasaki

Gobo Enterprises          Bellevue Children's Academy

Sojitz Corporation of America          Sara Sandford

Summit Schedule

Sep 18 (Tue) Arrive at Sea-Tac airport
Sep 19 (Wed) Optional Local Tour (with extra tour fee)
Opening Ceremony & Reception: Argosy Cruise to Tillicum Village on Blake Island.
Sep 20 (Thu) Move to local session area [Home-stay]
Sep 21 (Fri) Local Session [Home-stay]
Sep 22 (Sat) Local Session or spend whole day with host family [Home-stay]
Sep 23 (Sun) Depart local area for Hyatt Regency Lake Washington
Closing Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington

*Two members from each host family will receive complimentary tickets
Sep 24 (Mon) Leave hotel for Sea-Tac airport by bus
Fly back to Japan
Extend stay in US by joining one of the Post Summit Optional Programs or on your own plan.

Opening Ceremony

Welcome speeches, local entertainment, and local cuisine are offered at the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception. This convivial party is the first opportunity for participants to meet the people of their host region, including volunteers, artists, and dignitaries. During the day of the Ceremony, local sight-seeing tours are available for Japanese participants.

Local Sessions

Participants leave Seattle for their home stay town on 9/20 and stay with their host family for four days and three nights. During the home stay days, the local town leaders and host families work together to share the best that their community has to offer. This person-to-person exchange is the essence of the Japan America Grassroots Summit.

Closing Ceremony

After the Local Sessions, everyone gathers together for a Closing Ceremony and Farewell Program to reflect on and celebrate their experiences. These are attended not only by participants but also by host families and others who have connected during the Summit.

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