JapanCulture•NYC is proudly advertising free and strives to be the leading English-language resource for Japanese culture in New York City, highlighting the people and activities of New York’s Japanese and Japanese American community. From the arts to food to everything in between, JapanCulture•NYC looks for the best of Japanese culture the city has to offer.
Have an idea for a feature or an event to promote? Send an e-mail with the details to info@JapanCulture-NYC.com.
SUSAN MIYAGI HAMAKER
Freelance Writer • Editor, JapanCulture•NYC
With a Caucasian father and an Okinawan mother, Susan Miyagi McCormac Hamaker gave little regard to her Japanese heritage while growing up in a small town in North Carolina. She began studying Japanese at the age of thirty, finding it one of the most difficult and most fascinating things she’s ever done.
Now completely obsessed with Japan, Susan visits the country every year and does all she can to find the language and culture wherever she goes. She’s fortunate to live in New York City, where there are no shortages of restaurants, shops, art exhibits, concerts, events, and people related to her favorite place.
Susan continues to study the language and looks for the intersection between traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Her goal with JapanCulture•NYC is not only to educate non-Japanese people about Japan, but to strengthen the Japanese and Japanese American community in New York.
In addition to JapanCulture•NYC, Susan has contributed stories to Chopsticks NY, NY Seikatsu, AsianInNY, and the Epoch Times and essays about Japanese baseball to the website Baseball Reflections. She also sporadically blogs at shrinecastle.com, but posts regularly on Instagram at @japanculturenyc.
Susan lives in New York City with her husband and their cat, Peter.
As a kindergartener, Jen Green appeared in the Japanese play Momotaro, which sparked her love of all things Japanese. An accessories designer who has worked in the fashion industry for 14 years, Jen travels to Tokyo twice a year in search of inspiration.
She started studying fashion when she was young, taking college classes while she was still in high school. In 2001 she discovered the book FRUiTS at a salon. It put Japanese street fashion on the map for her, and now she runs into Lolitas on the streets of Harajuku during her trips to Tokyo.
For JC•NYC Jen will cover Japanese fashion stories from traditional kimono to contemporary kawaii looks. Follow her adventures in New York and Japan on Instagram @jenpanese.
DANIELLE ‘DANNIE’ COMPONO
Japan Enthusiast, Arts & Entertainment Editor, JapanCulture•NYC
His work ethic was apparent from the beginning, and he puts in long hours soaking up the warmth of the computer keyboard and insuring pens don’t stay on the desk for too long. In addition to his fabulous hakama, he has a growing collection of fashionable feline neckwear.
To see daily pictures of his work around the office, follow his Instagram account, @marc_and_peter.
BERKLEY (January 5, 1995 – September 18, 2014)
Assistant Editor, JapanCulture•NYC
We said goodbye to JC•NYC’s Assistant Editor Berkley on September 18, 2014. Our feisty girl had a tumor on her kidney for a year and a half, and she battled it until the end. She was 19 years old. In early March of 1995, Susan and her husband, Marc, went to the animal shelter in Richmond, Virginia, to adopt a kitten. Although all of the cats there were great, they had a tough time finding the “right” one. The volunteer who was helping them was called away by another volunteer carrying a kitten with the most unique face they’d ever seen. She explained that a man adopted Berkley the week prior, but he had been diagnosed with full-blown AIDS. Knowing he couldn’t take care of a kitten, he brought her back in the hopes that the shelter would find someone who could. Susan’s heart ached for the man, but it was also filled with joy at the site of this calico. From the moment Susan saw those pointy ears and that giant black splotch across her nose, she knew Berkley would be her cat. .
Berkley became the JC•NYC’s Assistant Editor when the website was formed in 2011. She could be found on the desk, where she stepped on the mouse and slept on notebooks. She listened to all recorded interviews, occasionally meowing to indicate a quality quote. In an effort to maintain the quality control of the site, she often exerted her will over the keyboard. In addition to her work with JapanCulture•NYC, Berkley enjoyed naps, a variety of cat food, and vigorous baths.
Everyone at JapanCulture•NYC misses her dearly. RIP Berkley!