Welcome to Japan Club
of Notre Dame

Our Mission

Japan Club of Notre Dame strives to create an environment within which members of the Notre Dame family can learn, share and celebrate Japan and its culture. We aim to serve as a bridge between Notre Dame and Japanese communities, both in the US and abroad.


What We Do.

Whether you are interested in traditional or contemporary Japanese culture, Japan Club provides a space to share your interests with other Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross students. Our events are recreational and educational so that everyone may be part of the Japan Club family.


Throughout the year, Japan Club hosts dozens of events for its members. Build friendships in small senpai-kohai gatherings, travel with us on a Japanese culture excursion in Chicago, or eat your way through our many food events, from traditional Japanese sweets workshops to the local sushi crawl.


Get to know us through our many collaborations at Japanese Language and Culture Department events, educational workshops in your dorm, or the annual Asian culture performance, Asian Allure. Did you know we host an annual Autumn Festival where your favorite Asian culture clubs gather together for a celebration of festival foods and games?


Japan Club hopes to continuously teach members more about the rich culture and history of Japan. Think of us as your go to resource for local Japanese culture or an introduction to the many study and work oppportunities here at Notre Dame. Talk to our officers for advice or share your ideas for future educational events.


Above all else, we hope to create a welcoming and positive environment to share Japanese culture. We strive to be a bridge for our members to the larger Japanese community of Notre Dame, South Bend, and the Midwest. We love to connect with our Japan Club alumni and students from around the Midwest and Japan.


See Our Favorite Events.

Take a look at our a few of our favorite events.

Autumn Festival

Japan Club's first Autumn Festival, a collaborative effort of nine Asian culture clubs, the event showcased Chinese moon cakes, Taiwanese lion dance, and much more. More Photos

Suikawari Picnic

Our welcome picnic was a chance for members new and old to come together and enjoy lively summer games, such as watermelon splitting. More Photos

Soran Bushi Dance

Japan Club performed "Soran Bushi" a traditional dance at the University of Notre Dame's Asian Allure 2016. Watch our performances on YouTube. Video

Nabe Thanksgiving

We like to celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering our Japan Club family for a favorite group meal, nabe, a Japanese hot pot. More Photos

Japan Club Retreat

At the beginning of each semester, we host a retreat for our members to relax and enjoy good company, food, and games. This is a great opportunity to meet new friends. More Photos


Every semester, we go on a weekend trip to Chicago to enjoy many activites, such as practicing with Tsukasa Taiko, karaoke, and shopping at the Mitsuwa, the largest Japanese market in the Midwest. More Photos

Meet the Officers.

  • I’m Nicholas Gerstbauer, a South Bend native and senior living in Alumni Hall. I'm studying Political Science and Japanese, I'm fond of classical books, Dance Dance Revolution, Japanese music, and anime. I found Japan Club by accident, and it changed my life. Take the step. I can't wait to meet you all.

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    Nicholas Gerstbauer President
  • My name is Billy Adler, and I am from Los Angeles. I am a Senior majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies (I read a lot), and I live in Fisher Hall. I joined Japan Club because my mother is Japanese, and I grew up with heavy exposure to Japanese culture. Growing up, I came to really love the culture and language. I also like anime and manga. Because of all of these things, Japan Club has been a great fit for me. I am really looking forward to meeting new people this year. Welcome!

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    Billy Adler Vice President
  • My name is Jessie Saeli and I am a sophomore in the Badin community in Pangborn. I love reading, writing, drawing, and making up amazing worlds and characters in my free time. I joined the Japan Club because the people are great, the food is amazing, and Japanese culture is fascinating! I look forward to serving the Japan Club this year and meeting all the new members!

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    Jessie Saeli Treasurer
  • I am a Junior Biochemistry major and Japanese minor and also the Jclub secretary. I’m from the middle of nowhere aka Dayton Ohio and I live in McGlinn Hall. I love all things Japan, especially Japanese horror, anime, manga, games, Vocaloid, Lolita fashion, and the cuisine. I am also in the Chorale, and my favorite pokemon is Luxray.

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    Kristen Wehner Secretary
  • My name is Aya Nagai from Nagoya, Japan and I am a proud resident of Pasquerilla East Hall on campus. I major in International Economics with a minor in International Development Studies. My talent includes consuming a ridiculous amount of chocolate and napping fearlessly. I joined Japan Club to stay in touch with my Japanese identity and share of what I love about Japan with more people. This club is not only for people to learn more about Japan. If you are from Japan or speak Japanese, we would love to have you.

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    Aya Nagai Co-Events Coordinator
  • I'm Emily Koykka, I am a juior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Studio Art, I live in Lewis Hall with my roommate Rachel Fisher (our Historian!), and I am from St. Louis, MO. I have been in Japan Club since my freshman year and love being a part of the officer staff! Japan Club has taught me so much about Japanese culture, and I have met so many of my friends here! I am also a tuba player in the marching band, treasurer of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Club and Risk Club, and webmaster of the Role Playing Game Club. I spend free time drawing, painting, and playing video games.

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    Emily Koykka Co-Events Coordinator
  • My name is Danica, and I'm a sophomore living in Pasquerilla East Hall. I'm from Los Altos, California, and I cannot wait to meet you all! During my free time, I enjoy ordering way too much Papa John's pizza, taking naps, and watching funny dog videos. I joined the Japan Club last year after they gave me free sushi. Who can refuse free sushi?! Japan Club has allowed me to connect more with my heritage, and it has provided me with an extremely welcoming community. Make sure you come out to Nabe Thanksgiving! That’s my favorite event :)

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    Danica Crowley Public Relations
  • I am a sophomore at Cavanaugh Hall, hometown is in the DC/Virginia area. I chose Japan Club because after watching the amount of anime that I have, learning Japanese and about Japanese culture has become my hobby. If I am able to share just some of the joy of learning about Japanese culture, then my goal as an officer of Japan Club is fulfilled.

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    Wendy Liu Jr. Events Coordinator
  • I’m Rachel Fisher, and I’m a junior living in Lewis Hall from the Chicago suburbs. I love daydreaming, playing RPGs, sleeping, taking pictures, and crafting. I’m an anthropology major and a Japanese minor, and I love learning about other cultures, with Japan being particularly interesting to me. I found some of my best friends through Japan Club, and I can’t wait to meet more people and learn more about culture from members!

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    Rachel Fisher Historian


Get In Touch.

Reach out to see when our next event is. We would love to meet you. Drop us a note if you have a question or if you want to collaborate on an event.

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Contact Information
Where to Find Us

Japan Club of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

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