About Us

What is Nippon Club of the Triangle?

The Nippon Club of the Triangle was founded in 1990 as a nonprofit organization committed to providing intercultural programs and activities in the Triangle region (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) of North Carolina.

The Club’s major goal is to foster deeper cultural understandings between Japanese and Americans. To achieve this goal, the Club promotes US-Japan cultural exchange and conducts local service activities. The Club also aims to provide practical information for Japanese who live in this area. The Nippon Club warmly welcomes everyone, Japanese and non-Japanese, who support its goal.

To further promote this goal, the Club supports “Triangle Taiko” (Japanese Drumming Group), “Triangle Chanoyu Club” (traditional Japanese Tea club), and “Mochi-tsuki Club” under its umbrella.


Participate in International Festivals and other international events to introduce Japanese Culture, such as Taiko, Chanoyu, Origami, and Japanese cuisine

  • Support schools and communities in the learning of Japan culture
  • Conduct social events such as Bon-Odori, picnics, Mochi-tsuki, for Club members and local communities
  • Distribute announcements of local events and practical information about life in Triangle through E-mails and bilingual online media
  • Collaborate in cultural events with Japan-related organizations such as NC Japan Center, Japanese Language School, and Triangle Japan Business Association
  • Participate in other activities that foster understandings between Japanese and Americans


The Club’s organization consists of a Board of Directors and Administrative Committee, that are formed by all volunteers. Club activities are planned by the Board, the Committee, and other members who are interested. The Club welcomes the direct participation of as many members as possible in the administration of its activities.

The Directors meets regularly on the first Wednesday of each month. We welcome member participation at any time in these meetings.

Current Board of Directors

David J. Garrett
Rocky Iwashima
Rocky (Tsuguyoshi) is retired from IBM Japan and his own consulting company. He and his wife founded Triangle Taiko in 2002 and they continue to introduce Japanese culture to the Triangle area.
Yoshiko Iwashima
Yoko moved to Raleigh in 1987 from Fujisawa City (where she enjoyed windsurfing) with her husband and four sons. Yoko loves meeting her six grandchildren online. She is a member of the Taiko, Chanoyu, and Bon Odori Culture Club, and enjoys seeing children’s sparkling eyes at school and community events.
Kana Brinckerhoff
Kana Brinckerhoff was born in Vancouver, Canada and moved to Raleigh in 2018 from New Jersey. While in Vancouver, she practiced Nihon Buyo and participated in Bon Odori festivals and was interested in starting back up when she came to Raleigh. She has enjoyed her time in the Bon Odori Club learning new dances, meeting new friends and helping to showcase Japanese culture through Bon Odori and Nihon-Buyo to the public.

Kenichi Kojima

Kenichi moved to Raleigh in 2013 from Yokohama, Japan with his wife as a delegate to BAS Corporation. He works as a researcher for a global insecticide research group of BASF in RTP. He was localized in 2017, though still maintains a liaison roll with his previous company BASF Japan.

David Atoji

David was born in the Chicago area and enjoys living in the Raleigh area since the 1990’s.
He has been working in the chip development industry since 1988 with IBM, Alcatel-Lucent and Northrop Grumman. He has several patents and Conference papers. He has enjoyed his time with the Triangle Nippon Club and Taiko Club.