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. Please email us at Triangle_Nippon_Club@yahoo.com ahead of time if you are interested in attending.

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.
Yuko Machi
Yuko Machi was born in Kumamoto and grew up in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi. She moved to Raleigh in 2022 and enjoys life in Wake Forest with her husband and friends. Yuko’s early professional career started in ship building and supply chain, before expanding to governmental affairs in the automotive industry, after a short experience living and studying in the UK. She practiced Japanese Tea ceremony(Chanoyu: Omotesenke) while she was working in Shimonoseki and has experience practicing “chanoyu” in Kyoto. She enjoys to communicate with people through Japanese cultural exchanges.
Keith Carter
Keith has been interested in Japanese culture since a Japanese exchange student lived with his family when he was 8-years-old. He has spent about 7 months in Japan over the years. He has been a Taiko player for 4 years and has started down the path of making Taiko drums. He is the Presentation Coordinator for the Brooks Pierce law firm and uses that experience to support the Nippon Club at the International and NC Summer Festivals.
Marco Machi
Marco is originally from Rome Italy. He moved to Raleigh in 1996 and has since held several executive positions at ABB Inc., working closely with Japanese corporations and customers in the energy and automation industry. Marco lived and worked in Tokyo from 2014 to 2018. During this time he traveled extensively across Japan, developing a deep passion for the country’s unique history and culture. Marco is now back in Raleigh working closely with global customers and partners in Japan and across Asia Pacific.
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.

Current webmaster: Martin Payne