Braden Bennight (August)

Hello everyone!


Welcome to my Hyogo Business & Cultural Center monthly staff blog!


My name is Braden Bennight and I am the Assistant Director at HBCC. I will be using this first staff blog post of mine mostly to introduce myself and a bit about HBCC.


My life has been deeply and influenced by Japanese people and Japanese culture ever since I can remember. Starting from when I was 4 years old, my family has been taking in international exchange students to homestay with us. Most of those exchange students were from Japan. After many years of living with several Japanese host sisters and brothers, I grew to love Japanese food, culture, and people.


This love created a desire within me to study Japanese language in High School for three years, followed by a two year volunteer lds church mission in Japan. After then going on to graduate college with a BA in Japanese Language, I applied for and was accepted into the JET Program as a CIR (Coordinator of International Relations). I lived in Nagoya with my wife and two children and worked at the Aichi Prefectural Office International Affairs Division, where I did translation, interpretation, and promoted internationalization among other things. After returning home and working a couple of other jobs, I was hired as the Assistant Director of HBCC.


Up until the rapid spread of Covid-19, my position found me becoming involved in Japanese cultural and educational events in the area. These included the Bunka No Hi (Culture Day) event last November at the Japanese Cultural Community Center of Washington and the Olympia Oshogatsu event at River Ridge High School near Olympia.


Now with all of the issues brought on by Covid-19 such as shut-downs etc, our work which is normally events heavy has undergone some temporary changes. We will be mostly focusing on revamping this website with more new content, as well as starting to create a social media presence for our office.


I hope that you will please look forward to our new content and continue to read my blog!


Thank you.