The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

According to legend, it all began with turkey. There was venison, too. Waterfowl. And pumpkin.

Happy to have managed a good harvest, the pilgrims in North America broke bread, raised cheer, and celebrated another year in a rugged, unforgiving—yet bountiful—land.

As we travel further into the year, and fall closes its embrace, we are thankful of the kindness of family, friends, and colleagues. We also give thanks to the communities in which we live.

That sense of thankfulness and community—whether of past, present, or future, or of our nearest and dearest, or the community—carries through much of the November issue.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) section is no exception in this regard.

Both the ACCJ and its chapter in Chubu spotlight upcoming community events that have enjoyed generous support from members through the years, namely the Charity Ball and the Champagne Ball.

As ACCJ President Jay Ponazecki points out, the events are not just an opportunity for members to close out the year in cheer and camaraderie; they are also a vehicle through which they can give back to the community.

Playing one’s part in the community is also the underlying message of the ACCJ Leader column, which highlights the important developments of the My Number system and related tax matters.

What’s more, fully engaging with the community also means embracing its legacies, and our book review suggests Japan is in some sense shackled to its past, even as the Governor of Tokyo reminds us that the metropolis, and Japan, have much to look forward to and celebrate.

This sense of optimism and celebration, and indeed transition, even as the temperatures drop and the leaves turn crimson and fall, is carried through to the business section of this issue.

Japan is changing rather dramatically, and three features—covering the travel and leisure industry as well as in-bound tourism and M&A activity—show this to be the case.

But that change is not only being brought from without. The “Voices of Japan” column, as with the “Third Arrow” and “J-Media” features, suggest that the very definition of what Japan is, or will become, in the 21st century may be in need of re-defining.

Further, as our exclusive interviews with venture capital company 500 Startups Japan and a Japanese startup shows, both non-Japanese in Japan and Japanese themselves are challenging customs and daring to imagine a new reality.

That is what Japanese entrepreneur Akiko Naka is doing via her community-driven and disruptive platform called Wantedly.

But first, with Thanksgiving beckoning, our cover story celebrates the best of the US and of Japan as both countries come together to break bread over the dining table.

As always, we hope you enjoy the read, and we encourage your feedback.