Will Summers-Brown be making a sales pitch?
"It won't be so much a pitch as an acknowledgement of thanks," he said. "Most people don't know the strong connection West Virginia has with Japan."
He noted that U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., "has been one of the largest cheerleaders for the state in that country, ever. There are 21 Japanese companies operating in West Virginia and thousands of Japanese nationals working here."
When he is in Nagoya, Summers-Brown hopes to establish contact with the staff at West Virginia's trade office.
Giving gifts is traditional in Japan, and the exchange of business cards is a serious matter.
"I wanted to give something about West Virginia," he said. "So I designed a postcard in Japanese."
The front features a colorful picture of the gristmill at Babcock State Park and an outline of the state. Next to the outline, in Japanese, is "West Virginia." At the bottom right there's a line in Japanese that identifies the photo.
The back of the card is packed with facts and figures about West Virginia, along with several email and home page addresses for the state — and Bricks Without Straw's website address.
Summers-Brown will be traveling for two weeks.
Contact writer George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.