Faculty members from across the nation spend two weeks in San Diego learning about Japan.
Former Honorary Consul General of Japan in San Diego, Dr. Michael Shigeru Inoue speaks at the Japan Studies Institute opening.
More than a dozen faculty members from across the country descend on SDSU this week to participate in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Japan Studies Institute.
The Institute provides college and university faculty with the opportunity to learn from scholars, business leaders, artists, and journalists about modern Japan and obtain the tools to incorporate Japanese studies into their undergraduate curriculum.
SDSU President Elliot Hirshman stressed the importance of this seminar in his remarks at the opening of the Institute on Tuesday, June 12.
“Here in San Diego we are acutely aware of the importance of understanding our Pacific Rim neighbors,” Hirshman said. “On behalf of the SDSU community, I hope your two weeks here are full of scholarly activity that helps fulfill goals on your campuses.”Distinguished Guests
Dr. Michael Shigeru Inoue also addressed the 2012 Japan Studies Institute. As a former Honorary Consul General of Japan in San Diego and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Arts and Letters, he is a longtime advocate for closer ties between Japan and the U.S.
“It’s so important you’re here,” Inoue said as he addressed the fellows,bridging the gap between nations with a story of origins. “In this room, unless you are of Native American descent, most likely your ancestors came [to America] by boat.
“Another country made up of ‘boat people’ is Japan,” he continued. “There is a global culture in every Japanese and American” because of that, “it is important to have international relations.”Educating Educators
Director of the Japan Studies Institute Yoshiko Higurashi, a professor of Japanese language at SDSU, coordinates the two-week program in which participants learn from SDSU and UCSD faculty, as well as local experts and members of the Japanese community.
Attendees will participate in intensive seminars, lectures, readings, films, cultural activities, off-campus field trips, and evening activities covering a number of topics including:
- Japanese Language
- Anime/ Pop Culture
- Japanese Film
- Japanese Aesthetics
- Flower Arranging
- Economic System
- Brush Painting
- Japanese Literature
- Exchange Opportunities
- Japanese Government
- Japanese Business
After completing the Japan Studies Institute, fellows will return to their own campuses to begin applying the knowledge they acquired to undergraduate classes.
The faculty share a common interest in elevating their understanding of another culture despite backgrounds in diverse disciplines. Professors of political science, art, and literature feel that this program will help them understand international students better, enable them to enrich students’ perception of global culture, and broaden their students’ educational horizons.