Saturday, December 3, 2016

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A sumie (traditional Japanese painting style) brush painting course will be offered during the conference. A sumie (traditional Japanese painting style) brush painting course will be offered during the conference.

Japanese Culture as Curriculum

A national faculty development conference entitled "Incorporating Japanese Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum" begins today at SDSU.
By Hallie Jacobs

Professors from all over the United States arrived at San Diego State University today to begin a national faculty development conference focused on Japanese culture and acadamia. 

The institute, sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, is designed to help educators who wish to incorporate information about Japan into the courses they teach. Faculty have the opportunity to learn from scholars, business leaders, artists and journalists about modern Japan throughout the course of the two-week program.

"The program provides excellent training for faculty," said Yoshiko Higurashi, director of SDSU's Japanese Language Program and head of the AASCU Japan Studies Institute. "Past participants reported that the program was well-balanced, comprehensive and beneficial on both a professional and personal level."

About the institute

Designed for faculty with no prior experience in Japanese studies, the conference, "Incorporating Japanese Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum" runs through 22 at SDSU.

The institute welcomed 16 fellows who were selected from across the nation, including distinguished scholars and dedicated educators recommended by the presidents of their home institutions.

AASCU recognized SDSU's contributions since Higurashi became the director in fall 2005, and chose SDSU as an official co-sponsor of the institute beginning in 2013. 

"SDSU takes pride in being diverse in its students and curriculum," said Jaclyn Tomita, president of the Nikkei Student Union, a Japanese student organization at SDSU. "Being Japanese American, this program holds close to my heart and I am excited that so many established scholars have taken interest in learning about the culture."


Topics covered during the conference will range from Japanese language to how Japan recovered from the devastating 2011 earthquake. 

Other events include:

  • Provost Marlin hosting the opening ceremony June 11
  • A luncheon reception with President Hirshman on June 19
  • A Sumie brush painting course
  • Field trips throughout San Diego, including Balboa Park and the Buddhist Temple of San Diego
  • Meditation
  • Japanese film and entertainment courses

"In order to prepare our students who will be the future of our society for a competitive global world, their faculty must be global and international themselves," Higurashi said. "Many faculty members are aware of this fact and are eager to widen their perspectives."