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Highlights of the last two years

Here are some of the highlights of the Asian Studies Program’s last two years:
October 2015 – Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs (MCAA), Joseph Miller, Asian Studies Major, graduated May 2015, had his paper selected as a winning entry for the Sidney DeVera Brown Prize for 2015. Joey received a $100 award and an invitation to present his paper at the MCAA Conference on October 18, 2015 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Joseph’s senior paper, “The Confucian Case for Homosexuality”, received the First Asian Studies Senior Award at BGSU in May, 2015. The paper was then submitted to the MCAA by the faculty teaching his Capstone Course, Dr. Christopher Frye.

October 2015 – Alumni Voices: Ohio-Japan Alumni Network – Japanese language teachers from 25 universities in OH gathered with graduates and current students to share Japan-related experiences and opportunities. Akiko Kawano Jones, Director of the Asian Studies Program, took current students in two cars, and met the graduates of BGSU in Columbus. Janet Stucky Smith is the organizer of this project with a grant from the Japan Foundation. Alumni and Students who attended are listed below:

Graduates: (8)
Sheila Spradlin Reich(1987)/ Janet Stucky Smith (1988)
Yukiko Bickell (1992)/ Rachel Blasko (2014)/ Debbie Lewis (2009)
Jane Powell(2015)/ Joseph Miller (2015)/Ashley Martinez
Current students: (8)
Chad Acord/ Matt Baer/ Alexis May/ Gabriel Colwell/
Angelique Gordon/ Katelyn Taylor/ Misato Ebara/
Michelle Montano

November 2015 – Japanese Calligraphy Exhibit- In collaboration with the School of Art at BGSU, a display was held from October 18-November 15 to show the 30 calligraphy scrolls we received as gifts from the artists in Japan through the Consulate General’s Office in Japan. An opening reception was held on October 18 with a demonstration by Ms. Michiko Imai from Boston, whose work has been displayed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, etc. About 70 visitors including students, faculty, and community people attended the demonstration.

November 2015- Foreign Ministry Award from Japanese Government- Akiko Kawano Jones was awarded the Foreign Ministry Award. A reception was held on November 6 sponsored by Consul General of Japan in Detroit with support from the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences. The Honorable Mitsuhiro Wada, Consul General of Japan in Detroit, presented the certificate. Wording of the certificate is below:

“ You have made outstanding efforts toward mutual understanding between Japan and the United States, with distinguished achievements which have contributed to Japan’s relationship and goodwill with other countries. In acknowledgement and with deep respect, I hereby present the Commendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.”
August 27, 2015 Fumio Kishida, Foreign Minister.

December 2015 -Asian Studies Forum, sponsored by Asian Studies Program, was held on December 2, 2015 at the Bowen Thompson Student Union of BGSU. Dr. Khani Begum was the presenter with the topic: “ Partition Hauntings in Contemporary South Asian Cinematic Responses to the War on Terror” Dr. Khani Begum is a faculty of

December 2015 – Get-Together Luncheon with Majors and Faculty was held Friday December 11. The majors and minors of Asian Studies Program gathered with the faculty of Asian Studies Committee members in the Nakamoto Japanese Studies Room (11th Floor of Offenhauer West). Pizza and sushi were served with Christmas candy and cookies.

December 2015 – Introduction of Tea Ceremony at BGSU Nakamoto Tea Room occurred as a part of Arts Extravaganza. The Nakamoto Tea Room was opened and Akiko Kawano Jones made tea ceremony tea and served it to the guests. Over 100 guests tasted Tea Ceremony Tea and the Japanese sweets at Tea Room. Akiko Kawano Jones is Senior Lecturer of Japanese at German, Russian and East Asian Language Dept. and Director of Asian Studies Program

February 2016 -The 45th Japanese-American Business Dinner Meeting, “Nakama-no Kai” – Japanese and American businessmen and college educators attended the 45th Nakama Meeting on February 3 at BGSU sponsored by the Asian Studies Program. Mr. Mitsuhiro Wada, Consul General of Japan in Detroit was the speaker for Nakama. The topic was “U.S.-Japan Relations and Ohio”. Fifty-one people attended including President Mazey, Provost Rogers, Dean Craig, Associate Dean Klopfer and Mayor Edwards. Goals of Nakama: To foster friendship and cooperation between Japanese and American business executives and their spouses; encourage mutual understanding of Japanese and American cultures, and help minimize the difficulties and maximize the opportunities in doing business together. Akiko Kawano Jones, Director of the Asian Studies Program and faculty in Dept. of German, Russian ad East Asian Languages, was the organizer of the event.

February 2016 – Asia Day – As a part of Presidents’ Day University Opening House, the Asian Studies Program held the special event “Asia Day” at Gish Theatre to recruit high school students and undecided BGSU students to the program from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Majors and minors from the Asian Studies Program and students of Japanese and Chinese classes gathered with faculty of Asian Studies Committee members to welcome the high school students and introduce the Asian Studies Program. The director and the faculty of the committee introduced the overall program then Japanese and Chinese students presented short skits followed by the majors and minors’ presentations on their experiences studying abroad. Current Asian Studies majors conversed with the high school students. Everyone was introduced to Tabla (Indian drums), Japanese traditional dance and Taiko performances during the last 40 minutes. There were also opportunities to try Japanese paper folding (origami), Brush writing calligraphy (shodo), and Japanese traditional games at workshop tables. Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Indian cookies, candy, and chocolate were served. Director Akiko Kawano Jones and the faculty of the Asian Studies Program organized the event.

April 2016- Cherry Blossom Festival- “Ohanami”, held from 4:00 pm ~ 8:00 pm on Saturday, April 16, 2016. It was organized and sponsored by the Asian Studies Program and Japanese Club of BGSU, with the goal of promoting Japanese culture to BGSU and the City of BG as well as to OH, MI communities. The ceremony was held at 4:15 with national anthems and was opened with President Mazey’s welcome greetings, followed by Dean Craig’s introduction of Consul General of Japan in Detroit, Mr. Mitsuhiro Wada and his remarks. Distinguished guests were Mr. Masatoshi Emori, Mr. Takuo Imada, Mrs. Michiko Matsuki (Mr. Emori’s daughter) from Japan (donors of the trees in 2001 fall); Dr. Edward Chen – founder of Asian Studies Program of BGSU, retired; Alumni – Asian Studies majors, and BG City officials. Entertainment included performances of Japanese Taiko, Japanese traditional dance, martial arts, and chorus. Activities were Origami, Japanese calligraphy, traditional games, caricature, wearing Japanese costume, tea ceremony tea tasting, and many more. Sushi, Japanese snacks, and American snacks are all free. Raffles were held to support the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Akiko Kawano Jones, Director of Asian Studies Program, was the Organizer of the Event.

April 2016 – Spring Forum: “Politics After YouTube: Satire and Democratic Politics in Digital India” – Speaker was Prof. Aswin Punathambekar, Associate Professor, Communication, University of Michigan. Held at 11:30 am~ 12:30 pm on Friday, April 15, at Room 208 of Student Union. This lecture was planned to be a part of “Symposium: Glimpses1 of India”, but it was cancelled due to the weather and we rescheduled the lecture as a forum of the Asian Studies Program.Vibha Bhalla, Associate Professor of Ethnics Studies, a committee member of Asian Studies Program, was the organizer of the lecture. Akiko Kawano Jones, Director of the Asian Studies Program was the organizer of the Forum.

September 2016 – Presentations at Global Responses to 9/11 and the War on Terror Literary, Media, and Film Perspectives Conference, held in commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the World Trade Center Attacks of September 11, 2001 and in Remembrance of its Victims. This conference was organized by ATLAS English Literature Graduate Student Organization and volunteer students from Popular Culture and American culture Studies and Khani Begum, Associate Professor of English. Conference was held at Room 201 and 207 of Bowen Thompson Student Center from 8 am ~ 9 pm. Sage Panter, 2015 graduate from BGSU as an Asian Studies Major, presented: “How the Film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Successfully Humanizes the Middle Eastern Muslim.” Current senior and Asian Studies Major Matthew Thome presented “On Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper: Hyper-Masculine Commemorative Exceptionalism & Emasculation of the Middle East.”

October 2016 – Presentations at Embracing Global Engagement: Internships, Service-and Experiential Learning in BGSU Education – Abroad Programs, October 5, 2016. Conference was organized by Center for Undergraduate Research & Scholarship, held in Rooms 201 and 206 of Bowen Thompson Student Center from 9:15 am ~ 4:45 pm. For Session 5 – Japan (BTSU 201) — the following students presented: Matthew Thome (senior, Asian Studies Major)– Hiroshima on Peace Education and Problems with U.S.- Centric Historical Narratives in a World Without Survivors; Kimberly Cerilli & Gabrielle Click (both in Japanese program) – Abroad in Japan: the Summer Experience; Alexandra Cordes (Senior, Asian Studies Program) – Hidden Culture and the Effects it can have on People; Joseph Benbella (Senior, Asian Studies Major) – Obama in Hiroshima; Sean Conner (Junior, Asian Studies and International Business Major) – One Unbelievable Trip to Japan. Matthew Thome was one of the top four Award winners, awards will be presented in November. Akiko Kawano Jones, Director of Asian Studies Program, was Advisor for the presentation

December 2016- Open House for The Nakamoto Japanese Tea Ceremony Room with Japanese ceremony tea for the City of Bowling Green was organized by Asian Studies Director, Akiko Kawano Jones, assisted by Mayuka Nakagawa and Hikari Fujii as part of the Arts Xtravaganza held on December 3, 2016. Akiko dressed in Japanese kimono and talked about the history of the tearoom which was built in 1992 and was donated by Ms. Hiroko Nakamoto, a big contributor for the university. The room was open from 6 to 8 pm and approximately 130 people visited the room. Akiko Kawano Jones, Director of Asian Studies Program and Presenter.

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