AKIKO JONES HONORED BY JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER
Akiko Kawano Jones, Asian studies, was surrounded by more than 100 of her friends, family, colleagues from Bowling Green and beyond, and current and former students while she was presented the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation on Nov. 6. Mitsuhiro Wada, Consul General of Japan, presented the award from Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in recognition of her “outstanding efforts toward mutual understanding between Japan and the United States, with distinguished achievements which have contributed to Japan’s friendship and goodwill with other countries.”
The foreign minister’s award tops the list of numerous recognitions Jones has received.
Over her 30 years of teaching, Jones has embraced her students as her own, teaching them not only the Japanese language but also the culture, taking them on trips to Japan and arranging internships for them with Japanese companies. In 2014, she established the Akiko Kawano Jones Study Abroad Scholarship to enable students to study in Japan.
She has also assisted Japanese businesses locating in northwest Ohio and served on Ohio trade missions to Japan. All those speaking in tribute to her noted her gentle but effective role in making things happen.
In accepting the award, Jones noted that when she came to the United States 45 years ago, people were so unfamiliar with Japanese life that they often asked her questions such as what happened to the “paper houses” when it rained. Today, she said, happily there is much greater cultural awareness.
CALLIGRAPHY SCROLLS EXHIBITION OPENS AT FINE ARTS CENTER
Bowling Green State University / News / 2015 / October / Calligraphy scrolls exhibition opens at Fine Arts Center
Shodo/Brush Writing: Calligraphy Scrolls from the BGSU Asian Studies Collection” will be on display through Nov. 15 in the Willard Wankelman Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibition features 30 calligraphy scrolls by contemporary Japanese masters of the traditional art.
The Consulate General’s Office of Japan donated the scrolls to the BGSU Asian Studies program in March 2014. Artists belonging to the Shodo Journal Research Center designed the scrolls, which were part of a five-year, 50-scroll exhibition in Detroit.
Imai was born and raised in Nara, Japan. She began her studies of calligraphy at the age of 4 at Baikou Calligraphy School. When she was 25 years old, she received a membership to the Tenshin Kai (calligraphy society) and her life as a calligrapher began. Imai progressed to the next level, becoming a member of the Cho-ko Guild, the most prestigious calligraphy society in Japan. During her apprenticeship, she taught calligraphy and studied the art of Japanese silk scroll making (hyougu) at Mizuno Hyougu-ten.
In 1998, Imai was awarded and currently holds a guild license called “Shihan” for teaching both calligraphy and instructing teachers to teach calligraphy. She is among the few to have won multiple category awards in national competitions in Japan. Her work has been displayed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Osaka Municipal Museum Of Art, Nara City Museum Of Art and Kyoto Municipal Museum Of Art.
Imai arrived in United States November 2008, and currently teaches at her Swampscott studio and at the Kaji Aso Studio for Japanese studies. She has performed her calligraphy at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., and the Prudential Center in Boston, and has given workshops at Harvard University, Montserrat College of Art, Northeastern University and other universities throughout New England.
Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Special arrangements can be arranged for groups. The gallery is also closed all university holidays. For further information, visit BGSU.edu/Arts.
The exhibition is funded in part by the Ohio Arts Council, along with the BGSU Asian Studies Program, Fine Arts Center Galleries and Ethnic Cultural Arts Program.