• Japan Studies Institute Helps Fellows Integrate Japanese Studies Into Curricula

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    Final banquet

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    Tea ceremony

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    Koto Japanese classical music

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    Ikebana flower arranging

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    Taiko drumming

    On June 619, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) hosted the 2022 Japan Studies Institute at San Diego State University (SDSU). This return to the SDSU campus marks the first time the annual institute has been hosted since summer 2019.

    Twelve faculty members from AASCU member institutions joined their colleagues at this residential, two-week, multidisciplinary institute focused on national faculty development and helping participants integrate Japanese studies into their undergraduate curricula.

    The institute is geared toward faculty who do not have prior training or professional experience in Japanese studies but demonstrate an interest in gaining a better understanding of Japan. While modern Japan served as the focus of the program, participants were also provided with a firm foundation in the pre-modern history and culture of Japan. 

    The program is consistently supported by domestic Japanese and U.S. scholars, as well as the business community within the San Diego area. This year, the guest speakers from Japan included Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles Akira Moto and Special Representative of Mayor and Senior Executive Advisor to the City of Rikuzentakata Kiyoshi Murakami, who delivered the presentation, “The Resilience for Tomorrow: Rikuzentakata’s Challenges 11 Years After Tsunami Disaster.”  

    Additionally, keynote speaker Mary Alice Haddad, John E. Andrus Professor of Government, director of the Office for Faculty and Career Development, and professor of East Asian and environmental studies at Wesleyan University (CT), delivered a presentation on a very timely and important topic: “Centering the SDGs: Japan’s 21st Century Development Plan.”  

    The culmination of the two-week program included a presentation by each fellow on how they will incorporate Japanese studies into their curriculum. They shared the many ways they plan to ensure that their students and campus communities will benefit from this summer professional development opportunity, with continued assistance from organizations and institutions that worked alongside them during their time in San Diego, such as the Japan External Trade Organization, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, the Laurasian Institution, and The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles.

    What the 2022 fellows were saying:

    “Excellent variety of content, providing both breadth and depth of studies.”
    “The program is an excellent introduction to educators who do not have a background in Japan but are interested in learning more about the country and incorporating Japan studies in their classes.”
    “The Japan Studies Institute was an excellent experience—well organized and covered a broad perspective of topics.”
    “I have the highest regards for the amazing staff and faculty associated with the Japan Studies Institute. It was clear that everything was organized right down to the last details. This was one of the best professional development opportunities I have ever participated in during my career.”

    Learn more about the Japan Studies Institute, and be sure to look for information about the 2023 application cycle in early November.  

    2022 JSI Fellows group

    2022 JSI Fellows