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Students, faculty, staff, and donors come together to celebrate the New Year at the Terasaki Center Annual Shinnenkai

Students, faculty, staff, and donors come together to celebrate the New Year at the Terasaki Center Annual Shinnenkai

The Terasaki Center held its annual Shinnenkai on Friday, January 25th at UCLA’s Fowler Museum. An assortment of UCLA faculty, students, and members of the Japanese American community came out to celebrate the beginning of a new year over sushi, drinks, and a celebratory breaking of a sake cask. 

Among the evening’s speakers were Terasaki Center Director Hitoshi Abe, International Institute Vice Provost Cindy Fan, and UCLA Japanese Language and Literature professor Seiji Lippit. Kenneth Shima, Japanese Language and Literature graduate student and leader of the LA Interdisciplinary Japan Studies Workshop, thanked the Terasaki Center: “We’re very grateful for their support as well as the autonomy they’ve given us.” Lippit announced the publication of History Professor William Marotti’s new book, Money, Trains, and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960’s Japan. In addition, the UCLA Kendo Club, Japan-American Cultural Exchange (JPAM), the Japanese Animation Club, and UCLA Nikkei Student Union also thanked the Terasaki Center for their support.

In his speech, Hitoshi Abe paid a brief tribute to recently deceased Senator Daniel Inouye: “I was shocked to hear of his passing…Senator Inouye made significant contributions to the Japanese and Japanese-American communities, and he is missed.”

Together, Dr. Paul Terasaki, Vice Provost Fan, and the clubs’ respective leaders broke the sake cask to ring in a new year for the Terasaki Center as it looks forward to several upcoming events.

The Center’s next events include the first in a series of colloquia entitled “Culture, Power, and Social Change,” on February 7, and a screening of Terasaki Center Visiting Scholar Jun Hori’s nuclear energy documentary, Metamorphosis, later in the month. In March, the Terasaki Center will pay tribute to Professor Herman Ooms in a symposium called Practice, Ideology, and Symbolics, as well as host the colloquium, Moving Forward: Life after the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Center will also host University of British Columbia’s pre-modern Japanese Literature Professor Christina Laffin to discuss her new book, “Rewriting Medeival Japanese Women: Politics, Personality, and Literary Production in the Life of Nun Abutsu” on April 8th, as well as continue its series, “Culture, Power, and Social Change” on April 22nd.       

Assistant Director Noel Shimizu capped off the evening by raffling off several kendama toys to guests. When asked about the event, Abe said, “We really look forward to the opportunity to welcome in the New Year with our faculty, students and all of our supporters! Plus it's always a treat to see Dr. Terasaki and Vice Provost Fan wielding hammers during the sake cask breaking that marks the opening of the Shinnenkai party each and every year.” 

The Terasaki Center extends special thanks to Dr. Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki, Terasaki Center donors and faculty, UCLA’s International Institute, and the Consulate General of Japan at Los Angeles, Mutual Trading Company, and Takara Sake U.S.A.