The 2011-2012 newsletter features profiles of Chad Diehl, Terasaki Postdoctoral Fellow, new faculty and visiting scholars.
Greetings from the Director,
As director of the Terasaki Center and as a native of Sendai, I feel tremendous gratitude for your support following Japan’s March 11 earthquake, tsunami and the subsequent disaster that followed. This year has been filled with unprecedented challenges for Japan, and I am thankful for the outpouring of compassion and concern that we continue to receive at the Center.
In addition to our involvement with the recovery and reconstruction efforts in Japan, the Center had an extremely busy summer. We worked with the Little Tokyo Committee to launch the first-ever Little Tokyo Design Week (LTDW), a four-day celebration of leading-edge design and technology trends emerging from Japan and Los Angeles. LTDW drew more than 25,000 visitors. We were ecstatic about the turnout, and look forward to a second run in the summer of 2013.
As this academic year begins, the Terasaki Center has reached a great milestone — its 20th anniversary! Perspectives inside and outside of Japan have shifted notably following the disaster—and remarkably over the past two decades —leading to the emergence of “New Visions of Japan,” our theme for the anniversary. We will focus specifically on culture, disaster recovery, economics/technology and US-Japan relations. The Center is honored to welcome Senator Inouye on June 1, 2012, as part of a global forum for the discussion of key issues relating to contemporary Japan. It is our intention to host similar forums on an annual basis.
Our colloquium series kicks off Oct. 17 with the presentation “Resurrecting Nagasaki: Memories of Destruction, Visions of Reconstruction, 1945-59” by Chad Diehl, our post-doctoral fellow in history from Columbia University. In November, Diehl will host a screening of the documentary “Twice Bombed: The Legacy of Yamaguchi Tsutomu”, the now-famous double-atomic bombing survivor. In addition, the annual Graduate Student Symposium “Utopias and the Japanese Imagery” is scheduled for Oct. 22 at the Charles E. Young Research Library.
We have planned a Shinnenkai New Year’s celebration on Jan. 20, and will reveal a new logo and look for the Center as we work to rebrand our organization and reach out to other Japanese centers around the world.
In spring 2012, the exhibit “Moving Forward: Life after the Great East Japan Earthquake” will open at UCLA with a symposium scheduled for March 10 – during the weekend marking the 1st anniversary of the disaster. To honor the resilience of the communities affected by the quake and tsunami, the Center has partnered with the Kahoku Shimpo newspaper to sponsor this traveling exhibit of its photographs. The exhibit chronicles the ongoing recovery efforts in Eastern Japan. It will run at the UCLA Fowler Museum from March 7 to April 15, 2012, with additional stops planned for the East Coast, including the Embassy of Japan in D.C., and at the University of Chicago from Nov. 1, 2011 to summer 2012. The Japan Foundation and the Japan Business Association (JBA) have been instrumental in providing funding for this exhibit. We are grateful for their support.
The Center is hosting several visiting scholars during this academic year. Hiroshi Onishi is visiting from Ferris University in Yokohama, Japan. Professor Anne McKnight joins us from USC, and will teach several courses in the department of Asian Languages & Cultures. We also welcome two Prange Travel Grant recipients this fall: Candice Wilson, a PhD candidate from the University of Pittsburgh, and Professor Michael Baskett (a UCLA alumnus), from the University of Kansas. They will conduct research on the Gordon R. Prange collection at the Charles E. Young Research Library, the premier archive for Japanese print media during the Allied Occupation for the years1945 to1949. Both recipients will deliver presentations on their findings.
This has been a year of transition for the Center. Sadly, we said goodbye to Professor Michael Marra in February after a long illness. Professor Marra was a prolific scholar and valued member of the Center's faculty. He will be greatly missed. We will celebrate his life and legacy with a symposium on Nov. 18 titled “A Path through the Fields.”
In addition to my appointment as director, and the appointment of Seiji Lippit as associate director in fall 2010, the Center has made other staffing changes. Mariko Bird retired as assistant director of the Center in June. We will be forever grateful for her dedicated service over the years! Noël Shimizu has stepped in to fill the role of assistant director, joining us from NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation via the UCLA School of Law. We are equally pleased to have Cindy Suzuki as the new special events coordinator, with Lorena Olvera continuing to serve in her vital role as program assistant.
We hope you will be able to join all of us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Terasaki Center!
Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011