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Newsletter '12-'13

The 2012-2013 newsletter features profiles of Dr. John Person, Terasaki Postdoctoral Fellow, 20th Anniversary recap, and faculty news.

Newsletter '12-'13

Dear Friends,

I would like to thank everyone who participated and helped make our center’s 20th anniversary events a success! I believe the UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese studies has done many great things in the past 20 years and I wish for another 20 years of success and community support.

The Terasaki Center celebrated its 20th anniversary with a series of engaging events throughout the 2011-2012 academic year. The New Visions of Japan Symposium Series offered outstanding public programming which included six film screenings featuring “Ashes to Honey “and “Hiroshima”, Japan in the World colloquium, Moving Forward: Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake Symposium, Rethinking the Space & Place of Japan three day conference, a Research Conference on Japanese Innovation & Technology, and two exhibitions, Moving Forward: Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake at the Fowler Museum at UCLA and New Visions of Japan: Disaster and Recovery at the UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library.

In remembrance of the March 11, 2011 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Tohoku, the Terasaki Center co-organized an exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA entitled "Moving Forward: Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake," which featured large-scale photographs, short articles and videos, commemorating the victims, the struggles of the survivors, and highlighting the reconstruction and recovery efforts.

We would like to thank our co-sponsor the Kahoku Shimpo newspaper, whose powerful images resonated with the museum visitors and UCLA community. We wish to also extend our gratitude to the following additional sponsors: Japan Business Association of Southern California, the Japan Foundation, and the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles. Special recognition is also extended to the Tohoku Gakuin University Volunteer Station Translation Project team, Mari Ishida, Timothy Unverzagt Goddard, Nathan Smith, and Saran Oki.

The New Visions of Japan Annual Forum held on Friday, June 1, 2012 marked the conclusion of our 20th anniversary. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block was in attendance to open the forum to introduce three featured presentations. The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, United States Senator and Senate President Pro Tempore, State of Hawai’I, discussed how the current relationship between U.S. and Japan is in a transition, James Zumwalt, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Japan and Korea, focused on the U.S. and Japan’s security alliance, and Tsuneo Nishida, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, highlighted how the U.S. and Japan are working closely together to overcome various global challenges from a UN perspective. The Annual Forum concluded at the Chancellor’s residence where he formally announced Dr. Paul Ichiro Terasaki as the recipient of the UCLA Medal.

The UCLA Medal recognized Dr. Terasaki for his support and commitment to the Center. On June 15, 2012, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block presented Dr. Terasaki with the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor, at Commencement. Also in June 2012, the UCLA Alumni Association recognized Dr. Terasaki contributions to the UCLA community by presenting him with the Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year award.

In May 2012, the Japan Foundation awarded $450,000 in funding to the Terasaki Center to support teaching, research, and outreach efforts. The funding will be distributed over a fouryear span and will help the Terasaki Center in its efforts to position UCLA as an international leader in research and instruction in modern and contemporary Japanese studies. This funding will be used to hire two new permanent faculty members in Japanese studies, cover expenses for an annual  global forum on Japan, enhance the East Asian Library’s  collection of modern and contemporary Japanese history and culture materials, extend the activities of the Japanese Arts and Globalizations research group, and support the New Visions of Japan Film Series.

This year’s visiting scholar is Jun Hori, from NHK Tokyo. His research focuses on digital media and broadcasting techniques in U.S. film and television election coverage in 2012, and is currently the News Anchor of NHK’s Key Economic news program “Bizspo”. I am very happy to have Jun join us and hope he will be enriched by his experiences here as a UCLA Bruin.

In the 2012-2013 academic year we mark the retirements of Professor Herman Ooms, Department of History and Professor Donald McCallum, Department of Art History. I thank you both for your hard work and wish you the best. Another bittersweet farewell goes to our East Asian Librarian, Toshie Marra. Toshie will be starting her new position at UC Berkeley beginning in October. Toshie was an integral member of our center for many years and she will be sorely missed!

Congratulations go out to Lorena Olvera, who accepted a new position at the Office of Contract and Admission as an Administrative Specialist. During her five years with the center, Lorena was an important asset support to the center and we were pleased to see her career advance. Stephanie Kawahara replaced Lorena as our new program manager. Previously, Stephanie worked as the Program Assistant for the International Institute. We are happy to have her and look forward to working with her as the school year develops.

In other staff news, Noel Shimizu is currently on maternity leave until January 2, 2013.

Please join us for our first event of the year on Monday, October 8th a seminar with our new Terasaki Center Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. John Person.

We look forward to seeing you at this and many more events as we move forward towards our next anniversary!

Hitoshi Abe
Director, Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, UCLA