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Newsletter '04-'05

Newsletter '04-'05

The 2004-2005 newsletter profiles the academic careers of the three scholars who will hold the Terasaki Chair in the next three years.

Greetings from the Director

Dear friends,

In the midst of the University of California’s budget restraints I am pleased to inform you that the Center for Japanese Studies is alive and well. We are gearing up for another productive year of Colloquium Speakers as well as a full compliment of Conferences and artistic events. As will be detailed elsewhere, we have also been able to fill the Terasaki Chair with three stellar academics for the next three years: namely, Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, from Wisconsin, who will be with us Winter and Spring this year, Thomas Rimer from the University of Pittsburgh, who will be the chair holder in 2005-06, and Helen Hardacre from Harvard, who has agreed to come in 2006-07. Each of these scholars will be giving courses at UCLA and participating in the Center’s program. At the Center we are particularly thankful for Paul Terasaki’s generous gift that makes it possible for us to strengthen our work on Japanese Culture and U.S.-Japan Relations.

Advanced graduate students working in the field of Japanese studies who anticipate doing research in Japan will be particularly pleased to hear that the George and Sakaye Aratani “Field Experience Fellowship Program” has now been fully funded by the completion of the Aratani gift of 1M dollars to the Center. This will allow the Center to provide fellowships to several advanced doctoral candidates for fieldwork in Japan. We hope to award a full compliment of these fellowships in the spring of 2005.

We have long benefited from the strong support of the Center by the Nikkei Bruins of UCLA, a wonderful group of Japanese-American graduates of our university who have a strong sense of public commitment. Some years ago they established funding for the annual Nikkei Bruin Conference held by the Center. This year we take special note of a gift of $50,000 to the Nikkei Bruin Fund that was provided by Kay and Sambo Sakaguchi. I recall with pleasure seeing Kay and Sambo at the reception held for George Aratani before the awarding of his UCLA Medal this spring. She was sparkling as ever and was pleased to hear that the Foundation had transferred their gift to the Center. It was therefore a great shock to hear a few weeks later that Kay passed away. We will certainly miss her!

For over ten years the Center has sponsored an annual Graduate Student Symposium. This symposium has always been organized by the graduate students in various fields of Japanese Studies at UCLA. This has allowed our graduate students to interact with some of their best peers around the country. It has always been a lively spring event. Last year, to my regret, the symposium could not be held for organizational reasons. We hope that this year the graduate students can return to their well established tradition of organizing and holding their own conference with Center funding. I urge all graduate students to “pull together” to make this event a success.

All of us remain committed to making UCLA a vital center in the field of Japanese Studies. I think the last ten years have allowed us to make real progress towards this goal. With your help and support we can build further on this legacy. Watching a festival in Japan this summer, I heard those pulling a large float uttering the “wasshoi, wasshoi” that I recall from my childhood in Japan. What the Center needs is the “wasshoi, wasshoi” of our community pulling together in these difficult times.

Cordially,
Fred G. Notehelfer
Director
UCLA Center for Japanese Studies
September 2004

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