Japan

With rising interest in Chinese and South Korean studies, many universities across the U.S. fear waning enrollment in Japanese studies. The UI, however, has managed to buck the trend, with Japanese studies enrollment numbers on the rise the past 3 years.

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A new grant for the third-largest language program at the University of Iowa will mean expanded Japanese programs around campus. A more than $300,000 Institutional Project Support grant from the Japan Foundation will bring new faculty, facilities, and opportunities for more students to learn Japanese at the UI.

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Daniel Goering was awarded a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award, which he will use to conduct a mixed methods interdisciplinary study at a benefits firm in Tokyo, Japan. Daniel, of Agency, IA, is currently a PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business.

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Douglas Baker, a senior majoring in piano and Japanese at the University of Iowa, has received a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to further pursue his research abroad in a project titled, “The Japanese Style in Taijiro Goh’s Piano Music.” In this project, Douglas will gain access to unpublished compositions in archives held in Japan, where he plans to explore the methods Taijiro Goh used in order to express a Japanese style in his compositions. Goh was notably recognized as the composer of Japan’s first violin concerto in 1935.

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The University of Iowa Japanese Program will host a Japanese Fashion Show on Tuesday, April 7th from 7:00 – 9:00pm in W10 PBB.

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A group of educational leaders from various Japanese universities is visiting the University of Iowa to discuss Iowa’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiative and garner strategies and tactics to develop a STEM program in Japan.

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Two Japanese Kizuna Fellows shared their touching first-hand accounts of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 in a presentation Monday, August 5, at the Johnson County Crisis Center where the two are interning for the summer. In addition to their personal experiences, they discussed the food-bank system of Japan and the struggles of their home communities to return to normal life.

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Emi Inomoto and Misato Abe from the Kizuna Project will share their unique experiences of living in Japan during the deadly earthquake and tsunami of 2011 in a presentation Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, from 10-11 a.m. at the Johnson County Crisis Center. The event is free and open to the public.

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Have you been on a mission trip? Hosted a foreign visitor in your home? Helped someone master the English language – or had them help you learn another? Did you visit another country with your family and make a new friend? Were you part of a semester abroad program? If you have participated in an activity (organized or casual) that helped you meet and interact with people from another part of the world, the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD) invites you to enter photographs as part of its photo contest.

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I know that in America it is a little harder to tell if someone is a foreigner or not just by looking at them, because of our vast and heterogeneous population. In Japan the way I was treated as a foreigner was a lot different than how I’ve seen foreigners treated in the states. In my experience, whether or not someone was a foreigner was just something to take note of, and wonder about, no action was taken. In Japan, after I got through all of the impromptu photo-shoots, I was often approached and asked about how I was enjoying the country. I received warm welcomes, and was asked of my plans to return. I know that each society has their reasons for doing what they do in this situation. Personally, I have decided to adopt the Japanese way of acknowledging foreigners (minus the camera action). I can honestly say it has served me well, and I have met a lot of really amazing people because of this.

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