August 5, 2020

UMW to Offer Japanese Language Courses

Japanese Minister of Public Affairs Takehiro Shimada (second from the left) and Takeshi Yoshida of the Japan Foundation (far right) visited UMW today to celebrate the announcement of the University’s new Japanese language program, funded by a grant from the Japan Foundation. From L-R: Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Betsy Lewis, Mr. Shimada, Provost Nina Mikhalevsky, Center of International Education Director Jose Sainz, Professor Steve Rabson, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger and Mr. Yoshida. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Japanese Minister of Public Affairs Takehiro Shimada (second from the left) and Takeshi Yoshida of the Japan Foundation (far right) visited UMW today to celebrate the announcement of the University’s new Japanese language program, funded by a grant from the Japan Foundation. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Spending a semester in Japan, UMW senior Kaitlin Viloria was in a shop when a young woman asked her a question. The woman spoke no English and Viloria’s Japanese was limited, but they still managed to strike up a conversation.

Viloria wishes she was more proficient, she said, “but in that moment, I was proud of my ability to overcome the language barrier.”

Future Mary Washington students who travel to Japan will be able to communicate with confidence, thanks to the Japanese language courses UMW will offer starting this fall. Earlier today, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger and Center for International Education Director Jose Sainz joined guests from the Japanese Embassy, faculty, administrators and city officials at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center to announce the new program. Japanese Minister of Public Affairs Takehiro Shimada gave a talk after the ceremony. Read more.

UMW to Offer Japanese Language Courses

Spending a semester in Japan, UMW senior Kaitlin Viloria was in a shop when a young woman asked her a question. The woman spoke no English and Viloria’s Japanese was limited, but they still managed to strike up a conversation. Viloria wishes she was more proficient, she said, “but in that moment, I was proud […]

UMW Finds Zen with First Study Abroad Program in Japan

Maybe it was the beautiful campus. Or that it was nestled in a small town rather than a huge metropolis. Perhaps it was because it was a public university with a strong emphasis on the liberal arts. Whatever the reason, the Japanese school reminded Kevin Hockmuth ’00 of his beloved alma mater, almost 7,000 miles […]

Rabson Publishes Article in Critical Asian Studies

“The Transformation of hinomaru [Japanese national flag] in postwar Okinawa: from symbol of hope to object of contempt” appeared in the July issue of Critical Asian Studies. During the U.S. military occupation (1945-1972), Okinawans staged protests carrying the flag, which represented their hopes for reversion to Japanese sovereignty, defying a ban on its display by American occupation authorities. But after the Japanese government broke its promises for a reversion in 1972 with reduced U.S. bases and without nuclear weapons, the flag became a hated reminder of this betrayal.

Rabson Publishes Translation of Book about Okinawan Wives

Author Etsuko Takushi Crissey of Okinawa’s G.I. Brides: Their Lives in America (University of Hawaii Press, 2017) traveled throughout the United States conducting interviews and a questionnaire survey of the many Okinawan wives of former American servicemen. With 30,000 U.S. forces still stationed in Okinawa, about 200 marry women there every year. Her interviews of women who have come here from the late 1940s to the present include first-person accounts of their many hardships as soldiers’ wives, immigrants, and members of a racial minority, and how most managed to overcome them and lead fulfilling lives here.

Okinawans resist the construction of yet another U.S. base. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Rabson Co-edits Anthology of Japanese Literature in Translation

Steve Rabson, Adjunct Instructor at the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies, has published Islands of Protest: Japanese Literature from Okinawa, co-edited with Davinder Bhowmik, from University of Hawaii Press. The anthology presents English translations of fiction, poetry and drama written from the perspectives of an oppressed minority in Japan.

UMW Awarded $18,000 Grant for Japanese Studies

On Jan. 29 the UMW Leidecker Center for Asian Studies was awarded a one-year $18,000 grant from the Japan Foundation for Japanese studies at the University. In 2014 it will fund a course in Japanese literature, nine visiting presentations, and $5,000 in books and films for the libraries. The presentations will include lectures on Japanese politics, society and culture, a performance of Japanese music, a tea ceremony demonstration, and a guided session of Zen meditation.