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Student News: Japan Track
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- Hannah Perry (Dartmouth '15; Majors in Japanese and Linguistics), Fall 2013
Greetings from Chiba, Japan! My nickname is “Hana-pe” and I am part of the Kanda University of International Studies BEKKA program this fall. From studying in the international students area, KAEDE, to making mischief in SALC (Self-Access Learning Center), from reuniting with my host families from LSA '12 to meeting new friends at school, from joining the KUIS Singing Club to to playing Taiko no Tatsujin with Tish, from meeting the robot ASIMO at the Miraikan in Odaiba to making customized Cup Noodles at the ramen museum in Yokohama, from going to karaoke way too much to not sleeping nearly enough, from being utterly confused most of the time to being surprised at my gradual progress in Japanese some of the time, I have had such a wonderful time. I'm not sure exactly what to write here, but anyone interested is welcome to check my blog: hanachaninjapantaketwo.tumblr.com. Basically I absolutely love this exchange program. (“Hana-pe” is in the middle.)
- Latesia “Tish” Manuel (Dartmouth '14; major in AMES/Japanese; minor in Linguistics), Fall 2013
Greetings from Chiba, Japan! I am currently studying at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) as one of Dartmouth’s official exchange students, and if I had to pick one word to sum up my experiences so far it would be this: yabai, or crazy! I have had countless great experiences ranging from reconnecting with old friends and my host family from Dartmouth’s summer 2012 program here to meeting a ton of new people (who are---you guessed it!---way too nice), eating delicious food, and doing a bit too much shopping. All of these experiences were also made better by the fact that I am living in the same dorm as the lovely Hannah Perry, a fellow Dartmouth student. I love the KUIS Bekka program; I have gained both linguistic competence and confidence in and outside of the classroom, and feel that KUIS creates a strong sense of community for all of the exchange students. I am quite smitten with Chiba, and have been exploring it and Tokyo. I recently went on a day trip to Yokohama with several other Bekka students, which was fantastic. I will definitely be coming back to Japan after graduation. (Photo taken in Yokohama; Tish is on the left.)
- Japan Studies at Dartmouth: Educating Global Citizens, 8 & 9 November 2013
In celebration of Mitsui and Co.’s support of Japan Studies at Dartmouth, including the establishment of the Mitsui Chair held by Prof. Yusaku Horiuchi, the college held a conference attended by a grand line-up of graduates in Japan-related fields, dignitaries from Mitsui, and students currently studying Japan and Japanese. Details can be found on the conference website: http://sites.dartmouth.edu/japanconference2013/. One highlight was the contribution made by current students in the program. Kimberly Hassel ’16 and Tangent Cheng ’16 introduced the annual study abroad program; Brian Yeh ’14 and Lillian Huang ’15 spoke on the history of Japan Studies at Dartmouth; Wesley Lau ’15 shared work he is doing as a Presidential Scholar with Prof. Dorsey. Three seniors spoke of their honors theses: Ezra Toback ‘14, Lauren Gatewood ‘14, and Xu “Gabby” Chen 14. As intended, the conference provided an excellent forum for thinking about ways to capitalize on the strengths of the programs at the college.
- Localizing and Translating Video Games, a lecture by Alex Smith ’95, 7 November 2013
Students in Prof. Shunsuke Nozawa’s class on the cultures of anime and manga were joined by a variety of other students interested in Japan for a lecture by Alex Smith, Dartmouth class of 1995. After completing an M.A. program in classical Japanese literature at Harvard, Alex began working as a translator and localizer of Japanese video games, working on such industry classics as the Final Fantasy series. In his talk he discussed general approaches to the translation of these games, using various specific examples, including the amazing story of how and why the word “arigatoo” (thank you), in the last scene of Final Fantasy X, became in English “I love you.” Students (and faculty!) continue to be in shock on hearing that Alex is now translating his 31st novel from Japanese to English. This lecture was one of two “underground” events taking place during the “Japan Studies at Dartmouth: Educating Global Citizens” conference (see above).
- Practicing Law in Tokyo / Discussion with Ryan Goldstein ’93, 6 November 2013
Students in Japan-related classes were invited to join Mr. Ryan Goldstein for a discussion of everything from practicing law in Tokyo to strategies for mastering the Japanese language. Mr. Goldstein runs the Tokyo office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the largest litigation firm in the world, and he shared with students tales of high stakes law cases as well as the trials and tribulations of working in Tokyo. Students on the summer 2013 LSA+ had enjoyed a wonderful day with him while in Japan, and many returned to hear more from him. The group met for pizza at Ramunto’s. Mr. Ryan’s talk was one of two “underground” events taking advantage of people in town for the “Japan Studies at Dartmouth: Educating Global Citizens” conference (see above).
- Two Short Talks on Music Culture in Japan, 4 November 2013
The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures partnered with the student-led Dartmouth Japan Society (DJS) to offer two guest lectures over dinner. First Prof. Mamoru Tōya of Seijō University presented a talk titled “Thinking Through the ‘Gaps’ (ma) in Japanese Music,” in which he discussed some prevalent rhythms in traditional Japanese music. Then Prof. Harumichi Yamada of Tokyo Keizai University spoke on “Popular Music on Display: Music Museums in Japan and the U.S.” The talk revealed the strategies used by various music-related museums, including Elvis Presley’s Graceland and a museum in Japan dedicated to the late 1950s group the Dark Ducks. The event was targeted at the advanced students of Japanese, and the entire event was conducted in that language. Many thanks to the DJS for all its logistical support.
- Students Aid in Recovery of 3.11 (2011) Tsunami Area, August 2013
Eight students from the Language Study Abroad Program in Chiba/Tokyo and faculty member Jim Dorsey spent five days volunteering in the northeastern (tðhoku) region of Japan, helping in the recovery efforts in regions devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the region on 11 March 2011 Bunking in the volunteer center attached to the Nishi Honganji Temple in Sendai City, the crew worked in both the Natori and Wakabayashi areas. Alongside a steady stream of volunteers from Musashino University and elsewhere, the Dartmouth team pulled weeds, sort washed up debris for recycling, and restored a vegetable plot. The work was backbreaking, but made worthwhile by frequent, sincere words of thanks-arigatoo gozaimashita-from the local residents. Read more in the article featured in the Dartmouth Now: http://now.dartmouth.edu/2013/10/students-join-tsunami-clean-up-effort-while-studying-abroad-in-japan/
- Japan Language Study Abroad (LSA+) Program 2013
The summer 2013 offering of the 10-week Language Study Abroad (LSA+) program in Japan is now moving into its final weeks. The director this year was Jim Dorsey, and he was assisted by Lauren Gatewood, a student veteran of the 2011 offering. Based at Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, on the outskirts of Tokyo, the students took intensive Japanese language classes. We have also visited the historic city of Nikkō, Hanover's sister city of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, and will soon head out to western Japan (Nara, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima). The Japanese families hosting the students were, once again, absolutely fabulous. And Dartmouth alumni living in Japan have been incredibly generous. Kenji Hosokawa and Mark Davidson organized a BBQ at the U.S. Embassy Residence Compound; Ryan Goldstein got us into a morning practice session at a sumo stable (see photo). The program blog is at: http://2013japanlsa.blogspot.jp/
- Guest Lecture: Mr. Thomas Seymour '64, "Adventures in Japan, 1964~2011"
On 8 May 2013, over dinner, Mr. Thomas Seymour spoke of lessons learned over four decades of business experience in Japan. After earning two graduate degrees, he climbed the corporate ladder, eventually heading Japan / Asia operations for various well-known international corporations. Particularly memorable was his emphasis on acquiring fluency in foreign languages and his sensitivity to all employees under his charge during the difficult restructuring of one firm's Japan holdings. Later Mr. Seymour said: "I was genuinely impressed with the depth of enthusiasm and interest in Japan of the students I met, . . . and with the substance of the many projects in which they are engaged and the experiences they have had in their study abroad terms. It is clear that the teaching of Japan at Dartmouth is developing a wealth of talent to serve as the next generation of leaders in all of the fields in which the interests of Japan and the US intersect." Dartmouth thanks Mr. Seymour for his visit and hopes we can coax him back to Hanover again soon.
- Ezra Toback (Dartmouth '14; Majors in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Japanese), Spring 2013
So I’m currently studying at Keio University in Tokyo as part of Dartmouth's official exchange! I could go on and on about the wonderful school campus, the teachers, the remarkably economical and simultaneously delicious bento boxes, the trains, the rain, or the homework load, but that’s boring! Instead I’ll talk about horseback archery. You see, anonymous viewer, the wonderful thing about Tokyo is that it is a living city, and while New York never sleeps, Tokyo never stops being epic. It was a random Saturday, cool and chilly. I was informed by my good friend the internet that a yabusame (horseback archery) festival was to be held that day at the Asakusa Temple. And so I sallied forth, with my trust ally Umbrella, and experienced something incredible. I didn’t even know horseback archery was still something one could simply deign to see. As comes through in the photograph, the lane closed off to serve as a track bordered a playground (thankfully the children were barred from entrance), and fit snuggly on the other side was a river. The point being, the space was thin. And yet that is the beauty of Tokyo: you absolutely never know what magic you’ll find lurking in the tiny crevices of that living organism that is the city. (Also, come to Keio! It’s awesome!)
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