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Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures



Student News: Japan Track

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Japan Track News [ Vol. 06 | Vol. 05 | vol. 04 | vol. 03 | vol. 02 | vol. 01 ]

  • Wesley Lau ’15, Senior Honors Thesis Presentation, 15 May 2015
  • Wesley Lau, Senior Honors Thesis PresentationOn Friday, 15 May, Wes Lau presented the findings of the research he did for his senior honors thesis in Japanese. Working with faculty member Jim Dorsey, Wes examined popular culture representations of the meltdown of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in the wake of the 11 March 2011 tsunami. For the presentation Wes focused on two manga representations, arguing that the small-scale, concrete, local focus of them represents the eruption of a “subjugated knowledge” (Michel Foucault’s term) challenging the scientific, abstract discourse that has dominated the national conversation. Though it didn’t make its way into the presentation due to time, Wes is also examining the way popular music has dealt with the disaster. Congratulations to Wes on a fabulous presentation of a very interesting project.
  • Hannah Perry ’15, Senior Honors Thesis Presentation, 15 May 2015
  • Hannah Perry, Senior Honors Thesis PresentationHannah Perry, a double major in Japanese and Linguistics, introduced her senior honors thesis in Japanese on Friday, 15 May. Combining her facility in Japanese language with her capabilities for literary/poetic analysis and her love of music, Hannah is writing on Tokyo area place names as they appear in popular song. Drawing on and adjusting concepts introduced by popular culture theorists Theodore Adorno and Walter Benjamin, Hannah argues that the role played by Ginza, Shibuya, and Shinjuku in the popular imagination is sustained by the musical representations of these places, representations that revive and refresh the images established in earlier times. Her advisor is Jim Dorsey. Congratulations to Hannah for her educational presentation and for her original contribution to scholarship exploring the relationship of identity and music.
  • Road Trip to the Hokusai Exhibit in Boston, 25 April 2015
  • Roadtrip to the HOKUSAI Exhibit in BostonOn 25 April there were fourteen sleepy Japanese language students and an equally sleepy faculty/spouse team out waiting for the 7 a.m. Dartmouth Coach to Boston. We all went down to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to see the Hokusai exhibition. It was fabulous, especially the famous “wave” print from the Mt. Fuji series. We were joined by Tom Seymour, Dartmouth class of ’64. All enjoyed a lunch of sushi and/or ramen before returning to the museum to see the photograph exhibition focused on the horrible tsunami of 11 March 2011. Many came back north on the 5 p.m. bus, but some stayed for dinner and caught the later bus home. We’re grateful to Kartik and Tangent for much of the planning. And, many thanks to the trip sponsors: Office of Residential Life, COSO, and the Dartmouth Japan Institute!
  • Japan Affinity House REAL Ramen Dinner, 10 April 2015
  • Japan Affinity House: Ramen DinnerInstant ramen and cup noodle will get you through a tough hungry spell, but there are times when nothing but the real thing will suffice. A Friday night in the Japan Affinity House (McLaughlin Cluster) kitchen had fifteen students and faculty gathered for Wes-kun’s ramen (「ウエス•ラ-」). Homemade aromatic broth, amazingly succulent chashu (slices of pork), noodles, and all the toppings. The event was done in conjunction with the Dartmouth Japan Society. And we thank the chef for service far above and beyond the call of duty. ごちそうさまでした。
  • Film & Food with Faculty (サン•エフ): Prof. Nozawa and Time of Eve (「イヴの時間」), 5 March 2015
  • Film & Food with Faculty, イヴの時間In conjunction with the Dartmouth Japan Society, the Japan Affinity Living Learning Center in the Global Village invited Prof. Shunsuke Nozawa to present a film for the residents and guests to view. He chose Time of Eve (Japanese title: イヴの時間), a animated film that explores the increasingly blurry boundary between the human and the robot with artificial intelligence. The ten or so students who turned out enjoyed not only great Thai food and an interesting film, but also a lively discussion led by Nozawa Sensei afterwards. It was very nice to also have attending Prof. Tim Murphey from Japan and Mr. Anthony Helm, the director of Jones Media Center at Dartmouth. Many thanks to Amanda Simon for coordinating this event!
  • Caleb Cook, Dartmouth class of 2011, guest lecture, 25 February 2015
  • guest lecture Caleb Cook, February 2015On 25 February Caleb Cook gave a guest lecture in Jim Dorsey’s translation. Graduating from Dartmouth in 2011 with a major in Economics and a minor in Japanese, Caleb spent two years teaching English on the JET program in Japan. For the past year, he has been making his living as a translator of Japanese manga (graphic novels). Though he works with various publishers, the work getting the most attention is his translation of “My Hero Academia” (see image), currently serialized in the weekly English version of Shonen Jump. In his lecture Caleb outlined the challenges of translating this genre as well as the various strategies he has developed to meet those challenges. He also reviewed manga translations done by the class. The program hopes to have him back soon, and regularly.
  • Harald Fuess, Lecture on Japanese Culture in Europe, 25 February 2015
  • Lecture on Japanese Culture in Europe, 25 February 2015The Dartmouth Japan Society (DJS) hosted a dinner and lecture event featuring the Harris Visiting Professor Harald Fuess. Though his home base is Heidelberg University, Prof. Fuess spent the winter term at Dartmouth teaching a course on food culture in Asia. On this day he also gave a lively lecture to more than 20 students and faculty, exploring the manifestations of Japanese culture across Europe and the reasons for them. The differences with Japanese culture as seen in the U.S. was fascinating.  Everyone enjoyed dinner from Thai Orchid while listening to the lecture.
  • Japan Affinity House Curry Rice Dinner, 21 February 2015
  • Japan Affinity House Curry Rice DinnerWhen it’s cold outside, we (?) think of curry and rice, a favorite in Japan. Inspired, of course, by Indian cuisine, curry has been a Japanese favorite since the Meiji period (1968-1912). Legend has it that British sailors made the sauce thicker so it wouldn’t splash over the rim of the bowl in rough seas, and that this version was what arrived in Japan. On a chilly Sunday evening, the residents of the Japan Affinity House enjoyed a hearty version of this dish. Preparation was by Mikiko and Emily; pork cutlet topping was contributed by Wes. Thanks to all. ごちそうさまでした。
  • Brenda Gonzalez (Dartmouth ’15; double major in Japanese and Studio Art), Fall 2014
  • Brenda Gonzalez, fall 2014Last fall I participated in the Bekka exchange program at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Chiba, Japan. It was a very balanced experience, exposing me to both Japanese language and culture. Not only did classes focus on new grammar and writing, they also introduced casual (slangy) Japanese. As a result, I gained a great deal of confidence in my Japanese. The exchange program included students from Indonesia, China, Vietnam, etc., and with only Japanese as a common language, we improved our skills speaking to each other as well. I made many new Japanese friends, and was able to meet up with my host family from two years earlier. Having studied at KUIS on the LSA+ two years earlier, going alone on the exchange was not too scary and I adjusted easily to the lifestyle. The proximity to Tokyo allowed me to also enjoy the crazy fashion of Harajuku and walking around Ueno Park. (Photo: Brenda is on the left.)
  • Film & Food with Faculty (サン•エフ): Prof. Washburn and Welcome Back Mr. MacDonald (「ラジオの時間」),19 February 2015
  • Film & Food with Faculty, ラジオの時間The Japan Affinity Living Learning Center in the Global Village in McLaughlin Cluster at Dartmouth invited Prof. Dennis Washburn from Comparative Literature to present a film for the residents to view. He chose Welcome Back Mr. MacDonald (Japanese title: ラジオの時間), a hilarious comedy scripted by Mitani Koki. So, while enjoying “Gas Station Chinese” food, students and faculty relaxed for a few hours for a film in the living room. Many thanks to Sean Li for coordinating this event.
  • Tangent (Ting Cheung) Cheng (Dartmouth ’16; double major in Japanese and Economics), Fall 2014 & Winter 2015
  • Tangent (Ting Cheung) Cheng in Japan, Fall 2014 & Winter 2015This past fall and winter, I went on an exchange term to Keio University in Tokyo. My main goal was to improve my Japanese and learn more about Japanese culture, so I took 13 classes, including 11 language classes and 2 culture classes (not as scary as it sounds because Keio classes only meet once a week). Along the way, I explored Tokyo with my friends from Dartmouth (fellow exchange students to Keio and Kanda, as well as alums), visited friends and the host family from my LSA experience (summer 2013), joined the table tennis club at Keio, and participated in Japan's largest school festival, Mita-sai, by helping run my anime club's cosplay cafe. I even got a genuine Japanese New Year experience. Since Keio's term ended in late January, I decided to extend my stay in Japan and spent 2 more months at an internship with a small sightseeing company doing marketing and translation work. This also allowed me to go on gasshuku (group trips that last several days) with both my table tennis club and my anime club.
    (Photo: Tangent, in the middle, is joined by Dartmouth exchange students Annie Huang on Tangent's right and Brenda Gonsalez on his left. All at the top of Mt. Takao.)
  • Hannah Perry (Dartmouth ’15; majors in Linguistics and Japanese), Kimberly Hassel (Dartmouth ’16; majors in Japanese and Government), Ryo Maie (Kanda University of International Studies ’16), January 2015/01/31
  • The annual Student Forum on Global Learning: Hannah Perry, Kimberly Hassel, Ryo MaieThe annual Student Forum on Global Learning took place on 19 January 2015 in conjunction with the college’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Students involved with the Japanese program presented a panel titled “Teach Your Children Well: Education and Identity in an Internationalizing Japan.” Using their lived experience studying in both Japanese and American universities, each of the presenters considered the two countries’ approaches to the globalization of their students. Hannah spoke of her LSA+ and exchange term at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), Kimberly reflected on her LSA+ and teaching internship at Ibaraki Christian University in Japan, and Ryo outlined the differences in attitudes he found in his native Japan and his adopted Dartmouth cultures. Jim Dorsey moderated the panel, which was both well attended and thoroughly enjoyed.
    (Photo: [from left to right] Kimberly Hassel, Hannah Perry, Ryo Maie.)
  • Thomas Militello (Dartmouth ’16; double major in Japanese and Economics), Fall 2014
  • Thomas Militello, 2014This past fall, I spent my term on exchange at Keio University (Tokyo), where I took classes on everything from Advanced Japanese Grammar to Japanese Politics and Media. This exchange was very flexible and it was whatever you wanted it to be. One weekend I would be playing football with my Japanese Keio friends (followed by some karaoke) while the next weekend I would be in Nozawa Onsen skiing with Dutch exchange students. Especially for those of you looking to work/live in Japan after graduating from Dartmouth, the Keio Exchange provides an excellent way to prepare yourself, including developing your Japanese. The well-taught Japanese classes coupled with the extra-curricular activities that Keio has to offer allows you to learn Japanese in a way that you could only be done in Japan and only at one of the nation's most prestigious universities.
    (Photo: Thomas sandwiched between fellow exchange students while on an excursion.)
Student News: Japan Track [ Vol. 06 |Vol. 05 |Vol. 04 |Vol. 03 | Vol. 02 | Vol. 01 ]