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HOME > STUDY ABROAD / NEWS > STUDENT NEWS: JAPAN TRACK > Japan Track News Vol. 02

Student News: Japan Track - Vol. 02

* Suggestions for news and update items are always welcome; send them to james.dorsey@dartmouth.edu.

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

  • Chanon (Kenji) Praepipatmongkol: (Dartmouth '13; DAMELL-Chinese Major, Art History Minor), Summer 2010
  • Chanon (Kenji) Praepipatmongkol Summer 2010Over the summer of 2010, Kenji was funded by a Dickey Center grant to do a research internship at Temple University Japan Campus in Tokyo. During this time, he assisted Professor Noriko Murai of TUJ in compiling a bibliography of recent literature (written in English) on modern and contemporary Japanese art. The project aimed to categorize works by their nature and topic, and ultimately would be provided as a resource for students of art history at TUJ; he was also involved in doing comparative research on the use of the label "Asian art" in Japan and in Thailand. Working with ICAS staff and the other interns, he helped organize the academic conference "The Politics of Popular Culture" at TUJ. During his free time, he explored the various art museums and galleries in and around Tokyo, which complemented and enriched his academic study of art history. (Photo: Kenji with Prof. Murai of Temple University, Japan.)
  • Linda Li (Dartmouth '11; Asian & Middle Eastern Studies and Biology major), Summer 2010
  • Linda Li Summer 2010 Linda reports on her recent research trip to Japan: "I spent ten days last summer in Japan collecting materials for my senior independent study on Japanese suicide notes. This was made possible by generous funding from the Dickey Center and the guidance of Professor Washburn and Professor Dorsey. My research led me to the two main libraries in Tokyo and an exhibition in Kyoto raising awareness of the increasing suicide rates in Japan. This exhibition, titled 'Inside me, you are alive now,' brought together families of the deceased to grieve together and share their experiences. During my time there, I was also able to reconnect with my home stay family and friends whom I had met two summers ago while I was on Dartmouth's summer program in Japan. I also took this opportunity to gather information and comments on how the common Japanese people feel about this social issue. Through this project, I was able to meet and discuss this phenomenon with many people whose lives were affected, in one way or another, by a suicide. I hope to continue my research this fall term upon returning to Dartmouth." (Photo: Linda with her host sister Yoshimi.)
  • Elva Fan (Dartmouth '11; Asian & Middle Eastern Studies & Economics major), Summer 2010
  • Elva Fan Summer 2010Elva spent 8 weeks in summer 2010 in Japan on the trading floor of J.P. Morgan Securities Japan. She worked with the Equities Division which provides a variety of services for institutional equity investors. Elva spoke Japanese and English at work and occasionally conducted market research in Chinese. She visited publicly-listed Japanese companies and also wrote up research reports and stock pitches. She had a great experience learning and working in a global company's Japanese office.
  • Nuith Morales (Dartmouth '11, Studio Art Major, Japanese Minor), Summer 2010
  • Nuith Morales Summer 2010 Nuith went to Japan on Dartmouth's LSA+ program in the summer of 2009, and again in summer 2010 to work under the director of the International Animation Festival in Hiroshima. She used her spare time for initial research for her senior thesis. The internship was made possible through support from the Lucas Family Fund for Undergraduate Research via the Dean of Faculty Office. Here's what she had to say about her experience: "My time in Japan served to corroborate a suspicion that I have had for some time-that the study of anything in depth is really the study of everything else, just in different form. For my thesis, I was investigating space and its connection to storytelling. The link to animation, which often represents movement in three-dimensional space and almost always tells a story, quickly became my focus. But this connection soon led to film, literature, language, cognitive science, neurology, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and everything else. These thoughts were only strengthened by working to put together an animation festival dedicated to peace-writing letters, struggling with translations, preparing transportation for guests, occasionally feeding the cat and, of course, learning about language and animation. I also visited the Peace Park and Peace Memorial at Hiroshima, excellent case studies of the construction of a story, or history, through space. Needless to say, this summer was a wonderful venture made even better thanks to the warmth and generosity with which I was treated both at work and at my homestay parents' home."
  • Japan LSA+ 2010
  • LSA+ Japan 2010 NihonmatsuThe annual Dartmouth College Language Study Abroad (LSA+) program began in Chiba (the outskirts of Tokyo) on 23 June 2010 and will continue until 27 August 2010. Comprised of 17 students, one "veteran" student assistant, and director Jim Dorsey, the program is focused on an intensive study of the Japanese language. Students live with Japanese families, and so have a great opportunity to put their language studies to good use. The photo was taken in the city of Nihonmatsu, hometown of Dr. Kan'ichi Asakawa, the first Japanese national to graduate from Dartmouth College (class of 1899), and a sister-city to the town of Hanover. Other excursions include the city of Nikko, and a week-long trip through Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and points west. Activities in this year's offerings have included "kyudo" (Japanese archery), a calligraphy workshop, and a trip to Tokyo Disneyland. Who knows what the following five weeks have in store for the group?
  • Laura Kim (Dartmouth '11; DAMELL-Japanese major), academic year 2009-2010
  • Laura KimLaura was Dartmouth's exchange student to Japan's prestigious Keio University for the 2009-2010 academic year. Here's what she had to say about her experience there: "During my year at Keio, I was able to immerse myself deeper into Japanese culture than I had been when I was in Chiba for the LSA+ 2008. I was able to meet and make friends with Keio students through club activities such as KOSMIC, a club that connects international students and Keio students through various sponsored outings in Tokyo, parties, and a conversation partner program. I was also able to learn about traditional Japan by taking culture-related classes like the one captured in the picture. In this Japanese painting class we created our own art using traditional Japanese methods and we saw real art students working on similar pieces of art during our field trip to an art college in Ueno. I was also able to discover more about the tea ceremony by actually learning the process of making and serving tea myself. Apart from Japanese culture, I was able to meet many students from all parts of the world-Germany, Poland, Hong Kong, and Morocco, to name but a few. All in all, the Keio experience has made me more aware and appreciative of the diversity of different cultures."
  • Dartmouth Japan Society, Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Panel, Spring 2010
  • Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Panel On 3 April 2010 the student-run Dartmouth Japan Society hosted a panel discussion featuring four veterans of the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program. The panelists can be found in the accompanying photo. From left to right, basically at the front of the room, find: Chris Ball (Dartmouth faculty in Anthropology), Josh Graubart (Dartmouth '98), Joe Marucheck (Dartmouth '04), Sam Rashkovich (Dartmouth '10 and discussion moderator), and Matt Mackey (Dartmouth '09). The panelists each described their experiences teaching English at Japanese public schools and how these experiences impacted their subsequent careers. Prof. Ball is now teaching anthropology at Dartmouth, including a course on the linguistic anthropology of Japan. Mr. Graubart works in NYC as an attorney specializing in entertainment law while Mr. Marucheck's career is in the finance industry in the same city. Mr. Mackey is now in his first year at the Dartmouth Medical School. The event drew a good crowd, and the discussion was lively and informative. Thanks to the Sam Rashkovich and the Dartmouth Japan Society for bringing this event to campus.
  • Max Friedman (Dartmouth '10; AMES/Japan major), Winter 2010
  • Max Friedman "I spent six weeks this past winter in Japan researching the education system for my senior honors thesis. Thanks to the generosity of the Raynolds International Expedition Grant, the Rockefeller Center, and the Dickey Center, this trip was certainly the best trip I've ever taken. Having already enjoyed my experience in Japan with the LSA+ in summer 2009, I returned to Japan excited and confident in my language skills. Further, I was much better able to structure the trip so that it was both extremely productive and enjoyable. During my time there, I visited thirteen schools and interviewed approximately fifty teachers from the Nagano, Chiba, and Yokohama areas.  I also visited classes, went to a career fair at one school, and chatted casually with many students about American culture, my reasons for learning Japanese, and, almost without fail, my favorite foods! It was also my first opportunity to receive a legitimate taste of the benefits of, and problems with, the Japanese school system from the teachers themselves. I chose this project because of my interest in education, and it was enlightening to see firsthand the differences between concepts of learning in Japan and the US. During my free time on weekends, I played ultimate frisbee with a local co-ed team. Right before I left, the team went to a tournament in Saitama, where, despite snow, we played some of the best teams in the Kanto Region."
  • Stefan Uddenberg (Dartmouth '11; Japanese major), Fall 2009
  • Stefan Uddenberg As part of Dartmouth's exchange with the institution, Stefan attended Kanda University of International Studies, located just outside of Tokyo, for the autumn semester of 2009. He described his experience: "My time in Japan this past fall was once again nothing short of magnificent. I was just as taken aback and moved by Japanese courtesy and generosity this time as I was when I first visited the country in summer 2008 on the Japanese LSA+. My classes at KUIS turned out to be more difficult - and rewarding - than I had expected them to be, and they challenged me to think about Japanese in new ways. KUIS also boasts an extremely diverse international exchange student population, and this afforded me the opportunity to make amazing friends from all over the globe. In my unusually small class of nine, every single student was from a different country, and there I made my first Indonesian, Taiwanese, Thai, Danish, Spanish and Brazilian friends. I wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone who loves Japan, learning Japanese, and having one's cultural assumptions challenged and redefined." (Photo: Stefan is on the right.)
  • Hikaru Yamagishi (Dartmouth '12; AMES-Japan & Government), Summer 2009
  • Hikaru Yamagishi "I spent the summer after my freshman year in my hometown, Tokyo, Japan, researching domestic wartime and post-war representations of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Made possible by generous funding from the First-Year Office and the guidance of Professor Dorsey, my research took me to libraries, museums, and archives where I read everything from books and letters to pamphlets and posters. It was part of an attempt to further understand the true climate of war that Japanese people experienced at the time. One of my most cherished moments from my summer was the moment a friendly old gentleman curiously asked me what I was doing when he saw me sitting on the floor of a tiny used bookstore, sifting through piles of dusty books and magazines. He went on to tell me how he had experienced the war as a baby, and his tone of regret touched me, as well did his resignation to the fact that humans have fought violently throughout history and that it continues to this day. When I told my friends and family about my project, many offered information, sources, and insight to help me along; for the first time, I grasped how relevant the war was to not just the Japanese state and older citizens, but to the younger generation as well. The project introduced me to the complexities of the WWII narrative in modern Japan, and I hope to continue my studies in this area."
  • Ray Leung (Dartmouth '10; DAMELL/Japanese Major), Summer 2009
  • Ray Leung Ray spent a summer in Japan collecting materials for his senior honors thesis; he is researching gender representations in pop culture, particularly the "shonen" (boy). His trip was made possible by the generosity of the Kaminsky Family Fund, part of the Dean of Undergraduate Research grant program. Having participated in Dartmouth's Japan LSA+ in 2008, Ray decided to return to Chiba, where he rented a room in a guesthouse in Funabashi. He's what he writes about his research: "I conducted interviews with students from Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Makuhari and Keio University in Mita, Tokyo. I also consulted with several professors, including Professor Sekiya of KUIS and Professor Tanada of Jissen Women's College. On some days, I would buy Teen People-like magazines for my research from bookstores. This was quite an adventure because it took ninja-like skills to buy magazines that are targeted to teenage girls. I also attended a concert held by "Hey! Say! JUMP," a popular act managed by Johnny's Entertainment group. During my off hours, I would play badminton with the KUIS badminton club, and I even attended their four-day badminton training camp in Onjuku, Chiba, a coastal city facing the Pacific Ocean." (Photo: Ray is on the right.)
  • Vania Lin (Dartmouth '10; Psychology major, Japanese minor), Summer 2009
  • Vania Lin Vania spent this past summer in a small town called Echizen Town in Fukui Prefecture in Japan through the Japan Local Government Center Summer Internship Program run by the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). During her eight weeks there, she stayed with a homestay family and worked as an intern in the International Affairs Division of the local town office, helping with planning and facilitating cultural exchange programs, translating documents, responding to international correspondence, and participating in and contributing to local government-related events and publications. Aside from work, she also pursued her own research on Echizen pottery, which she presented on to the organization's Tokyo headquarters at the end of her internship. During her free time, Vania socialized with her co-workers and participated in cultural activities such as matsuri, or summer festivals, and tea ceremonies, and often went on trips with her homestay family to famous tourist spots. Through this program, Vania was not only able to learn more about local government administration and improve her Japanese skills, but to also experience a more traditional way of life and gain a greater understanding of the culture through her daily interactions.
  • Chris Cain (Dartmouth '10; AMES-Japanese & Government), Summer 2009
  • Chris Cain In the summer of 2009 Chris interned at the American consulate in Nagoya, Japan, as part of the U.S. Department of State Internship Program. While there he became better acquainted with Japanese culture and learned more about international relations as he represented the consulate in various local venues. Chris had been hoping to return to Japan after having spent the summer of 2007 in Chiba on the Dartmouth Language Study Abroad (LSA+) Program. In fact, while interning in Nagoya he was able to pay a visit to the 2009 program and even get reacquainted with his former Japanese homestay family.
  • Devon Saliga (Dartmouth '11; DAMELL-Japanese & economics), Spring 2009
  • Devon Saliga A generous living stipend from Dartmouth's Dickey Center for International Understanding combined with the language training received from DAMELL enabled Devon to go to Japan on his off-term and intern at State Street, where he worked in securities lending. Opportunities to intern in Japan are very rare, and this opportunity arose only through incredible innovation and perseverance on Devon's part. State Street being an American company, most of the business with brokers and other clients was conducted in English. However, there were more Japanese in the office than Americans, so Devon got plenty of practice on that front as well. He also got an inside look at the trading, recalling, and reallocation of securities throughout the markets of Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Australia. Devon enjoyed socializing a bit after work. Though one might think this would strain the budget, Devon claims otherwise. "The cost of going to a bars is almost always negligible, since after my first drink some middle-aged salary man that I apparently charmed with my Japanese will step in and buy me 'the best sake in Japan.' After studying Japanese at Dartmouth, language is the last of my problems in Tokyo. An example of a real problem would be figuring out where to go next after I miss the last train back home."
Student News: Japan Track [ Most Recent | Vol. 05 | Vol. 04 | Vol. 03 | Vol. 02 | Vol. 01 ]