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Student News: Japan Track - Vol. 03
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- Hikaru Yamagishi (Dartmouth '12; AMES-Japan and Government double major), December 2011
In December of 2011, Hikaru travelled to Japan's southern island prefecture of Okinawa to collect literature and artwork as well as precious insights and memories. These materials will be incorporated into her AMES Senior Honors Thesis, titled "Commemorating the Battle of Okinawa: Historical Memory, War Responsibility, Post-World War II Japanese Identity." In this thesis she examines historical memory, cultural constructions of subjectivities, and national, local, and individual identity. Her concern is with the psyche of the modern world after World War II, and she uses the Battle of Okinawa as a case study for exploring this. The Battle of Okinawa was the only World War II battleground on Japan itself; it has defined Okinawan and Japanese personal and collective memory in visible and invisible ways. The thesis addresses the question of commemoration: How do people identify, think about, speak about, remember, commemorate, connect with, or disconnect with tragedy? The research trip was made possible through the Kaminsky Family Fund awarded through the Dean of Faculty Office's Undergraduate Research division. Hikaru is grateful for that support, and to the AMES program, particularly Prof. Jim Dorsey.
- Kenji McCulley '12 (History Major), Summer 2011
During Summer 2011, I was funded by Dartmouth's Rockefeller Center to intern at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Specifically, I worked for the Trade and Economic Policy Unit of the Economic Section. During the internship, I researched the effects of the March 11 triple disaster on entrepreneurial growth and the future of foreign labor in Japan. As part of my research, in addition to reading newspapers and government press releases, I met with Japanese officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry to discuss these topics. Once I had done enough research, I drafted cables to Washington to update as needed. I was also involved in side-projects, such as participating in the coordination of Vice-President Biden's visit in August. After work and on weekends, I walked around the city and tried to explore all the famous neighborhoods. I was housed in Roppongi, which wasn't a dull place to be either!
- Guest Lecture: Mr. Thomas Seymour (Dartmouth '64) on Doing Business in Japan (Winter 2012)
On 29 February 2012 the Dartmouth Japan Club welcomed distinguished alumnus Tom Seymour. After graduating from Dartmouth and earning graduate degrees in both journalism and Japanese Studies, Mr. Seymour headed up East Asian or Japan operations for a number of well-know firms, including Parker Pen, Converse, Revlon, and Mattel. He currently runs his own consulting firm, Japan-Asia Strategies, Inc. While students enjoyed a dinner catered by local restaurant Yama, Mr. Seymour talked about the challenges of representing American firms in Japan, the opportunities for Dartmouth students there, the intricacies of Japanese business etiquette, and the importance of linguistic competence for success in Japan. Mr. Seymour's engaging presentation of the lessons learned through his long years of experience was appreciated by the Dartmouth Japanese language student community and Japan-related faculty as well.
- Guest Lecture: Ethan Segal, "Visualizing Meiji Nationalism and Japan's Wars for Empire" (Winter 2012)
On 8 February 2012 Prof. Ethan Segal of Michigan State University presented a lecture titled "Visualizing Meiji Nationalism and Japan's Wars for Empire." Though the talk was aimed primarily at students in Prof. Dorsey's Japanese 61 ("The Art of War: Stories, Paintings, Films, and Propaganda from Japan's Modern Wars"), the entire Dartmouth community was invited to attend. Prof. Segal coached the audience in ways to "read" the nationalistic and racial dimensions of everything from political cartoons and commissioned paintings to woodblock prints and sketches produced in both Japan and the West. During his visit to Dartmouth Prof. Segal also spoke to students in Japanese 32, outlining the various Japanese "languages" he deals with in his research on medieval Japanese history. His visit was made possible by the Rockefeller Center, DAMELL, and AMES.
- Christian Opperman (Dartmouth '13, Major in DAMELL/Japanese & Economics), Fall 2011
After spending the summer as the director's assistant for Dartmouth's LSA+, I stayed in Japan and spent the 2011 Fall Term at Kanda Gaigo Daigaku (Kanda University of International Studies) as part of the exchange program Dartmouth has with the university. The experience was absolutely fantastic, and to be honest, I didn't really want to leave after my half-year was up. I had the opportunity to meet not only other international students from all over the world but also, of course, the Japanese students at KUIS itself. The classes were challenging but very rewarding, and they really built on what I'd been studying at Dartmouth. Being surrounded by Japanese all day, every day is definitely an experience that I would recommend to any student of the language. In between classes and homework, I danced with Step-In, the university's hip-hop dance group, tried to eat as much weird food as I possibly could with the friends I made at the school, and explored the greater Tokyo area.
- Anibal D. Yanez Hinojosa (Dartmouth '12; Major in AMES and Economics), Summer 2011
I spent Summer of 2011 working as an intern at UBS Securities Japan. My primary
desk was Equity Trading, but I rotated around different sections of the investment bank over the course of 10 weeks. During the internship I researched Japanese companies, analyzed the impact of the macro-economy in the Japanese stock market and proposed trades based on my findings. I also helped various traders develop a tool that evaluates market fluctuations in the 33 sectors of the Topix. In my spare time I tried finding my own place in Tokyo by exploring new parts of the city and engaging in activities you would normally not find within the pages of a tour guide. My time at UBS was a perfect opportunity to put what I have learned at Dartmouth into practice: the economics and AMES background I have obtained as a student greatly enhanced the learning process I underwent at the firm. I plan joining the bank as a full-time employee after graduation.
- Abigail Bard (Dartmouth'14; Major in Linguistics), Summer 2011
I spent Summer 2011 doing an eight-week internship at Temple University Japan Campus. Under the guidance of TUJ professor John Mock, I researched the world of "antenna shops" - stores that specialize in selling the local products of a specific prefecture of Japan. This research was particularly interesting to me because the prefecture with the most antenna shops is Hokkaido, where I spent a gap year between high school and college. My research involved mapping these stores, visiting them, and interviewing their employees and customers. It was very enlightening to hear how people in Tokyo perceive other parts of Japan and how those perceptions influenced which antenna shops people visited. While in Japan, I've also been able to travel around a fair bit, and I even went down to Kyoto to visit the LSA+ during Gion Matsuri (Festival). I'm about to finish up my stay with a trip to visit my host family in Sapporo, a city I have a renewed appreciation for after hearing how admired it is by the general Tokyo population.
- Japan Language Study Abroad (LSA+) Program 2011
Though at one point on the verge of being cancelled, the Japan Language Study Abroad (LSA+) program was successfully launched this year on 22 June in an alternative location: Kyoto! The director is Jim Dorsey, doing what is his tenth stint in that position. He's assisted by Christian Opperman, a student veteran of the program. Christian and this year's thirteen students are living with Japanese families all over the city, commuting to campus by bus, train, subway, bicycle, and feet. Halfway through the program we've visited lots of temples, taken a weekend trip to Kanazawa, and also had hands-on introductions to Kiyomizu pottery-making, the art of Japanese sweets (wagashi), and a lesson in Japanese traditional dance, taken wearing kimono (see the photo). We also had a grand visit from Japanese folk singer Miura Hisashi, who sang for us and handed out copies of his latest CD. Lots more coming up. Follow us on the program blog at: http://2011japanlsa.tumblr.com/.
- Larry Kenny (Dartmouth '11; major in Linguistics, minor in Mathematics), Spring 2011
Larry started studying Japanese at Dartmouth in his junior year, and he participated in the study abroad program in Chiba, Japan, in the summer of 2010. Here's how he described his project: "I spent the 2011 Winter term translating Japanese enka music, and producing a couple of arrangements sung in English. Under the guidance of Professors Dorsey and Washburn, I researched the most popular enka songs and the role they played in the postwar recovery period. After familiarizing myself with the language and common themes, I began working on English versions. My goal was to 'translate' the music together with the lyrics and produce a version of enka that would make sense to an English-speaking audience. I played all the instruments I could and used samples for the rest, and enlisted the help of my vocalist friends. Ultimately I only finished two arrangements, but in the process I learned a great deal about music production and arrangement, grappled with the unique challenges of translating Japanese lyrics, and got to explore the rich musical world of enka. My completed songs can be heard at http://www.larrykenny.com/music.php#enka. I am grateful to the Office of Undergraduate Research for funding, and to my faculty advisors, and everybody who helped and supported me or put up with me playing trumpet past midnight."
- Kira Adams (Dartmouth '12; Major in Japanese), Fall 2010 & Winter 2011
I spent the Fall 2010 and Winter 2011 terms researching with Professor Dorsey as a Presidential Scholar Research Assistant. The program is funded through the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Research at Dartmouth. Our project focused on Katagiri Yuzuru's "Kawaraban," an underground broadsheet published in the Kansai region of Japan from 1967 through the mid-70s. The contents included original Japanese folk songs as well as translated versions of folk songs from other countries, community news, and political manifestos. I spent most of my time indexing the various contents of each issue, researching origins of the songs, and noting the events and key concepts that they focused on, including the anti-war movement, gender issues, and rights for day laborers. I also had the chance to translate some of the political manifestos and important songs into English. My biggest and constant challenge was trying to decipher the editor's handwriting and occasional strange abbreviations, but all of that practice helped develop my knowledge of kanji. I learned a lot about the political climate at the time, and it was fascinating to watch the "Kawaraban" develop from its small origins into such an important record.
- Dartmouth Japan Society, Spring 2011
Dartmouth College stands with Japan. In response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March 2011, various organizations at the college and in the town of Hanover have been working to raise money to help. On Monday, April 4, the Dartmouth Japan Society and the Dartmouth Asian Organization co-hosted a banquet in Collis Commonground to raise funds and to increase awareness of the disaster and the current situation in Japan. Various speakers, ranging from undergraduate and graduate students to faculty and President Kim spoke, and various performance groups offered entertainment in hopes of drawing more people to the event. Proceeds from ticket and raffle sales will all be donated to relief efforts in Japan. Dartmouth College stands with Japan.
- Thomas Balch (Dartmouth '12; Major in Engineering & minor in Japanese), Fall 2010
I spent the 2010 Fall term studying at Kanda University for International Studies (Kanda Gaigo Daigaku) in Chiba, Japan. I was unable to go on the Japan LSA+ after my freshman year, and after struggling a bit in the 3rd year level classes, I was happy to be able to experience immersion into the language and culture I'd been studying in classrooms. The experience was amazing: the Bekka Program I was in brings students from all over the world and often our only common language was Japanese. With these students I took several classes taught by Japanese professors in Japanese. This full immersion and the fact that classes for normal Japanese students were also in session gave me the opportunity to make friends with many other people my age, communicating with them in Japanese. I also lived in an apartment with other international students, so we had to learn to make cheap meals from ingredients in the local supermarkets. In my free time I played Frisbee with a team in Tokyo, and on weekends I enjoyed visiting the clubs in Roppongi. (Photo: international students, with Thomas on the far right.)
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