FROM OUR DIRECTORS
We hope that you are all managing to stay safe and well this summer despite the ongoing COVID crisis. These remain very challenging times for the IUC’s students, faculty, and staff, and for our community at large. We send our heartfelt concern and hope for relief to all members of the community who have been affected by the pandemic.
In the interest of safety, all IUC courses have been held online since March 2020. We remain focused on our core mission of delivering quality training regardless of circumstances. The 2021 Summer Program just came to a successful conclusion, and members of the new Class of 2022 are readying themselves to start the program remotely in September. In Yokohama, we have made a number of changes and improvements to our classrooms to ensure that we can safely welcome students back to the Center as soon as conditions permit. Until then, we will continue to offer a number of events online (please see below!) to keep engaged with our community and serve our students.
Needless to say, the year’s successes would not have been possible without your backing. We would like to extend our deep gratitude to all of you who have given so generously to support the IUC’s students this year. Thank you!
CLASS OF 2021
Congratulations to the 55 members of the Class of 2020–21 for successfully completing the IUC’s 10-month program! This was the first full-year program to be conducted entirely online. Students, some located in Asia but most in the US, faced many challenges, including the need to take classes at odd hours (because of the time difference with Japan), technological glitches, and hardships related to the pandemic. We are proud of them for the resilience they displayed throughout the year and for completing our rigorous program with flying colors despite the difficulties many of them faced. Well done, Class of 2021!
SUMMER PROGRAM 2021
This year’s Summer Program was held online June 24–August 11. Congratulations to the 26 students who successfully completed the program! In addition to the usual classes, summer students were treated to a Special Speaker Series featuring Jay Alabaster (IUC ’05), PhD Student and Adjunct Professor, Arizona State University; Haruhisa Kawamura, Noh actor, Kanze School; Akiko Kuno, Vice President, The America-Japan Society, Inc.; Yuzo Kato, Director, Sankeien Garden in Yokohama, and colleagues; Toshikazu Yazawa, Director, City of Yokohama Representative to the Americas New York Office; and Emily Buttner (IUC ’20), PhD student, Stanford University and Adjunct Instructor, Rikkyo University.
SUMMER INTENSIVE KANBUN PROGRAM 2021
The summer intensive kanbun program was offered online for the first time this summer. The program was held June 24–August 4 and had six participants. Congratulations on successfully completing the program, summer kanbun students!
IUC PROFESSIONAL TUTORIALS
Seven individuals took online professional tutorials (the "P-Course") with us this summer. All were recent graduates of the 2020–21 ten-month program and four were recipients of TIFO Summer Fellowships from the Toshiba International Foundation. For any alumni seeking a refresher course, we offer a special discounted rate for IUC graduates!
CLASS OF 2022
Despite many challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, the IUC will be kicking off the 2021–22 academic year with a full class of 52. Members of the new class are currently located all over the globe, but mostly in North America. Because the Government of Japan is not currently issuing visas for our students, instruction will commence online in September. However we are hopeful that the situation will change once the Olympics/Paralympics are over and vaccination becomes more widely available in Japan. As soon as it becomes possible for students to enter the country, we will revert to in-person instruction in Yokohama.
○ Student News
○ International Happy Hour
○ IUC Alumni Talks
○ Recent Events
○ Personnel Changes
○ New Institutional Affiliations
○ COVID-19 Response
○ Alumni Recognition
○ Alumni Appearance
○ Other Alumni News
○ Online Speaking Events
Your gift to the IUC Alumni Annual Fund is crucial in enabling us to support students each year. To make your gift today, visit our website. To find out how to make a planned gift, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IUC PROFESSIONAL TUTORIALS
The IUC offers a custom-designed tutorials program in advanced Japanese for scholars and professionals at a lower rate for graduates of the IUC. Visit our program page for more information.
IUC alumni enrolling in degree programs at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies are eligible for a $12,000 scholarship!
The Middlebury Institute educates professionals to advance understanding, promote peace, and drive change in pursuit of a more just world. For details, contact Jill Stoffers, Senior Director of Partnerships at MIIS, by email at email@example.com or by phone at (831) 647-6571.
INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI HAPPY HOUR
August 28, 2021 @ 9:30 am JST
Alumni, regardless of location, are invited to join an online mixer at the virtual IUC Alumni Club on Friday August 27th at 5:30 pm PDT (Saturday August 28th at 9:30 am JST). The event will be hosted by Giles Richter (’92) via Remo.co, an online networking platform where participants can roam freely between virtual tables to engage in conversation. The invitation will be posted on the IUC’s social media channels with instructions on how to connect and join the fun. Alumni can also use the link below to sign up now for a free Remo account and register for this exciting event!
This event will be closed to the public. Alumni and current students only.
IUC ALUMNI TALKS
September 25, 2021 @ 9:00 am JST
Please join the IUC Alumni Talks Committee for the sixth talk of the web series on Zoom on Saturday, September 25th at 9:00 am JST. The guest speaker will be Yannick Gayama (’19), Managing Director for Africa at Tokyo-based venture consultancy Double Feathers Partners and Senior Advisor for Inter Media Japan, a media agency specializing in diplomacy and investment promotion. He is also the co-founder of the African Commerce Community in Japan (AfCCJ).
>> Yannick's Linkedin profile
This event will be open to the public.
Sign up today for the IUC Alumni Talks mailing list at www.bit.ly/iucalumnitalks-mailinglist to stay informed about upcoming talks!
IUC VIRTUAL BŌNENKAI
Some 70 Alumni from around the world gathered virtually in December 2020 to join the IUC’s first online Bōnenkai, hosted at the Virtual IUC Alumni Club on Remo. At the event, there were special remarks from Executive Director Indra Levy, as well as Bruce Batten and Giles Richter. To help alumni locate fellow classmates and peers, virtual tables were labeled by decade, but there was also a good deal of mixing between classes. Attendees included members from every decade of the IUC’s history, including a handful of 1960s alumni and large contingents from the Classes of 2020 and 2021. Due to popular demand, the event was extended into a nijikai and several guests lingered late into the night sharing reminiscences and catching up.
IUC ALUMNI TALKS
Since the launch of the new IUC Alumni Talks in 2020, the series has been enjoying continued popularity, with three events so far in 2021 attracting over 100 alumni attendees and still more to come. The first speaker of the year was Jennifer Butler (IUC ’18), Manager of the Student Relations Team at the Tokyo headquarters of Ashinaga Foundation, one of the largest nonprofits in Japan. Interviewed on January 23, Jennifer spoke about how she forged her connection with Japan growing up in Mississippi and discussed her experience at the IUC as well as her work at Ashinaga. The second event, held on April 10, featured alumni Chris Hainge (’08) and Paul Speed (’11), creators and owners of Kyoto Brewing Company. They described the founding of their pioneering Japanese microbrewery along with the challenges of operating during the current pandemic. On June 25, Alumni Talks hosted Sarah Cortina (’08), Associate Manager in Production at Netflix, who reflected on her journey from Japanese archery to studying at the IUC as well as her subsequent career path, her role at Netflix, and production trends in online streaming.
IUC Alumni Talks is a web series planned and executed by three alumni, Richard Sleboda (’03), Jessy LeClair (’18), and Lilly Hart (’19). This year, we are happy to welcome two new members to the IUC Alumni Talks Committee: Carlton Fischer (’20) and Sabrina Lau (’20). The goal of these events is to help strengthen the IUC community by sharing the unique journeys of individual alumni. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“ASK ME ANYTHING" CAREER WORKSHOPS FOR STUDENTS
To help new IUC graduates succeed with their careers, the Program office at Stanford has launched a new series of career workshops in collaboration with IUC alumni volunteers. The first was held in Spring 2021, with a panel discussion and networking sessions featuring a panel of six graduates from the Class of 2020, who shared their experiences and job-hunting tips. Special thanks to Mariko Azuma, Megan Beckerich, Emily Buttner, Carlton Fischer, Sabrina Lau, and Danielle Rymers. Another career workshop was held for ’21 job hunters following their graduation in June; it featured a presentation with Q&A by Pradi Hargianto (’16), currently a recruiter with the Talent Acquisition Group at Rakuten Mobile in Tokyo. Many thanks to Pradi for giving our new alumni an insider’s view into how recruiters screen applicants as well as key insights on how to better one’s chances of getting picked up in a search! Note: the IUC plans to continue offering career workshops, so if you are in Human Resources or recruitment or are otherwise positioned to help provide career guidance to IUC alumni, please reach out to Giles Richter at email@example.com.
Among the faculty, Ari Sato will be returning to the IUC in September after a one-year leave of absence, during which she enrolled in an MA program at Kyoto University in higher education pedagogy. Ari-sensei’s thesis is on reassessing learning outcomes from the perspective of the learner’s career, and she hopes to make use of her findings in curriculum development at the IUC. She wishes to convey her thanks to all of the IUC alumni who agreed to be interviewed for her research.
Many thanks to Yoko Kato, who graciously agreed to serve as a one-year replacement for Ari-sensei. We are grateful to her for her outstanding teaching and her infectiously cheerful disposition—a boon to students and co-workers alike during a year when all classes and meetings were held online as a group of talking heads. Kato-sensei reports that she had a very fulfilling year despite the unique circumstances caused by the pandemic, and wishes to convey her thanks to the students, faculty, and staff. We are in turn grateful that Kato-sensei will continue to teach at the IUC part-time.
Among the staff, Office Manager Chieko Yoshida will be retiring in August. Yoshida-san began work at the IUC in 2001. Beloved by generations of students, She will also be sorely missed by all of us working at Yokohama and at Stanford. Yoshida-san writes:
Twenty-plus years—the length of my employment at the IUC—is hardly a short time, and the experience has been a very significant part of my life. During that time, there were some unfortunate events of historical significance—the September 11 attacks in the US, the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the coronavirus pandemic—but I was also very fortunate to be able to be present as a staff member when the IUC reached one major milestone in its history, the 50th anniversary of its founding in 2013. It is my hope that the IUC’s illustrious history will continue for 70, 80, 100 years and more.
We have started a virtual card to share with Yoshida-san on her last day, and we hope you will join us in signing it and adding photos and memories as well. The card will be available to sign online until August 29.
>> Sign retirement card
Junko Tanaka will be taking over the position of Office Manager from Yoshida-san.
We are also happy to welcome a new staff member, Shoko Kubo, who comes to us with extensive experience overseas in the area of international cooperation and in Japan as a staff member at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) and at Keio University. Kubo-san joined us in August; her work at the IUC will be mostly in the area of student services.
NEW INSTITUTIONAL AFFILIATIONS
The IUC recently entered into memoranda of understanding with two important Japanese research institutions: the National Museum of Japanese History (Rekihaku) in Sakura-shi, Chiba (in 2020) and the National Institute of Japanese Literature (NIJL) in Tachikawa-shi, Tokyo (in 2021). Among the recent fruits of these agreements: Prof. Yuriko Yokohama of Reihaku delivered a Zoom lecture about gender in Japanese history to IUC students in February, and NIJL’s then Director Robert Campbell (IUC ’80) gave a Zoom workshop for current Nippon Foundation Fellows in March. Speaking of NIJL, we are also a member of its Global Consortium for Japanese Textual Scholarship (as of 2020).
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the IUC will continue to offer all instruction online through the first term of the 2021–22 academic year (September–October). During this period, our physical facilities will remain closed, with faculty and staff working from home. In preparation for the resumption of on-site instruction, we have also been making various improvements to our classrooms. We expect to return to in-person instruction in Yokohama in November or when conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have sufficiently improved. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates when circumstances change.
The photo to the right is of construction contractors finishing their work in the IUC library in mid-August.
>> Center updates
Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Research Professor, Emeritus, Harvard University, passed away on December 20 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Professor Vogel was perhaps best known in Japan for his 1979 book, Japan as Number One: Lessons for America. As he recounted during a 2010 speech to IUC alumni at the Tokyo American Club, he spent four months studying at the IUC before embarking on his research for the book. We were deeply moved to receive a gift from him shortly before his passing. Prof. Vogel remained a good friend to the Center over many years and we will miss him sorely. May he rest in peace.
>> Obituaries: Washington Post - Japan Times - New York Times
>> 2010 speech to IUC alumni
JACOB KOVALIO AND CATHERINE JONAK AWARDED ORDER OF THE RISING SUN
Two IUC alumni were honored by the Japanese government in the 2021 Spring Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals. Jacob Kovalio (’74), Associate Professor in the Department of History, Carleton University, received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for his contributions to promoting Japanese Studies in Canada and mutual understanding between Japan and Canada, while Catherine Jonak (’84), former Japanese Language Officer, Department of Education, New South Wales Government and former Language Consultant, The Japan Foundation, Sydney, received the Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays, for her contributions to promoting Japanese language education in Australia and mutual understanding between Japan and Australia. Heartfelt congratulations to both!
For more information:
>> Department of History, Carleton University (Kovalio)
>> Consulate General of Japan in Sydney (Jonak)
The total number of IUC alumni who have been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun now stands at nineteen.
ZHONGJI WU AWARDED ESSAY PRIZE
Congratulations to Zhongji Wu (Summer ’20) on the publication of her Japanese-language essay, “The South Manchuria Railway and the Industrialization of Modern China: The View from Sino-Japanese Relations” in a new book edited by the Japan Society for Sino-Japanese Relations. The book, Will the Drone Industry Develop in China?, is a collection of prize-winning essays from the “Miyamoto Prize” contest sponsored by the Society.
SPECIAL IUC ALUMNI APPEARANCE
YOKOHAMA INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS CENTER ANNIVERSARY EVENT
On July 20, the City of Yokohama held a hybrid event celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the Yokohama International Organizations Center. The IUC was one of the original tenants when the Center opened in 1989. At the celebration, representatives from each of the seven international organizations currently occupying the facility offered their congratulations to City executives and other notables in attendance. The IUC was represented by Resident Director Bruce Batten and by Lefteris Kafatos (’02), Diplomatic Interpreter at the US Department of State. Some readers may recall seeing news photos of Lefteris interpreting for President Barack Obama during the latter’s visit to Hiroshima in 2016.
OTHER ALUMNI NEWS
MARK LEVIN APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF UH MĀNOA CENTER FOR JAPANESE STUDIES
Professor Mark Levin (’93) of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa became Director of the UH Mānoa Center for Japanese Studies on August 1. He will continue partial teaching and administrative responsibilities at the Law School after assuming his new position. Congratulations, Mark!
Coincidentally, CJS’s long-term Associate Director, Dr. Gay Satsuma, also graduated from the IUC in 1993.
THE NIPPON FOUNDATION FELLOWS PROGRAM
The Nippon Foundation recently established a new online platform, The Nippon Foundation Scholars Association (TNFASA), to facilitate networking among alumni of the Foundation’s various scholarship programs, including the The Nippon Foundation Fellows Program at the IUC. The NFF Program began in the 2012–13 academic year and now boasts 145 alumni. If you are a former NFF and have not received an invitation to to TNFSA, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nippon Foundation's Chairman Yohei Sasakawa recently wrote about the IUC at length in his blog, listing the final presentations by all nineteen NFFs in the Class of 2022 and quoting thank-you letters from two of them, Sasha Chanko and Brian Rogers, in full.
IUC ALUMNI TEAM TRANSLATION
When IUC alumni team up, great things happen! Anthony Chambers (’67) and Paul McCarthy (’65), both longtime translators of Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (1886–1965), have joined forces again on a translation of three powerful stories of family life from the first decade of the Tanizaki’s career. Longing and Other Stories is scheduled for release by Columbia University Press in January 2022. Chambers and McCarthy’s recent cotranslations of Tanizaki’s short fiction include Red Roofs and Other Stories (2016) and The Gourmet Club (2017). Stay tuned for details about an online discussion with the translators sometime later this year.
So many of our alumni have published recently that we couldn’t feature them all in our newsletter. If you don't see your book listed in our full list of recent publications, please let us know so we can add it.
>> recent publications list
ONLINE SPEAKING EVENTS
With public events having shifted to Internet streaming during the pandemic, many more talks and presentations by IUC alumni are now accessible online. We’ve started cataloguing some of these to share on our website and social media, so if we have missed yours or you have any others to share—past or future—please post them to the IUC Facebook and LinkedIn groups or send us an email at email@example.com!