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Happy 2017!

Dana Buntrock Who doesn’t love the beginning of the academic year!

We are welcoming Jonathan Zwicker to campus as an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Culture. Dr. Zwicker and his family come to us from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; is best known for his monograph on the novel in 19th century Japan, but he also brings experience as Director of the Center for Japanese Studies there. He has graciously agreed to join our Executive Committee, as will Mark Blum, the Shinjo Ito Distinguished Chair in Japanese Studies.

We have a full schedule for the Fall. By far our most exciting event is the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 symposium co-sponsored with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, "Drive for the Nobel Prize.” It will feature public talks by Nobel Laureates and committee members, historians and journalists. Dr. Takaaki Kajita (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 2015) has graciously agreed to allow us to confer on him the Berkeley Japan Prize during the symposium.

In addition, we are hosting a number of other stimulating events accessible to the public. These include koto artist Kyoko Kawamura on September 18, Kenny Fries’ discussion of exploring Japan from a wheelchair on October 9 , and a whirlwind two-day conference on “Food, Agriculture and Human Impacts” in Japan, Asia and elsewhere, Nov. 6-7. For a full list, please see our events calendar.

In closing, I would like to again express our deep gratitude to those whose generous support allows us to continue our work. We benefit from endowments received from the Shinyo-en Foundation, the late Mrs. Tomoye Takahashi and her sister, the late Mrs. Martha Suzuki, and the Japan Foundation, which first established a fund on our behalf in 1973. These moneys put books in the library, support faculty and graduate student research, and help us to offer the campus and the community an exciting and ever-changing slate of public events on topics both ancient and in vogue. If you’d like to contribute, I invite you to click here.

Join us for another intellectually rich and rewarding semester together!

Dana Buntrock
Chair