Greetings from the CJS Chair — Fall 2015

CJS Chair Dana Buntrock

CJS Chair
Dana Buntrock


For those of you on campus, welcome — or welcome back! We have an exhilarating year ahead. I hope you will be able to join us for some of our events. We are always excited to share Japanís rich heritage, its culture and its diversity with others, whether the serious student or the casually curious.

As I take over the role as Chair of the Center for Japanese Studies, I am very aware of the long history of our work on campus and the many important contributions others made to create the Center for Japanese Studies. Many key individuals and organizations made important financial contributions to the Center over the years. We are fortunate to benefit from endowments received from the Shinnyo-en Foundation, 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. We are deeply grateful; their generosity allows us to offer a rich slate of programs, and to support the work of our students and faculty. Please help us by thanking them if you get a chance.

We all offer our warmest gratitude to Steve Vogel, who has just stepped down as Chair of the Center after five years. The Center for Japanese Studies brings together an electrifying group of faculty, scholars and students working in a broad range of subjects: business and Buddhist sutras, ancient literature and anime, archaeology and architecture, political science and playwriting. And that does not cover it all! As we get ready for the new academic year, we've collected an impressive list of what everyone has been up to on the "News" section of our site. I encourage you all to take a look; it is an honor to be a part of such an accomplished group.

We are looking forward to hosting several major symposia this Fall. We kick off with our annual "Bakai" gathering featuring graduate student scholarship, headed by a group of dedicated graduate students on September 4. Come see the next generation of soon-to-be influential scholars share their work! September 30–October 1, join us for "Perspectives on 70 years of the Nuclear Age: From Berkeley, a Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb," organized by Prof. Joonhong Ahn and funded generously by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). November 5–8, Mark Blum will host a major gathering of academic researchers and performers of Buddhist ritual music coming from a variety of traditions.

And there is plenty more ahead. Stay in touch by getting yourself on our mailing list or check our calendar to keep up.

CJSís staffing has also grown a bit. Kumi Sawada Hadler and Tessa Machida are joined by Phillip Larkin, who is helping us address our many internet needs. I hope you like the work that he has done over the summer to update the CJSís web site.

Be a part of our exciting community. Come to our events, share our news with others you think might be interested, contribute your enthusiasm, your time, your energy, your financial support. Be a part of what makes the Center for Japanese Studies, our parent organization the Institute for East Asian Studies and the University of California, Berkeley such a dynamic part of discussions on Japan today.

Dana Buntrock