Japan Day blossoms on campus

Brianna Wilson

ASST. HEAD COPY EDITOR

In celebration and promotion of the Japanese minor offered here on campus, students involved in the program have come together to host Japan Day. The event, which is taking place 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Friday April 12 in the Upper Quad, is meant to get students interested in the minor, while also getting more students involved in the many on-campus organizations that work with Japanese and Japaneselanguage students. 

The idea for Japan Day came last year from the only professor of Japanese at the College, Professor Saori Tauchi. Professor Tauchi consulted with the students in her Japanese classes to help her organize and host the event. 

The Japanese minor is very small; third-year Aimee Armosilla was one of seven students in her intermediate-level Japanese classes. “Honestly, I just want Japan Day to be a way for people to kind of get accustomed to the program and also introduce people to a lot of the different opportunities on campus that we have,” said Armosilla. “For instance, we have the study abroad opportunities, so we try to invite the Study Abroad Office to get involved.” The event coordinators also invite the students of Kaplan, Whittier’s exchange student program which serves exchange students from all different parts of the world who want to learn English and be involved in American culture and customs. “It is nice to be able to form friendships [and] help people who are trying to learn English — as well as them helping you learn the language you are trying to learn,” said Armosilla.

There will be different activities and information shared during Japan Day; students will be promoting different study abroad options and fellowships, including paid internships. There will also be Japanese food and information about its ties to Japanese culture. The event will include games, crafting events, and so much more. The day’s events will be packed, and so far, the plans set for Japan Day seem to be full of both entertaining and educational activities. 

Last Friday, April 5, students held a fundraiser event in front of the Campus Inn both to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and promote Japan Day. Students folded paper cranes throughout the fundraising event and offered to teach passersby to do the same. Paper cranes were chosen for this fundraiser particularly because of the story of Sadako Sasaki, who had leukemia when she began her journey of folding 1,000 paper cranes. “Her story was very, very powerful, and she became a heroine for Japan. In fact, she has a statue in Japan that is dedicated to her,” Armosilla said. She also stated that there is a statue dedicated to Sasaki in Seattle. More information about her story and the importance of paper cranes will be shared at the crane-folding event on Japan Day.