The 2006-2007 newsletter features a profile of Modern Japanese History Professor William Marotti.
Published: Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Greetings from the Director
I have the privilege of serving as Acting Director of the Center for Japanese Studies during the Fall and Winter Quarters, while Fred Notehelfer is on sabbatical leave. As many of you know, Fred will serve as Director during the Spring Quarter, 2007 and will then conclude his sixteen year tenure as leader of the Center. During those years, under Fred's dedicated guidance, the Center has made very substantial progress, including the recruitment of new faculty, the enhancement of our undergraduate and graduate programs, and the encouragement of Japanese studies across campus and in the community at large.
During the 2006-2007 academic year we anticipate having a broad range of Center events. As always, our very popular and well-attended Colloquia will offer lectures in a variety of fields, and there will also be a number of interesting symposia. The Center will continue to fund graduate and faculty research through our various endowments, and we deeply appreciate the support of a number of donors, including the Nikkei Bruins, George and Sakaye Aratani, Herb and Helen Kawahara and others.
There is good news and bad news from the Department of History. On the positive side, Dr. William Marotti has joined us as Assistant Professor of History. (More details elsewhere in the newsletter.) Unfortunately, for health reasons Professor Miriam Silverberg has taken early retirement in the spring. Miriam was a conscientious and lively presence in the Center, and we will all miss her a great deal. A farewell event was held at the Faculty Center last Spring, at which time many colleagues and friends spoke about her many contributions to the program.
Of course, our major news is the extraordinarily generous gift to the Center by Paul and Hisako Terasaki. We all appreciate the past and continuing support of Paul and Hisako. In recognition of their commitment to Japanese studies here at UCLA, the Center has been renamed the "Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies." I know all of you will join me in expressing our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. and Mrs. Terasaki.
The Terasaki gift has several important components. The Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Chair in Contemporary Japanese Studies will be filled by an eminent senior scholar whose research is directed at significant issues for contemporary Japan. The specific field of the chairholder is open, and a search is currently underway. (This Chair is in addition to the rotating Paul I. Terasaki Chair in U.S.-Japan Relations established seven years ago.)
Substantial funds will be allocated to the Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Postdoctoral and Graduate Fellowships to augment the support available for graduate students and to bring emerging academic leaders to UCLA to carry out their postdoctoral research programs. We anticipate that these postdoctoral fellows will have a vital impact on the activities of the Center through research, teaching and publication.
The Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Program Endowment is intended to operate and build a leading Center. This will involve bringing together distinguished scholars with business and government leaders and media and health science experts to discuss important issues facing Japan.
The Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Community Outreach Program is designed to engage members of the Japanese American community to learn more about their rich and diverse experiences. In addition, we intend to make efforts to develop and distribute educational material to teachers at the K-12 level, not only in California but also throughout the United States. A key component of this program will involve active cooperation with other entities in the Los Angeles area, such as the Japan Foundation, the Consulate General of Japan, the Japanese-American National Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Japanese-American Cultural and Community Center.
As should be apparent to all, this extremely ambitious agenda will require considerable effort on the part of the Director, members, and staff of the Center. In particular, it will no longer be possible for Mariko Bird to handle all of the business of the Center with only a part time assistant to help her. Over the years, Mariko has made outstanding contributions to the working of the Center, but it will now be necessary to recruit at least one more full-time, professional person to share the work load.
Of course, members of the faculty will want to take an active role in these new programs.
It is my pleasant duty to describe the new activities and structure of the Center, but I should like to point out that it was Fred who devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to facilitating these generous gifts and to build the Center to what it is today. Without his careful and diplomatic oversight it is unlikely that this program would have been possible. It is incumbent on all members of the Center to see that the goals of this program achieve fruition.
Donald F. McCallum
Download File: Newsletter 06-07.pdf