The 2005-2006 newsletter features a profile of Terasaki Chair Thomas Rimer.
Greetings from the Director
In the current academic year we are entering the 15th year of the Center for Japanese Studies existence. During those years the Center has accomplished many of its original goals. It has worked effectively to create a community of Japan-related scholars at UCLA. It has helped to increase the visibility of Japanese Studies on this campus nationally, and it has provided extensive support for graduate students through fellowships, conferences, and recruiting efforts. It has also served the faculty well through research grants, conferences, support of teaching programs and the purchase of media works, books, and library support. It has often contributed to the broader efforts in Los Angeles that deal with Japan, including museum exhibitions, film presentations, and many events sponsored by the Japan America Society, Consulate, and Japan Foundation. The Center’s monthly colloquia are popular and have brought to UCLA a large number of the established scholars on Japan as well as bright, cutting edge, members of the field’s younger generation. It has also supported the broader Japanese Studies field in the U.S. by contributing to the maintenance of crucial field components such as the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama.
As director of the Center for the past fifteen years, I feel a certain sense of personal satisfaction in the accomplishments of the Center, but none of this could have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of all the members of the Japan faculty at UCLA and the great contribution of Mariko Bird, my assistant in the Center. I should further state that what the Center has accomplished is also greatly the result of the strong financial support it has received from UCLA International and a set of dedicated donors who have joined us in the effort to make our Japan program one of the best in the nation. These include the Nikkei Bruins, Paul and Hisako Terasaki, George and Sakaye Aratani, Herb Kawahara, and a number of others who have chosen to provide us with the funds that underwrite the Center’s programs. To each I want to say a heartfelt thank you. I also want to say that I have tried my best to use the monies given to the center for the purposes designated and with the highest efficiency and lowest overhead costs possible.
Many of you know that this will be my last year as director of the Center since I am stepping down from this position as of July 1, 2006. Fifteen years, I believe, is enough for any center director. As Pete Seeger put it, it is time to “hand my guitar to someone younger.” I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as director. I also feel the center is well positioned to reach even greater heights of prominence. None of what we achieved in the Center could have been accomplished without the dedication of each of you. I have always believed that leadership in the Academy must be “bottom up” rather than “top down.” In short, what we have accomplished during the past fifteen years is less the result of my work, than your’s. I wish to end with a personal note of thanks to each of you who have given so generously of yourself, your time, and your money to make this possible. It has been a grand journey for me and the Center! I wish you all well!
Fred G. Notehelfer
Published: Monday, November 06, 2006