The Nippon Foundation began its "100 Books" project to help non-Japanese readers
better understand contemporary Japan.
Randolph-Macon College's McGraw-Page Library has been selected as one of this year’s
recipients of “100 Books for Understanding Contemporary Japan” from The Nippon Foundation.
The college celebrated this notable acquisition at a ceremony on Thursday, November
19, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. outside the AV Room of the library. A screening of the Japanese
film “Howl’s Moving Castle” followed the ceremony..
The Nippon Foundation began its “100 Books for Understanding Contemporary Japan”
project as a means to help non-Japanese readers better understand contemporary Japan.
The 100 carefully selected books provide background and analysis of contemporary
Japan in English and cover a wide range of subject areas. The donation includes
works on foreign policy, business and management, history, society and culture,
classic and contemporary literature, and films and animation. This year, the Foundation
donated sets of books to 300 institutions throughout North America. Robert Patterson,
R-MC's director of corporate and foundation relations, was instrumental in obtaining
this grant for the college.
“We are thrilled to add the Nippon Foundation donation to our circulating collection.
The titles in this gift will enhance our excellent historical holdings in Asian
studies and promote a deeper understanding of contemporary Japan,” says Lynda Wright,
assistant professor and library liaison to the history department.
“Library resources are second only to a strong faculty in building a vigorous and
demanding program in the humanities and social sciences,” says Professor Thomas
Porter, Ph.D., chair of R-MC’s history department and the Asian Studies program.
“This gift from the Nippon Foundation will help to enrich our students’ research
and learning. Randolph-Macon College has had an Asian Studies program since the
late 1960s and an Asian Studies minor since 1990. Interest in Asian Studies has
increased exponentially in recent years, and these books will support both the existing
Asian Studies program and the potential new major in Asian Studies.”
Randolph-Macon College has had a long-standing research interest in Asian culture
through its history department. Each spring, the J. Earl Moreland Lecture on Asia
brings a distinguished expert to the Randolph-Macon campus for a three-day visit
of classes and a public lecture. “The purpose of these lectures is to create greater
student understanding and interest in Asian affairs through direct contact with
distinguished scholars and prominent professionals,” says Porter.
R-MC Professor Todd Munson, Ph.D., (history and Asian studies) says that the film
“Howl’s Moving Castle,” one of many animated films by acclaimed Japanese director
Hayao Miyazaki, “is a representative example of the continued popularity of Japan
and Japanese culture in the United States.” Munson, who teaches first- and second-year
Japanese as well as courses on Asian and Japanese history, literature, and film,
also serves as advisor to the Macon Anime Club and the Japanese Club.
This year, Randolph-Macon College welcomed its first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence
(SIR), Dr. Tang Hao, associate professor of economics at South China Normal University,
for the 2009-2010 academic year. Dr. Tang is teaching courses at R-MC and will give
public lectures on campus and in the greater Richmond area.