(From left to right) Ms. Yuko Hotta of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Professor Tim Brown, Professor Todd Munson, Professor Lauren Bell, Professor James
Doering, Ms. Akiko Sagano of the Cultural Affairs Division, Professor Ray Berry,
and Professor David Clark
Six Randolph-Macon College professors recently traveled to Japan in preparation
of integrating Japanese studies into their curricula.
The two-week trip was made possible through the generosity of
The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership grant, "Honoring the
Life, Work, and Good Spirit of Taylor Anderson- Enhancing Japanese Studies at Randolph-Macon
College." Taylor Anderson '08 lost her life in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Randolph-Macon College received the grant to strengthen Japanese Studies, a part
of the college's Asian Studies program.
The grant will help the college reach its goal of increasing course offerings in
Japanese language and culture and allow students to travel to Japan as part of their
The trip itinerary included tours and visits, including a number of scholar and
practitioner visits. Professors Lauren Bell (political
science), Raymond Berry (studio art),
Timothy Brown (religious studies),
David Clark (mathematics), Todd Munson (Asian
Studies) and James Doering (music) met
with some of the greatest scholars in their respective fields. Munson led the trip.
Several of the professors blogged throughout the trip. Click on
Bell, who also serves as associate dean at R-MC, met with Dr. Daniel H. Foote of
the University of Tokyo Law School. Foote is the editor of Law in Japan: A Turning
Point (University of Washington Press, 2008) and former law clerk to the
late U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger. Bell also met with Ms. Tomomi Hioki, policy
secretary, Diet of Japan, and Dr. Setsuo Mizagawa, a legal sociologist and professor
of law at Aoyama Gakuin University Law School in central Tokyo.
Berry, whose courses include Painting, The Human Figure, and Zen and Creativity,
met with Professor Kanjuro Shibata, the 21st-generation of the master bowmaker of
Japanese traditional bows in Kyoto. Shibata is the bowmaker to the emperor.
Brown, whose courses include Buddhism and Eastern Religious Traditions, met with
Professor Haneda Masashi, University of Tokyo. Masashi is the author of Islamic
Urban Studies (Routledge, 1994).
Clark met with Hidetoshi Fukagawa, Japan's premier authority on sangaku tablets—finely-illustrated
tablets that adorned the walls of local temples centuries ago. Approximately 900
of the tablets have survived.
Doering met with Mark Schilling, the film critic for The Japan Times and
author of Contemporary Japanese Film (Weatherhill Press, 1999). Doering
was interested in learning more about the Japanese filmmaking industry, as well
as issues relating to copyright and artistic freedom. He also visited the National
Film Center to view the permanent exhibition, "Nihon Eiga: The History of Japanese