Archive for the 'Japanese Studies' Category

Grant High Student Joins PSSCA Board

The Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association board of directors just added its first youth member in the organization’s 53-year history.

Sara Onitsuka is a 16-year-old junior at Grant High School in Portland. She has been studying Japanese since she was four years old and currently participates in the Japanese Magnet Program offered at the school.

sara headshot

Last summer Sara had the opportunity to be a part of the Sapporo Summer Institute trip to Sapporo, Japan. She stayed in the home of a Japanese family for three weeks and was immersed in Japanese culture.

Sara also records radio pieces for Asian Pacific-American Compass, a local radio program on KBOO Community Radio. To hear Sara’s reflections on her 2012 stay in Japan, go to

The Sapporo Summer Institute is an educational program supported by the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association. Plans for next year’s trip to Japan are currently underway.

Current Events at the Japanese Garden

On Saturday, August 27, the Japanese Garden will present: Behind the Shoji Artist Demo: Masamichi Nitani – woodworking.

On Sunday, August 28, they’ll present: Behind the Shoji Artist Demo: Teresa Ruch – bamboo dying/textiles.

Both start at 11:00 a.m. and are included with Garden admission.

Charlie M. Clint,

PSU Hosts Lecture Series in February

Portland State University’s Center for Japanese Studies is hosting a lecture series in February. The Center brings the languages, literature, thoughts and culture of Japan to PSU students and the community.

On Tuesday, February 8, the lecture will address the cultural challenges of the Ainu, native people of northern Japan, a subject that bears a striking similarity to Native American experience.

The Ainu, indigenous to northern Japan, were deprived of their ancestral land by the Meiji Government in its process of colonization and reclamation in the late nineteenth century. A long oppression, forced assimilation and destruction of natural environment followed. The Ainu have been restoring their culture, identity and community in the middle of mainstream Japanese society, away from their ancestral land. Dr. Yoshiko Kayano will address how they have made this possible, as well as what she’s learned from them about their rich cultural tradition and the difficulties they still face.

Note: The following document is in PDF format.

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Flyer – Restoring the Ainu Culture [PDF]