Monday, August 31, 2015

Talk on history of University of Pittsburgh's Japanese Nationality Room, September 6.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center shares news of a talk on the history of the University of Pittsburgh's Japanese Nationality Room on Sunday, September 6.
We would like to invite you to a talk on the history of the Japanese Nationality Room (JNR) at the University of Pittsburgh, followed by an informal gathering at the Croghan-Schenley Ball Room, Cathedral of Learning, Room156.

Time: 1:30-2:30 on Sunday, September 6
Place: Japanese Room, Cathedral of Learning Room 317
Speakers: Mr. Arimoto, Dr. Maeshiro, and Dr. Motoyama

Leading the talk will be three longstanding members of the JNR Committee, each with more than 20 years of involvement from the room's founding until the present day: Woodworker Mr. Arimoto and the two Emeritus Members of the JNR Committee, Dr. Maeshiro and Dr. Motoyama.

The JNR Committee is responsible for maintaining the room and for providing student scholarships designed to foster cultural exchange and better understanding between the United States and Japan. Also, the seasonal display that represent the Japanese culture for the visitors of the room is conducted by the Display Committee.

This talk on why and how of the Japanese room’s history is intended to raise awareness of the Japanese Nationality Room among new residents in the area and welcome anyone who might be interested the room’s current and future activities.

The Japanese Room was established in 1999 and is one of 30 Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh. For the last five years, Pitt's Nationality Rooms were ranked among the top 10 tourist sights in Pittsburgh.
Wikipedia provides a good overview of the room's interior---which was largely built in Japan, disassembled, and rebuilt in Pittsburgh---while the 24-page program from the dedication ceremony, scanned and preserved by the university's Documenting Pitt archive, covers the ceremony as well as information on the budget, donors, and other contributors. At the time, it says, the total expenditure was $507,047.64, roughly 80% being building and building-related expenses.