MSSU organizes “Japan Day” to educate the community about Japanese culture

JOPLIN, Mo.–Missouri Southern State University gives the four-state community a chance to experience Japan’s rich culture right here in Joplin.

“This fall semester, we celebrated Japan with about 40 different activities…many cultural events, but we decided to take just one day and wrap it all up with a Japanese day,” said Dr. Chad Stebbins, Director of the Institute for International Studies.

This Japanese day was organized by Chieko Hedin, originally from Tokyo.

“I come from Tokyo. moved to the US in 1982…just wanted to show that there are a lot of misleading things about Japan. Japanese food culture, so I thought, shows what I know,” Hedin said.

Hedin adds that she wants people to know that there is more to Japan than what people can see in pop culture.

“A long time ago, when I was a teenager, when I first came to the United States, people asked me if we wore kimonos, but I wore jeans, so she said, ‘Oh , are you wearing jeans? So it’s misunderstanding. »

Japan Day participants were able to bridge these learning gaps, while enjoying the culture of Japan.

“I learned a little about how the Japanese dress regularly and traditionally…JThe righteous culture of Japan and everything is really amazing and many people get the facts wrong in Japan. it’s just cool to know more,” said Emma Palmer, an event attendee.

For some, like Karmyn Page, Japan Day activities have even helped them build their self-esteem.

“I like to dress up and go out in public and do things like that. it really breaks my confidence…the character I’m in is actually from a Japanese anime so I thought I might dress like the character and have her personality match what is happening around her.

Whether attendees came to sample Japanese cuisine or show off their Japanese-inspired style, there was plenty of education throughout.

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