Japan Society of Fairfield County
Lecture at Univ. of Connecticut by H. Sakamaki

November 10, 2011

    I was cordially invited by Professor Michael M. Ego on November 10, 2011 to talk at his class of "Asian Pacific American Families". My lecture is part of its broader topics which covers the Overview of the demographic, educational, social, cultural, structural and historical aspects of Asian Pacific American (APA) families in the United States at the University of Connecticut. 

Japonism Specifically I was asked to cover the following two topics:
(1) My experiences in the United States with Japanese ancestry, and all of my efforts to educate Americans about Japan and its culture and society are topics important for students to learn about.
(2) The impact of Japanese culture is a global issue, as well as one that affects local communities, and the transnational relationships which you have so such expertise, especially via the Japan Society
of Fairfield County and other organizations.

My presentation entitled “Japonism – Light and Shade –” was particularly focused on the following five points:

1. The Japanese Professional & American Major League Baseball
Introducing the unique aspect of the Japanese arts and culture I as icebreaking brought up the examples of the Japanese professional baseball comparing with the American Major League Baseball. The emphasis was on the mentality of the Japanese baseball which is based on the Samurai or Bushi-Do philosophy.

Professor Ego and Harry Sakamaki 2. Japanization of Socioeconomics, Arts & Culture
Covered how and why Japan introduced the socioeconomic systems of China and Korea and modified and adjusted to her society. Examples were the unique government of Emperor and Shinto, Shogun and feudal vertical society called  “Mura”(village) based on the rice farming economy. As for the art and culture, focussed on the underlining important concept of “道“ or “Way” .

3. Living & Adjusting in U.S.
Touched upon my personal experiences in consulting business explaining and training the way of Japanese doing businesses to my counterpart American consultants including the unique decision making mechanism and “Nemawashi”. As for my family living in the American community, emphasis was on the differences in the education system and the value of volunteer and philanthropy spirits.  

4. Roles of our Japan Society
Introduce the mission and arts and culture programs of the Society and our value to the community.

5. Why Japanese Arts & Cultures?
Among the students discussed the value of the Japanese of arts, culture and philosophy by examining the flower arrangement, tea house architecture, samurai sword, Haiku, and Buddhism and comparing with that of the Western. 
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