On June 1, 2011 I presented a talk to a large group of mostly students, entitled “From Generation to Generation: Maintaining Cultural Identity over Time” at the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.
On June 2, 2011 I presented a faculty workshop entitled “Writing the Social History of Language and Social Interaction Research.” Before this event we had a faculty lunch at a local restaurant, where my husband and I were introduced to traditional Okinawan delicacies. Pictured below are (back row): Professors Madoka Kanemoto, Katsuyuki Miyahira, Kenji Yoshida and (front row): Professor Hiroko Onaha, me and Professor Yasusada Uechi , all of the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of the Ryukyus.
Then, on June 3, 2011 I presented a talk to faculty (although many students also attended), co-sponsored by the Okinawa Society for Foreign Language and Literature, entitled “Socially Constructing Communication.” My thanks to Prof. Yasusada Uechi , President of the Society, for serving as the connection to the group, and to Prof. Masuo Kataoka, Vice President, for making the introduction on behalf of the Society.
After the talk we had a faculty dinner, including Professors Madoka Kanemoto, Miki Shibata, and Katsuyuki Miyahira, as well as one student representative, Nina Arakaki.
My thanks to Prof. Katsuyuki Miyahira for organizing all of these events, for inviting my husband and me to his home for dinner with his wife, Yaeko, and son, Yuta, and for the extended day exploring Okinawa, including Ryukyu-mura and the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.
Thanks are also due to Prof. Madoka Kanemoto for a tour on a different day to Shikinaen Royal Garden and Shurijo Castle, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. And to multiple graduate students: Samantha May and Yuko Naka for their guidance to local fabrics and shopping opportunities, and Yuta and Charlie for the airport runs.
Okinawa was the last stop in Asia, and it was a delightful ending. I look forward to continued conversations with many of the faculty and students I met there.
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue