Japan Immersion day let students experience Japanese culture

Photo Courtesy of Naoko Komura

By Tamica Jean-Charles

Here at Florida International University, students embrace the “I” all over campus. This year, the Asian Studies Program will be presenting one of their annual events, Japan Immersion Day. This hands-on event features workshops, ranging from Calligraphy to Cosplaying to Anime and Manga.

Japan Immersion Day allows current or prospective Asian Studies students to experience glimpses of a fascinating culture. Each student will be able to participate in different affairs that reflect the popular culture of Japan.

Naoko Komura, a professor at the Department of Modern Languages, has directed the event since 2012.

“I want to promote Japanese language and culture to all FIU students,” said Komura.

Many of the students who participate in the event are enrolled in the Asian Studies program. Katrina Akrum, an FIU alumna, attended Japan Immersion Day when she was a high school student and also as an undergrad.

“Once I returned from my study abroad year in Japan [through FIU],  I was able to participate and it gave me a reminder of my time in Japan and allowed me to share my experiences abroad with other FIU students that attended the event,” said Akrum.

Akrum was inspired by the Kimono Try-On event to purchase one of her own. She later purchased one during the event, and one when she taught English at Japanese public schools.

“To this day, I have the bracelet that was made during my time as an undergrad,” said Akrum. “I can always remember the time shared with friends who are now scattered across the ocean.”

The Akido Club will be opening the ceremony and demonstrate basic movements of the modern martial art. The event will consist of ten, 40-minute workshops that will include various Japanese activities.

Each attendee will have to attend at least two workshops. The sponsors of the event will also present a raffle, in which they will be giving away surprise Japanese prizes.

Guests will also be given a traditional Japanese Bento box at the end of the event, A Bento box is a compact, packaged meal that is common in Japan. A box may include regular foods such as rice or noodles, meat or fish, and vegetables. But can include other food as well.
To attend the event, participants must pay a non-refundable fee of $15, which covers, lunch, supplies, and handouts. The deadline for registration is Nov. 30. For further information, contact Komura at komuran@fiu.edu.

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