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November 2010 CEAS Newsletter

CEAS

Japanese Consul General Guest Lecture at CEAS

    Consul General of Japan at Chicago, George Hisaeda
    Japanese Consul General George Hisaeda

    On November 18th CEAS was pleased to host Japanese Consul General at Chicago George Hisaeda for a guest lecture entitled “Japan-U.S. Relations: Building for the future”. In his lecture, Consul General Hisaeda stressed the importance of the two countries' alliance in terms of security, economy, and cultural exchange. He further promoted the relationship as two countries with common values.

    Aside from his career-influenced interests in promoting further ties between our nations, Consul General Hisaeda has several personal interests that go between Japan and the U.S. He introduced himself as growing up heavily influenced by American popular culture, from classic TV shows to music. He brought several examples of his added interest in Wisconsin, bringing up manufacturing soy sauce, beer, and trombones.

    Consul General giving his lecture
    lecture
    Following his Lecture, Consul General Hisaeda met with CEAS Japan faculty, UW Political Science Professor Jeremy Suri, and East Asian Studies alum and generous contributor to the Ichiro & Toyoko Matsudaira Memorial Scholarship Andrew Seaborg, to discuss ways in which UW-Madison might boost student interest in Japan and how to attract more Japanese students to study abroad at UW-Madison.

What CEAS Faculty are Reading: Byung-jin Lim

    Byung-Jin Lim

    "Last semester I did a directed independent study with an undergraduate student and the topic we chose was ‘Faith of Koreans in the United States and Korea’ and it naturally led me to think about the Korean immigration into the United States. When it comes to the Korean immigration into the United States, I always have teary eyes because of all the memories, histories, and even traumas revolving around immigrants' stories, personal or official. The student and I started reading a couple chapters from a book Buddhist and Protestant Korean Immigrants: Religious Beliefs and Socioeconomic Aspects of Life by Okyun Kwon (2003) published by LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC, New York. Recently, I finished reading the entire book and started reading another book Immigrant Faiths: Transforming Religious Life in America edited by Karen I. Leonard et al., published by AltaMira Press, New York in 2005.

    While I was reading these two books, I almost felt like I was tracing the paths of the Korean immigrants’ lifestyles and faiths, and it seemed to me they are integral to their assimilation to the new country. With a clear goal, strong motivation, and even desperateness to succeed in life in a new country, most of the Korean immigrants tried to totally assimilate themselves into a new culture and society and even tried to re-create their own new identities. Some immigrants thought they could become ‘Real’ Americans by speaking ‘English only’ even at home or at least they saw mastering the English language as a must for themselves, especially for their children’s sake, with a high expectation on their kids to take part in so-called ‘Mainstream America’ at the expense of their own communication with their kids. As a result, the more the kids became fluent with the new language, English, the wider and deeper the gaps became between the parents and their children. And yet, the parents were happy and even grateful because they believed their sacrifices for their kids would pay off to some degree, but they came to realize that this was not always the case. Anyhow, for those Korean immigrants who claimed themselves to be Christians, Korean churches maybe were the places where they could ‘maintain their ethnicity’ and keep their personal relationship with their God: ‘Meeting Korean friends and teaching their children the Korean language and customs,’ and worshiping their God every Sunday."

CEAS Student Profile: Zach McLeod

    Zach McLeod

    Zach McLeod is an East Asian Studies and Biology double major expecting to graduate in May of 2011. Although Zach began his college career on a biology track, he soon developed an interest in East Asia through his coursework—especially about the Korean Peninsula.

    During his sophomore year, Zach was first introduced to all things Korean through EAS300: Korean Culture and Civilization. This course exposed Zach to modern Korean history, and covered a wide range of themes in Korean history. It was this course that sparked Zach’s interest in Korea and set him on a path toward studying abroad.

    Taking advantage of UW-Madison’s Study Abroad program, Zach studied at the Ewha University in Seoul, South Korea during the summer of 2009. Over the duration of the program Zach had the opportunity to take several Korea-related classes, including a beginner Korean Language class and a course on Korean cinema. Of all the classes offered, Zach believes that one to have been the hardest, but also the most fun and interesting class. Among the films Zach studied, he found Old Boy to be his favorite. Outside of academics, Zach’s favorite aspect of studying abroad was being able to meet new people and experience things that he would never otherwise have had the chance to experience.

    Upon returning to Madison, Zach continued to take Korean Language classes, which soon became his favorite classes at UW-Madison. He is currently taking Third Semester Korean and has enrolled for Fourth Semester Korean to take in the spring. Zach is also looking forward to taking EAS300: Words to Images: Film Adaptations of Korean Literature this spring.

    After graduating in May, Zach plans to return to Korea. He’s currently applying to various programs and jobs including the Gyeonggi English Program in Korea (GEPIK), and a program which sends native English speakers to Korea to teach English in elementary, junior high, and high schools. Zach hopes teaching English in Korea will serve as a stepping stone to other exciting jobs in Korea or the United States.

This newsletter is sent out monthly from the
Center for East Asian Studies
at the UW Madison.
Center for East Asian Studies, International Institute,
333 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive,
Madison, WI 53706-1397 tel:(608)262-3643
You can email us at: email: eas@intl-institute.wisc.edu

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Center for East Asian Studies, International Institute, 333 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive,
Madison, WI 53706-1397 email: eas@eastasia.wisc.edu tel:(608)262-3643 fax:(608)265-2919