Following much dedicated hard work on the part of all members of the student team at Glendon College, the Japan Symposium was held on 31 March 2015 and was most definitely a success by all measures. Given the York University labour disruption, turnout was unexpectedly high, numbered at around 120 attendees including members of the media such as the Japanese-Canadian newspaper Nikkei Voice who will be writing an article on the event. Diverse and stimulating panels shed expert knowledge on various facets of Japan and elicited considerable public participation. Interpretation in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese was provided by talented students from Glendon’s Master of Conference Interpreting programme. Edo Restaurants provided the lunch, which delighted the public as they enjoyed high-quality Japanese dance and iaido performances. During the wine-and-cheese closing ceremony, traditional Japanese sumi-e artwork by Toronto-based artist Hiroshi Yamamoto was on display, and a number of his pieces were bought by audience members. Thanks to the committed volunteer team for a smoothly-run event.
As a prelude to the Symposium, the organizing committee hosted a roundtable discussion on 19 March titled ‘History and Memory: Discussing the Japanese Internment,’ which featured Keo Shibatani, Japanese-Canadian ex-internee, and Catherine Ishino, who documented the internment experience of her Japanese-American family. Glendon was also host to Yasunori Nakayama, Consul-General of Japan in Toronto, who gave a lecture on 9 March on Japan’s security policy.
Each member of the nine-member Symposium team will now write an essay on a topic pertaining to Japan within the context of International Studies. The peer-reviewed essays will be published online, and possibly in print. Funding permitting, the Symposium team also plans to undertake a research trip to Japan to expand on the projects of each individual team member.
For more information about the Symposium, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
–2015 Japan Symposium organizing committee