Tech’s Japanese Club President Kei Mori, has been teaching Japanese language and culture in Bruner 306 every other Friday since he was a freshman.
“The first Japanese Club president, Shozo Shimbo, founded the Japanese Club four years ago. He taught Japanese to students who intended to study abroad in Japan,”he said.
He knew Japanese exchange students wanted to interact with Americans and other international students, but there were no events that could easily allow such interactions to happen. On the other hand, American students who were interested in Japanese culture had little chance of easily getting involved ina Japaneseevent.
Realizingthe gap existed, he decided to start teaching Japanese language and culture to enable Japanese and American students to interact.
“The lessons in Japanese Club focus on introducing basic Japanese language and culture to make it easy for everyone to attend and learn,”he said.
He added, “There are people always looking forward to coming to the Japanese club, so I hold a meeting once a fortnight on Friday even when I am busy.”
Bria Huston studied abroad at Sophia University, a prestigious university in Japan.
She went to a couple of Japanese Club meetings before going to Japan. It was helpful because she got a glimpse of Japanese culture but also got to meet a few Japanese students.
“Since coming back from Japan, my mastery of Japanese has declined, so the few lessons after the presentations are helpful. It also informs me a lot about Japanese history that I previously didn’t know. For instance, I learned a lot about the history of anime and many Japanese holiday traditions,”Huston said.
Another American student, Andrew Hinton, went to Ritsumeikan University in Osaka, Japan, to see how different life was on the other side of the world.
“I think Japanese Club influences many students by showing them more about Japanese culture and identity firsthand. I went to the Japanese club to learn Japanese before going to Japan. Contrary to the past, Kei Mori made it a lot more fun and enjoyable,”Hinton said. "I had grown up hearing about Japan, so I was curious to know how life would be there. An excellent choice I would say."