East Asia Center Newsletter On-line 
The University of Virginia
east asia center
Spring 1998

Former UN Under-Secretary General and UVA-Alumnus Yasushi Akashi Presents Inaugural Lecture of New East Asia Lecture Series

ON MONDAY, MARCH 2, 1998, Yasushi Akashi presented the first lecture of the East Asia Center's new East Asia Lecture Series. Mr. Akashi's lecture covered a variety of topics, including the future role of Japan and the United Nations in international relations and his life at UVa as a Master's student in the 1950s. Students were quite interested to learn of the climate in Charlottesville during the period of racial segregation and how it affected Asian students as Mr. Akashi spoke of his confusion as to his own place in the racial spectrum of the time. The bulk of his talk dealt with his experiences in the UN. In particular, he focused on the constraints on the ability of the United Nations to intervene in international conflicts, such as that in Cambodia. He stressed that it is important that all parties involved desire and be willing to accept international mediation. Overall, Mr. Akashi's prestige attracted a large crowd and his lecture was well received.

Mr. Akashi is one of the University's most accomplished alumni, having recently completed an illustrious diplomatic career with the United Nations, ultimately achieving the rank of under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs. Mr. Akashi has served with every secretary general since Dag Hammarskjold and grappled with many of the international crises that have threatened world peace in the late twentieth century. In the 1970s, he served as a Japanese Ambassador at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN. Later, after returning to the UN Secretariat, he served in 1992-93 as special representative of the secretary general for Cambodia, overseeing the bold and largely successful effort by the UN to restore order, rebuild, and introduce democracy to that war-torn country. Just six months later, he was called upon once again to serve as the Secretary General's special representative for the former Yugoslavia, supervising the UN peacekeeping and humanitarian operations there at a particularly difficult time.

The son of the owner of a rice-processing factory, Mr. Akashi graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1954 with a BA in American Studies, writing his thesis on the "Political Theory of Thomas Jefferson." Along with many other Japanese of his generation who would go on to become influential leaders in their country, Mr. Akashi received his first exposure to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar. The Fulbright program funded his study toward an MA in Foreign Affairs here, which he earned in 1956. He studied further at Tufts and Columbia universities and began his United Nations service in 1957, remaining with the international peacekeeping organization for most of the next forty years.

The East Asia Distinguished Lecture series is a new series sponsored by the East Asia Center. This program compliments the Center's on-going regular lecture series which tends to bring to the grounds primarily American scholars who study Asia. The new series, in contrast, is designed to provide a forum for distinguished Asians to speak to the University community. This semester the Center was proud to welcome an alumnus of UVa whose subsequent career distinguishes him as among the most influential Asians in the field of international diplomacy as the first speaker in this series. In the future, the Center hopes to bring to the grounds speakers who can provide Asian perspectives on recent economic developments in the area, on current political developments, and on cultural contributions of the region. Funds for this series were provided by UVa alumni in Tokyo, with a matching grant from local supporters of Center programs, Mary and Jamie McConnell.

East Asia Watch Off to Good Start

EAST ASIA WATCH has thus far had a very successful inaugural semester. This spring the new student organization has sponsored four faculty lectures and a panel on teaching English in Asia, and one more faculty speaker is planned for April. The faculty lectures are part of an overall objective of the group, to bring faculty and students together to discuss current trends in Asian Studies. Jon Jones, the group's president, believes that regular classes are not enough to bring professors and students together. "Taking classes is not the only academic commitment students should make while in college, and by attending events where UVa professors talk about their area of expertise, without having to follow a syllabus, students can gain a much better perspective on their area of interest, and college in general," says Jones, a second-year graduate student in East Asian Studies.

The first professor to speak at an East Asia Watch event was Brad Reed, of the History Department, who spoke on his personal experiences as a graduate student. Discussion centered on choosing a school, an advisor, and a research topic-all of which are pressing subjects for fourth-years and first-year graduate students. The other three professors to speak chose to present their current or recent research. Len Schoppa, an associate professor in the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs and Director of the East Asia Center, introduced some preliminary results of his current research on public discontent and electoral reform in the "mature" democracies. Gil Roy of the Division of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures explained some of his on-going research on the Chinese language in his talk, "Sinologic Semantics: Words in Chinese." And, Michiko Wilson, also of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, presented her work on Oba Minako's literature, a project that has recently culminated in a book-length manuscript which has been accepted for publication by M.E. Sharpe. The events have been so well-attended that East Asia Watch plans to continue the format. Says Jones, "Students, both undergraduates and graduates, are craving this information; they simply want to know what professors are doing outside of class. Hopefully, in the future, the group will decide on particular semester-long themes around which the professors will base their talks."

Panel on Teaching English in Asia

East Asia Watch also hopes to offer more events like the panel on teaching English in Asia since it helps educate students on their options for the future. The panelists for the event helped to make that goal a reality by offering a variety of viewpoints and opinions. Marilyn Mitchell, a representative from the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program, offered an excellent background of the JET program, a very popular exchange program for UVa graduates who comprise the most number of JET participants of any university. Commenting on this fact, Mitchell said, "JET has a very special relationship with UVa, and it is panels such as this one which inform the students and keep the relationship going." Diane Hoffman, an assistant professor in the Curry School, and Norm Apter, a graduate student in East Asian Studies, spoke about their personal experiences as English teachers in Asia. The fourth panelist, Gigi Davis, provided a unique addition to the panel. As coordinator of educational services at UVa's Office of Career Planning and Placement, Davis alerted the audience to the various and many resources that the OCPP has available for students wishing to teach English as a foreign language. She also welcomed any student who may think he or she wants to teach English in Asia or another part of the world to come talk to her at the OCPP in Garrett Hall. Next year, East Asia Watch plans to sponsor a panel on job opportunities in Asia and study abroad programs in East Asia.

Buddhist Monk Speaks on Zen, Gives Calligraphy Demonstration

THE EAST ASIA CENTER recently sponsored a Zen lecture and calligraphy demonstration by Fukushima Keido Roshi, who is the chief abbot of the Tofukuji Monastery in Kyoto. Welcoming the Roshi (a term that literally means "elderly teacher" and implies master) to UVa for his first visit was a large audience that filled the Commonwealth Room to standing room only. People were encouraged to take seats on the floor at the front in order to get a better view of the calligraphy demonstration. Fukushima Roshi spoke in a casual style alternating between humorous anecdotes about his American travels and explanations of Zen practice. It is a rare opportunity to be in the presence of a Zen abbot while he practices calligraphy. In Japan many of the writings by Zen priests are meticulously mounted and coveted by "chanoyu" or Japanese tea enthusiasts. Each completed work of the Roshi's calligraphy was neatly arranged on the floor like carefully placed clues to a riddle. There were Zen sayings such as "pure nothingness," "everyday is a fine day," and "hey, throw it away." Many such phrases seem deceptively simple but resonate deeply within the Zen tradition. Even one particular wispy twig-like brush stroke that appeared in several of his works was the result of many years of Zen practice. Fukushima Roshi explained to his audience how he developed this style by studying the artistry of the Japanese painter Sesshu (1420-1506). It was Sesshu's unique way of painting the toenails of Bodhidharma that served as his inspiration.

A few years ago Steve Addiss, who is Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond, a Japanese art historian, and long-time friend of Fukushima Roshi, proposed a visit to UVa. He mentioned that the Roshi was primarily interested in meeting and interacting with students. Judging from the questions and number of people who stayed for what turned out to be a two-hour event, the Roshi had his wish fulfilled. At the beginning of the talk the Roshi commented on his surprise to see a bank on a university campus. We managed to show him an even better view of the university before he left for Richmond with a stroll around the Lawn in the twilight.

AMELC To Become a Department, Add Departmental Major

THIS SUMMER THE DIVISION of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (AMELC) will begin the process of transforming into a full-fledged department, with plans to offer a departmental major. Dean Melvyn Leffler, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, last year appointed a committee to study the restructuring of AMELC, headed by Allison Booth, Associate Dean of Personnel and Planning and Acting Chair of AMELC. The committee concluded with two recommendations. First, the University should change AMELC's status from division to department, and second, the division should expand its faculty and course offerings. AMELC was originally a division of the French Department, and though they eventually separated, AMELC retained the status of division.

Brantly Womack, professor in the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, was appointed to chair AMELC starting July 1 for a period of two years. Prof. Womack's task will be to assist in AMELC's transformation to a department, which involves establishing a department-wide major and expanding the language and culture programs.

Dean Leffler and the College of Arts and Sciences intend to devote more resources to AMELC as part of this project. Already, a new lectureship in Arabic has been added for this year, and there are plans to add a lectureship in Chinese next year. Clearly Asia and the Middle East are becoming increasingly more important in global affairs, and the University feels compelled to upgrade its committment to this area.

After Five Years as ISO Director, Ron Dimberg Returns to Teaching Full-time

RONALD DIMBERG, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR of History and a specialist on East Asia, has been the Director of the International Studies Office since September of 1993. When he steps down from this post in August, he will once again teach courses on Chinese and Korean history and culture on a full-time basis. As ISO Director, Dimberg was chiefly responsible for working with faculty to establish and administer study-abroad and exchange programs. Dimberg professes that, as a response to faculty and student interests, the University has experienced its most expansive growth in international studies in the past few years. This tide of global interest has transcended the School of Arts and Sciences, establishing a basis for international academic programs in a variety of fields -- business, engineering, nursing, and architecture, to mention a few. In addition to teaching two courses on Chinese history next fall, Dimberg plans on expanding the offerings in Korean history. After all, he asserts, Korea is a seminal part of East Asia and can no longer be ignored. Look out for one or two courses on Korea in the spring and possibly a year-long history seminar on Korea the following year. After twenty-five years in the field, Dimberg is not a new name in UVa's classrooms, but for many students this is the first chance to take a class with him. We are glad to have Prof. Dimberg back, despite what a super job he did as head of the ISO.

East Asia Center Expands UVA's Coverage of Korean Issues

ON NOVEMBER 19, 1997, the East Asia Center presented a one-day seminar on Korean issues, Political and Social Transformation on the Korean Peninsula, as part of its ongoing effort to improve the coverage of Korean topics at the University. The first afternoon panel, "Korean Society Today," dealt with Korean society and education and featured Professor Ro Young Chan of George Mason University; Chung Suk-koo, Education Councilor at the Korean Embassy in Washington, DC; and Professor Diane Hoffman of the Curry School of Education at UVA. The second panel, "The Political Transformation in Korea," featured political and economic topics, including the upcoming Korean elections. Participants included Dr. Peter Beck of the Korea Economic Institute, John Aller of the Korea Desk of the US Department of State, and Professor Leonard Schoppa of the UVA Department of Government and Foreign Affairs. The panel concluded with a dinner lecture given by keynote speaker Dr. Marcus Noland of the Institute for International Economics on "The Economics of Korean Reunification." Dr. Noland had recently returned from Korea where he was researching the costs of Korean reunification and last July had an article published in Foreign Affairs, entitled, "Why North Korea Will Muddle Through." Dr. Noland is also the author of Reconcilable Differences? US-Japan Economic Conflict, with C. Fred Bergsten. The Center hopes to continue its efforts to increase discussion of Korean topics on grounds in the future.

UVA East Asia Events Spring 1998


Monday, March 30 -- Janice Brown, Associate Professor, University of Alberta, Canada: "Belching Fire, Dancing Naked, Spitting Blood: Hayashi Fumiko and the Japanese Poetic Tradition." 3:30 pm, 125 Minor Hall. Reception to follow.

Friday, April 3 -- Dan Stevenson, Assistant Professor, University of Kansas: "Making the T'ien-t'ai Master: Protocols of Clerical Authority in Sung T'ien-t'ai Buddhism." 3:30 pm, 125 Minor Hall. Reception to follow.

Friday, April 10 -- Brantly Womack, Professor, UVA: "US-China Relations 1978-1998: The Road Back to Normalization." 1:00 pm-2:00 pm, 234 Cabell Hall. East Asia Watch faculty lecture, in conjunction with the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs.


John M. Rosenfield, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University: "The Rebirth of Japanese Buddhist Art in the Early Modern Age." Sponsored by the McIntire Department of Art. Jan. 22.

John M. Rosenfield, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University: Colloqium on "The Study of Japanese Art, State of the Field." Jan. 23

Bradly W. Reed, Assistant Professor, UVA: "Historical Research: Proposals and Outcomes." East Asia Watch faculty lecture. Jan. 28.

James Godfrey, Director, Chinese Works of Art, Sotheby's, New York: "From the University to Sotheby's: An Adventure in Asian Art." Weedon Lecture Series. Feb. 8

Gilbert Roy, Associate Professor, UVA: "Sinologic Semantics: Words in Chinese." East Asia Watch faculty lecture. Feb. 27.

Len Schoppa, Associate Professor, UVA: "Discontent and Reform in the Mature Democracies." East Asia Watch faculty lecture. Feb. 13.

Yasushi Akashi, Former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations: "Japan's World Role: Personal reflections of a former UVA student looking back over a 40-year diplomatic career." Japan Distinguished Speakers Series. March 2.

Peter T. Y. Cheung, Professor, Hong Kong University: "Hong Kong After Reversion." March 2.

J. Edward Kidder, Jr., Professor Emeritus, International Christian University, Tokyo: "The Lucky Seventh: Early

Horyu-ji Temple." Weedon Lecture Series. March 3.

Brantly Womack, Professor, UVA: "America and Asia in the Global Century." Global Issues Forum series. March 17.

Michiko Niikuni Wilson, Associate Professor, UVA: "Rethinking Gender: Oba Minako's Postmodernist Tales of Men and Women." East Asia Watch faculty lecture, in conjunction with the Women's Studies Program. March 20.

Fukushiima Roshi, Abbot of Tofukuji, Kyoto: "Zen Buddhism." March 23.

East Asia Faculty News

PAUL GRONER of the Department of Religious Studies will be on leave next fall.

ANNE KINNEY of the Division of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures has been the 1997-1998 Distinguished Speaker for the Virginia Consortium for Asian Studies and by Spring will have given three lectures around the state. Prof. Kinney recently attended a meeting at Princeton University to inaugurate the U.S.-China Book Publication project which will be publishing a series called "Basic Texts of Chinese Thought" (published by Yale University Press and Beijing's China International Publishing Group) that will involve the collaborative efforts of both Chinese and American scholars and which will be published in both Chinese and English. She will be working on an Eastern Han text called "Qianfu lun." The first volume to come out of another branch of this project was actually presented to President Clinton by Jiang Zemin. This spring, Prof. Kinney will present a paper on the family in Warring States' law in the meeting of the Warring States Working Group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Also this spring, she will participate in an Association for Asian Studies (AAS) roundtable discussion of Shang and Zhou chronology, and will present a paper on women in early China at Mary Baldwin College.

LEN SCHOPPA of the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs recently returned from attending a mini-conference on The Middle Classes in the 21st Century in Paris. The Conference was organized by Prof. Olivier Zunz of the UVa History Department and was designed to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars with an interest in socio-economic trends in the advanced industrialized nations. Prof. Schoppa's contribution was titled "Globalization: Common Challenge, Diverse Responses" and was designed to stimulate a discussion among the group comparing how recent increases in trade and capital mobility have affected levels of socio-economic inequality in Japan, Europe, and the United States. Other Japan scholars attending the conference included Andrew Gordon of Harvard, Bill Kelly of Yale, Nobuhiro Hiwatari of the University of Tokyo, and Takatoshi Imada of Tokyo Institute of Technology.

MICHIKO NIIKUNI WILSON of the Division of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures has had her book-length manuscript, "Gender Is Fair Game: (Re)Thinking the (Fe)Male in Oba Minako's Works," accepted for publication by M. E. Sharpe. It will be available in July 1998. Prof. Wilson's article, "Misreading and Un-reading the Male Text, Finding the Female Text: Miyamoto Yuriko's Autobiographical Fiction," has appeared in U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, No. 13 (1997). Prof. Wilson, the series editor of Japanese Women Writing, has acquired and edited The Woman with the Flying Head and Other Stories by Kurahashi Yumiko, an English translation by Atsuko Sakaki. This is the first in the series (1997). In June 1998, Prof. Wilson will be participating as a discussant in a panel at the International Conference for Asian Scholars to be held in the Netherlands. Prof. Wilson, who has been recommended for promotion to full professor, will be on leave next fall.

DOROTHY WONG of the Art Department recently presented two papers. At the Association for Asian Studies national conference in Washington, DC, she presented "Patterns of Patronage: The Social and Religious Dimensions of Artistic Production," which discusses the patterns of patronage in Buddhist and Daoist artworks from Chang'an and nearby regions in the fifth and sixth centuries. The paper was given in the panel "Capital Cultures and Regionalism During the Northern and Southern Dynasties," one of two panels sponsored by the Early Medieval China Group. The second paper titled, "Buddhist Patronage and the Martial Arts Tradition of the Northern Dynasties," was presented at the Southeast Conference of Association for Asian Studies in Charlottesville. The paper examines the prominence of military officers, especially the high-ranking Northern Wei warriors, as Buddhist patrons, and the connection between militarization of the Northern society and the rise of martial arts practiced by Buddhist monks, such as those of the famous Shaolin Temple.

Prof. Wong will be on leave next fall.

Alumni News

JENNIFER AMYX (BA Asian Studies, 1991), after spending three years in Japan teaching English and conducting research in Japanese politics, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University and is writing her dissertation on policymaking in Japan's Ministry of Finance. Jennifer presented her paper, "Understanding Financial Policy Breakdown in Japan's Ministry of Finance," at the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies annual meeting in Charlottesville in January.

RUSTON SPURLOCK (BA Asian Studies, 1992) is an account executive at Young & Rubicam advertising firm, which is involved in a joint venture with Dentsu, the largest advertising company in Japan. The company has just sent him to the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) to complete a Master's degree in International Management. After the completion of his MA, he is scheduled to be transferred to Southeast Asia.

DEREK GOLDBERG (BA Asian Studies, 1993) started studying Japanese at the University of Virginia as a first-year student in 1989. He continued to study Japanese language, culture, and related topics throughout his four years at UVa, and eventually majored in Asian Studies. During that time, he spent two summers in Japan on a home-stay program, experiencing the country's culture first-hand. After graduating in 1993, Derek traveled to Kagoshima, on the island of Kyushu, with the Japanese government's JET Program. For two years he taught English to junior high school students in several public schools. In his third year on the program, Derek served as Coordinator for International Relations for the Kagoshima Prefectural Government. In this role, he facilitated cross-cultural understanding through the implementation of educational programs directed towards both the citizens and foreign residents of Kagoshima. Upon his return to the United States in 1996, Derek began employment with World Access, the largest supplier of travel insurance in the United States, and a major third party administrator for international insurance companies. In his role as a project analyst and team leader in the Japanese Services Division, Derek works with a group of over 35 Japanese nationals in Richmond, Singapore, London, and Tokyo. The team administers travel accident insurance for several large Japanese insurance and credit card companies.

GREG INDRISANO (BA Asian Studies) spent part of the winter at a neolithic archaeological dig in Inner Mongolia. He is now a graduate student in Chinese history at University of Pittsburgh.

EDWARD PRATT (PhD Japanese history, 1991) will have a book on Japanese history published by the East Asia Council of Harvard University Press.

JENNIFER NEIGHBORS (BA Asian Studies, 1986) is doing well as a doctoral student in Chinese history at UCLA.

THEONI XINTARIS (MA East Asian Studies, 1995) is now an analyst for the US securities division of Chase Manhattan Bank. Before moving to New York, she worked for the Atlantic Council in their Asia Pacific program.

Student News

STEVE LEE has entered the MA program in East Asian Studies this semester. His concentration will be Japan.

Selected Bibliography on Teaching English as a Second Language in Asia
All titles are available at UVa's International Center Library, 21 University Circle, 924-3301/7983


Ref 915 Cha -- Chambers, Kevin. Asian Customs and Manners. Meadowbrook, 1984.

301.2952 Ran -- Randle, John and Miriko Wantanabe. Coping with Japan. Basil Blackwood, 1985.

301.2951 HuW -- Wenshang, Hu and Cornelius Grove. Encountering the Chinese: A Guide for Americans. Intercultural Press, 1991.

301.2952 Con With Repsect to the Japanese: A Guide for Americans. Intercultural Press, 1984.


915.1 Tur -- Turner-Gttschang, Karen. China Bound: A Guide to Academic Life and Work in the PRC. National Academy Press, 1987.

Ref 370.19 Shi -- Japan. Exploring Your Options: A Guide to Work, Study, and Research in Japan.

Gateway Japan, 1995.

Ref 331.7 Had -- Haddon, James F. The Korea Super Catalog. Bonus Books, 1993.

331.7 Bes -- Best, Don. Make a Mil-Yen: Teaching Englsih in Japan. Stone Bridge Press, 1994.

Ref 331.7 Now -- Now Hiring! Jobs in Asia. Perpetual Press, 1994.

Ref 910.2 -- Teaching English Abroad. Transitions Abraod Magazine, 1992.

Tea 331.7 Gri -- Griffith, Susan. Teaching English Abroad: Talk Your Way Around the World.

Vacation Work/Peterson's Guides, 1994.

Ref 331.7 Val -- Valle, Galen Harris. Teaching English in Asia: Finding Jobs and Doing It Well.

Pacific View Press.