With the opening of the Fall 2016 semester, the Dilena Takeyama Center for the Study of Japan and Japanese Culture celebrates five years sponsoring a dynamic and eclectic mix of programs for the campus and community.
The offerings have included scholarships for students, forums on timely issues, pioneering tea ceremony conferences, arts and culture exhibits, screenings of original films and media projects.
One of the most ambitious undertakings was Facing Fukushima: We Are Here, a special student media project examining the tragedy of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster that shattered northeastern Japan in 2011. Professor Jon Funabiki, executive director of the Dilena Takeyama Center, led a team of six San Francisco State University students to Fukushima to learn how disaster survivors were coping with the recovery process.
Many of the center’s programs have been organized in collaboration with other campus programs, universities and community organizations. People from around the world have accessed the center’s programs through its website and Facebook page.
Launched in 2011, the Dilena Takeyama Center was made possible by generous gifts from Dr. Kay Takeyama Dilena, a distinguished alumna and professor emerita of business. Born in Japan, Dr. Dilena earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1970 and a Master of Business Administration in 1973 from SF State.
The center’s broad mission is to support the study of Japan and to promote cultural understanding between the United States and Japan. With her gift, Dr. Dilena honors her brother, Yasuo Takeyama, a Hiroshima survivor, and her husband, James G. Dilena, a Pearl Harbor survivor.