About the Center

The Dilena Takeyama Center for the Study of Japan and Japanese Culture at SF State promotes leadership and new voices in the field of United States and Japan relations.


Miki Fukai, Ken Yamada, Jon Funabiki

From left: Miki Fukai, Ken Yamada, and Jon Funabiki discuss victim relief fundraising efforts at the Tohoku Disaster Roundtable on March 1, 2012. View more photos on Flickr.

The new center showcases and expands the already diverse interests of the University in a nation that is a major United States ally and a source of rich history and traditions.

History and Mission

The new 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.

The Dilena Takeyama Center:

  • Serves as a catalyst to bring together and expand the diverse and rich activities of faculty and students interested in Japan and United States and Japan relations.
  • Sponsors events for the campus community and the public at large, such as conferences, film screening, exhibits and festivals.
  • Collaborates with other organizations in the community and at other universities.
  • Sponsors scholarships for students.
  • Provides information and resources that promote understanding between the U.S. and Japan.

Jon Funabiki, a professor of journalism, served as the center's founding executive director from 2011 to 2016.

About the University

SF State boasts a highly regarded Master’s program in Japanese language and literature, music programs and a variety of social science disciplines that study aspects of Japanese culture. More than 30 faculty members across campus are involved in scholarly and professional activities related to Japan. The University enjoys a continuing presence of international students from Japan, currently numbering nearly 200, as well as a large contingent of Japanese alumni in the United States and in Japan. The Japan Center will become a bridge to the San Francisco Bay Area’s wealth of connections to Japan, due to immigration, business, technology, culture, the arts and more.