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Contributed by John Rawlins on 04/04/2011
In celebration of Focus Asia Month, the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs, along with the Asian American Alliance, is shedding this week's spotlight on Japan.
In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence.
For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II – and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan's economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains a major economic power.
In March 2011, Japan's strongest-ever earthquake, and an accompanying tsunami, devastated the northeast part of Honshu island, killing thousands and damaging several nuclear power plants. The catastrophe hobbled the country's economy and its energy infrastructure, and severely strained its capacity to deal with the humanitarian disaster.
The flag of Japan is white with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center.
Information obtained from www.cia.gov - The World Factbook
JOIN US IN THE CELEBRATION OF FOCUS ASIA MONTH!
Sunday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m. in Williams 225
Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. in Williams 222
Thursday, April 14 at 6:00 p.m. in Park Auditorium
Friday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m. in Park Auditorium
Tuesday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Klingenstein Lounge
Monday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. in Clarke Lounge
Friday, April 29 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in IC Square
In light of the current situation in Japan, the Asian American Alliance will be raising money through selling t-shirts and through donating all money made at Asia Night. All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross to provide medical care and relief assistance in Japan.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Asian American Alliance at ICAsianAmericanAlliance@gmail.com to request accommodation.