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Juniata College Asian Reunion 2007

Asian Reunion 2007View the Event Photo Gallery.

The first Juniata College Asian Reunion was held on Oct. 6, 2007 at an inn called “Wakamiya-soh” in the city of Kamakura, Japan. The inn is located near a beautiful beach called “Yuiga-hama”. The historical city of Kamakura, south of Tokyo, was once the capital of Japan and it offered a number of sightseeing opportunities.

Reunion participants were: Dr. and Mrs. Tom Kepple (President of JC), Dr. Elizabeth Cherry (retired faculty), Ms. Elizabeth Smolcic and Ms. Kati Csoman (International Office), Dr. E. and Mrs. K. Ochiai (both retired faculty); Ms. Yumi Machino, Mr. Kazuhiro Abe, Ms. Akiyo Kaga, Ms. Sachiko Shioda, Mr. Kazunori Takasago, Ms. Kiyoko Takatsuka, Ms. Kaori Nosaka, Ms. Ayako Watanabe, Ms. Kaori Tomita, Mr. Taro Shibuya, Ms. Minori Matsuda, Mr. Aaron Himmler, Ms. Tomoe Hashimoto, and a special guest Mrs. Sachiko Itoh. There were a total of 21 people altogether. Ms. Yumi Machino, through Mr. Aaron Himmler, studied at Juniata, and Mrs. Sachiko Itoh was the tea ceremony demonstrator several times for a course on Japanese culture taught by Drs. E. Cherry and E. Ochiai.

President and Mrs. Kepple arrived at the inn fairly early on Oct. 6 and greeted the Ochiai’s and other representatives from the College. The group waited for the arrival of JC alumni in the lobby and every time one arrived there were hugs and boisterous greetings. The dinner started at 6:00 pm in a large room of Japanese style (with tatami mat) but with a long table and chairs. The dinner served was called “Kaiseki Ryori” consisting of 10 courses. The meal was excellent and very enjoyable.

The organizer (Ms. K. Ochiai) had been worried that the alumni (of Japanese origin), having been away from English for a number of years, may feel reluctant to converse in English. It turned out that she did not need to be worried. Every former English speaker seemed to have regained their English ability almost instantly, and they seemed to enjoy conversations in English. They exchanged their stories after leaving Juniata, and continued their conversations long after dinner. Afterward a group of them went out to town to enjoy “Karaoke”. The organizer was told later that some of them enjoyed the meeting so much that they did see each other the following week as well. They all enjoyed the meeting and were eager to start planning the next meeting.

The first Juniata College Asian Reunion was a great success. The organizer acknowledges gratefully the help of Dr. E. Cherry, the International Office, and financial support of the Alumni Office.

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