Japan Outreach Initiative

Rumi Mitsubayashi

The Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) is sponsored by the Laurasian Institution (TLI) and Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) in order to promote international awareness and cultural understanding. Valparaiso University is one of four institutions in the United States chosen to host a JOI coordinator for the 2010-2012 cycle.

Rumi Mitsubayashi, the Japan Outreach Coordinator, leads the "Discover Japan in Valparaiso" program, which provides presentations and hands-on activities on Valpo’s campus and in schools and community centers in Northwest Indiana. Rumi is from Shiga Prefecture in Japan, home of Lake Biwa, a sister lake to Lake Michigan. She earned her bachelor's degree in intercultural communication from Ryukoku University as well as a certificate in teaching Japanese. In addition, Rumi has been trained in the art of calligraphy for over fifteen years.

"Discover Japan in Valparaiso" covers both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture and arts, and programs can be stand alone presentations and activities, daylong workshops, or classes with multiple sessions. Topics include:

  • Cooking
  • Calligraphy
  • Beginning Japanese language
  • Poetry
  • Children’s books
  • Tea ceremony 
  • Painting
  • Origami and other hand crafts
  • Kimono
  • Games
  • Youth culture
  • Manga and anime
  • Traditions, events and ceremonies
  • Tips for planning your trip to Japan
  • General life in Japan and other social studies topics

Community groups, schools, libraries, businesses and other organizations can contact Rumi to arrange a program that will best suit their needs and interests. Donations to cover transportation and material costs will be assessed on a case by case basis.

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Rumi’s title and contact information:

Rumi Mitsubayashi 

Japan Outreach Coordinator

Valparaiso University

Chinese and Japanese Studies Program 

Meier Hall 138

Office Phone: (219)464-5175

Email: rumi.mitsubayashi@valpo.edu

Links to articles about her: