Connecting with the Japanese Association

Rachel Pagel, Staff Reporter

The Japanese Association (JA) is a mainstay of the Lakeland community and culture.  The JA is a non-profit student organization that aims to enlighten the campus of various aspects of Japan and Japanese culture. It was started by alumni of Lakeland University Japan in October 2019. The organization is open to all students of any ethnic background who are interested in Japanese culture, and they would love if new students joined.  

The Japanese Association will also be serving Japanese cuisine on Friday, March 18 in the cafeteria for dinner. Keito Ibe, president of the Japanese Association, explained what the organization strives for, “We aim to share real information about Japan such as food, language, and traditions. We also encourage people to get outside the classroom and gain experience through Japanese culture and to meet new people and improve social networks.”  

Currently, the Japanese Association hosts movie nights featuring popular Japanese movies and calligraphy events to educate Kanji, a system of Japanese writing that uses Chinese characters. The JA would love if new members would join to add new perspectives. Ibe stated, “Most members are Japanese, so we are not fully sure what non-Japanese students are interested in. Even if we decide to serve Japanese food at the cafeteria, we are not sure what kinds of food or ingredients they really like.” Students should also join to experience Japanese culture and meet new people outside of the United States.  

The Japanese Association holds meetings every Friday at 4:00-4:30 p.m. and all Muskies  are welcome to join. Keito Ibe shared his favorite memory of the Japanese Association, “My favorite memory of the JA is serving boba tea at E-studio a year ago. I remember that it was difficult to adjust the sweetness to make something that everyone like. The event was so popular that we were able to sell all three drinks by the time it was over.” Overall, new members would help the organization host more collaborative programs at Lakeland University.