For over 70 years, the Yellow Springs (YS) community has shared a connection with Japan and its heritage. Last spring, after her visit to Japan for coop development, Beth Bridgeman returned with the idea to rejuvenate the relationship between Antioch College and its Japanese partners. After a year of hard work and planning between Beth and members of the YS Arts Council, the idea came to fruition in the form of Ohayo Ohio A Japanese Symposium. Spanning ten days (April 30 May 9, 2016), thirty events were made available for students and YS community members to take part in, consisting of four gallery exhibits, nine lectures, fourteen workshops, anime film screenings, and even a cosplay parade!
The symposium was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Yellow Springs Community Foundation grant, the Lloyd Family Faculty Fellowship fund, Antioch alum Tim Barrett, and participant’s workshop fees and donations.
850+ individuals took part in the various events. Mami Adachi, renowned Kimono artist, and her sister, Riko Mukai traveled all the way from Kyoto, Japan to lead workshops, and papermaker alum Tim Barrett traveled from Iowa, where he directs the Iowa Center for the Book. Other workshops were taught by the various artists and professors within the Greater Miami Valley possessing Japanese expertise. It truly was a community endeavor!
“In a time of increased nationalism in both Japan and the United States, we wanted to celebrate the rich history and connection between Yellow Springs and Japan and to provide a venue to increase cultural awareness, appreciation and understanding. We hope that this can lay the groundwork for future such community engagement collaborations”, said Beth.