Ohayo-Ohio: A Japanese Symposium was a very successful ten- day community engagement collaborative, held on campus and at venues throughout Yellow Springs during Japan’s Golden week (the first week of May, 2016). It was designed to promote global citizenship and to provide students with experiential opportunities for cultural awareness and continued collaboration toward the promotion of peace. Funded by the Yellow Springs Community Foundation, the Antioch College Lloyd Fellow Faculty Fund, alumnus Tim Barrett, ’73, with project assistance from Japanese language professor Toyoko Miwa-Osborne, Professor Emeritus Harold Wright, Fulbright Scholar Fumi Aono, and many students, artists and local Yellow Springs residents,855 participants attended thirty separate events over a ten-day period, including four gallery exhibits, nine lectures and presentations, fourteen workshops, a cosplay parade a women’s choir, and more.
Ohayo-Ohio symposium featured lectures on contemporary Japanese history, Antioch’s connection to post-war peace through the work of Barbara and Earl Reynolds, and a lecture by Harold Wright on the history of the former Antioch tea house and its place on the National Register of authentic U.S. Japanese teahouses. Workshops included raku pottery, paper-making, a “ma” workshop on the Japanese concept of negative space, Japanese natural dye workshops, sushi-making, Japanese embroidery, printmaking, a haiku slam, story-telling, an origami thousand cranes peace project, calligraphy, tea ceremony, a cosplay parade, and an Academy Award nominated anime by Studio Ghibli, When Marnie Was There.
A keystone of the symposium featured two Kyoto artists Mami Adachi and Riko Mukai. Adachi is an internationally recognized “kusakizome no kinuito o tsukatta shizenha no kimono” artist who has presented her work throughout Japan, England, France and Germany. Her work involves the natural dyeing of silk with various plant materials which she then weaves into kimono fabric, ultimately creating one-of-a-kind kimono. She is the recipient of numerous awards. Riko Mukai has a special connection to Yellow Springs as a former Kyoto Seika exchange student at Antioch College. Upon her completion of the Antioch College Kyoto Seika Exchange, she worked in Glen Helen Nature Reserve as an outdoor environmental educator.
Another keystone workshop featured MacArthur “genius” award winner and Antioch College alumnus Timothy Barrett, Director of the University of Iowa Center for the Book. He is an internationally recognized “washi” artist. He taught this papermaking technique in a workshop during the week and also offered a well-attended lecture on his experience at Antioch and how it ultimately led him to his life’s path.
Antioch College student Tymber Compher, ’17, led a Haiku slam, and students Katie Olson ’17, Sylvia Newman ’16 and Shannon Hart ’17, participated in the kusakizome workshop, making silk scarfs dyed with acorns, onions and iron. Antioch Instructor of Japanese Toyoko Miwa Osborne represented Hello Kitty in the Cosplay parade