In addition to their courses, students at Earlham have many opportunities to broaden their interest in and passion for Japan.
Japan-America Student Conference: JASC is a one-month educational and cultural exchange program managed entirely by university students from the United States and Japan. Students from diverse backgrounds meet in small groups to discuss issues that affect their two nations. Earlham hosted the 2010 JASC during July and August 2010. Eight Earlham students have participated in JASC over the last decade.
Japan House: One of Earlham's language houses, Japan House is operated by the house members under the supervision of Residence Life in conjunction with the Japanese Language faculty. The House strives to promote awareness of Japan and to share Japan-related activities with students interested in Japan and with the wider campus community. A language fellow, typically someone with an M.A. in Japanese language teaching, resides in the House and serves as a cultural and linguistic resource.
Japanese Culture Club: Students in the Japanese culture club hold events throughout the year that bring together members of the Earlham community interested in Japanese language and culture. Every spring, students organize and participate in Harumatsuri (Spring Festival). Students perform Japanese dances and songs, prepare and serve Japanese food, demonstrate Japanese tea ceremony and martial arts, and share their passion for Japan with Earlham community.
Japanese Garden: Originally designed in 1974, the Japanese Garden at Runyan Student Center was redesigned by students in a Japanese Gardens course in 2013. Earlham students, faculty, staff, and community members currently maintain the garden.
Japanese Tea Ceremony: Located in Mills Hall, the Japanese tea ceremony room provides students a space to learn about and practice Japanese tea ceremony. Activities range from demonstrations during Harumatsuri, to student-lead classes, to lessons provided by a certified Japanese tea ceremony teacher taught in Japanese. Earlham students who study Japanese tea ceremony have noted similarities between the values of tea ceremony and Earlham College, such as such as harmony, respect, purity and tranquility.
ESL Tutor or Teaching Assistant: Earlham students participate in the English as a Second Language program as teaching assistants (TA) or as tutors. TAs attend class and help the faculty member with in-class learning activities such as games for vocabulary or idioms, pronunciation or discussion. Tutors either help with general English questions related to assignments or tutor students who need help for specific courses. About half of the international students in the ESL program are Waseda students enrolled in Earlham's study-abroad program. Students interested in Japan who serve as TAs or tutors have a good opportunity to make Japanese friends through their experience.
Lectures and Concerts: In addition to the Jackson Bailey Memorial Lecture series, Earlham regularly brings a number of artists and speakers to campus. Recent programs have included:
- “Japan in Perspective: An Update on the Pace of Economic and Social Recovery From The Great East Japan Earthquake,” Tatsuhiro Shindo, Chief Executive Director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Chicago
- Koto Concert, New York-based performing artist Yumi Kurosawa
- “Manga as Art,” Jennifer Prough, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Valparaiso University
- “Evoking Native Landscape Using Japanese Garden Principles,” David Slawson
- “Japanese Noh Music Workshop,” Richard Emmert (’72), Noh performer and professor at Musashino Women’s University in Tokyo
- “U.S. - China Relations,” David Shear (’71), U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam
- “Zen Sounds” shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) concert, Grand Master Michael Chikuzen Gould