Our networks

In 1986, in order to coordinate its many activities concerning Japan and the international community, Earlham created the Institute for Education on Japan (IEJ). The Institute is responsible for all Japan-related outreach activities conducted by the College. In addition, IEJ plays a key role in both marketing and fundraising, and is charged with primary responsibility for the maintenance of Earlham’s close relationship with constituencies from Japan.

All College faculty with expertise on Japan contribute to the work of the Institute when their other obligations permit. The Institute’s outreach work links Earlham’s Japan-related learning and teaching resources to local and regional communities in the United States through a variety of educational, cultural, and community service programs.

IEJ staff are frequently called on to offer consultation to Japanese businesses seeking help in getting settled in Indiana and Indiana businesses seeking advice in working with customers from Japan. Schools involved in Japan-related programs seek advice and assistance with planning, fundraising, and implementation. Other colleges developing Japan and East Asian studies programs visit Earlham to study its programs and to speak with its personnel. The Earlham administration consults with IEJ regarding the marketing of the College, the recruitment of students, and the development of fundraising programs in Japan.

Foreign Minister’s Commendation

In 2004, Earlham’s Institute for Education on Japan received the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Government of Japan as part of 150 years of Japanese – U.S. relations. The award was given in recognition of the commitment of the Institute to educational, cultural, and community programs to increase understanding between Japanese and Americans.

Chuck Yates, professor of Asian history and director of the Institute, accepted the award at the Consul General’s residence in Chicago during which several other midwestern organizations also received commendations.

A deep-rooted alliance

Since the early 1960s, Earlham and its faculty have been in the forefront of efforts in the United States to develop innovative programs linking Japan and America. Over the years many of Earlham’s faculty have contributed to the richness of its Japan-related programs, but the critical foundations were laid by Jackson Bailey in the History Department, Leonard Holvik in the Music Department, and Arthur Little in the Theatre Department. The personalities of these three men have left an indelible mark on the Earlham approach to Japan, with its emphasis on the human dimension, and on establishing person-to-person connections at the grassroots level.

The College also has a long history of educating students of Japanese ancestry. In 1893, Chuzo Kaifu became the first Japanese man to earn an Earlham degree. He was followed in 1896 by May Morikawa, the first Japanese woman to receive a bachelor’s degree from Earlham. There has been a steady stream of both Japanese and Japanese-American graduates since then, with between 10 and 20 Japanese citizens enrolled in full-time coursework on campus annually.

Many of Earlham’s current faculty have lived, worked, and studied in Japan, and know the Japanese language well enough to use it in teaching, research, and administration, as well as in conversation. The College has a standing commitment to maintaining a secure foundation for the study of Japan by providing numerous opportunities for Japan-related faculty development and support.

Japanese language instruction began at Earlham in 1964. The Japanese Studies Program, which began conferring the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974, is widely recognized as one of the oldest and best programs of its kind in the United States. In the 35 years since its inception, over 200 students have earned degrees in Japanese Studies. On several occasions in recent years, as much as ten percent of the students enrolled at Earlham were studying the Japanese language, including both Japanese Studies majors and students concentrating in other fields in both the sciences and the humanities.

Earlham’s graduates in Japanese Studies are currently working in business, diplomacy, government, public and human services, information technologies, the clergy, teaching, and educational administration. For these and many other reasons, Earlham continues to be widely known as one of the best places in the country to study Japan at the undergraduate level.

Read more about Earlham’s history with Japan.

One of Earlham’s most important relationships in Japan is with the Tokyo Friends School, a school for junior high and high school girls founded by the Quaker missionary Joseph Cosand and his wife in 1887.

The school’s first principal, Kaifu Chuzo, attended Earlham on the advice of Joseph Cosand, earning his BA in 1893 and becoming the first Japanese citizen to graduate from Earlham.

In the century and more since then, there has been a steady stream of Japanese passing through Earlham, as students, teachers, benefactors, and friends, and several of them have been graduates of Friends School. Jackson Bailey worked closely with Friends School staff throughout his 40 years at Earlham, and for a time served on the Friends School’s Board of Directors. The close relationship between the two institutions continues into the 21st century.

The most recent development is the faculty Friend-in Residence exchange. In the fall of 1999 a member of the Friends School English Department faculty, Hamano Takao, spent three weeks at Earlham, and this was reciprocated in the spring of 2000 when Paul and Margie Lacey, of Earlham’s English Department, spent three weeks at Friends School. Other faculty who participated include George Silver, Nelson Bingham, Alice & Randall Shrock, Welling Hall, and Trish Eckert.

There are opportunities for graduate students. Earlham is informed of positions at the Tokyo Friends school, and Chancellor Milligan ’13 will extend his stay in Japan for at least another two years as he introduces students at the Tokyo Friends School to the Hoosier way of life.

Milligan, who is just finishing a two-year appointment as assistant teacher of English at Morioka Public Senior High School, was hired for a two-year teaching post beginning in August at the Tokyo Friends School.

The link between the two schools will continue to be a vital one, providing a ready channel for communication between Quakers in Japan and the United States, as well as an open door for the improvement of mutual understanding between Japanese and Americans, through education, cultural exchange, and the ongoing international peace and justice work of the Society of Friends.



Since the late 19th Century, the government of Japan has awarded six different levels of Medals of Honor to individuals for achievements in various fields.

Graduates and faculty of Earlham College have received these medals, which are awarded every spring and fall and presented by the Emperor. Their names and the medals they received are listed below.

  • Gordon T. Bowles ’25: Awarded the Order of the Rising Sun in 1958
  • Wendell M. Stanley ’26: Awarded the Order of the Rising Sun; Stanley was also awarded a Nobel Prize in 1946.
  • Jackson H. Bailey ’50: Awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1988; Bailey taught in Earlham’s History Department (1959-1993) and was instrumental in developing Earlham’s Japanese Studies Program. He received an Outstanding Alumni Award from Earlham in 1996.
  • Barbara Ruch ’54: Awarded the Order of the Precious Crown with Butterfly Crest; Ruch is Professor Emerita of Japanese Literature and Culture at Columbia University and received an Outstanding Alumni Award from Earlham in 2003.
  • Richard Wood, professor emeritus of philosophy (1966-1980) and former Earlham College President (1985-1996) was honored with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, in 2009, for his outstanding contributions to the promotion of educational and cultural exchange between Japan and the United States.

Ever since Kaifu Chuzo and Yuri Watanabe became the first Japanese man and woman to earn Earlham degrees, in 1893 and 1916 respectively, there has been a steady stream of Japanese passing through Earlham.

The oldest and largest organized group of Japanese with ties to Earlham is the group known as the “Earlham Tomonokai” consisting of alumni/ae and friends of the college. Established in the 1960s as a way for alumni/ae to keep in touch with each other, the organization now mails its annual newsletter to over 200 recipients, including 4-year degree students, 1-year exchange students, former faculty and staff members, their friends and relatives, and others.

This group meets regularly, mostly for fellowship, and also hosts receptions for groups of Earlham visitors to Japan once or twice a year. There are two other organized groups in Japan that refer to themselves as “Earlham Tomonokai.” Both of them are made up chiefly of Japanese public school teachers who participated in the two-week study trip to Indiana known as the American Education, Family, and Culture Institute, which was operated by Earlham for nearly 25 years. Known as the January Institute for many years, the program changed its name when it moved to November.

The two groups of former participants are based in the cities of Morioka and Utsunomiya, and together their membership rolls contain close to 200 names.


More than 500 students from Japan have attended Earlham College since the first Japanese student, Chuzo Kaifu, graduated from Earlham in 1893. Whether degree students or exchange students, they are valuable members of the Earlham community both as students and as alumni/ae.

While at Earlham they have pursued active academic and extra-curricular lives. Beginning with Chuzo Kaifu who served as his class vice-president and in the math club, Japanese students have been routinely involved in campus activities, student government, international festivals, sports and Japan-related events.

Students have studied and pursued degrees in a wide variety of disciplines, including foreign language, the sciences, history, economics, art, religion and philosophy, psychology and international relations. Following their Earlham experience, alums have gone on to careers in journalism, business, translation, performing or studio art, music, university teaching, inter-cultural advising, social work and international assistance and relief. Alumni/ae from the distant and recent pasts have published works in Japanese, English and Spanish.

Already a graduate of Tsuda College in Japan, Yuri Watanabe came to Earlham in the fall of 1911 to begin her education in America. She was part of a large family of a former samurai, and since her grandmother feared that her wavy hair would prevent her from ever finding a husband, “she was given an education so that she could make the most out of a spinster’s life.”

Encouraged to come to Earlham by her teacher and mentor Michi Kawai, a founding member of Japan’s Y.W.C.A., Yuri immersed herself in student life. She majored in French and Bible Studies, participated in Le Circle Francais, the Young Women’s Christian Association, and the Student Volunteer Band, a student group for those planning to devote their lives to missionary work. She wrote several articles for the Earlhamite and was involved in writing the class song for the Class of 1916. Yuri’s roommate, Georgia Henderson also the class of 1916 remembered a charming anecdote, “In Japan, Yuri had never seen a feather pillow, but in the United States she learned to like sleeping on one. When she went back to Japan after graduating in 1916, she wanted to take each member of her large family a feather pillow. Everyone told her that it would take up too much room. On her way home, without the pillows, she was in a hotel in San Francisco and she decided to buy some feathers and make pillows. I don’t know how she thought that she could do this. When she wrote to me, she said, ‘Georgia, how do you make feathers stay put?’ I can imagine what had happened. Even a very few feathers loose and flying in a hotel would create problems. The hotel no doubt remembers the little Japanese girl who liked feather pillows.”

After graduation, Yuri returned to Japan and worked with Michi Kawai on various educational and missionary projects with the Y.W.C.A. and Keisen Jogakuen, a Christian school for girls founded by Michi Kawai. Despite her grandmother’s fears, Yuri did marry, becoming Yuri Isshiki and had a daughter, Yoshiko in 1928. She stayed in touch with many of her classmates and often acted as a hostess and guide for various Friends and Earlhamites who went to Japan. She was thrilled to renew her friendship with classmate and friend Bonner Fellers who was serving with MacArthur’s Occupation Force after the war.

In 1953 Yuri, her husband, and daughter Yoshiko returned to America so Yoshiko could attend Earlham College. Yuri and her husband planned to live in Richmond and travel around the U.S. speaking to groups about the importance of U.S.- Japan relations. Unfortunately, Yuri’s life-long friend, Michi Kawai was diagnosed with cancer that year, and the entire family returned home to care for their friend. Although she hoped to return to Richmond, Yuri passed away in June 1954 about a year after the passing of Michi Kawai.


The Iwate – Indiana Student Exchange Program has a history that goes back to 1973 when Earlham College began the Teacher Education Program (TEP) in Morioka, Iwate-ken, Japan.  This program was established as a result of Earlham’s commitment to programming in both Japanese Studies and study abroad in Japan.  The TEP program (renamed the Studies in Cross Cultural Education Program, i.e., SICE), was funded through start-up monies provided by the Yoshida International Education Foundation and the Asia Foundation, and with administrative cooperation from the Iwate Prefectural Education Office.

Building upon the base already established with the TEP program, Earlham sought to seek and solidify this work by extending the program in Japanese-American relations to include in-service opportunities in the United States for Japanese secondary school teachers.  This program became known as the January Institute on American Culture and Education. The January Institute was a two-week institute at Earlham College for a group of 5 – 6 teachers of English from schools in Iwate. Later, the program was redefined as a student exchange program. Both Morioka and Tanohata participate in the Iwate-Indiana Student Exchange in which 6 – 10 students and 2 – 4 teachers come to Indiana to participate in activities at Connersville High School, a short drive west of Earlham.  Earlham also continues to send study-abroad students to Morioka each fall semester for the Studies in Cross-cultural Education (SICE) program. This program provides students a unique opportunity to learn about Japan by participating in a Japanese community.

This relationship also provided teaching opportunities in Japan for graduates of Earlham College via Earlham’s Assistant Language Teacher Program.  Originally known as the Teaching English in Japan (TEJ) program, this program was a precursor to the Japanese English Teacher program (JET). Currently, there are seven 2-year ALT positions in Morioka that are assigned through the Japan Study office at Earlham. An additional 2-year ALT position in Tanohata on the coast of Iwate Prefecture became available again in 2016.

These programs are one more network that showcases Earlham’s strong commitment to Japanese Studies and to outreach that builds understanding between our two countries.


Throughout his nearly four decades at Earlham, Jackson Bailey labored tirelessly to build quality educational programs focused on Japan and to build bridges of understanding between the peoples of Japan and the United States. Beyond his legacy as an educator and a scholar, Jackson’s most lasting achievements ultimately will prove to be the person-to-person connections he helped to forge between individual Japanese and American citizens.

It was his belief that genuine international understanding must be built at the grassroots level in order to last, and it is with that belief in mind that the Institute for Education on Japan initiated this lecture series in memory of Jackson and his work.

The Bailey Lecturer Series stands as a modest but fitting tribute to a long career devoted to public service and the work of peace and understanding.

Selected past lecturers:

  • 2018-19: Paul Christensen, Professor of Anthropology, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology:
    Alcoholism and Masculinity in Japan
  • 2017-18: Jennifer Robertson, Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan:
    Gendering AI and Robots: Robo-Sexism in Japan
  • 2017-18: Noriko Manabe, Professor of Music Studies, Temple University:
    The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima
  • 2016-17: Shiho Takai. Professor of Japanese Literature, Waseda University:
    Low City and Fine Arts: Entertainment & Pleasure Districts in Historic Tokyo
  • 2012-13: Linda Hoaglund, Director and Producer:
    ANPO: Art X War
  • 2010-11: Richi Sakakibara, Professor of Japanese Literature, Waseda University:
    Rethinking the Post-Defeat Discourse in Japanese Literature
  • 2010-11: Joseph Tobin (EC ’72), Professor of Education, Arizona State University:
    Children Crossing Borders: The Challenge of Listening to the Voices of Immigrant Parents in Early Childhood Education
  • 2009-10: Ian Miller (EC ’92), Professor of History, Harvard University:
    Tokyo, 1943: The Great Tokyo Elephant Massacre
  • 2008-09: Christine Yano, Professor of Anthropology, University of Hawaii:
    A Japanese in Every Jet: Gender, Mobility, and Modernity in Postwar Japan
  • 2007-08: Hiroshi Mitani, Professor of History, University of Tokyo:
    Escape from Impasse: The Decision to Open Japan
  • 2006-07: Roger Daniels, Professor of History, University of Cincinnati:
    Prisoners without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II
  • 2006-07: Kip Fulbeck, Artist and Filmmaker:
    Part Asian, 100% Hapa, Paper Bullets
  • 2005-06: Jack Shaheen, Professor of Mass Communications, Southern Illinois University:
    Nuclear War Films, Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People
  • 2004-05: Alex Kerr, Writer and Scholar:
    Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Japan
  • 2003-04: David McConnell (EC ’82), Professor of Anthropology, The College of Wooster:
    Importing Diversity: Inside Japan’s JET Program
  • 2002-03: Staughton Lynd, Historian and Activist:
    Living Inside Our Hope: A Steadfast Radical’s Thoughts on Rebuilding the Movement
  • 2001-02: Martha Mensendeik, Professor of Social Work, Doshisha University:
    Migrant Women in Japan: A Look at Human Rights Issues and Implications for Social Work
  • 2000-01: W.D. (Bill) Ehrhart, Poet and Veteran of the Vietnam War:
    Beautiful Wreckage: New and Selected Poems
  • 1999-00: Lady Borton, American Friends Service Committee Representative for Vietnam:
    After Sorrow: An American Among the Vietnamese
  • 1998-99: Regge Life, Filmmaker:
    Doubles: Japan and America’s Intercultural Children
  • 1997-98: James Yamazaki, Pediatrician and Veteran of WWII:
    Children and the Atomic Bomb
  • 1996-97: Karen Hill Anton, Columnist for The Japan Times:
    Crossing Cultures
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.