By Serena Ganesan
On Dec. 2, the Japanese Cultural Association at Plattsburgh held their final meeting of the semester. The audience of at least 30people – from both within and outside the club and with members from over 10different nationalities – was a testament to the wide reach of the organization and the legacy it has built over the semester.
JCAP is an organization dedicated to educating students about Japanese culture and lifestyles. By hosting showcases of various aspects of Japanese culture and events that encourage students to directly participate in traditional activities, the club aims to inspire curiosity about Japan and its people.
So far, JCAP has hosted various events throughout the semester, most notably a large picnic open to all students. The picnic featured a variety of traditional Japanese food items and over 30 people were in attendance.
“The picnic was one of the best events I’ve been to this semester,” senior Alex Borodin said. “I learned a lot about Japanese cuisine and made a lot of new friends in the club.”
JCAP Treasurer Yuri Chikuda highlighted the traditional food items that were prepared for the picnic.
“We prepared rice balls called onigiri, sandwiches and some snacks,” Chikuda said. “We were pleased that people could have so much fun there.”
Other events have included an anime night, a Japanese 101 lesson, and a Japanese virtual tour. The last event of the semester was a presentation on special places in Japan for tourists to visit. Taking place in Feinberg 105, the meeting showed members pictures and videos of the most extraordinary spots throughout Japan, as well as what they can expect to see people eat and wear in the country.
Hanna Nishizawa, the JCAP president, spoke on the importance of the club to herself and to SUNY Plattsburgh as a whole.
“I’m so proud that we can bring Japanese culture to Plattsburgh and showcase parts of our traditions,” Nishizawa said. “I love educating people about my country’s history and what it’s like today. And I’m so happy to see so many people take an interest in it.”
The JCAP Instagram page also has various resources for those interested in learning about the country and its culture. There is a section dedicated to the basics of the Japanese language, with videos and short clips on the alphabet, how to write individual letters and how to say common phrases.
There is also a section called JPOP in which members share their favorite Japanese songs and music for everyone to enjoy.