Held in Feinberg 105, the Japanese Culture Association at Plattsburgh (JCAP) meets every Monday at 8p.m. JCAP is a student organization committed to promoting Japan by having weekly meetings to showcase the culture itself as well as holding many culture-based events throughout the year.
At each meeting, JCAP offers everyone opportunities to learn and know more about Japan by picking a specific topic and presenting it to the members. Following the presentation is interactive activities or games such as karaokes, calligraphy, origami and more.
Senior public relations major Sakurako Fujino, the president of the club, said JCAP doesn’t only aim to show people Japanese culture,but this year they will also try to connect people together to “spread our culture” in a way that people could get together and interact.
“I try to value our club members’ opinions, so we did a survey in our first meeting,” Fujino said.
She also said the survey’s purpose is to figure out what people want to hear and know about Japan as well as what kind of activities they want to do, so that the eboard could make the meetings and events more enjoyable, fun and meaningful. This is the first time Fujino became an eboard member of the club. Therefore, she has many expectations for this culture-based organization. Fujino wants to hear members’ voices so the club could serve them in the best way.
This semester, JCAP is planning on having a sports festival in Memorial Hall, featuring many different sports such as basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, soccer and more. In Japan, sports festival is a tradition usually held in the summer in order to gather students, teachers, parents and guests for a day of outdoor events. The club is trying to collaborate with other culture clubs like Chinese Association, Korean Association and V-Nation. The main purpose is to get everyone to have fun and socialize with one another.
Other activities JCAP plans to do this semester are creating an overnight Boston trip for club members and a food festival.
Fujino said the Boston trip is planned on April 25 and 26, and the food festival will be at the end of March.
“For the food festival, this year’s theme is going to be ‘onahami,’ which means ‘cherry blossom viewing,’” she said. “I’m planning on cooking some food that we usually bring when we do a picnic outside to see cherry blossoms.”
In the first survey, members were asked what food they want to eat. Fujino said the club planned on making sushi, miso soup, mochis, ramen or udon and other traditional Japanese food.
JCAP also hopes to bring the Burlington Taiko Group to perform on campus. In Japanese, “taiko” means “big drum,” a relatively modern revival of ancient Japanese drumming traditions.
Senior computer major Jessica Pollard has been a loyal member of JCAP. She said one of the reasons she came to Plattsburgh State is because of JCAP. Pollard has been interested in Japanese culture since middle school.
“I know a little bit of Japanese, so I think it’s best for me to expand what I know,” she said. “It could be useful for me in the future.”
PSUC has welcomed many international students from Japan. Senior computer science major Syed Naqvi, the vice president of JCAP, said the purpose of JCAP is not only to showcase Japanese culture.
“We also want to create a platform for everyone to come together and introduce them to the new perspective of the country,” he said. “Japanese students could also come here to experience their culture and find a family.”