Trip to Japan Open to Community/Students


Community members are invited to learn first-hand about Japanese culture by contributing to the rebuilding of a city devastated by the tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.  Interested people can join two UW-Barron County professors who will be leading a group of students and community members to Ishinomaki, Japan this spring semester.

Students and community members around the state have the opportunity to participate in this Study Abroad course that will take them to Ishinomaki, a coastal city in northeast Japan devastated by the tsunami that struck during the “3.11” triple disaster that included an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown beginning on March 11, 2011.  Scheduled for the end of spring semester May 21-31, 2014, the project will be led by UW-Barron County Senior Lecturer in English and Global Studies Lee Friederich and Engineering Professor Christa James-Byrnes. 

This experience is open to anyone interested in participating in the rebuilding project.  The deadline to sign up for the trip is this February 15, with a $500 deposit due on February 1.

The cost of the program ($3650 per participant, which includes most expenses) also includes an optional 3-credit course entitled “The Literature of Disaster in Japan and Service Learning in the Tsunami Zone,” which Friederich and James-Byrnes will teach this spring semester, 2014 as part of both the AAS and BAAS degree programs.  The course will take place on the UW-Barron campus on Tuesdays from 3:00-5:30 p.m. beginning in late January.  Including translations of Japanese literature, manga, anime, and film, the course will also explore the impact of natural and human-created disasters on Japan beginning with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. 

In addition, participants will plan the building project that will be carried out in May with overseas partner, Be One, a non-profit relief agency based in Ishinomaki.  No special experience or skills are required to participate in the course or the Study Abroad project.  Participants who do not wish to receive credit for the course may sign up as auditors and participate primarily in the planning sessions. 

Friederich and James-Byrnes are available to discuss the itinerary, costs, fundraising and financial aid opportunities, and participation options (enrolling in course for credit vs. auditing) with anyone who is interested.  For further information, please call Lee Friederich at 715.234. 8176 (ext. 5480) or 715.520.3247.


Barb Lang