Students and faculty convened to honor and celebrate the recipients of this year’s Tazuko Ajiro-Monane Award and Noma-Reichauer Prizes in Japanese Studies. The event, co-sponsored by the Japanese Language Program and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (with support from the Tazuko Ajiro Monane Memorial Fund), was well attended, with appearances from Jenni Ting, last year’s recipient of the Monane Award, and the consul general of Japan in Boston, Tsutomu Himeno. Cheerful remarks and lively conversation made for an enjoyable occasion, which culminated in an end-of-semester sushi party for students in the Japanese Language Program.
Each year, the Monane Award is granted to an outstanding student who has completed at least two years of Japanese language study at Harvard and who displays exceptional promise for a future academic or professional career in which he/she will make use of his/her Japanese ability. This year’s winner, Neil Gat ’15, a concentrator in computer science, graciously accepted the honor in both English and Japanese. Yasuko Matsumoto, preceptor of Japanese at the advanced level, spoke to Gat’s strengths as a student and to his enthusiasm for “Manzai,” a form of Japanese stand-up comedy. One of the top students in the program, Gat commenced studying the language at the 3rd year level when he was a sophomore.