The Japanese Society emerged as a collaboration between Soka and Keio Universities in Japan and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University in the Autumn of 2018. The Society is a point where two divergent cultures meet and interact: striving to provide a space of learning and genuine appreciation for a culture so different from the multitudes we have at home . We try to be the horizon where culture meets culture without biases, with openness to learn more and learn together.
With year long sprinkled talks and workshops, various online showcases and competitions, the society blog (Zetsubo Free Zone) and the annual lunch and event, Shokuji and Matsuri, the society has taken small steps in the larger project of the coexistence of a space for cultural appreciation in college. These activities are often in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and The Japan Foundation, and online interactions with students of Soka and Keio Universities in Japan.
The logo (waraku): The logo was designed in 2019 by Chihiro Yamasaki, an exchange student from Soka University. It is based on the kanjis “和” (read as wa) and “和楽” (read as waraku). The kanji 和 represents Japan. It means harmony and Japanese traditions, and 楽 (read as raku) means fun. Together, 和楽 or waraku means enjoying harmoniously and peacefully.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Japanese Society was not able to conduct offline events for a while such as the orientation of the freshers but in the meantime no efforts were spared to keep the enthusiasm going.
Online talks and discussions were held on relevant topics and readings written by famous Japanese writers such as Haruki Murakami and Kyoko Najima.
And contests such as the Manga making contest and bento box making contest were hosted
When the college reopened after 2 years, we kicked it off with our first offline event which was a beautiful origami making session met with great response.
Finally we ended the academic year with our final event ” Matsuri” which consisted of several different events including dubbing and cosplay contests. It was met with great public response resulting in over 600 registrations. This ended the academic session of 2021-2022 on a high note for the Japanese Society.
Talk by Eric C Rath on the history of Sushi
Professor Eric C Rath, Professor, Department Of History, University of Kansas
Number of Participants and Duration
47; 1 hour
– Introduction by Tina Antil.
– The speaker gives the outline of his presentation.
– We live in a global age of Sushi. Talks about the Sushi boom in the late 20th century.
– Explanation of diﬀerent types of Sushi.
– Deﬁnition of ‘Sushi’. Coming from the word sui, meaning sour.
– Two broad types of sushi: Using vinegar, and fermentation using lactic acid.
– The origins of Sushi might lie in sixth century China.
– Appearance in Japan in the eighth century
– With the progression of time, we see less time being taken in the making of the dish.
– Talks in detail about ancient(narezushi), medieval(namanare), early modern(makizushi, nigizushi), evolution of nigizushi in the early 20th century into its present day form.
– The speaker moves on to talk about Global Sushi: Supermarket Sushi, with a particular insight into the American supermarket.
– The future of sushi: Koji, and lactic acid fermentation.
– Question and Answer Session.
– Closing remarks by Tina Antil.
We know our society is a relatively younger society in St Stephen’s but we still plan to fully uphold the legacy left behind by our predecessors and further add on to it.
We have put a lot of thought in planning the events for the academic session of 2022- 2023. Firstly, we are looking forward to having an interactive session with the newcomers and then start off with events such as the Japanese Society lunch and also collaborate with other societies to make this learning environment as inclusive as possible for everyone to enjoy.
Last but not the least, we will end the session with our Annual Festival Matsuri which will take place next year and hopefully with our combined efforts we can make it as successful as the previous ones.
Link to the blog: https://zetsubofreezone.wordpress.com/
The society can be contacted via: