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Coastal offers Japanese outreach coordinator to community

January 11, 2006

Yukiko Murata, a 27-year-old woman from Okinawa, Japan, is the first Japanese outreach coordinator at Coastal Carolina University.

Muratas position requires her to live in Horry County for two years, travel to schools, senior centers, book clubs, and other venues where she can present programs that promote cultural and exchange.

So far, in her time here since late August, Murata has worked with the taiko band at Carolina Forest High School, taught second graders at Socastee Elementary School about life in Japan, and traveled with the Horry County Council to Japan to discuss economic redevelopment. She has also instructed political science and Japanese classes at Coastal on her language and culture and demonstrated the art of calligraphy to students.

My mission with the Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) is to introduce Japan to Horry County, says Murata, who is the first coordinator from the JOI to come to South Carolina.

Shes helping Japanese people who live here to become assimilated into the American culture also, says Coastal English professor Nelljean Rice, Muratas supervisor and sponsor. Shes also the unofficial den mother of our five Japanese students here at Coastal.

The outreach program is sponsored in Horry County by JOI, which is co-administered by the Laurasian Institution and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership to promote awareness of Japan in the United States.

To inquiry about programming, call Murata at 349-4153 or e-mail her at ymurata@coastal.edu .