Japanese coffee hour provides insight on Japanese life, culture

Students learned about Japanese culture and language through presentations and practicing language during the weekly coffee hour hosted by the Japanese Language Club on Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Satterfield Hall.

Kent State Japanese language professor Eriko Tanaka organizes the event every week. She provides drinks and snacks, like coffee and vegan pumpkin bread to bring people across campus together in order to gain a better understanding of Japanese life. 

Every Tuesday, local Kent residents and Kent State students are able to participate in the coffee hour. The main idea of the event is to help connect Japanese students on campus while also giving the opportunity to practice speaking in a different language.

Most of the Japanese language courses on campus are taught by teaching assistants who switch off weekly with helping host the coffee hour. This week, Brian Moran, a graduate student working toward his masters in Japanese translation, put together an entire presentation and trivia game for students to test their knowledge about Japan.

Thirteen students split up into four groups and competed against each other in a game of Japanese trivia.

“There’s such a collection of people from different majors and different parts of the university and even some students from Japan,” Moran said. “It’s great that everyone that has a common interest has a place to come together.”

Keragen Corpening, a graduate student studying teaching English as a second language, has attended almost every coffee hour to meet up with friends and brush up on Japanese.

“It’s nice to have a space like this where everyone is interested in the same things,” Corpening said. “It’s a good chance for me to practice speaking Japanese because there’s not a lot of places on campus where you get this opportunity so easily.”

Contact Sydney Ford at [email protected].