The UNK Staff Senate is privileged to recognize the Japanese Association of Kearney (J.A.K.) as the April 2007 UNK Department of the Month. Since the Japanese Association at Kearney was first organized in 1999, it has continuously tried to create and promote better understanding about Japan and cultural exchange in matters related to Japan among the student body, faculty, and staff, to both the UNK and Kearney communities.
A major goal of J.A.K. is to encourage Japanese students to participate in and present social and cultural programs. J.A.K. has met this goal time and time again. They have presented events such as Japanese Stage Art, where they performed native dances and songs. In this event they featured Japanese old drama which was performed by students from Kearney Public Schools. In the Fall semesters, they host their annual Japanese fall festival celebration, Matsuri on the UNK campus. They feature such exhibits as performances of Japanese songs and dances, native foods, and they celebrate Japanese customs such as the tea ceremony, calligraphy, and Kendo. J.A.K. also celebrated Shogatsu (Japanese New Year Day) in February 2006 at UNK. The Shogatsu included four traditional plays and food samples.
In addition, J.A.K., along with the Office of International Education and the National Collegiate Network Foundation, hosts Sakura. Sakura is a Springtime festival, usually held around Arbor Day that celebrates the blooming of the cherry trees and the arrival of Spring. The members of J.A.K. also visit the schools in the Kearney community to perform and share their customs with the students and have truly become an integral part of the UNK campus and the Kearney community.
In recognition of all their hard work for, and within, the UNK and Kearney communities, the UNK Staff Senate is pleased to honor the Japanese Association at Kearney as the April 2007 UNK Department of the Month.
Thank you to the sponsors of the Department of the Month: UNK Athletics and Staff Senate