KALAMAZOO—Area schoolchildren and residents can learn about origami, kimono dressing, calligraphy and other aspects of Japanese culture in free presentations offered by Western Michigan University's Soga Japan Center.
Michiko Yoshimoto, the center's outreach coordinator, is available to provide in-house, hands-on demonstrations to area K-12 classrooms, libraries, churches, community centers and businesses to expand upon cultural exchange between the United States and Japan.
Yoshimoto, a native of Miura in Kanagawa prefecture, joined the center's staff in 2009 to promote Japanese culture, society and language throughout West Michigan. Before coming to WMU via the Japan Outreach Initiative, she worked for local government on educational programs and on policy-making boards. Yoshimoto holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Yokohama City University and is pursuing a master's degree in socio-cultural studies of education at WMU.