From June 24th through June 26th, the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) participated in the 2016 Japanese Animation, Film, and Art eXpo (JAFAX). JAFAX is an annual convention held each summer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The purpose of the convention is to bring together fans of Japanese pop culture (along with other similar fandoms) and create a space in which they can let loose and have fun for a weekend! Because JAFAX and JCMU are both focused on Japan, the chair of JAFAX, a 2010 JCMU alumnus himself, invited JCMU to the convention to educate attendees on the importance of studying abroad.
Though this was the first time JCMU participated in an animation convention, the JAFAX community helped to make the event wildly successful! Attendees of all ages stopped by the JCMU booth to discover how they could study abroad in Hikone. Many were excited to learn about the high school and college programs we offer, and some were surprised to find out that they were students from one of our Consortium universities. A few JCMU alumni were in attendance as well, including three of our booth volunteers, reconnecting with JCMU and learning about different ways to participate as JCMU alumni, including the upcoming JCMU Alumni Night at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Perhaps the biggest star of the JCMU table, unsurprisingly, was Hikonyan! JCMU offered to take pictures of ecstatic attendees with the adorable mascot of Hikone Castle. Below are some of the many pictures taken during the convention:
JCMU would like to thank JAFAX for giving us the opportunity to participate in this great event. We hope that this helps more students become aware of the study abroad possibilities available to them and encourages them to study abroad in Hikone. If you were a JAFAX attendee that visited our booth and would like to learn more the wide array of programs that JCMU offers (including internship and language programs covering the length of an entire semester), please visit the JCMU website (https://jcmu.isp.msu.edu/).