Meet Kanako Morishita, JCMU’s JOI Coordinator!

JOI16th Kanako Morishita
Kanako holding Hiraku (JCMU’s mascot) along with Hikonyan!

Nice to meet you from Japan!

My name is Kanako Morishita. For the next two years, I will be working as a Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator for the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU). I arrived in Michigan on August 2nd and am very excited about starting the next part of my life in the United States!

A little bit about myself: I am from Aichi Prefecture in Japan, though I spent much of my professional life in Tokyo. After graduating from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, I went on to work as an international sales representative focusing on the European and Oceanian markets. This meant that I traveled internationally a lot!

However, after doing this for around a decade, I wanted to take on a new challenge that would draw upon my international experience. As such, I am excited to work with JCMU to strengthen the bond shared between the State of Michigan and Shiga Prefecture.

My role at JCMU: My main goal as a JOI Coordinator is to connect people in Michigan with Japan through a variety of grassroots activities. This includes:

  • Traveling to different parts of the state
  • Introducing Michiganders to Japanese culture and customs
  • Participating in internationally-minded exhibitions
  • Connecting with local businesses
  • Observing study abroad exchange programs
  • …And more!

As a part of the 50th anniversary of the Michigan-Shiga sister-state relationship, I will also be traveling to Japan together with a delegation of Michiganders later this year as a part of the Goodwill Mission. If you will be participating in this year’s Goodwill Mission, then I look forward to meeting you soon!

Kanako (2nd from the right), along with other JOI Coordinators placed in the Midwest U.S.

My new and exciting journey in the U.S. has just started! I hope that I can meet with a lot of wonderful people as I promote Japanese culture and society within the state. If you have any questions, ideas, or anything else for me, I would love to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail anytime.

Yours Sincerely,
Kanako Morishita

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