Dr. Koichi Fujino, from Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan, will visit Southeast Missouri State University Aug. 5-9 as the BioKyowa Visiting Japanese Scholar.
Fujino will conduct research on William Faulkner using the L.D. Brodsky Collection located in Special Collections and Archives in Kent Library.
BioKyowa, Inc., an international business with facilities in Japan and Cape Girardeau, sponsors this program that brings one Japanese scholar each year to the Southeast campus to conduct research in the Brodsky Collection and to participate in various types of cultural exchanges. The Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast works with the William Faulkner Society of Japan to select the scholar.
Fujino has been a faculty member since 2002 in the Department of Literature at Seinan Gakuin University, where he also directs the Center for Language Education. Fujino completed his doctoral degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his Master of Arts and undergraduate studies at Waseda University. His research interests lie in the areas of the literature of the American South, American modernism and literary education for students studying English.
Fujino is the author of the 2018 book “Studying and Teaching W.C. Falkner, William Faulkner, and Digital Literacy” and editor of “American Modernism and Popular Fiction: Writers of Modern Life and Desire, 1920s to 1950s” published in 2019. He has also co-edited three textbooks on American culture for Japanese students and currently serves on the editorial board of “The Journal of the American Literature Society of Japan.”
According to Dr. Chris Rieger, director of Southeast’s Center for Faulkner Studies, Fujino plans to return to Cape Girardeau as a visiting scholar for one year in 2020-2021 to continue his research on Faulkner.
“I had the opportunity to speak to students at Seinan Gakuin University in 2018 when I visited Japan, and Dr. Fuijno was a wonderful host,” said Rieger. “I look forward to hosting him and his family when they spend the year here at Southeast and continuing our international partnership.”
The BioKyowa Visiting Japanese Scholar Program is designed to honor the special relationship that Faulkner developed with citizens of Japan during an official visit to the country on behalf of the U.S. Department of State in 1955. Since then, almost all of Faulkner’s works have been published in Japanese translations, and today there is a thriving interest in Faulkner’s works among Japanese readers and scholars.
BioKyowa, Inc. opened its Cape Girardeau plant in 1984 as the first major investment by a Japanese manufacturing company in the state of Missouri. In addition to the Visiting Japanese Scholar Program, BioKyowa funds a scholarship program at Southeast Missouri State University and supports numerous other civic and charitable organizations. BioKyowa has been twice honored with the “Industry of the Year” award by the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce.