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Lives and Legacy: Celebrating Japanese Women at Cal

JAWAUCB sponsored learning opportunity during UC Berkeley's Reunion and Parents Weekend at Homecoming [Virtual] on Oct 17, 2020

The recording is available online: Lives and Legacy Panel



To celebrate 150 years of women at UC Berkeley, this multigenerational panel of Japanese American women will share personal stories about their student life and experiences. Learn how their time at Berkeley has shaped their understanding of their roles as Japanese American women within a global community.



  • Joyce Nao Takahashi '55

    Dr. Takahashi received her Ph.D. in chemistry from UCLA and is an emerita adjunct professor at UC Davis. She has served as a volunteer with the Time of Remembrance program at the California Museum in Sacramento and a board member of the Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley. She is the author of the monograph, Japanese American Alumnae of the University of California, Berkeley: Lives and Legacy.

  • Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto '77

    For almost 60 years, Muramoto has performed and taught the Japanese koto in the United States and Japan. The koto is a Japanese stringed musical instrument and the national instrument of Japan. Muramoto received her Shihan instructor's license with Yushusho honors and her Dai Shihan Master's degree from the Chikushi School in Fukuoka, Japan. In 2012, she was inducted into the Hokka Nichibei Kai Bunka (the Japanese Cultural Hall of Fame) by the Japanese American Association of America. She is the founder of the Murasaki Ensemble, a world jazz band, and producer of Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performance Arts in the World War II Internment Camps, a documentary based on her research about Japanese traditional performance arts in World War II concentration camps.

  • Nina F. Ichikawa '00 Executive Director, Berkeley Food Institute

    Ichikawa received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies/Food Policy and her M.A. in International Relations/Food Policy from Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. She previously served in the office of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye and worked on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" Initiative. In 2011, she was named a Food and Community Fellow by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. She volunteers for the California Farmer Justice Collaborative, the Center for Urban Education on Sustainable Agriculture, and Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley.

  • Sarena Kuhn '22

    A fifth-generation UC Berkeley student, Sarena Kuhn is a third-year undergraduate student studying civil and environmental engineering and creative writing. In 2018, she received a Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Medal Portfolio Award. A senior staff writer at The Daily Californian, her work has been published in The Daily Californian, the Rafu Shimpo, and the Berkeley Fiction Review.

  • Lisa Hirai Tsuchitani '92 (Moderator) Lecturer, Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies Program

    Dr. Tsuchitani '92, M.A. '94, Ph.D. '00 is a graduate of the Asian American Studies, East Asian Studies, and Social and Cultural Studies programs. She is founder and chair of the Japanese American Studies Advisory Committee, board chair of the Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley, and faculty chair of the Asian American & Pacific Islander Standing Committee.