Mark R. Bookman
University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Student, East Asian Languages & Civilizations
Congratulations on your 50th Anniversary! Your Tokyo Study Center program at Sophia University was instrumental in facilitating my success both as an individual and a scholar and for that I cannot express my appreciation enough. The rigorous instruction I received in Japanese language whilst a student under your auspices, which both challenged my then-held appreciation of the language and swept me away from the juvenile shores of arrogance towards those of professional conduct, served as the nexus for a grand blossoming of existential purpose, affording me the opportunity to conduct research into my current field of Japanese Religious Studies. Your course offerings in the humanities such as those concerned with Japanese Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Philosophy engraved within my mind an epistemic reservoir from which I would eventually call forth flourishes of cultural essence so as to inform my various scholarly endeavors. Through tapping the veins of this wellspring I have come to pursue research in Japan as a Fulbright scholar and doctoral studies in Japanese Buddhism at the University of Pennsylvania, opportunities which have not only served to enrich my academic appreciation of Japan but also have illuminated my career path and imparted me with a sense of self-identity and serenity rarely discovered. For making possible my transformation from a naïve youth into responsible global citizen I would like to once again express my heartfelt gratitude. It is my sincerest hope that your programs will continue to do for others what the Study Center has done for me and that you will continue to thrive for many a year to come.