Local resident hosting free program on Japanese culture

Despite being half a world way, Johnson County has strong economic and social connections to Japan.

To celebrate that bond, a local resident is hosting a special program to help people learn a little bit more about Japanese culture.

Evan Wright, an 18-year-old Greenwood resident, will put on the free presentation Experience Japan at 6 p.m. today at the Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St. People will have the opportunity to learn about more about cultural aspects of Japan, followed by themed crafts, games and snacks.

“Essentially, I’m trying to expose people to Japanese culture and build those ties between Indiana and Japan,” he said.

Wright’s passion for the culture grew from many places, including his interest in Japanese animation, his grandfather’s travels to the country and a visit to a special exhibit at the Indiana State Fair on the country when he was 11-years-old.

The idea for the presentation solidified through Wright’s experience with Stanford University’s Reischauer Scholars Program. The online course is made available for 25 to 30 exceptional high school students throughout the U.S. to engage in intensive study of Japan, including its history, literature, religion, art, politics, economics and contemporary society.

“I really learned a lot through that program, so now I really want to give that back to the community,” he said.

Experience Japan is open to the public, though registration is preferred at greenwoodlibrary.us.