After the successful inaugural Shanghai Gala in China, International House President Calvin Sims visited Japan to host a reception for I-House Alumni and friends at the Tokyo American Club on April 3rd, 2019.
Tokyo has one of the most active and longstanding I-House Alumni groups in the world, so the more than 50 attendees were eager to hear Sims’s overview of the current state of the House, including how the current population reflects the shift in the demographics of international exchange students coming to the U.S.; how the global Alumni network has grown to 75,000 across 175 countries; and the plans underway to celebrate the centennial anniversary of I-House’s founding. When speaking of the I-House Archive Restoration Project initiated in 2018, Sims shared that among the documents to be preserved were the original application forms of every Resident since 1924.
Following Sims’ remarks was an engaging discussion with New York Times Tokyo Bureau Chief Motoko Rich, about how she interprets Japan for the world, and vice versa, through her work. The conversation was moderated by journalist Kosuke Takahashi ‘03, Tokyo correspondent of IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, where he specializes in Japan’s defense and politics as well as East Asian affairs, such as Sino-Japanese relations and Korean Peninsula issues. Takahashi lived at International House in 2003 while pursuing his graduate studies at Columbia University’s Journalism School and SIPA. Since then, he has worked for The Asahi Shimbun, Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal Japan, Thomson Reuters, and other outlets and served as editor-in-chief for the Huffington Post Japan.
In keeping with I-House Alumni gatherings around the world, the event brought together many of the region’s most influential minds in business and culture for an evening of friendship, intellectual discourse and nostalgia as Alumni across generations reminisced about their time at 500 Riverside as well as the long-lasting impact of their stay here.