Visiting professor from Japan offers advice for healthy living
March 4, 2010 By Milton Reigelman
and insurance, will be visiting classes and leading discussions on
Centre's campus until March 10.
Centre’s 10-year relationship with Japan moved to a new level on Monday with the arrival on campus of the first exchange professor from Yamaguchi Prefectural University. Dr. Makiko Tanaka will be at Centre visiting classes and talking to college and community groups until March 10. She will also be leading a public convocation in Centre's Vahlkamp Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 8.
Tanaka's visit is particularly timely since she is an expert on Japanese aging, health care, and insurance. Japan has the longest lifespan, the lowest fertility rates and among the lowest immigration rates of any country. How it is handling its “graying” population is of great interest to the U.S. and other developed countries, which will soon have to deal with some of the issues Japan is now facing.
In the past, the chart showing the age demographics of developed countries have resembled a pyramid, with the youngest segment of the population being the base and the oldest being the pinnacle. Japan’s pyramid has now become a rectangle standing on its end. In Japan, this rectangle will soon become an inverted ziggurat.
Health experts have attributed the long lifespan of the Japanese (now more than 85 years) to a healthier lifestyle and diet: fish rather than red meat, many fruits and vegetables, soy, much smaller portions. Centre students who have been on the Centre-YPU exchange in the past have noted that it took their bodies two or three weeks to adjust to a diet with so little fat.
While Tanaka is at Centre, she will talk with John Perry’s health economics class, health and human performance classes, the Japanese classes, the international students group and students who have studied at or plan to study at Yamaguchi Prefectural University. She will also speak to the Danville Rotary Club.
Her public convocation is at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 8. It is being advertised widely in Danville because of the relevance of her topic to the many health professionals in Boyle County.
In December, Milton Reigelman, Director of the Center for Global Citizenship, lectured to several groups of university and townspeople in Yamaguchi on the liberal arts and on “essential American values,” which he defined as individualism, optimism and innovation.
Centre and YPU plan to continue this short-term faculty exchange, along with the student exchange, in the coming years.