Raccoonkai 2014 in New York

Atsumi Foundation Managing Director Junko Imanishi organized a gathering of Raccoons held on Sunday, March 23 in New York City, just as the city was at last recovering from a particularly long and bitter East Coast winter. The gathering was held at Pisticci, an Italian restaurant just a short walk north from Columbia University's Morningside Campus, in southwest Harlem. Tasty Italian food, red wine, lively conversation, and live jazz piano rounded out a very enjoyable (and indulgent!) New York evening.

The six participants were: Junko Imanishi; Michelle Bambling (1995 Raccoon, Assistant Professor of Art History at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi) and her teenage son; Aaron Rio (2012 Raccoon, doctoral student at Columbia and visiting fellow at Gakushuin University); Sun Yanping (1998 Raccoon, Assistant Professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons); and Xiaoyuan Xu (1998 Raccoon, Researcher at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University). Xiaoyuan and Yanping currently live in New York, while Junko, Michelle, and Aaron--all of whom are former or current graduate students of the Japanese art history program at Columbia--happened to be in the NYC for a symposium celebrating the 90th birthday of Miyeko Murase, Takeo and Itsuko Atsumi Professor Emerita of Japanese Art History at Columbia.

(by Aaron Rio)