Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Associate Professor Norio Ota, teaching stream, in the Japanese Studies Program in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, has been awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Rays, for his lifelong contribution to the promotion of the Japanese language.
This was the second time that Ota’s achievements were recognized by the Japanese government after he was awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation in August 2015.
In addition to expanding the Japanese language and culture courses at York University, Ota has devoted his career to pioneering and improving the online Japanese language learning environment based on the communicative approach for decades. He also contributed tremendously to the promotion of the Japanese language through his long-term involvement with the provincial and national Japanese speech contests and the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.
Adding to a long list of achievements, Ota has established the honours minor degree program in Japanese Studies, which commenced in the Fall of 2014. He has also trained instructors of Japanese using online resources at both Canadian and foreign universities, and provided guidance in cross-cultural communications at various Japan-Canada joint venture activities. Ota was conferred the title of profesor invitado “invited professor” by the University of Havana, Cuba, May 2013 for his long-term contribution to the university. Outside of the Japanese language education arena, Ota has also been acting as a valuable member of the Japan Canada Studies Association since the late 1980s.
To celebrate the commendation, a special ceremony was held at the official residence of the Consul-General of Japan in Toronto, Takuya Sasayama, on June 24. In his remarks, Sasayama stated that through his endeavours, Ota has contributed greatly to the promotion of a larger understanding of Japan and to Japan-Canada relations. Ota has received congratulations from York University President Emerita Lorna R. Marsden and many of his colleagues and friends for his achievement.