Published: Aug. 4, 2014

Recipient of 2014
Foreign Minister's Commendation
Dr. Laurel Rasplica Rodd

On Thursday, July 24 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced recipients of the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation for 2014, including one individual from within the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Japan in Denver. Dr. Laurel Rasplica Rodd of the University of Colorado in Boulder will be conferred with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for outstanding contributions to the promotion of mutual understanding and goodwill between the people of Japan and the United States.

Each year the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan selects worthy citizens to receive the Foreign Minister’s Commendation, in recognition of those who have been working in various activities in international fields to contribute to the promotion of friendly relations between Japan and other countries. The commendation aims to honor outstanding achievement by individuals and groups in furthering greater understanding and support for good relations with the Japanese people.

Dr. Laurel Rasplica Rodd of Boulder, Colorado has been a dedicated educator for over 40 years in the fields of Japanese language and literature, serving at several major universities nationwide and in Japan. She has been a Professor of Japanese and Comparative Literature at the University of Colorado since 1994. During her distinguished academic career, she has been instrumental in founding the Colorado Japanese Language Education Association (CJLEA) as well as leading the national American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ). She served the University of Colorado as Chair for the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations from 1995-2002, as well as Director of the Center for Asian Studies from 2005-2012. As a scholar and researcher she has received numerous awards and grants, and is well known for her achievements, notably for the first original translation of “Kokinshu: A Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern”, an anthology of classical Japanese poetry.  In addition, she has been actively engaged with numerous cultural activities and local affairs related to Japan, including assistance in Boulder-Yamagata sister city activities and advising on displays for the University of Colorado Art Museum. The results of her efforts are truly reflected in the promotion of awareness and understanding of Japanese culture and language, and have contributed significantly to greater mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.

In keeping with the high ideals represented by this award, the Consulate-General of Japan at Denver is honored to offer its sincere congratulations to Dr. Rodd for this deserved recognition of her long service in the community.  An official conferment ceremony will be held at the Residence of the Consul General in Denver in due course, to be announced at a later date. 

Press Release published on July 24, 2014 by the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver.