Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Remarks by Consul-General Tetsuro Amano
on the event awarding
“the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon”
to Sister Margit Nagy
on March 8, 2016

March 8, 2016

Sister Margit Nagy,
Dr. Diane Melby,
Ms. Martha Henry,
Ms. Shahrzad Dowlatshahi,
State Representative Justin Rodriguez
Honorable Judge Peter Sakai
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening!
Thank you for joining me at this reception to congratulate Sister Margit Nagy who was awarded the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon for her service in promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the US relations in November of last year in Tokyo. Today it is my great pleasure to share this honor together with her family and friends at this event. I must appreciate the attendance of prestigious officials from the City of San Antonio; Ms. Martha Henry, Senior International Relations Officer, as well as Ms. Shahrzad Dowlatshahi, Chief of Protocol and Head of International Relations. Additionally, thank you for the esteemed presence of State Representative Justin Rodriguez and to Bexar County’s Honorable Judge Peter Sakai. Thank you to everyone who is here tonight to celebrate Sister Nagy’s many achievements, and thank you to Dr. Diana Melby, President of Our Lady of the Lake; Mr. Don Yoxall, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and to everyone at Our Lady of the Lake University for allowing us to use their school to hold this ceremony and reception.

Sister Nagy was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1942 and came to San Antonio as a Displaced Person of World War II. Later in life, she became passionately interested in modern Japanese history as a student at Our Lady of the Lake University. In 1976, she received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Grant to do research with Waseda University in Japan. After receiving her doctorate in History from the University of Washington, she taught at Our Lady of the Lake University, and has served as the Head of the History Program since 2004.

For many years, Sister Nagy has passionately promoted Japan-U.S. relations academically. She established a course in modern Japanese history at Our Lady of the Lake University in 1984 and still continues to teach about Japan and Asia there. She also presented lectures and courses on Japan at Saint Mary’s University and Saint Thomas University to offer opportunities for students throughout Texas to learn about Japan. Additionally, Sister Nagy has written numerous research papers about Japan’s society during the Taisho and Meiji Period and the changing role and status of women in modern Japan.

On a community level, she is also responsible for the founding of the Japan America Society of San Antonio (JASSA) in 1985 and has always been a core member and volunteer. While serving as the second president of the society from 1987 to 1989, she strengthened the organization by involving the members in many important large-scale events. The society has flourished under her leadership and is an inspiration to other Japan-America societies around the country.

Sister Nagy has also helped promote the importance of these relations abroad. She is responsible for the rededication of the Japanese monument in the Alamo Convent Courtyard as a tangible symbol of the friendship between the U.S. and Japan. The monument, presented by Waseda University Professor Shigetaka Shiga in 1914, serves to recognize the common values of selfless courage and loyalty exemplified by both Texans in the battle of the Alamo and Japanese in the battle of Nagashino. Sister Nagy added to the monument’s crucial importance over the years; most recently, she coordinated the 100th Anniversary Commemoration on November 5, 2014 event. Furthermore, Sister Nagy has been deeply involved in sister-city events since the San Antonio-Kumamoto relationship’s inception and has contributed tirelessly to its stable development.

I would also like to recognize that Sister Nagy’s modest character and genuine personality which has been a great asset to the Japan-U.S. exchange.  In my short time here, I have heard much about her eagerness to promote the bonds between the United States and Japan, utilizing her strong Japanese fluency and rich understanding of history. Her passion has brought together a truly international group of friends and admirers, including all of us here tonight.

Thank you, and please allow me to extend my heartfelt congratulations for Sister Nagy for her extraordinary service to Japan-U.S relations.