On November 3, 2019, the Government of Japan announced that Dr. Donald C. Hellmann, Professor Emeritus of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, in recognition of his contributions in promoting academic exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.
His service began in 1967 when he came to the UW and served as chair of the Japan program for his first six years. He would also serve for two years beginning in 1970 as director of the institute that would become the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. In addition to having taught and mentored over 2,000 UW students, he has worked successfully for expansion of the Japan program by raising funds from the Ford Foundation, which helped launch The Journal of Japanese Studies and expand the number of faculty positions focused on Japan, and also from the Tanaka Fund in 1973 to support Japan Studies university-wide. His work has had far-reaching impact on this field in the U.S. and abroad — three of his books have been translated into Japanese – and his widespread connections with political leaders has placed him in positions to serve as policy advisor on Japan to the U.S. executive branch, congress, and policy advisory organizations, and with many Asian governments. We congratulate Don on this well-deserved honor.