Thanks
 to a a private donation, San Francisco State University announced that 
it will establish the Dilena Takeyama Center for the Study of Japan and 
Japanese Culture, reports Asianweek.com. The $5 million gift from alumna and Professor Emerita Kay Takeyama Dilena is the second-largest private individual gift in the school's history. “I
 was born and raised in Tokyo during the war and then I came to this 
country,” Dilena told AsianWeek. “I got my 
education here and I feel like I owe both countries. I have always 
worked toward promotion of better U.S.-Japanese relations and I want to 
help future scholars in any way I can.”

Born
 in Tokyo, Dilena lived through World War II and met her future husband James
 G. Dilena when she worked as an interpreter for the engineering 
division of the U.S. Army in Japan.

Dilena's family's story was the subject of "Pearl 
Harbor and Hiroshima," which was written by Dilena, her husband, brother and 
sister-in-law in 1989. Her brother, Yasuo Takeyama, survived the American atomic 
bombing of Hiroshima and her husband survived the Japanese attack on 
Pearl Harbor.

Dilena told Asian Week she wished to honor her brother and husband with the gift. San Francisco State enrolls more than 30,000 
students each year and graduates about 7,000 annually. University 
Provost Sue Rosser said the bequest would transform the understanding of
 Japanese culture on the campus. 

Andrew Lam is the author of
East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres and Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora.