The Japan Foundation Awards (2013)

Profile, The Japan Foundation's involvement with the awardees, Comment from the awardees

Akira Iriye (Professor Emeritus, Harvard University) [Japan]

Photo of Akira  Iriye

Born in 1934, Akira Iriye moved to the US in 1953 on scholarship from the Grew Bancroft Foundation after graduating from Seikei Senior High School. Iriye graduated from Haverford College in 1957 and received a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University Graduate School in 1961. He majored in American Diplomatic History. As a US-based Japanese historian, Iriye has made significant contributions to his field over a long period of time. Iriye's approach is characterized by an emphasis on idealogical and cultural impact and he has proposed international history research that incorporates a multinational perspective that goes beyond research on the diplomatic history of one country and two-way interactions. Iriye is recognized as "one of the people who changed the way we view the diplomatic history of America." Iriye became the first Japanese citizen to serve as President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and as President of the American Historical Association and made a significant contribution as a pioneer in Japan-US exchange.

The Japan Foundation's involvement with the awardee

He has long served as one of the Advisory Committee Members of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP). His contribution to the Japan Foundation’s projects includes “Symposium on the Twentieth Century” (1983),  “20th Century Symposium  The End of the Century-The Future in the Past” (1993), in addition to the lectures and seminars regarding the history of Japan-U.S relations and international relations in the US, Europe and China. The Japan Foundation also supported for publishing his work, Partnership: The United States and Japan 1951-2001 and for translating his Nihon no gaiko: meiji ishin kara gendai made [Diplomacy of Japan—from Meiji Reformation to the Present] as well as Shin nihon no gaikō : chikyūka jidai no nihon no sentaku [Japanese Diplomacy New Version: Japan’s choice in the age of globalization] into Vietnamese.

Comment from the awardee

Exactly 60 years ago, I visited the US to study for the first time. It is my great honor and would like to express my appreciation to receive the Japan Foundation Awards on this memorable occasion. I’ll always remember those who have made great efforts for promoting academic and cultural exchanges beyond borders internationally and I will continue trying to do my best.

SANKAI JUKU [Japan]

Photo of SANKAI JUKU
(C) Hitomi_SATO

Sankai Juku is a butoh dance company established in 1975 by its Artistic Director, Ushio Amagatsu. Currently, the dance company consists of nine male dancers. Sankai Juku commenced its international tours in 1980 and has performed in more than 700 cities in 44 countries throughout Asia, Europe, South America and North America. Sankai Juku is predominately based in France and continues to release new work every two years. While conventional western dance is characterized by the beauty of dynamic movement, butoh dancers dance fluidly, embracing gravity and aspire to reach the essence of human spirit. Sophisticated and detailed movement developed from body language has created a unique mode of expression. Their performances have been received support and praise from various cultural spheres throughout the world. The Artistic Director of Sankai Juku oversees spatial and costume design in addition to producing and choreographing their performances. In 2002 Sankai Juku's performance "HIBIKI – Resonance from Far Away” won the Laurence Olivier Award in the category of Best New Dance Production.

The Japan Foundation's involvement with the awardee

The Japan Foundation has supported Sankai Juku’s international tours since they  embarked on performing overseas including European tour in 1982 (Spain, Germany), the fifth international tour in 1984 (the Netherlands, Canada), Russian and East European tour in 1998 (hosted by the Japan Foundation), European and South American tour in 2000 (the Netherlands, Columbia), North American tour in 12 cities in 2006, the tour in Germany in May 2011, and the tour in Russia in 2012 (Moscow, St. Petersburg).

Comment from the awardee

It‘s our great pleasure to receive the Japan Foundation Awards. We’re deeply grateful that this is the fruit of the support and encouragement from the people whom we’ve met through our years of activities. 

Technology Promotion Association (Thailand-Japan) [Thailand]

Photo of Technology Promotion Association

Technology Promotion Association (Thailand-Japan) is a public-interest corporation established in 1973 by Thai nationals who had studied and received training in Japan following the deterioration of sentiment toward Japan due to trade disputes between the two countries. The objectives of the organization are to facilitate technological transfer from Japan to Thailand and personnel development with the ultimate goal of realizing the economic development of Thailand. The association runs various programs including technical training, calibration of industrial measurement and experimentation devices and online business management programs. Additionally, the association also manages the largest private Japanese-language school in Thailand, which teaches more than 8,000 students each year. Since its opening 40 years ago, the school has seen more than 200,000 students complete its Japanese-language course. Additionally, the association creates and publishes Japanese-language learning material, dictionaries, and Japanese culture related books, runs training programs and seminars for Japanese-language teachers and hosts Japanese speech contests and Japanese festivals, making significant contributions to the promotion of Japanese-language in Thailand. In 2007, the association opened the Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology (TNI), a private technical university at which in 2011 the first 225 of their students graduated. The association is also the largest institution in Thailand offering Thai language education to Japanese citizens residing in the country, making significant contribution to the interaction between the two countries and to foster human resources.

The Japan Foundation's involvement with the awardee

The Japan Foundation has long been supporting Technology Promotion Association (Thailand-Japan)’s Japanese-language education through various programs, such as Donation of Japanese-Language Teaching Materials, Training Program for Foreign Teachers of the Japanese-Language and Grant Program for Japanese-Language Teaching Materials. The Association and the Japan Foundation have also co-hosted many seminars for Japanese-Language teachers in Thailand, and co-developed Koharu to issyoni Hiragana wa-i and Koharu to issyoni Nihongo wa-i Ⅰ, Japanese-language text books for Thai learners in secondary schools and for those who study Japanese-language once or twice a week in various institutions.

Comment from the awardee

We’re really honored to receive the Japan Foundation Awards. It’s our great pleasure that our 40 years of activity are highly recognized by the Japan Foundation, who has been providing the support for Japanese-language education, one of our main fields. We’d like to make further efforts, develop our activities not only in Thailand but in its neiboring countries, and help promote the horizontal relationships in industry and economy for the future.

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