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3 Fields of Cultural Exchanges

Dialogue[Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange]
Promoting Intellectual Exchange

We hold international conferences and symposiums, dispatch personnel overseas and invite people to Japan in order to provide opportunities for experts to engage in dialogue regarding topics and issues that are of interest to both Japan and other countries around the world, and to facilitate deeper person-to-person intellectual exchange. We seek to make an intellectual contribution to global development and stability by promoting enhanced international understanding and fostering the kind of personnel that will be crucial to next-generation intellectual exchange.

Central Asian Symposium

We organized a symposium on cultural heritages of Central Asia (Tokyo, June 22, 2016) with ten participants from Central Asian countries and four Japanese specialists in the field. The symposium provided a platform for introducing the rich cultural heritages of Central Asia, which had been relatively unknown to the Japanese audience, and for discussing issues pertaining to conservation, restoration and effective utilization of cultural resources, as well as for promoting international networks of scholars and experts in the field.

Photo of a symposium, copyright Kenichi Aikawa
Symposium on the Central Asian Cultural Heritage
(c)KENICHI AIKAWA

Japan Foundation Summer Institute 2016

We invited 26 researchers from six Southeast Asian countries, Japan and the United States to a week-long seminar, "Summer Institute 2016," with a view to forming trans-national collaborative research in Japanese studies. The participants networked through discussions and presentations. Furthermore, they visited Fukushima Prefecture, one of the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and learned about the progress of reconstruction five years after the disaster. Several participants of this seminar jointly organized a panel at the international conference AAS-in-ASIA in the following year.

Photo of a presentation reporting the result of group work, copyright Mitsunori Oshikawa
A presentation reporting the result of group work
(c)Mitsunori Oshikawa

Grant Program for Social Science Research and Education on Contemporary Japan

● King's College London (United Kingdom)

With the aim of expanding the horizon of Japanese studies in the UK, the Japan Foundation is supporting the development of a program that explores the problems of contemporary Japanese society and politics from the disciplinary perspective of international history, and international security and strategic studies. Through newly implemented Japan-related modules, seminars and workshops, this project intends to create incentives for students and young researchers to deepen their knowledge about contemporary Japan, which will be essential for promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the UK.

Photo of a seminar of the Japanese studies program, copyright King’s College London
Seminar of the Japanese studies program
(c)King's College London

The Centennial Projects after Natsume Soseki's Passing

In commemoration of the centennial of the death of Natsume Soseki, one of the greatest writers of Japan, we co-hosted an international essay contest under the theme of "Soseki and I," and an international symposium in collaboration with the Asahi Shimbun Company and other organizations, in which we rediscovered the splendor of his work from a variety of angles. We invited the top five award winners from four countries, and they visited places associated with Soseki, such as Kamakura and Kyoto.

Photo of award winners, copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company
Award winners visit a Soseki-related exhibition at Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature
(c)The Asahi Shimbun Company

Inviting Chinese intellectuals to Japan

Influential young and mid-level researchers and intellectuals were invited from China to Japan. In FY2016, we also invited experts from various fields to deepen understanding of Japan and to build an intellectual network between Japan and China. One participating journalist, Mr. Duan Hongqing, published a column on his views of Japan in the Chinese language edition of the Financial Times, FT China, which garnered a big response, generating 7.37 million views. The outcome of the visit to Japan was widely disseminated.

Photo of Mr. Duan Hongqing
Mr. Duan Hongqing, journalist, whose column on his visit to Japan garnered a big response