The delegation of the international students from the Nihon University has visited St Petersburg University to take part in a cultural and educational seminar with SPbU’s students in Japanese studies.
The event was organized by SPbU’s Associate Professor Yosiko Arakava, Department of Japanese Studies, and Professor Takako Yasumoto, Nihon University.
“My aim, as a teacher, is to teach them to speak Japanese and form their cultural background, — said Yosiko Arakava. — That is why I and Yasumoto have been arranging these meetings thirteen times, where students can tell about traditional culture of their country and some current trends in an informal atmosphere”.
Professor Yasumoto, expert in Japanese literature, first visited SPbU in early 2000s when he met Associate Professor Arakava. At that time, they decided to create such a seminar. “International relations are based on inter-personal relations, and it is vital to make our students get to know their Japanese peers”, — said Yosiko Arakava.
After their trip to Russia, they Japanese students radically change their opinion about the country: some of them are eager to pursue their education in Russia.
Professor Takako Yasumoto
The Japanese guests prepared a comprehensive cultural and educational programme. They showed us their traditional game which develops dexterity and adroitness of samurai and performed a traditional dance with naruko, a small wooden instrument which is used to imitate hand clapping. Initially, naruko was used to scare birds away from the fields and then became part of their traditional culture. Besides, the students from the Nihon University told about youth fashion in Japan, modern tea culture and animations. Japan is becoming more and more interested in Russia, and Russian ballerinas and military officers are the heroes of the anime which are dubbed by the Russian people.
SPbU’s experts in Japanese studies prepared a presentation about the Russia’s oldest university, its milestones and outstanding alumni, got around the city going sightseeing, and sang a song “Katusha” in Russian and Japanese.
The seminar also focused on the history of diplomatic relations. The first Russo-Japanese treaty of friendship was signed in Shimoda in 1855, which is now Shizuoka where the Nihon University is located. At the seminar, the students performed little play “Difficult friendship” which depicted the historical event.
At the end of the seminar, they discussed how we could strengthen relationships between Russia and Japan and agreed that academic exchange and joint events are indispensable part and solid ground of understanding between nations.