Celebration to Mark 30th Anniversary of Establishment of Japanese Major Held

July 10, 2015

On Saturday, June 6th, a celebration was held to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Japanese major. The major traces its history back to 1954, when a one-year special Japanese course for exchange students was established. This special course then developed into a three-year course that included liberal arts education, after which it grew to a department that grants degrees. At its inception, the department was special, as it was open only to people from overseas. It was in 1985 that fifteen Japanese students entered the department that it finally became an international education institute.

About 150 attendances including alumni, current Japanese studies majors, and former and current faculty members participated in the ceremony. Emeritus Professor Yumoto Akianami, Professor Atsuko Kondo (The University of Tokyo), and Professor Takako Ayuzawa (Akita International University) were among the guests. All participants enjoyed talking about the good old days.

Ayako Shiba, an Associate Professor of Nagoya University, Zhang Shengkai, Associate Professor of Shizuoka University, and Mohamed Omar Abdin, a Special Lecturer of the TUFS World Language and Society Education Centre, delivered speeches representing alumni. All three speakers earned doctoral degrees at TUFS and then became professors. After that, young graduates who work in the education and service industry gave speeches about their careers and experiences.

At the end of the ceremony, graduates recorded a video message. Andre Klopp and Gilles Rousselot took part in the recording. Klopp, a French citizen, who acquired Japanese language skills at TUFS, currently works for VEOLIA JAPAN as a corporate manager in the legal department. At the company, his Japanese proficiency is highly evaluated, such that he is able to write Kanji at the same level as the Japanese. Rousselot, who is also a French citizen, said Japanese culture studies classes and liberal arts classes taught in Japanese were advantageous as well as Japanese language classes, where he learned business and practical Japanese.

Yusuke Sakurai, a Special Assistant Professor of the University of Tokyo, obtained a master‘s degree at an Australian university after graduating from the TUFS Japanese program. Then, he taught Japanese at Cairo University, which is a TUFS partner university. After receiving a doctoral degree in Sweden, he started to work at the University of Tokyo. Recalling his career, Sakurai said what he learned at TUFS, including reading materials about Japanese studies and culture in English, was helpful.