TUFS Students Participate in SUN General Assembly & WRICOS

March 7, 2018

From Wednesday the 8th until Sunday the 12th of November, two TUFS students represented TUFS at the 3rd General Assembly of the Silk-Road Universities Network (SUN) held at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (USSH-VNUHCM).

At this annual assembly, based on Silkroadia (the spirit of respecting other cultures, connecting, and developing fair trade), the award ceremony for the 1st Writing Contest of SUN (WRICOS) was also held as part of the cultural interchange between students and researchers. This contest attracted a great number of poem and essay entries in languages of the member-nations, all to the theme of 'what does the Silk Road mean to me?'. TUFS Professor Izumi Niwa participated as an examiner of WRICOS 2017, and 12 TUFS students and professors participated in the translation of the winning pieces into Japanese.

Comments from the Representatives and Participants

Nanami Horita (School of Language and Culture Studies, Vietnamese Language Studies, third year)
TUFS Student Representative

During my exchange in Vietnam, I feel that this event was a very valuable experience in which I was able to meet with students from all around the world. Through the Silk Road, a network existing since ancient times, I felt that I was able to become closer with the world. On top of this, I was also able to experience Vietnamese history and culture anew through interacting with Vietnamese students at the assembly, which was a good chance for me to think more deeply about my area of study (Vietnam).

Left edge: Nanami Horita
Silk Road Student Festival 2017

Mona Fukuhara (School of Language and Culture Studies, Vietnamese Language Studies, third year)
TUFS Student Representative

I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in this year's SUN assembly, and to spend four days with students around my age from the member-nations. While the assembly was held in Ho Chi Minh City, where I am currently studying on exchange, I was able to see traditional Vietnamese dance and song performances which I otherwise would not have, so it was a very valuable experience, one that also allowed me to become closer with students from other countries.

Mona Fukuhara

Ryo Naito (School of Language and Culture Studies, Russian Language Studies, third year)
Translator (Uzbek→Japanese)

It was an honor to be involved in the translation of an essay from Uzbek to Japanese for the writing contest of the Silk-Road Universities Network. Uzbekistan is located in the center of the Silk Road, and the Uzbek people take pride in this and the diverse culture and rich history that it brings. I think there is immense significance in understanding how these people perceive the Silk Road, and what they think of it. It was not easy translating the Uzbek literary style into appropriate Japanese, but with the cooperation of professors and colleagues, I was able to complete the task. Through the shared historical space of the Silk Road, many countries were able to deepen their relations, with the hope of achieving further development.

Ryo Naito (Uzbek)
Mr. Naito's Translation

Chiaki Ota (School of Language and Culture Studies, French Language Studies, fourth year)
Translator (English→Japanese)

Until now, I only had a vague image of the Silk Road as a historical trade route, but through translating a poem that likens the Silk Road to the journey of life, I was able to feel the magnificent open-mindedness of the Silk Road in connecting the East and the West in a time before transportation networks existed, the connections this has to the present world, and the sensation of enjoying living life in this vast world. One day I would like to visit the Silk Road and experience this vastness myself. I also think that opportunities like this are necessary in this rapidly globalizing age, as they are starting points for interactions that can go beyond borders. I hope many people continue to submit their work to this contest.

Chiaki Ota (English)
Ms. Ota's translation

Kanae Kira (Graduate School of Global Studies, Doctoral Program, first year)
Translator (Korean→Japanese)

Dreams of the Desert from the Edge of a Continent: South Korea is the eastern edge of Asia, and is located in a peninsula protruding off of the continent of Eurasia. I wonder if people from regions adjoining with this continent have a distinct idea of the Silk Road. The submitted poem used formal Sino-Korean vocabulary, and was full of nostalgia towards foreign countries. There are many Sino-Korean words that are similar to Sino-Japanese words, and inherently Korean words that are equivalent to inherently Japanese words. The word orangkae is a native Korean word equivalent to the English 'barbarian.' I took a hint from the translation of Coetzee's 'Waiting for the Barbarians' and translated it as iteki (夷狄).

Ms. Kira's translation (Korean)
A compilation of the pieces submitted for the writing contest

Next year, the annual assembly will be held in late August at Italy's Ca' Foscari University of Venice, a partner institution of TUFS. TUFS is expecting many TUFS students to get involved in this event.

More information on these events can be found on the Silkroad University Network website.