Japan Week enriches CityU students’ knowledge of Japanese culture
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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is staging Japan Week 2007 from 9 October to 12 October to enhance students’ understanding of Japanese language and culture.
Japan Week is jointly organised by the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics (CTL) and the Halliday Centre for Intelligent Applications of Language Studies at CityU. It is supported by the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong, Japan National Tourist Organisation and Japan Airlines. Through seminars by well-known scholars from Japan, traditional Japanese performances and compelling exhibitions, the event enables the students to immerse themselves in Japanese culture and language.
Officiating guests at the opening ceremony on 9 October were Mr Sato Shigekazu, Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong; Professor (Chair) Roderick Wong Sue-cheun, Vice-President (Research) and Dean of Graduate Studies of CityU; Professor Martin John Painter, Acting Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Professor Jonathan Webster, Head of CTL; and Mr Chan Che-shing, Departmental Advisory Committee Member of CTL.
“I am very honoured to invite Mr Sato Shigekazu and the distinguished scholars to take part in Japan Week,” said Professor Wong. “Hong Kong and Japan maintain close cultural and economic links. I believe the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Language Studies, with the specialisation in Japanese offered by CTL, can nurture young talent that will further contribute to the positive ties between Japan and Hong Kong.”
Professor Painter said the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences had a strong commitment to language studies. Besides English, Chinese and European languages, the faculty also committed strongly to Asian languages such as Japanese and Korean. He thanked CTL and the Halliday Centre for Intelligent Applications of Language Studies for their initiative in organising Japan Week, saying it offered students an opportunity to understand and appreciate Japanese culture and promoted multicuturalism on campus.
Professor Webster said the CTL department had been developing Japanese programmes and courses for years and was looking forward to its continuous development. “I hope all of you can experience Japanese culture through the seminars and traditional performances that will enliven Japan Week,” he added.
Mr Sato Shigekazu said he was very pleased to witness the increasing awareness and understanding of Japanese culture in Hong Kong over the years. He hoped China and Japan could continue to improve upon their friendship and enjoy further exchanges. He also extended his wishes to the success of Japan Week and the Japanese programmes offered by CTL.
The seminars cover various aspects of linguistics, culture and politics in Japan, including “The future of Japanese Foreign Policy” by Mr Yakushiji Katsuyuki, chief editor of Asahi Shimbun and Ronza magazine; “On the formation of the ancient Japanese language” by Professor Kida Akiyoshi of Kyoto University; “Vertical integration of ‘world Englishes’ concepts: from high school to graduate school at Chukyo University” by Professor Sakai Sanzo of Chukyo University; and “Empower advanced Japanese language learners: a systemic functional approach to the advancement of L2 capacities” by Dr Teruya Kazuhiro of the University of New South Wales, Australia.
The Japanese culture performances include demonstrations of the Japanese tea ceremony, flower arrangement, the art of traditional clothing (kimono), traditional drum performance by secondary school students from Hong Kong Japanese School and traditional sword performance by Kendo Club of CityU. Students also have the chance to wear the kimono and take part in flower arrangement and the tea ceremony.