【2014 University Reform Symposium was held at the Nanka Memorial Hall （Thursday, January 22）】
The “2014 University Reform Symposium: From Learning about the World to Learning in the World—Ideal International Cooperation on Education through Regional Collaboration” was held at the Nanka Memorial Hall on Thursday, January 22, 2015. There were active discussions with various participants including the Romanian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Radu Serban and many other specialists in the fields of administration, economic, culture, and academia from inside and outside Japan.
The Japan Association of National Universities supports educational projects of Japanese national universities based on public appeals to enhance social interest at national universities and to attract supporters. The proposal of Ehime University was adopted as one of those events supported by the Association.
President Yasunobu Yanagisawa of Ehime University said in his opening greeting: “This symposium has attracted leaders from industry, administration, and academia around the world through haiku, which symbolizes the local culture of Matsuyama. It is just the right event for our university, whose principle is local-to-local collaboration. Please use this as an opportunity to promote local-to-local exchanges on a global scale through haiku.” His opening greeting was followed by a greeting by Romanian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Radu Serban, which started with his words of appreciation for 500 cherry tree saplings donated by Matsuyama city to Cluj-Napoca city last year, and ended with a humorous comment related to the title of the symposium saying: “These cherry trees and haiku are a bridge between two countries. I’d like to see the students here study in Romania rather than studying about Romania.”
|Opening greeting by President Yanagisawa||Greeting by Ambassador Serban|
In the keynote speech, Prof. No Sung-hwan, Department of Japanese and Japanology, College of Humanities, University of Ulsan, explained why Koreans focus on Japanese haiku. He said: “Haiku is a culture that features a linguistic expression with one character having one mora, the rule of the fixed form poem, with pleasure being derived from some deviation such a rule and beauty at the margin. It is very similar to a type of Korean poetry called children’s verse. Therefore, Koreans don’t find any sense of discomfort with haiku.” Prof. No also said: “Haiku created by Koreans are characteristically different from those created by Japanese, and that also interests me very much. Theirs are still at the initial stage, but they show potential for creating a more mature world of haiku of their own.” He hoped that haiku would help Japanese and Korean leaders move toward each other and shake hands with smiles on their faces in the near future.
|Prof. No addressing the audience|
In the panel discussion, display panels of the calligraphy of Associate Prof. Rodica Frentiu, Babes-Bolyai University and photos of objects related to Matsuyama were placed on the stage for effect. Panelists explained or expressed how they addressed haiku, and how they feel about haiku from the viewpoint of their own sensitivity and related episodes about how they felt the power of haiku. The participants listened intently and nodded in acknowledgement to the points being raised.
Finally, Miki Takeda, Director of the Shiki Museum said: “The heart of haiku goes beyond national barriers and gently links people with short words.” Vice President Fumito Shimizu wrapped up the discussion by saying that exchanges among people through haiku should provide a new start for developing globally competent human resources capable of flexibly responding to cultural differences and read out one of Shiki’s haiku poems selected by President Yanagisawa.
Ehime University intends to reinforce regional exchanges through haiku, a culture that is deeply rooted in Matsuyama, and will continue to promote international cooperation on education through local-to-local collaboration.
|Panelists and participants were immersed in the world of haiku due in part to the stage effects||Commemorative photo of all participants|