VMU to Host International Symposium on Asian Studies

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The VMU Centre for Asian Studies invites scholars to the International Symposium Japanology within Asian Studies in Lithuania: Historical Perspective and Present Situation, which will take place on November 3-4 in Kaunas, at the Historical Presidential Palace (Vilniaus g. 33).

The goal of the symposium is to present, discuss and evaluate the situation of Asian studies in Lithuania. Specialists representing different fields of Asian studies will participate. The symposium is organized on the organized on the occasion of the 10-year anniversary since the establishment  of the Centre for Asian Studies at Vytautas Magnus University.

The presentations on the first day of the symposium (November 3) will be held in Lithuanian. The presenters of the morning session will be Prof. Antanas Andrijauskas from the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute, Dr. Valdas Jaskūnas from Vilnius University and Dr. Agnė Budriūnaitė from VMU. Special guest speaker Dr. Eiko Sakurai (Tokyo), author of the first Lithuanian language learning textbook in Japanese, will present the situation of Lithuanian studies in Japan. In the afternoon the focus will shift towards the history of Japanology in Lithuania. Presentations will be read by Mr. Seo Jinseok (University of Tartu / VMU), Dr. Birutė Railienė (The Wroblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences), Gabija Žukauskienė (Lithuanian Ministry of Culture) and Kristina Barancovaitė-Skindaravičienė (VMU).

On November 4, presentations will be held in English. During the morning session, Dr. Agnese Haijima (University of Latvia), Dr. Kyoko Koma (Vytautas Magnus University), Dr. Dalia Švambarytė (Vilnius University) and Dr. Outi Luova (University of Turku) will present their experience in Asian and Japanese studies in Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. Dr. Masaaki Shiraishi (Diplomatic Records Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan), a prominent researcher of Chiune Sugihara, will deliver a lecture on Lithuanian-Japanese diplomatic relationships. His lecture will be followed by a presentation of his most recently published book.

Other related events planned during the symposium include the donation ceremony of a book collection built up over many years by the famous Lithuanian orientalist a.e. Dr. R. Neimantas, his book exhibition, meeting of the Japan Alumnae Association as well as ceremony honoring the people who significantly contributed to the revival of Oriental studies in Lithuania during the last decades of the Soviet regime.

Detailed program of the symposium and the open project meeting Japan in the West: a Comparative Analysis can be found here.

Symposium is supported by the Japan Foundation, under the auspices of the Embassy of Japan in Lithuania.

Detailed program of the symposium (events of November 4 are indicated in English) is available here.

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