The Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), the most prestigious university for language studies in Japan, will be offering a Catalan studies programme from April onwards thanks to an accord reached with the Institut Ramon Llull, the second Japanese university to run such a course with the support of the IRL, as Hosei University has been teaching Catalan studies since 2010. In addition, Osaka University offers Catalan studies courses independently.
ProfessorJunke Kume, academic supervisor of the Catalan studies programme at the TUFS, explains that "this agreement will enable us to run a long-term ongoing plan that includes not just language but also Catalan history and culture. We are sincerely grateful." She also states that it is her hope that "our university will contribute to greater interest in the very rich historical and cultural tradition of Catalonia among the Japanese".
To coincide with the start of the new programme of studies, the TUFS will host a range of academic and cultural activities to strengthen the ties between Catalonia and Japan, among them the symposium "Facts and Fiction about Independence: A Plural Look at Catalonia", to be held on 20 March. The invited participants will include Professor Koichi Kobayama, Director of the Printing Museum in Tokyo, who will be speaking about "Catalonia as a Theme"; Dr. Ryuichi Narita, a professor at Japan Women's University, who will be reflecting on "Independence in Fiction: Political Issues in the Novel Kirikiri-kokuby Hissahi Inoue"; and Dr. Yukari Yashima, a professor at Keio University, who will be considering "The Historical Background of Catalan Nationalism".
The opening ceremony of the symposium will be attended by the Director of Diplocat, Albert Royo, and the President of the TUFS, Hirotaka Tateishi.
Hosei University, which has been running Catalan studies courses since 2010, is being joined by
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