Season’s greetings

The staff of the Centre for Asian Studies sends the Season’s greetings to all of you and wishes you to have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! 

Year 2018 was a fruitful period for the Centre.  ASC created the documentary “Kaunas. The city of Sugihara and Japan” which premiered both in Lithuania (April 26th) and Japan (July 28th).  We organized 29th international EAJRS (European Association of Japanese Recourse Specialists) conference on the topic of “(G)localizing Japanese Studies Resources”. It was the first one taking place in the Baltic States. On October 5th we expanded our network and opened King Sejong Institute in Kaunas, strengthening cooperation between Lithuania and South Korea. Signed international agreements with Gunma University (Japan), Ochanomizu University (Japan), Korea University (South Korea) and National Taipei University of Technology (Taiwan). (more…)

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October 7-14, 2018 Romanas Erminas, East Asia region studies Master‘s student has won national “MIRAI” program’s contest and visited Japan. The program is supported by the Japanese government and is dedicated to the young leaders of the future. During the program, dozens of students from various countries spent a week in Japan, where they participated in discussions, visited local and central government institutions, various campaigns, universities, got acquainted with Japan’s economic and political system, culture.

The program has given the student an opportunity to get to know more about Japan’s politics, international relations and security. Erminas deepened historical, cultural and social knowledge that he acquired during his Bachelor’s studies. 40 students from Europe countries had participated in first group of “MIRAI 2018 Politics and Security“. (more…)

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During November 6-10 Murad Asgarow, East Asia Region Studies student represented Vytautas Magnus University in the 2018 Jeonju International Biennale of Korean Studies at Chonbuk National University in South Korea. The conference provided scholars with an opportunity to share their ideas and the latest achievements in Korean Studies with fellow scholars from around the world.  

During students visit to South Korea Murad not only participated in the conference but also had an opportunity to learn more about Korean history and experience its culture. Our student visited multiple museums and historical places in Jeonju, wore hanbok, etc. (more…)

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Japanese post stamps exhibition

On November 15 – December 15 VMU Centre for Asian Studies invites you to visit Japanese post stamps exhibition “Memorable events of the 20th Century for Japanese people”. The exhibition displays a part of Mr. Leonas Veržbolauskas collection of Japanese post stamps. The exhibition is located in the 4th floor gallery at the VMU Multifunctional Research and Studies Centre (V. Putvinskis st. 23).

The collection portrays the main events that occurred in Japan over the course of the 20th Century covering various aspects of the country’s life including World War I and World War II, international relations, technological advancements and trends, culture, sports, etc. This exhibition provides a unique way to learn about Japan’s history through the scope of Japanese perception.

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On the 12th of November, an agreement was signed in Tokyo with the new VMU partner – Ochanomizu University (お茶の水女子大学 Ochanomizu joshi daigaku). The ceremony was attended by the University’s Rector Prof. Kimiko Murofushi, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to Japan Mr. Gediminas Varvuolis and Head of VMU Centre for Asian Studies Dr. Aurelijus Zykas.

Despite being small, Ochanimizu University is one of the most prestigious Universities in Japan. Founded in 1875 as a Women’s Education School in 1949 it became the first University to provide higher education for women in Japan. University actively develops international relations and VMU became its first partner in Lithuania. It is our 22nd partner in Japan. (more…)

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“Time for Asia” is back with an event that is focused on Taiwan’s aboriginal language. The lecture “Language and Cultural Revitalization and Sustainability” will be held by Prof. Apay Ai-yu Tang, Associate Professor in the Department of Indigenous Languages and Communications College of Indigenous Studies at National Dong Hwa University (Hualien, Taiwan). The lecture will be held on November 5th, 12:15 PM at room 521 (K. Donelaitis st. 52). The lecture will be held in English. The event is free and open to all.

During the lecture Prof. A. Ai-yu Tang will analyze the indigenous language, it’s shifts and changes which are influenced by the internal problems arising in Taiwan, such as the identity and ethnicity of the population. The professor will provide an overview on the indigenous language policy and planning, as well as the attempts on the reversal of the critical shifts. (more…)

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We would like to invite you to the screenings of the VMU Centre for Asian Studies documentary “Kaunas, the City of Sugihara and Japan” on October 18-19th, 2018. The screenings will be taking place in Druskininkai, Kurkliai – the birthplace of Steponas Kairys and Anykščiai.

The story of Kaunas – Japan bilateral relations are revealed through four personalities who prior the World War II became bridges between the two countries. It is Yukichi Fukuzawa – the first Japanese who mentioned and wrote about Kaunas in his diary. In 1862 together with the mission of 36 Japanese he traveled through Lithuania by train and went for a short stroll in Kaunas. The author of first Lithuanian books about Japan – Steponas Kairys. In 1905 he was amazed by a small distant country which managed to defeat ten times bigger Russia and inspired Lithuanians to seek independence. Even after visiting Japan for a few times, journalist and traveler Matas Šalčius decided to reach this country from Kaunas once again… on a bike. And finally, diplomat Chiune Sugihara united both countries in 1940 with his heroic act. (more…)

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Asian Books Space Expanded

On September 12-15 already the 29th EAJRS (European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists) conference was held at Vytautas Magnus University. Thanks to our benevolent participants of the conference, Asian Books Space expanded even more and received over more than 20 different books in Bulgarian, English and Japanese languages!

We are extremely thankful to Japan Publications Trading, Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture – Japan Library, Shogakukan, Sofia university and professors Feng Haiying, Merete Pedersen and Peter Kornicki for such a valuable gift. You can find these books in Asian Books Space! (more…)

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Japanese speech contest

On September 24th, 2018 VMU Centre for Asian studies together with the Komaru Transportation Foundation and Hiroshima University Lithuania Center organized Japanese language contest. Congratulations to the authors of the best speeches Salomėja Jurėnaite and Matas Jagelavičius who won an opportunity to participate in an international Japanese language program on February-March 2019, in Hiroshima University, Japan.

This is the first time that a speech contest like this, organized together with our partners in Japan, was held in Lithuania.The participants of the contest have been divided into 3 categories according to their Japanese language knowledge level and competed for the great prizes provided by the sponsors of the contest. Prizes included i-pads, electronic dictionaries, tea drinking ceremony sets, etc. (more…)

On October 5 we invite everyone to the official opening ceremony of King Sejong Institute (KSI) in Kaunas at Vytautas Magnus University. The event will start at 15:00 and take place at the 4th floor gallery of V. Putvinskio str. 23 building. After opening greetings, we will invite everyone to see Korean calligraphy exhibition, which is organized in cooperation with Korean community in Lithuania, and enjoy some light snacks.

KSI Kaunas is marking one more step taken by VMU to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between East Asia region and Lithuania. Korean studies were started here already 11 years ago, making VMU the first such institution in Lithuania and the Baltic states. At that time students could choose Korean language courses, while latter classes on traditional and contemporary Korean culture and society were integrated in existing East Asian studies programs. VMU is also constantly expanding cooperation with Korean universities (at the moment there are 12 such agreements) and offers students possibility to visit South Korea via exchange studies. The opening of KSI Kaunas is strengthening all these achievements and offers new opportunities to all to learn more about Korea.  (more…)

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