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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Congratulations to the Head of VMU Centre for Asian Studies Dr. Aurelijus Zykas, who was elected to the Board of the European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists (EAJRS).

On the 12-15 of September,2018 the Centre for Asian studies together with TUFS Global Japan Office in Kaunas organized international EAJRS conference at VMU. Japanologists from 20 countries came to Kaunas for the conference. This year the main topic of the conference was “(G)localizing Japanese Studies Resources.” Not only discussions took place during the conference but the election for EAJRS Board happened as well, where Dr. Aurelijus Zykas was successfully nominated for the candidacy.

“The opportunity to become a member of EAJRS Board has been a big and an unexpected honor.” said Dr. Aurelijus Zykas, “Since I am the only representative from the Eastern Europe, my main goal is to represent the interests of the Eastern European countries and draw the attention of the Association to the situation and challenges of our region.” (more…)

Japanese speech contest

On the 24th of September Vytautas Magnus University’s Center for Asian Studies alongside the Komaru–Koutsu foundation and Hiroshima University Lithuanian center invites you to participate in the Japanese speech contest. The main topic for this year is going to be transportation.

The best contestant in each categories will be rewarded with great prizes provided by the organizers and the sponsors of this contest.
The author of the best speech will win the opportunity to participate in an international Japanese language program in Hiroshima University!

The participants are going to be divided into 3 levels based on their Japanese language knowledge: beginner, intermediate or advanced. In each level the participants will have to fluently read the speech that they wrote themselves. This year’s speeches should revolve around transportation: traveling, roads, movement and etc. A competent comity is going to rate the contestant speeches as well as ask them questions. (more…)

On September 12-15, 2018 VMU Centre for Asian studies together with the Global Japan Office invites you not to miss the 29th international EAJRS (European Association of Japanese Recourse Specialists) conference. This year the topic is “(G)localizing Japanese Studies Resources”.

The Conference will attract 97 participants from such countries as Japan, China, USA, Canada, India, France, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia etc. The Conference taking place in Kaunas in 2018 will be the first one in the Baltic States.

The main topic of this Conference dedicated to localization of resources in the global context. Furthermore, considering the fact that the Conference is organized in Kaunas, a city having strong relations with Chiune Sugihara, who was saving Jewish lives here in 1939-40, part of the conference will be dedicated to resources related to the World War II. (more…)

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Sugihara Week 2018

We cordially invite you to participate at the events of Sugihara Week 2018, which will take place in Kaunas from 3rd to 9th September 2018.

Sugihara Week, organized for the first time, is the event which aims to perpetuate the achievement of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara. This personality lived in Kaunas (Lithuania) during 1939-40 and, together with Dutch Consul Jan Zvartendijk, issued the famous „Visas for Life“, thus saving thousands of lives of Jewish refugees.

We invite residents of Kaunas and city guests to plan their time to enjoy the big variety of free events. In the program, musical concerts, symposium, film screenings, public lectures, exhibitions, workshops, etc., are planned in various spaces of Kaunas.

Organizers of the event: Sugihara Group of Kaunas-Japan relations development, Kaunas City Municipality, Vytautas Magnus University Centre for Asian Studies. Main partners: Sugihara Foundation “Diplomats for Life“, Embassy of Japan in Lithuania, Kyumeikan Kendo Dojo, Salon „Jaukūs Namai“, HOF Hotel, etc.

Official programme in English
Official programme in Japanese
Symposium (September 5) programme

You can find more information in the official Facebook page.

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Today Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) and Korea University (KU) signed a partnership agreement which allows both institutions to start student exchanges and pursue closer academic cooperation. KU is one of the oldest, most prestigious and highest ranked private universities in South Korea. According to QS World University Rankings, KU falls among top-100 universities in the world and is considered to be among top-3 universities in South Korea. The KU campus is located in the northern part of Seoul where more than 28 000 students seek education in 17 colleges and schools.

Interaction with Korea University was initiated by the Centre for Asian Studies already in 2016 when Prof. Sunhyuk Kim, a renown specialist of Korea’s civil society, was invited to Center’s annual international conference as a keynote speaker. (more…)

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July 28, the documentary “Kaunas. The City of Sugihara and Japan” created by the Centre for Asian Studies will be introduced for Japanese society. The Japan Premiere will be taking place on July 28, 13:00 in Gifu City Library. On the same evening, the movie will be shown at Yaotsu Town (which has a museum dedicated for Č. Sugihara). During the screenings, Dr Aurelijus Zykas, one of the creators of the movie, will participate. These screenings are a part of the festival “Lithuania NOW” which is organized for the first time by Gifu Prefecture and aims to introduce Lithuania.

In the documentary, the story of Kaunas–Japan bilateral relations is 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 (more…)

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