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Public Lectures 2006

Grand Prize 2006: MO Yan

Title
A Message for Tomorrow – From the Borderless World of Literature
Date
September 17, 2006 (13:00-15:00)
Venue
ACROS Fukuoka Event Hall
Panelist
Tsushima Yuko (Novelist)
Panelist
Levy Hideo (Professor, Hosei University)
Coordinator
Kawamura Minato (Professor, Hosei University)

Public Lecture by Mr. MO Yan was held in ACROS Fukuoka Event Hall on September 17, and he introduced his idea and thought on his specialized field in his lecture, talks with panelists.

Keynote Speech

In his keynote speech, Mr. Mo Yan said ‘hunger and loneliness’ was the starting point of his creation.  He introduced his life as a young boy, leaving primary school before graduation, talking to cows and birds while grazing at wasteland, lying on the meadow daydreaming and talking with the nature.  Though he felt lonely, these experiences have helped him develop his imagination.  He also touched the spirit of writing.  He said it is important for a writer not to forget the virtue and dignity as a human and to keep the mind of respect for life.  He added that writers have to turn their eyes to all of what is happening around the world, and to employ literal approach to express their ideas from the stand point of the human beings.

Panel Discussion

The panel discussion followed with Professor Kawamura as a moderator.  Ms. Tsushima cited some expressions from Mr. Mo Yan’s work, “The Sandalwood Torture.”  She said his writing style is cruel yet beautiful, with richly expressed phrases and things are represented rhetorically and dynamically.

Professor Levy commented that he was impressed by what the laureate said of the root of literature in his key note speech: what literature is, and what we write for.  Empathized with Mr. Mo Yan’s argument that the ‘source of culture lies in people and in villages,’ Professor Levy noted he also was able to portray a universal world view in the countryside. 

Finally, Mr. Mo Yan argued that evaeryone has his/her own space as an individual, and the original experiences in that space would be the cornerstone in writing one’s own literature.  If the author can use the experiences to the full, then his literary work will be unique, different from any others.

An autograph session followed and many fans of Mr. Mo Yan queued up for his autograph.

Academic Prize 2006: Shagdaryn BIRA

Title
Beyond Nations and Boundaries
Date
September 16 (16:00-18:30)
Venue
ACROS Fukuoka Event Hall
Panelists
Karima Fumitoshi (Professor, The University of Tokyo)
Panelists
Kimura Ayako (Visiting Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo)
Panelists
Hakamada Shigeki (Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University)
Panelists
Morikawa Tetsuo (Professor, Kyushu University)
Panelists
Yoshida Junichi (Professor, Waseda University)
Coordinator
Sugiyama Masaaki (Professor, Kyoto University)

Public Lecture by Prof. Shagdaryn BIRA was held in ACROS FUKUOKA on September 16, and he introduced his idea and thought on his specialized field in his lecture, talks with panelists.

Panel Discussion

This year marks the 800th anniversary since Chinggis Khan became the emperor of the great Mongol Empire.  Commemorating the prizewinning of Professor Bira, this forum was attended by a real mixture of people, talking about the grand story of past, present and future of Mongolia which dashed through the Eurasia Continent via Mongolia, China and the Middle East, transcending peoples and boundaries.  The first part picked up the theme of ‘Chinggis Khan and the Mongol Empire.’  Displaying an ancient map, “Konitsu Kyori Rekidai Kokuto no Zu” that belongs in the Faculty of Letters, Kyoto University at the venue, panelists discussed about what influence Mongolia exerted on the world during the 13th and 14th centuries.

In the second part, each of the panelists talked about ‘Mongolia in Eurasia - Present and Future of Mongolia’ from the point of view of a specialist.    

A video message of a Mongolian sumo wrestler, Hakuho, congratulating Professor Bira, was shown in the midst of the forum.  A Mongolian popular boy music band, ‘Camerton’, presented their songs with powerful yet translucent voice to conclude the forum.

Academic Prize 2006: HAMASHITA Takeshi

Title
History of Maritime Asia
Date
September 16 (13:30-15:30)
Venue
ACROS Fukuoka Event Hall
Panelist
Takara Kurayoshi (Professor, University of the Ryukyu)
Panelist
Hattori Hideo (Professor, Kyushu University)
Panelist
Hayase Shinzo (Professor, Osaka City University)
Coordinator
Suehiro Akira (Professor, The University of Tokyo)

Public Lecture by Prof. Hamashita Takeshi was held in ACROS FUKUOKA on September 16, and he introduced his idea and thought on his specialized field in his lecture, talks with panelists.

The forum started with Professor Suehiro, introducing Professor Hamashita and his achievements as well as the panel members to the audience.

keynote speech

In his keynote speech, Professor Hamashita argued about Asia, historically being connected with the city-to-city relations rather than that of the country-to-country level, by exemplifying model cases of Ryukyu, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.  He also said the present and the future challenge we face is and will be how to create the network of coastal cities of Asia.  “Hereafter, how will Fukuoka transmit and receive economic-geographical and cultural-geographical features to and from the rest of Asia  This issue is of a great historical interest,” concluded the Professor.

Panel discussion

A panel discussion followed.  Professor Takara spoke of the Ryukyuan history in which he commented Ryukyu had enjoyed frequent exchanges with various areas of Asia over the sea.  Professor Hayase referred to Setouchi Regions and Nagasaki as a specific example of studying history, in which he said if you observe the history from marine side, then the view is different from the conventional interpretation of inland-looking history.  Commenting on the relationship between Asia and Japan in medieval times of Hakata, Professor Hattori provided clues for traces of the name ‘tobo,’ Chinese settlements in Japan and relics of minting of coins.

At the end of the forum, all panelists exchanged their views on maritime Asia.

Arts and Culture Prize 2006: Uxi MUFTI

Title
Portraying a Cultural Crossroad
Date
September 17 (16:00-18:00)
Vanue
ACROS Fukuoka Event Hall
Panelist
Asada Miharu (Researcher of Pakistani Culture)
Panelist
Konishi Masatoshi (Professor Emeritus, Rikkyo University)
Coordinator
Fujihara Keiyo (Professor, Kyushu University)

Public Lecture by Dr. Mufti was held in ACROS FUKUOKA on September 17, and he introduced his idea and thought on his specialized field in his “The Circarama Box,” a multi-image show , talks with panelists.

“The Circarama Box,” a multi-image show

“The Circarama Box,” a multi-image show produced by Dr. Mufti was shown at the beginning of the forum.  The images traced the roots of Pakistani culture by traveling through whole of Pakistan along the Indus River and the beauty instantly drew audience into the charm of Pakistan.

Panel Discussion

At the panel discussion, Dr. Mufti first gave the audience a detailed introduction of Pakistani culture while showing additional footage.  He said that the Pakistani culture, no matter how old it is, has maintained its old tradition in the present, and is really a living traditional culture.

At the following forum, panelists held a discussion on antiquity, continuity, diversity, oral tradition and uniformity, the five major characteristics of Pakistani culture presented by Dr. Mufti.  Professor Konishi asserted the geographical importance of Pakistan as a cultural crossroad.  He said “Pakistan, being the center of a huge cultural circle encompassing Central Asia and India, is where the cultures of east, west, south, and north meet and create dynamic changes.”  Ms. Asada commented on the diversity of Pakistani culture, saying that culture of Pakistan cannot be been if you try to see it within its border.

Finally, Dr. Mufti said that both Japan and Pakistan belong in the East.  We want to keep our Oriental sense of value with sufficient recognition of the difference between the East and the West.

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