Japanese Officials on Campus to Celebrate 20 Years of Cooperation and Friendship with University

A bridge between two cultures

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas and Shimane University of Japan will host two events celebrating 20 years of cooperation and friendship through international educational exchange and the hundredth anniversary of the gift of cherry trees to the United States from Japan. A panel discussion on “Language as a Bridge to Culture” will follow a dedication ceremony for five cherry trees planted on campus. Motohiko Kato, consulate-general of Japan at Nashville, and Shotai Kobayashi, president of Shimane University, will participate in both events.

The relationship between the University of Arkansas and Shimane University began in 1993 with a memorandum of understanding and was deepened in 1995 when the universities signed a supplementary agreement establishing a reciprocal student exchange. The institutional partnership resulted from a friendship between two mathematicians: Bernard Madison, then dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and Miyuki Yamada, then president of Shimane University.

In 1912, 3,020 cherry trees were planted in Washington, D.C., as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. Centennial celebrations have been held in many cities in the U.S. and Japan to commemorate this gift and honor this long-standing relationship.

The Cherry Tree Dedication will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, on the lawn between Ozark Hall and Old Main. The program will include remarks from Kato and Kobayshi as well as Chancellor G. David Gearhart, English professor Chuck Adams and current and former students. Refreshments will be served following the program.

“Language as a Bridge to Culture” will also feature Kato and Kobayshi as well as panelists Tatsuya Fukushima, professor of Japanese, and Leyah Bergman-Lanier, director of the university’s Spring International Language Center.

Students, faculty, staff and friends of the university are welcome to attend both events. The dedication will begin at 1:30 p.m. on the lawn between Ozark Hall and Old Main. The panel discussion will be gin at 3 p.m. in the H.L. Hembree Room in Willard J. Walker Hall (room 203).

Guests may also visit "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan: The Writing of Lafcadio Hearn and His Lasting Impact" in Mullins Library. The exhibit examines Hearn's lasting impact and features books written by and about him. It will be available for viewing Sept. 17-30 in the hall of Level 1.

Contacts:

DeDe Long, director, Office of Study Abroad and International
Graduate School and International Education
479-575-7582, studyabroad@uark.edu

Darinda Sharp, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-3712, dsharp@uark.edu

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