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Japanese Ambassador Visits TSU

On March 14, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, Ishizuka Hideki delivered a public lecture on “Comparative Study of Japanese and Georgian Cultures” to the students of Tbilisi State University (TSU). As part of his visit, Ambassador Hideki held his first meeting with the Rector of TSU, Academician Jaba Samushia, which was also attended by the Deputy Rector of TSU, Erekle Astakhishvili, and the Head of the Department of Far Eastern Studies of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Nana Gelashvili.


During the meeting, the parties discussed deepening of Georgian-Japanese educational relations, expansion of cooperation between TSU and Japanese universities, promotion of student and academic staff exchanges and sharing of experience.


Rector Jaba Samushia noted that TSU already cooperates with Japanese higher education institutions; it has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Tokyo Metropolitan University (Japan) and plans to further deepen this cooperation in the field of high energy physics in the near future. “We would like to expand the links with other Japanese universities as much as possible,” said Rector Samushia during the meeting with the Ambassador.


The sides agreed to work on the publication of the Ambassador’s public lecture, and, with the support of the Japanese Embassy, to publish the Georgian translation of the history of Japan published by Japanese scholars.


During the meeting with the students, Ambassador Ishizuka Hideki spoke about intercultural understanding. He presented an interesting comparative analysis of the Georgian and Japanese cultures. He compared The Knight in the Panther’s Skin by Shota Rustaveli with the works of Japanese poetry and prose. The Ambassador also presented miniatures by Japanese medieval artists and drew parallels with the heroes of Shota Rustaveli’s poem. At the end of the lecture, the Ambassador answered the students’ questions.


TSU Professor Nana Gelashvili noted that the Ambassador gave an interesting lecture. He made a very interesting comparative analysis of Georgian and Japanese cultures. “Some things may seem controversial to the connoisseurs of Shota Rustaveli’s poem, but his approaches as a Japanese scholar are very interesting,” Nana Gelashvili said.


According to her, the lecture was especially important for Japanese Studies students. “After the successful accreditation last year, the BA program in Japanese Studies became the main program and we received quite a large cohort from the spring semester. The Japanese Embassy provides us with educational literature, our students are involved in many events, and successful students are sent on long and short-term trips to various universities in Japan,” she added.