Jananese prof immersed in immaculate beauty of water towns in Jiangsu
2018-05-30 17:23:00

"Most Japanese people enjoy the immaculate beauty of the water towns in the regions south of the Yangtze River,” said Professor Sunayama Yukio of the Faculty of Modern Chinese Studies at Aichi University in an interview with JiangsuNow in Nanjing on May 25.

Prof Sunayama, born in 1954, came to study Chinese modern history at Nanjing University in 1982. Since then he has been keeping a close eye on China’s development. He was in Nanjing last Friday for the Jiangsu Cup Chinese Speech Contest to be held in December.

The annual speech contest, organized by the Jiangsu International Cultural Exchange Center, was launched in 2011 and has been held seven times. The contest has attracted students from overseas universities and has included contestants from the U.S., Japan, Australia, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. The competition consists of several rounds including a prepared speech and knowledge about Jiangsu. Participants compete for different awards and will have the chance to take part in a cultural tour in Jiangsu.

Prof Sunayama said only 40 out of 3,000 students studied Chinese at Aichi University in 1973 but now more and more students have chosen Chinese as a second foreign language.

Also joining Prof Sunayama on his journey were Ms Xue Ming, associate professor at Aichi University and Keiko Kamino, associate manager of the International Education Section of the International Exchange Office at Aichi University.

When Sunayama studied in China, Ms Xue, who was among the first batch of students sponsored by the government to study abroad after the reform and opening-up, was completing postgraduate study in Japan at the same time. Ms Xue said the gap between China and Japan was vast, but after 30 years’ development fewer differences can be found when you walk on the streets in cities like Tokyo, Beijing, and Nanjing.

"In Japan, children like to read Three Kingdoms stories. At our university, there are so many Japanese students who want to study Chinese that we sometimes have to encourage them to choose other languages. This shows the growing strength of China and also the increasing people-to-people connections between China and Japan. I think the most important connection between two countries is in the form of people-to-people communications or communications at the grassroots level. One can truly understand a country and a nationality by traveling frequently and seeing with their own eyes," said Ms Xue.

Prof Sunayama visits Nanjing at least twice a year and he finds the city changes with every visit. “Nanjing is a gentle city, like a venerable elder who knows a lot of history, but in the same breath it's like an energetic and accomplished young person. Nanjing is a city of inclusiveness. To compare with Japanese cities, Nanjing lies between Tokyo and Kyodo.”


Source: jschina.com.cn Editor: Dylan