Symposium Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Japan-Belgium Diplomatic and Friendship Relations

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10 - 11 December 2016

Tokyo University of Science, Kagurazaka Campus, Fujimi Building

Academic Symposium

Executive Committee of the Symposium (JB150Sympo)

Symposium Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Japan-Belgium Diplomatic and Friendship Relations
Reflections on Multi-layered Culture and Cross-boundary Creativity
―Towards Academic Exchange and the Establishment of “Belgian Studies”―

There have been intimate human exchange activities between Japan and Belgium in diverse fields of academia, fine arts, technology, industry and so on. The characteristic feature of Belgium is that it includes diversity of languages and culture and it has cultural atmosphere of multiply-layered structure and flexibility.  While keeping its traditional culture, Belgium absorbs external cultures into its own.  These features may be in resonance with Japanese tradition of culture.   Namely, the two cultures, Belgian and Japanese, put their eyesight on the small but flexible, rather than on the giant and stubborn. They have wisdom of common people, who have lived their lives in the times of prosperity and disaster.  These people prefer to be creative with their own size rather than to be in the main huge currents so that the resulting product percolates serenely into the world.

 The purpose of this symposium is to focus on multiply-layeredness of Belgian culture as we see in Belgian “tapestry” with finely interwoven threads and to find why and how two cultures, Belgian and Japanese, attract each other.

The success of this symposium will lead to the start of integrated academic research and education of “Belgian studies” in Japanese higher education. 

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