Visiting Polands old capital Kraków as Kyoto University European Center for the first time, we participated at the Festiwal Kultury Japonii, which was held at Jagiellonian University on January 20. The historic Jagiellonian University was founded in 1364 and is the Alma mater of famous researchers like Nicolaus Copernicus as well as the founder of social anthropology, Bronisław Malinowski. We wanted to use the occasion to introduce Kyoto University at Jagiellonian University since both universities concluded a student exchange agreement.
Despite of heavy snowfall in the morning that day, students, staff and citizens gathered in great numbers in front of the venue—in all 850 people visited the event. Our half an hour lasting presentation was well visited, too. Over 40 people listened to our introduction to the historical and modern city of Kyoto and Kyoto University. After the talk the audience, consisting of people interested in Japan, exchanged their thoughts and we could hear their enthusiasm.
Following our presentation Joana Guzik (Jagiellonian University) took the stage and lectured about the state of humanities and social sciences in Japan. On the basis the report “Revision of Organization and Generals Tasks of Universities” published by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) she argued that the chances for research opportunities in social science in Japan are not entirely on decline according to relevant data. At the end of the lecture she especially named Kyoto University as a suitable place for studying social sciences because of its emphasis on “Academic Freedom”. This was welcomed with loud applause by the audience.
We would be very fond to meet these excellent Polish students in Kyoto one day.