Series: Japanese week

The Scottish Architects of Japan's Modernisation

19 Mar ‘13

6.30PM - 7.30PM
Speaker: Dr Taeko Seki and Mr Colin Houston

Venue: Pathfoot Lecture Theatre, Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling

Dr Taeko Seki is a Tokyo-based lecturer and Stirling alumna with degrees of Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy conferred in 1994 and 2004 respectively.  She has a longstanding interest in Japan-Scotland relations and is the President of the Japan Alumni Association of the University of Stirling.  Her talk will introduce a key period in Japanese history, the 'Meiji Restoration', when Japan was beginning to open itself to foreign influences after over 200 years shut off from the outside world, and some of the Scottish engineers, merchants and educators who were first to arrive.

Mr Colin Houston is the Quality Manager at VisitScotland and a keen genealogist. His great-grandfather, Colin Alexander McVean, was a Scottish engineer who spent eight years in Japan from 1868 to 1876 and was involved in the construction of lighthouses, the construction of schools, the building of roads and bridges and the first surveys.  While there, he was appointed Surveyor in Chief to the Emperor of Japan. In this part of the talk, Colin will use his great-grandfather's diaries, papers and a unique photo album to provide a unique insight into this period.

Following the lecture, all guests are invited to join us for a Drinks Reception in the Crush Hall. 

This event is part of the University of Stirling's Japanese Week. Please see the website for details of other events.


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