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Japan Week: Cultivating humanity in Japan through the Liberal Arts

21 Feb 2017, 6.00PM–8.30PM
Playhouse, Macrobert Arts Centre, University of Stirling

Dr Mike Lacktorin, Founding Dean of the International College of Liberal Arts at Yamanashi Gakuin University, delivers his keynote lecture Japan Week: Cultivating humanity in Japan through the Liberal Arts.  

In 2017, the Japanese economy entered its 27th year of slow/no-growth. It could be argued that a major An image of Scottish and Japanese flags contributing factor to economic stagnation in Japan is an absence of an entrepreneurial habitat sufficiently large enough to take the economy to the next level. A sufficiently large and vibrant entrepreneurial habitat requires an educational system that is global and nurtures critical, creative, and independent thinking, which are hallmarks of a liberal arts education. It also requires a national culture that not only accepts deviations from certain traditional cultural norms, but encourages it.

Recently, a number of ‘liberal arts’ institutions and ‘global programs’ have emerged in Japan. Also, more Japanese high school students are considering skipping Japanese higher education altogether to go abroad for undergraduate education. But, only a tiny fraction of those actually have this option due to very substantial English language barriers and poor readiness for Western style academic rigour.  One part of this presentation will focus on efforts to promote liberal arts education in Japan. The other part will focus on the threats and opportunities that technological and globalization developments pose as Japanese youth prepare for the future.

Dr Lacktorin will be joined by Professor Akifumi Ikeda of Toyo-Eiwa University  and Professor Tetsuo Yamada of Atomi University who will contribute to the discussion.

Following the lecture there will be a karate demonstration by Stirling's Sen-No-Kai karate club, a koto concert by Ms Mizuho Suzuki, and a drinks reception.

Stirling's Sen-No Kai karate club are a small but dedicated group of martial artists, who, through honest endeavour, strive to perfect their art! Sen-No-Kai Karate is primarily a Karate based Martial Art, with influencing elements from Akido and Tai-Chi. The style practices in a non-combative manner, with empty hand and weapons techniques. They aim to offer a no-nonsense, politics free approach to the study of their arts.  All Sen-No-Kai clubs operate on a not-for-profit basis, where the instructors teach, for the love of their art and to teach those who wish to learn. Their instructors are all insured, and hold the necessary statutory certification to train at all levels. The club is affiliated to MAGB (Martial Arts Great Britain), and are members of The Sports Council. New members are always welcome!

Ms Mizuho Suzuki is a postgraduate student at the University of Stirling. During the concert she will perform:

  • Rokudan no Shirabe(六段の調)/ Melody of Six Stages
  • Taka(鷹)/ Hawks
  • Sakura(さくら)/ Cherry blossoms
  • Hotaru no Hikari(蛍の光)/ Auld Lang Syne
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