The 2nd JIEPP Japan-India Exchange Seminar
- 2021.7.16 Fri
- JST 17:00-18:30 / IST 13:30-15:00
- Online (Zoom Webinar)
- Inter-University Exchange Project Platform Building Program “Japan-India Exchange Platform Program (JIEPP)”
(International Strategy Group, Operations Planning Department, The University of Tokyo)
- Center for South Asian Studies(TINDAS), Institute for Advanced Global Studies (IAGS), Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Y2014-2019: Liaison Coordinator for NUT’s “Re-Inventing Japan Project (India)”
Y2019-: Liaison Coordinator in India for NUT’s “GIGAKU” Education ＆Research Network and “GIGAKU” Techno Park Network associated with “Top Global University Project”.
Also, teaches the Japanese language at IIT Madras, and supports Indian students for further studies / job placements in Japan.
He spent six years (2006-2012) in Germany, worked as a researcher at Institut für Indologie, Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Dr. Phil.), also as a lecturer for German-Japanese Double Degree Program.
Expertise in the area of Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit Philology.
He is experienced in the academic and cultural exchange between India and Japan. Life-time member of the All India Oriental Conference.
The 2nd JIEPP Japan-India Exchange Seminar was held on July 16, 2021 at 17:00 using the Zoom webinar platform. 60 people from universities, including students, and companies attended the seminar.
Prof. Akio Tanabe (Department of Cultural Anthropology, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Tokyo) gave a lecture titled “The Role of Universities for Promoting India-Japan Relations: From the History of Intellectual Exchange between the Two Nations” in which he looked back on the history of Japan-India exchange starting with the introduction of Buddhism, and the influence of Indian thought on Japanese culture. He then touched on the resonance of Tagore, Okakura Tenshin, and Vivekananda, leading thinkers of modern Japan-India relations, pointing out that the ideas of these three contained a philosophy of an affirmation of the diverse and mundane based on the knowledge and love of the universal, an attitude that recognizes the beauty and truth in the worldly existence and makes one's actions serve and devote to them. In comparison with Indian universities, which are based on the model of forests, and Western universities, which are based on the model of cities, he pointed out the potentiality of Japanese universities as places where humans and nature can create a new world together, like "Satoyama". Also, in conducting Japan-India exchange centered on universities, he suggested that it would be desirable to create "technology and institutions with philosophical foundation" suitable for the new era, as the modern worldview of European origin has reached its limits. To achieve this, he proposed the importance of establishing a "South Asia Institute".
Comments from Ms. Norie Kobayashi (IITM-NUT Office Coordinator at Nagaoka University of Technology) summarized the entire session and introduced key points from her perspective. She introduced that the reason behind the reimportation of the ideas of Tagore, Okakura Tenshin and Vivekananda in Japan and India was that they used English in communicating with the West. Referring to Vivekānanda’s concept of “service”, she suggested that this spirit of service might be the reason why so many people of Indian origin are active as CEOs in the world’s top companies. She showed photos of the lush natural landscape of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, where she is based, as an example of an Indian university that uses "forests" as a model. She concluded her comments by mentioning recent global developments such as the SDGs, and endorsed Professor Tanabe's proposal for Japan-India exchange as appropriate for the new era.
After the lecture and comment, Associate Professor Takahiro Kato (Department of Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology at the University of Tokyo) acting as the moderator, led the audience in asking many questions from a variety of perspectives, including the relationship between contemporary Indian society and their philosophy, the state of education in India, and the future movements of businessmen from India who are active on the global stage.
Finally, when asked about the future of universities, Professor Tanabe responded that it was more important for universities to exist as a place to think about where the world is going, while remaining connected to society but still standing slightly apart from it, rather than being directly useful for something else.