NCKU visited Sendai, Japan for Tanabata cultural exchange and academic collaboration with Tohoku University

NCKU visited Sendai, Japan for Tanabata cultural exchange and academic collaboration with Tohoku University.

SDG17

NCKU visited Sendai, Japan for Tanabata cultural exchange and academic collaboration with Tohoku University.

Synergy Correlation

 
Professor Cheng-Ta Yang from the Department of Psychology at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), along with doctoral students Kun-Tang Zhang and Min-Hui Cheng, and research assistant Hao-Lun Fu, embarked on a series of cultural and academic exchanges in Sendai, Japan. The team participated in the Sendai Tanabata Matsuri (仙台七夕まつり/せんだいたなばたまつり), one of the three major festivals in the Tohoku region of Japan, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually. Collaborating with the Sendai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Youth Division (YEG), Professor Yang's team joined the festival at the Sendai Kotodai Park on August 6-7, where they showcased their laboratory-developed VR work titled "Tanabata Experience in Tainan: Coming-of-Age Ceremony at 16," allowing the people of Sendai to experience Tainan's Tanabata culture and engage in cultural exchange. Through VR technology, Professor Yang's team presented the unique Tainan tradition of "Coming-of-Age Ceremony at 16," providing an immersive experience of the process of threading needles in the virtual environment. Many Sendai residents highly praised the experience, feeling as if they had personally experienced Tainan's unique culture and traditions, expressing a desire to visit Tainan in the future.

Furthermore, through the efforts of Professor Yang's team and Ms. Naomi Matsumoto, a permanent director of the Miyagi Prefecture Japan-Taiwan Friendship Association, the Sendai City Government invited the team on the morning of August 8 to a meeting with Mr. Takashi Kaneko, Director of the Sendai City Culture and Tourism Bureau. Besides expressing gratitude to Professor Yang for leading student exchanges between Sendai and Tainan since 2019, Director Kaneko experienced the "Coming-of-Age Ceremony at 16" VR game on-site. He was highly impressed by the game's scenes and experience, expressing hopes for more cultural exchange opportunities in the future. Professor Yang stated that Sendai and Tainan became sister cities due to Tanabata, coinciding with "Tainan 400 Years." He hopes to lead students to promote multicultural exchanges through the USR perspective, deepening Sendai residents' understanding of the unique cultural customs of Tainan and enhancing mutual understanding and appreciation between Taiwan and Japan. Additionally, Professor Yang looks forward to broader and more profound cooperation between Taiwan and Sendai in the future, extending beyond tourism, culture, and academic exchanges.

After concluding the Tanabata Festival cultural exchange, Professor Yang's team immediately proceeded to conduct a joint international workshop with Tohoku University, NCKU, and Taipei Medical University. The event lasted for two days, with the first day featuring presentations and demonstrations of laboratory research and equipment usage by Professor Nobuyuki Sakai and Professor Masahiro Tsujimoto from the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University, and their students. On the second day, graduate students from the three universities took turns presenting and exchanging research on current topics in psychology. Doctoral students Kun-Tang Chang and Min-Hui Cheng expressed that this exchange, unlike participating in large conferences, allowed for more in-depth discussions with each presenter and exposed them to research differences across cultures. They found the exchange stimulating and thought-provoking, providing valuable insights. 

Professor Tsuneyuki Abe from the Department of Psychology at Tohoku University also emphasized the importance of interaction and exchange among young scholars during this exchange, both in terms of technical knowledge and cultural understanding. At the end of the event, Professor Abe presented the attendees with a reprinted copy of the "Daihukucho," a record of various important events held by the Department of Psychology at Tohoku University over the past century, underscoring the significance of this international exchange workshop.

In his concluding remarks at the workshop, Professor Yang expressed gratitude to Professors Abe, Sakai, and Tsujimoto for their arrangements and assistance, stating that this cross-national academic exchange is a good start. He highlighted the injection of vitality and energy by many young scholars' participation. Therefore, he hopes to continue academic exchanges with the Department of Psychology at Tohoku University through MOUs and other means, even fostering more interaction and cooperation opportunities between the Japanese Psychological Association and the Taiwanese Psychological Association. Finally, Professor Yang invited Professor Abe and others to bring their students to Taiwan in February next year, not only for academic exchange but also to experience Taiwanese culture firsthand.

Professor Yang's team and Ms. Naomi Matsumoto, Permanent Director of the Miyagi Prefecture Japan-Taiwan Friendship Association, took a photo together in front of the exhibition booth.

Professor Yang's team held a discussion meeting and showcased VR with Mr. Masaru Kaneko, Director-General of the Sendai Tourism Bureau.

Professor Tsuneyuki Abe of Tohoku University presented a reprint of "大福帳" to Taiwanese students and teachers.

 

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