York gears up to celebrate Japan Week

If you have always wanted to know more about the aesthetics of the Japanese tea ceremony (below, right), the art of wearing a Japanese kimono (right), the creative skill of Japanese flower arranging or the profound tune of a shakuhachi flute, then you’ll be able to find out the week of Feb. 23 to 27 at various locations on the Keele campus, during Japan Week at York.


Events scheduled during this week will also tackle academic subjects, such as Japan and Canada’s relations past and future, and Japan and globalization.

In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations, York’s Japanese International Students Association (JISA) and the Japanese Section of the Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics in the Faculty of Arts are organizing this week-long extravaganza. 

Left: Takashi Koezuka

Panel presentations, including one featuring Toronto’s Consul General of Japan, Takashi Koezuka, and various traditional cultural performances and demonstrations are scheduled. To get a taste of what’s on the menu for the week, visit the Web site for Japan Week.

York’s Japan connection

In May 2003, York University joined the Japanese government’s Sakura Project and planted 250 Japanese flowering cherry trees. Takashi Koezuka and York President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden performed a ceremonial tree planting on the Keele campus, symbolizing the long-standing close relationship between Japan and York. The Japanese flowering cherry tree, or Sakura, is a revered symbol of Japan. York was the first university to participate in the Sakura Project, which aims to plant 3,000 trees in Ontario by 2005.

Right: Sakura trees in Japan

York University’s support of Japanese culture is wide-ranging. The University’s Japanese Language Program is one of the top-ranked programs in the country; a long standing institutional partnership with Meiji University in Tokyo supports Canadian Studies at Meiji and brings Meiji students to Toronto every summer to study at the York University English Language Institute; the University has taken the lead in Canada to promote the study of Asia Pacific peace and security, through the York Centre for International & Security Studies and the York Centre for Asian Research; York’s Osgoode Hall Law School has an exchange agreement with Waseda University Graduate School of Law to promote comparative and international legal education; scholars in the International MBA program at York’s Schulich School of Business have been investigating the penetration of Internet technologies in Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises relative to other developed and developing countries; and York’s Centre for Research in Earth & Space Science collaborates with the Japanese Space Program and space researchers at Kyoto University and Nagoya University.

More about Japan-Canada relations

In January 1928, Japan and Canada agreed to establish diplomatic relations. Based on their agreement, Japan opened a legation in Ottawa on July 20, 1928. The following year, on May 20, 1929, Canada opened its first diplomatic office in Tokyo.

To celebrate this milestone anniversary of the friendship between the two countries, a wide variety of events are being held in Ontario and across Canada.

For a detailed background on the 75th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Canada, click here.