KG NEWS  &  EVENTS

Latvian Ambassador to Japan Pays Visit to Kobe Sanda Campus

Public Relations Office        May 14, 2018

The Ambassador, Ms. Treija-Masī

The Ambassador, Ms. Treija-Masī

Kwansei Gakuin University will hold an exhibit entitled “Latvia, Architecture of Harmony” on the Kobe Sanda campus until May 18th. Her Excellency Ms. Dace Treija-Masī, the Ambassador to Japan of the Republic of Latvia, came to the campus on May 14th to view the exhibit. She also spoke at the opening of the “Urban Design Theory” public lecture by Prof. Akinori Kato, professor emeritus at KGU.

At the public lecture

At the public lecture

As one of the three Baltic states, the Republic of Latvia faces out onto the Baltic Sea. It has long been an important location geographically, with a history of a mingling of diverse political, commercial and social elements. Though Latvia was amalgamated into the Soviet Union after World War II, this year marks its centennial anniversary since it became an independent nation. Ambassador Treija-Masī explained her nation’s relationship to Kwansei Gakuin, saying that “we have been connected for almost 100 years, ever since a Latvian came to Kwansei Gakuin to teach English.” She went on to talk about joint Latvian-Japanese projects, and encouraged the students in attendance to come to Latvia for study abroad.

The exhibit

The exhibit

 The exhibit introduces approximately 30 photos of parts of complex backdrops that display dimensions of the “harmony of cultural currents” that make up the essence of the spatial aesthetics which have shaped Latvian architecture, particularly that of the capital of Riga, and have created its distinctive features.

Kwansei Gakuin’s relationship with Latvia stopped during the time of the former Soviet Union, but in 2007, a Latvian exchange student at the Osaka University of Foreign Studies (now Osaka University) contacted Kwansei Gakuin University with an inquiry about the Latvian English teacher from many years ago, and the material researched by the Kwansei Gakuin Archives was written up in “Esprit de Kwansei Gakuin.” The Ambassador translated and sent the writeup to Latvia, which started an exchange with the university. In 2008, the Ambassador came to the university to give a special lecture, and in 2011, the gift of an oak tree, the national tree of Latvia, was given to the university to mark the 90th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations, as well as the 20th anniversary of their restoration.