University celebrates friendship between UK and Japan
Published: 29 May 2009
The University of Glasgow will recreate an iconic photograph as part of a three-month long celebration of 150 years of friendship between Japan and the UK.
The University of Glasgow will recreate an iconic photograph as part of a three-month long celebration of 150 years of friendship between Japan and the UK, entitled 'Friendship Beyond Boundaries'.
The photograph in question is the famous 1887 picture of the ‘human bridge’ demonstrating the cantilever principle of the Forth Bridge.
What isn’t widely known is that the man sitting in the middle of the bridge is Kaichi Watanabe, who graduated from the University in 1886 and worked on the construction of the bridge before returning to Japan where he founded the Japanese railway system.
His Excellency Shin Ebihara, Japanese ambassador to the UK, Mr Kenichi Suganuma Consul General of Japan, and Sir Muir Russell, Principal, University of Glasgow will officially open an exhibition of photographs, organised by the Japanese Residents Association, featuring Japanese people in the UK and British people in Japan over the past 150 years which will be on display in the University chapel from June 1 to August 31.
A symposium organised jointly between the Universities of Glasgow and Tokyo – “Towards a barrier free society” – will take place on Tuesday 16 June. Prof Nick Watson, Professor of Disability Studies, and Prof Stephen Brewster, Professor of Human Computer Interaction, will discuss how societies can be made more inclusive with Prof Tohru Ifukube and Dr Satoko Nakano from University of Tokyo.
On the same theme, a special DVD which celebrates the 30th anniversary of Sony Taiyo, a company in Japan where more than 60% of the employees are disabled, will be screened in the chapel.
Yushin Toda, Business Development Manager, Research & Enterprise at the University of Glasgow, said: “Japan and the UK have a long history of friendly relations and we are delighted to celebrate our relationship at the University and to showcase the historical and contemporary links our two countries enjoy.”
The photo-exhibition will also be open Sunday June 14, during the Glasgow University Science Festival Family Fun Day, from 10am to 4pm, where visitors will be able to try out the human bridge model for themselves.
The symposium is free and open to the public and anyone wishing to attend should register by contacting Yushin Toda on 0141 330 3701 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information can be found at: www.gla.ac.uk/japanuk150/
For more information contact Stuart Forsyth in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 4831 or email email@example.com
First published: 29 May 2009