Universiteit Leiden

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New Kikkoman chair in Leiden

The Kikkoman chair is a new chair in Leiden sponsored by the Kikkoman Foundation and the Association of Friends of Asiatic Art. The chair will address the intercultural dynamics of Asia and Europe.

Professor, scholarship student and projects

With the donation from the Kikkoma Foundation, Leiden University will be able to appoint a professor for one day a week and a scholarship student. This chair will also finance projects for a period of five years. These projects can be in any scientific field, from water management to food culture and design. Leiden University has identified an excellent candidate for this chair, who is expected to be able to take up the appointment at the start of 2013. 

Long tradition in study of Asia and its interaction with Europe

The official name of the new chair is: ‘The Kikkoman Chair for the study of Asia-Europe intercultural dynamics, with special attention to material culture, art and human development’. The chair is strategically placed in Leiden because of the University's long tradition of studying Asia and the interaction with Europe. Leiden is the only Dutch university to have Japanese, Korean and Chinese programmes. Asian Modernities and Traditions is a key research theme for the University. The Kikkoman chair is also in line with the Leiden research theme of Health, Life and Biosciences.

Japanese Studies in Leiden very popular

Hello Kitty
Hello Kitty

There are as many students of Japanese in Leiden as there are students of Japanese in the whole of Great Britain. Young people are very interested in Japan, encouraged particularly by martial arts, manga, the well-known Japanese cartoon series, anime, Pokémon, Nintendo and Hello Kitty. And there is, of course, a high degree of interest in the success factors that have given Japan its strong economy. Kikkoman, that has been in existence for more than 300 years, is one such success factor. The company, manufacturer of soya sauces, is one of the oldest of the 200 major industrial companies in Japan. Kikkoman developed in the town of Noda, close to the Edo river that was used to transport goods to Edo, present-day Tokyo. The company has operated in the Netherlands for some fifteen years.


(19 October 2012)


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