The Tokyo University of the Arts, the only national arts university in Japan whose goal is to play a key role in developing Japanese art and culture, continues to offer unsurpassed art education and research based on a tradition of respecting the spirit of freedom and creativity, a tradition in place since its founding. Reflecting on its outstanding history over the past 120 years, I would like to express my deep admiration for all the faculty members and students who have been a part of that history, as well as my heartfelt gratitude for their contributions and for the support of all others who have played a role at the university.
For the third year of my second term as President, I would like to focus on and promote the following topics:
First, I want to strive even harder to establish an interactive relationship with the world and society. Like a peddler delivering fresh vegetables from place to place, I have sought to convey and to introduce our works of art, fresh from the University, to the wider world. Likewise, I want to fill my homebound basket with works born and bred in the towns where I make my stops and bring them back to the University.
Second, I want to promote exchange with universities and educational institutes in East Asia. In the commemoration programs celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Universityfs founding in 2007, the presidents from 11 universities in China, South Korea, and Japan delivered a joint gDeclaration of the Artsh that spurred exchange among these countries and launched our attempt to communicate East Asian art to the world. Led by the Asian Center for the Arts, the exchange is now steadily expanding in the region through our international exchange programs.
This year, as part of events commemorating the 125th anniversary of its founding, the University will host Geidai Arts Summit 2012. The theme for the international conference is g- From Asia to the World - the Development and Cooperation.h Conference participants will include some 30 Asian universities and institutes.
In a symposium held in December 2010 by the Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the presidents of various art universities, the presidents announced policy proposals to bolster the alliance between the Agency for Cultural Affairs and art universities and to promote cooperative relationships among universities. These proposals have been submitted to Mr. Seiichi Kondo, Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. This is among the ways in which the University is seeking to expand the network of art universities within Japan.
In the years to come, by engaging with educational art research institutes in Japan and abroad and by expanding exchange beyond the circle of art universities, the University will seek to explore new forms of arts while passing on the skills and crafts associated with the traditional arts for the generations to come.
At this yearfs matriculation ceremony, in my calligraphy demonstration to celebrate our 962 incoming freshmen, I drew an ancient Chinese character "gyo".
Gyo (also pronounced as ko), whose shape represents a crossroad, signifies "to go," "to do," or "a way." I want students to recognize that the years they spend at the University is the time to "do" their training, or shugyo, a compound that contains gyo.
Many other words incorporate this character, kodo (action) and jikko (implementation) among them. I recommend that students keep any of these compounds in mind to help them sustain their efforts and to maintain their focus on their goals.
I expect students to learn how to make their decisions when they stand at one of lifefs crossroads. I also hope that their years at the University will serve as a strong base station from which they can set forth towards their goals, no matter how distant or difficult.
Above all, the character represents my hopes that campus life will prove fulfilling?will prove to be a time of working with and getting to know friends, teachers they admire, and younger students?as they clear their own pathways to their future.
We will move forward into the future to nurture brilliant artists for the upcoming generation and to stimulate the progress of art worldwide. I believe that we should seek it through the cooperation with art institutions as well as society here at home, and in other countries in East Asia across borders.
MIYATA Ryôhei, President
Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku