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Reestablishment of the Agreement with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (New Jersey, U.S.A.)

The University of Fukui (UF) has reestablished an academic agreement with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (U.S.A.). Dr. Mitsufumi Mayumi, President of UF, signed the agreement on August 2 at the Bunkyo campus. This was followed by a press conference.

Rutgers is known as the University where Taro Kusakabe, a retainer of Fukui Domain, was sent to study as one of Fukiui’s first overseas students at the end of the Edo period. William Griffis, who taught Kusakabe at Rutgers, was subsequently invited to Fukui as one of the first American teachers to support Japan’s enlightenment in the early years of Meiji. He then became a leading Japanologist/Orientalist of that era.

Following the footpath of Kusakabe and Griffis, there was a revival of the relationship in the 1970s which culminated in a mutual visit by the Presidents of the two Universities, leading to the signing of an old agreement for scholarly exchange in 1981. This was followed by active exchange of faculty and students up till the 1990s. In response to recent developments, in particular the opening of the School of Global and Community Studies (GCS) at UF, the two Universities have agreed to renew the agreement with a view to reactivating and expanding the exchange. This comes at an auspicious year marking the 150th anniversary of Taro Kusakabe’s arrival at Rutgers.

According to Professor Ryuhei Hosoya, who acts as focal point for Rutgers at GCS, Rutgers University, now one of the United States’ leading institutions for research and higher education, traces its origin to one of the few colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. He is in direct contact with the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at Rutgers, where a large number of students are majoring in Japanese studies. Certain among them as well as RU faculty members would hopefully look to Fukui as a region of Japan to be rediscovered and explored and UF/GCS as a worthy place for learning and research.  

Hideo Teraoka, Vice President of UF and Dean of GCS said, “From next spring, the study abroad program for GCS students will kick off in earnest. With the new agreement with Rutgers in place, we look forward to achieving a quantum leap in our international outreach.”