The first regular courses majoring in Japanese studies at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań began in 1987. The AMU Department of Japanese Studies was launched as a separate unit in 2005 and is headed by Prof. Estera Żeromska since 2007. Poznań Japanese studies function as one of four currently existing Japanese academic centres in Poland (along with Warsaw, Krakow and Toruń). Full-time BA and MA courses and evening BA course are currently available at the Department. Students are offered specialized courses in Japanese linguistics, the history of classical and contemporary literature, history, religious studies, art, theatre studies, political science and sociology. They can also take part in the activities of the AMU Japanese Studies Students’ Circle Japonica Creativa (http://www.creativa.amu.edu.pl). The students’ circle regularly organizes events designed for academic and non-university communities, including international scientific camps (gasshuku) involving students from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Austria.
Japanese Studies in Poznań enjoy a well-deserved reputation in Poland and worldwide for high quality teaching owing to its group of dedicated teachers: Nagisa (Wada) Rządek, Maho Ikushima, Kyoko Nakanishi and Gen Tsukasaki. This is reflected in the numerous successes of the Japanese studies students from Poznań. Year after year they are not only awarded top prizes in the Japanese Language Speech Competitions organized by the Embassy of Japan in Warsaw, but also prestigious scholarships, including the 1-year scholarships granted by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).
The quality of education is ensured by the scientific achievements of our academics – the vast majority of whom have graduated from our Department (including associate professor Arkadiusz Jabłoński, assistant professors Beata Bochorodycz, Maciej Kanert and Iga Rutkowska as well as lecturers: Anna Bogdan, Grażyna Kramm, Anna Śledzińska-Adamczak and a PhD. candidate Marta Wesołowska). It was the initiative of our academic staff to establish the new concept quarterly in Japanese studies Silva Iaponicarum in 2004 (Prof. Jabłoński acting as the editor-in-chief) – which, at the time of its creation, functioned as the only journal of Japanese studies in Poland (http://www.silvajp.amu.edu.pl).
It should be noted that Prof. Alfred F. Majewicz (previous head of the Chair and Institute of Oriental Studies in Poznań and the Chair staff member until 2016) compiled the multi-volume edition of The Collected Works of Bronisław Piłsudski (ed. Mouton de Gruyter, since 1998) by Prof. Alfred F. Majewicz; who is also the author of publications on Sinology, Siberian studies, linguistics and ethnolinguistics. In 2002, Prof. Majewicz was honoured by the Emperor of the
Japan with the Order of the Rising Sun, 4 class. In 2013-2015, he directed the project The Collected Works of Bronisław Piłsudski. Volume 5 (CWBP-5): Materials for the Study of the Nivhgu Language and Folklore – and is the person in charge for preparation of the work for publication and completing the entire five (~six) volume edition financed by the National Science Centre.
The Department of Japanese Studies organizes and co-organizes many national and international scientific conferences. The most recent events include: “Japan: New Challenges in the 21st Century” (2010) and “Japanese Buddhist Objects in European Collections and Their Impact on the European Image of Japan” (symposium organized with Hosei University in Tokyo and the University of Zurich, 2012).
The department co-operates with Kyoto Sangyo University. Currently, an MA studies project in the field of classical Japanese culture is being prepared for implementation with a number of prestigious centres and institutions of higher education in Europe.
From the very beginning, Japanese Studies in Poznan have been developed with the support of the Embassy of Japan and The Japan Foundation. A significant contribution to their development has been made also by their former employees, including Koichi Kuyama, PhD in Polish Studies, currently employed at the Polish Institute in Tokyo.