Centre is famous for sending its students abroad and receiving international students, but this week, Centre welcomed a different kind of international visitor: Dr. Shunsuke Kigoshi, Associate Professor of International Studies at Yamaguchi Prefectural University in Yamaguchi City, Japan.
Yamaguchi Prefectural University (YPU) hosts a semester-long exchange program with Centre that has enjoyed great success in the short time it has existed—Dr. Kigoshi’s visit was intended in part to encourage students to participate in the unique study abroad opportunity YPU offers.
Though only at Centre for a handful of days, Dr. Kigoshi was fully immersed in Centre’s academic and campus life, where he met with current YPU exchange students, ate meals in the dining hall and in local restaurants, toured campus, led class discussions and lectured on Kabuki theater as a convocation. Kigoshi also met with current students interested in studying in Japan to answer questions and give advice.
Kigoshi’s convocation, “Kabuki by Pictures,” explored traditional Japanese theater from the Edo period (1603-1868) through the lens of illustrated play scripts. These documents highlight the entire Kabuki experience using drawings of the audience, the stage and the actors. Kigoshi also explained some of the publishing wars between different companies who sold these scripts.
The convocation was Kigoshi’s first lecture in English, something he was excited to try.
In both Japanese and Spanish classes, Kigoshi led discussions on Ueda Akinari’s The Blue Hood, a novel from the Edo period.
While in Kentucky, Dr. Kigoshi also toured several surrounding attractions, including the Kentucky Horse Park, Woodford Reserve Bourbon Distillery and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
Kogoshi noted that his favorite parts of Centre were the lush campus and class discussions.
Having learned a little about Centre, Kigoshi feels that he has a better understanding of the American college student’s life, as well as the Centre student’s life, which will help him relate to future Centre students who travel to Japan.
With the aid of translator Fumie Bouvier, Kigoshi explained the importance of exchange programs like the one with YPU.
“In my experience, going to another country opens up your feelings, freeing you from the limitations of living in one culture.”
When Kigoshi returns to YPU, he will be teaching a class on novels in the Edo period, as well as on the Kabuki scripts he lectured on while at Centre.
By Mariel Smith