Tohoku University Professor Fujino Incentive Award 2023

Six Chinese students have received the Tohoku University Professor Fujino Incentive Award for 2023. They were given their certificates at a ceremony on September 25 in the lecture hall where Chinese literary figure Lu Xun once studied.

The six recipients are: Jia Guangzuo (Arts and Letters), Li Xue (Medicine), Tang Chang (Pharmaceutical Sciences), Liu Zhen (Engineering), Zhang Rui (International Cultural Studies) and Guo Guangze (Environmental Studies).

In his congratulatory speech, President Ohno noted that it was an especially auspicious day for the ceremony as Lu Xun was born on that date, 142 years ago.

He added that Lu Xun was one of the first international students to attend university in Japan and was a great example of Tohoku University's Open Doors policy of accepting talented students regardless of nationality, race, gender or economic background.

"At a time when foreigners were still a rarity in Japan, Lu Xun lived as a student in a place where the language and customs were different from his own," he said. "Under such circumstances, the kind and attentive guidance that he received from his professor, Genkuro Fujino, meant so much that he wrote a collection of short stories about his time in Sendai."

President Ohno said he hoped the students will emulate Lu Xun's spirit, thrive under the guidance of their own academic advisors, and "continue to develop links between China and Japan that began with Lu Xun, and contribute towards the growth of our university's overseas network."

Jia Guangzuo then gave a speech on behalf of the award recipients and thanked the university and his professors for their support. He spoke of reading Lu Xun's works when he was in junior high school and of being inspired by the "Professor Fujino" short stories.

"The academic pursuit in Sendai and the interaction with Professor Fujino described in the stories etched the words 'Japan,' 'Sendai,' 'teacher' and 'study abroad' in my mind and eventually became my dream," he said. "And now I am studying at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, under Dr. Ryu Kataoka, who is my Professor Fujino."

Jia added that "the seed I planted in my heart when I was young has grown little by little, and is now about to bear fruit. When I think about how this dream has guided me all these years, I realize that coming to Tohoku University was always inevitable."

The Tohoku University Professor Fujino Incentive Award was set up in 2005 to recognize outstanding Chinese students enrolled in graduate programmes here. Recipients are selected based on the achievements of their research papers, as well as their potential to contribute to future academic exchanges.


Student Exchange Division, Tohoku University

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