Tuesday, June 08, 2010

.. from port to port ...

A handwritten date in the guide book to Portopia '81 – the Kobe Port Island Exposition – purchased at the Minoo Campus. (箕面キャンパス) , University Co-op –大学生協 - seikyo -( in campus store) , noted:

8Juy 1981
Osaka University of Foreign Studies (OUFS)

It was 3 months to the date on arrival at the university for a six-month intensive Japanese Language course. The Minoo Campus was a new campus site about a year or two old and located in the northern skirt of Osaka Metropolis.

The Osaka World Exposition – Expo 70 – was more than a decade ago, and the Okinawa Ocean Expo was more than 5 years ago.

The Portopia '81 was a celebration of Japanese technological innovation with the completion of the man-made island reclaimed from the sea off Kobe City,.

Quoting from the guide:

Mountains inching out to sea … A reclaimed Island 120 times as big as Koshien Baseball Stadium15 years in the making

Of the pavilions visited – was the IBM Pavalion.
Interestingly the theme of the exhibition was .. Japan’s continuing cultural adventure. -

The main exhibit was a 20-m long model of an ancient kentoshi ship . Officials, scholars, and monks from Japan travelled on these kentoshi vessels to the Tang court of Imperial China (Tang Dynasty 618-907 CE) .

Perhaps IBM – a leading US company had chose to feature the kentoshi - 遣唐使 –literary meaning envoys dispatched to Tang China - vessel then, was because - with Deng Xiaoping selected as the 1978 - Times Man of Year - there was plenty of goodwill and positive feel towards the country. China – was just starting on her first step towards the trail and error of the market economy.

At the OUFS - met the first of the exchange students send by the Chinese government to Japan. Two were from Shanghai and one from China NE – majoring in Japanese Studies. A hallmark of these students was their drab attire – the pride of the proletariat perhaps.

Fast forward Shanghai World Expo 2010 … what a generation make-th.


1. OUFS - Osaka University of Foreign Studies – 大坂外国語大学

A search for OUFS lead to Osaka University School of Foreign Studies  -.
大坂大学外国語学部 and came to know that OUFS had merged with Osaka University in 2008.


2. Osaka - Expo 70

3. Potopia 81 - entrance ticket

3. Time Magazine – 1978 – Man of the Year