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Back to listMay 25, 2006

Nanjing Arts Institute Honors SGI President

Nanjing Arts Institute President Feng Jianqin (right) entrusts certificate to Mr. Hiromasa Ikeda (left)

During Jiangsu-Japan People's Friendship Exchange Week, Nanjing Arts Institute (NAI), with a time-honored history spanning 94 years, presented SGI President Daisaku Ikeda with an honorary professorship, the first conferred upon a foreigner. The conferral took place May 22 at the institute's small theater. NAI President Feng Jianqin affirmed that despite the impression that Jiangsu citizens have a negative image of the Japanese because of the dark history represented by the tragic Nanjing incident, they, more than anyone, have a desire to strengthen friendship with Japan. NAI Vice President Liu said Mr. Ikeda was being honored for his wide-ranging contributions to Sino-Japan friendship and world peace. Concurring with Mr. Ikeda's belief that dialogue is key to creating intercultural understanding and trust among humanity, Mr. Liu said he, too, would continue to pray and make efforts for lasting peace. Dr. Feng entrusted a certificate, together with commemorative items, to Soka Gakkai Vice General Director Hiromasa Ikeda, who accepted them on behalf of his father.

Nanjing Arts Institute students

In a message, SGI President Ikeda expressed appreciation for the honor. He said art has the power to transcend barriers, foster hearts of peace in people, and is a lofty struggle to uphold human values against the brutish force of wars and violence. He also stressed that we must never forget the history of atrocities committed by the Japanese military government against China, Japan's cultural benefactor, beginning with the Nanjing Massacre. Introducing his mentor Josei Toda's belief that culture and education are the only means to triumph against war and violence, Mr. Ikeda affirmed his resolve to further exchanges of culture, arts and education.

Chinese and Japanese musicians perform in joint concert

President Wu Xijun of the Jiangsu People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and other guests joined 300 students of the school for the conferral ceremony. The Chikuho Symphonic Orchestra from Japan, with a ten-year history of friendship exchange with the Chinese institute, joined music students performing on classical Chinese instruments, such as erhu--2-string fiddle, pipa--4-string lute and guzheng--zither, for a commemorative recital.

Soka Gakkai Vice General Director Hiromasa Ikeda (2nd from left) meets with NAI President Feng (2nd from right at table), administrators and teachers

[The art institute traces its roots to the Shanghai Arts Institute established in 1912, which later merged with art departments of various universities. Nanjing Arts Institute has established itself as a prestigious training institute for fostering exceptional artists in various genres, such as fine art, music, design, audio-visual media and film.]