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From calligraphy to kimonos, shoppers buy in to Japanese culture

23 August 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

UCLan brings a taste of Japan to Preston  

Visitors to Preston’s St George’s Centre can experience Japanese culture as they shop next week thanks to exchange students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

On the 27 and 28 August shoppers can sample Japanese tea and traditional sweets, try their hands at calligraphy writing and discover the country’s culture as part of the Japan Day event run by UCLan.

The event has been organised by Japanese students taking part in UCLan’s Summer School Programme where visitors from the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies (NUFS) and Toyo University spend a month taking English classes at the University. The Japan Day allows the students to interact with local people and practise their language skills. 

“It has always been my dream to come to England and it has lived up to my expectations.”

Speaking on the taster event on the 21 August, Japanese student 19-year-old Noe Muramatsu said: “It has always been my dream to come to England and it has lived up to my expectations. We’re enjoying meeting local people and showing them how to write their names in Japanese; it’s a great way to practise speaking English and learn about another culture.”

Passing shopper Cheryl Waddington said: “I walked past with my two children and thought it looked interesting. The students showed them how to make origami and taught them how to say hello in Japanese.”

Dan Lumley, a visiting professor at NUFS and UCLan MA TESOL graduate who now lives in Japan, returned to Preston with the students. He said: “In Japan the students spend a lot of time learning English and this visit is a chance for them to put it into practice. They’re really enjoying the Summer School Programme and it’s been a great confidence booster for them.” 

“We’re delighted to welcome the Japanese students to UCLan and see their language skills develop.”

UCLan lecturer Nicola Halenko teaches English as a foreign language at UCLan and is helping to co-ordinate the Summer School Programme. She said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Japanese students to UCLan and see their language skills develop.

“It’s mutually beneficial because we have over 150 UCLan students learning Japanese here at the University and many will have spent time at one of our 20 partner universities across Japan to develop their own foreign language skills.”

The Japan Day programme will also run from the 27 to the 28 August on the ground floor of St George’s Shopping Centre. 28 students from Toyo University, along with their mentor, Professor Yuko Kobayakawa, will lead the two day event. Visitors can learn origami, Japanese calligraphy, taste traditional food and learn how to write their name in Japanese.