Introduction

On 5th November 2011 at Peking University the Ninth Edition of the Sino-Japanese Academic Trilateral Forum (Peking University, Renmin University of China, University of Tsukuba) was held. The forum, which is organized every year by one of the participant universities, aims to provide scholars in the field of Japanese studies with an academic exchange platform, which boasts deep-level, wide ranging and multiple-field (linguistics, literature, culture) research.

More than seventy participants attended the forum. The University of Tsukuba was represented by the professors Tsuboi Yoshiki, Numata Yoshiko, Chikamoto Keisuke, Hiraishi Noriko, Ono Masaki, Sasaki Isao; the researcher Parepa Laura-Anca; and the graduate students Arai Yuko, Imamura Kei, Jin Yuying, Li Jing, Li Xue, Liu Jian, Ma Yao, Ueda Yu, Yamashita Yukino, Yumoto Kahori, Wang Jinbo.

Three of the graduate students (Jin Yuying, Li Jing, Liu Jian) from the Global Negotiation Program (GNP, University of Tsukuba), under the guidance of Tsuboi Yoshiki, Director of the GNP, and with the support of Parepa Laura-Anca, researcher of the same program, decided to use this opportunity for Project Practice A (I) Networking of Japanese Language Teachers.

Objectives

For GNP students, participation in this forum had two specific objectives, as follows:

Forum outline

The opening and closing ceremonies were held at the conference hall of the Minzhu Building of Peking University. The forum began with an opening speech on behalf of the host university by Li Qinan, Vice-Dean of the Department of Japanese Language and Culture (School of Foreign Languages, Peking University). Following this, Zhao Huamin, Deputy Dean of the School of Foreign Languages of Peking University, Li Mingjing from Renmin University of China and Sasaki Isao from the University of Tsukuba addressed the participants. At the opening ceremony, all participants received the proceedings of the previous forum which was hosted by Renmin University of China, as well as the collection of abstracts for the present forum.

As for the closing ceremony, three reports were presented by a student team from each university, respectively Yamashita Yukino and Yumoto Kahori from the University of Tsukuba, Ceng Weiping and Wang Yafang from Renmin University of China and Guo Xiaoli and Li Haihao from Peking University. In their reports, students synthesized the development of the conference, analysed the academic papers presented, and proposed new ideas in order to improve future forums.

The forum ended with closing remarks by Tsuboi Yoshiki, Director of the GNP of the University of Tsukuba and Liu Jincai, Department of Japanese Language and Culture, Peking University.

All speakers agreed that the conference was a success, marking an important step towards more effective collaboration and generating themes and ideas for further research and new joint projects.

The conference was divided into twelve sessions, held in three different conference rooms, with two presentations designated for linguistics and one for literature and culture. Every session had two moderators.

Regarding the content of the working papers, forty-two papers were presented, fourteen for literature and culture and twenty-eight for linguistics. Of the total number of presentations, fifteen came from the University of Tsukuba, seventeen from Peking University and ten from Renmin University of China. Below is a brief overview of some of the papers.

1. Linguistics

1.1 Professor presentations

“About prenominals rentaishi” (Peng Guanglu, Peking University)
Pointing out that the different grammatical systems treat the category of rentaishi in a different way, and taking into account the lack of inflection and the fact that rentaishi can only be an attributive modifier as a syntactic function, the author claimed that rentaishi can be considered to be a part of speech classification as a single stand-alone category. After deciding the status or position of rentaishi within the classification of parts of speech, the author mentioned that words like anmoku no (tacit), kakki no (epoch-making), zairai no (existing), as well as the conventional adjective-verbs -aru form like dento aru (traditional), and -taruto form like dodotaru (magnificent) should be included in the category of rentaishi.

“Scope and negative focus nado and negation” (Numata Yoshiko, University of Tsukuba)
The paper discussed the focus particle (toritateshi) nado (and so on), which indicates negative focus, with regards its scope and relationship to negation. It is claimed that nado easily co-occurs with a predicate having a negative meaning even from a pragmatic viewpoint and, in that case, does not include negation in its scope. When following a negative predicate and being implicated in its negative scope, nado makes the postposition of nai obligatory, as in naku-nado-nai.

“Citation as a collocation” (Ono Masaki, University of Tsukuba)
The paper considers ‘citation’ as a speaker’s implication vis-à-vis content of citation and focuses on markers indicating a citation form. It aims at contrasting languages in necessity of a subject and word order different from Japanese, and ‘receiver-centred structure’, ‘sender-centred structure’, and ‘event-centred structure’ are proposed as citation forms. The paper showed real uses of citation in spoken language, taken from the Nagoya university corpus, and mentioned features and usages of each of these structures in using the notion of collocation.

“On -ga aru and you+noun constructions” (Yiqun Wang, Renmin University of China)
The paper pointed out that there are some differences in -ga aru construction in Japanese and you+noun in Chinese, although having common usage to express existence, possession, and quantitative relationship. Usage and functions of usage of both constructions was the subject of the paper.

“Emphasis usage of maa and experience” (Daikuhara Hayato, Renmin University of China)
In this paper the emphasis usage of maa aiming at putting emphasis on a speech act was presented and explained in terms of semantics, prosody and grammar.

Other papers were: “How Japanese kanji was established? From a viewpoint of relationship with a style” (Pan Jun, Peking University); and “Analysis of constituents and action-orientedness of Japanese predicates” (Yu Suqiu, Renmin University of China).

1.2 Student papers

As for papers dealing with contemporary Japanese Grammar: “A reflection on a cause construction: N no koto dakara (because of N)” (Yumoto Kahori, University of Tsukuba); “About verb ellipse: N1 ni N2 in the titles of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper” (Wang Jing, Peking University); “About sales copies: N1 ni N2 o (N2 to N1) and N1 ni N2 o V (V N2 to N1)” (Sun Fei, Peking University); “Perceptual usage of -yoda or hypothesis of evidential semantic map of Japanese” (Yang Wenjiang, Peking University); “Reflection on essential functions of the particle ne - from an attitude of information management” (Liu Suman, Peking University).

Regarding text, discourse, and expressions: “Textual development viewed from co-occurrence of conjunction: special mention about sokode (then)” (Wang Jinbo, University of Tsukuba); “Questions used by non-native speakers of Japanese: Comparison of conversations between non-native speakers and conversations with a native speaker” (Arai Yuko, University of Tsukuba); “Expressions of solicitude in requests of Chinese learners of Japanese” (University of Tsukuba, Yamashita Yukino); “A reflection on performance conditions of ellipse in Japanese discourse: from expressions of solicitude” (Liu Aimei, Peking University); “A reflection on Japanese complaints: from dramas in Japan” (Wu Ji, Peking University).

From the field of Japanese-Chinese contrastive analysis: “Use of adpronominal expressions in Japanese and Chinese: about types of phrase kireina hana! (what a beautiful flower!)” (Ueda Yu, University of Tsukuba); “Contrastive analysis of indirect passives in Japanese and Chinese” (Ceng Weiping, Peking University); “New hi (non) + XP construction form in buzzwords: from contrastive analysis of Japanese passive” (Zhang Miao, Renmin University of China); “A Reflection on translation of the construction -tekureru” (Wang Xiao, Peking University).

In Chinese grammar: “Causative expressions in contemporary Chinese: rang and jiao” (Imamura Kei, University of Tsukuba).

Presentations on Japanese school manuals: “A reflection on ‘the main text’ of Japanese school manuals: in reference with the manual for elementary stage, edition Peking University” (Peng Miaomiao, Peking University); “A reflection on strategic CSR” (Wang Yangfang).

2. Literature and culture

In the literature and culture session, Liu Jincai (Peking University) presented a paper entitled “Differences between the Sino-Japanese mutual recognition and construction of cultural identity”. The paper discussed the Sino-Japanese cultural clash in the era of globalization, differences regarding mutual recognition in Sino-Japanese cultural relationships and construction of cultural identity.

Other various papers were presented in four sessions dealing with literature and culture, such as: “Research note on history of reception of Kuriyagawa Hakuson during the period of popular construction” (Li Qiang, Peking University); “Trajectory of belief and literal work in the Kamakura era: about Shougetubou Keisei” (Chikamoto Keisuke, University of Tsukuba); “Research Note: citations of Sanpokannoyoryakushu in the critical edition of Konjaku monogatarishu (Anthology of Tales from the Past) from Shinkyu taikeibon (New and old anthologies of tales)” (Li Mingjing, Renmin University of China); “Modernization viewed by a female writer: Case of Ootsuka Naoko” (Hiraishi Noriko, University of Tsukuba); “A reflection on the image of boys in the prewar period from newspaper comic strips” (Xu Yuan, Renmin University of China).

Also students presented their papers: “Research on formation of Dun Huang: relation with Tonko monogatari (Tales of Dun Huang)” (Guo Qin, Renmin University of China); “Features of divine immortals expressions in the Ko todoku nagon ganmonshu” (Ma Yao, University of Tsukuba); “Image of Yukiko in Tanizaki Junichiro’s Sasameyuki: viewed through the relationship between body and women” (Guo Xiaoli, Peking University); “Reperformance of Sangoku engi (Romance of the Three Kingdoms) in Japanese anime” (Ling Heqiao, Renmin University of China); “A reflection on Dazai Osamu’s social reintegration: from Fugaku hyakkei (One hundred views of Mount Fuji)” (Li Haihao, Peking University); “Ema Shu and modern China: from Chiisai hitori (A small person)” (Li Xue, University of Tsukuba); “Atheism of Yamagata Bantou: comparison with atheism contemporary to Bantou” (Li Xiaodong, Peking University); “About Mori Ogai’s Kanzan jittoku” (Zhao Yujiao, Peking University).

3. Outcome

3.1 On own research papers

After having presented research papers on the following topics: “Benefactive Expressions in the Amakusa version of Heike monogatari (The Tale of the Heike) and the Amakusa version of Aesops Fables” (Li Jing); “Meaning of negative -teiru forms”, (Liu Jian); and “A reflection on Japanese expressions of invitation” (Jin Yuying), three of the authors of this report had an intense exchange of opinions and ideas with other participants which, on the one hand contributed to a better and deeper understanding of their own research, and on the other to a better understanding of the level reached by the studies regarding Japanese linguistics, literature and culture presented by the Chinese scholars.

In addition, for Chinese students aiming to work in the future in their home country, the fact that the forum took place in China with the possibility of contact with professors and students from Peking University and Renmin University of China represented a valuable opportunity to obtain information on further research or employment opportunities and to establish contacts for future cooperation.

Moreover, the presence of other graduate students from the University of Tsukuba, also offered a good chance to establish new contacts within the same university which could play an important role in the development of common projects in the future.

3.2 On the GNP Project Practice Networking of Japanese Language Teachers

The Project Practice that the GNP students conducted in Beijing was part of an important project Network for Multilingual Audio-video Corpus Project based on the work carried out by Kida Tsuyoshi during his time at the University of Provence, France. The aim of this long-term project is to develop a network of researchers and students interested in creating, analysing and using a multilingual audio-video corpus targeting mainly Chinese, Japanese, English and French languages. Given that to date available Sino-Japanese audio-video data are limited, GNP students used the opportunity of the Trilateral Forum in Beijing to establish a first contact with students and professors from Peking University and present them the corpus project in order to attract a Chinese university to this network.

The GNP team successfully had a meeting with those interested in the corpus project and made a general introduction of the project, as well as presenting audio-video samples from the existent corpus. It was decided that Wu Ji, from the Department of Japanese Language and Culture, Peking University would be the Chinese student coordinator and representative in charge of communication with the GNP team in order to assure the implementation of cooperation in both universities. The existent corpus will be improved and enriched with more audio-video data obtained by the participants at the universities to which the participants belong. Professors and experts in various fields of linguistics from different universities will analyse the data. The corpus will be used by scholars belonging to participant universities (to date: Tsukuba University; Beijing University; University of Provence) to pursue their specific research. This will not only provide access to valuable and good quality data in helping them to develop and accomplish their research in diverse fields (language study, general linguistics, sociolinguistics, intercultural communication, global negotiation), but will also create a strong academic network that will contribute to further cooperation between the universities.

Conclusion

Even if the time allocated to the Trilateral Forum was short, it was meaningful and rich in experience. The agenda of the forum provided plenty of opportunities to acquire deeper knowledge on research topics, encouraged the participants to engage in numerous discussions and exchange of ideas concerning their research and interests as well as on how the experience and cooperation can be broadened.

The Forum gave the opportunity of gaining valuable experience and has shown that it is essential to build stronger links with researchers in the specific fields in order to strengthen the cooperation and academic exchange between participant universities, to promote dialogue, to develop and to enlarge the international network of those who have as object of study Japanese linguistics, literature and culture for the benefit of all participants.