February 14 (Wednesday), 2018
On February 14 (Wednesday), the seminar “Research History of the Japanese Language and Literature in Russia: research on Short-Short Story” was held. It consisted mainly of a lecture by Associate Professor Liala Khronopulo of Saint Petersburg State University at Institute of Transcultural Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. It was co-sponsored by the Inter-University Exchange Project 2017 and the Institute of Transcultural Studies as part of research and educational exchanges between Saint Petersburg State University and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
The lecture consisted of a review of the history of Japanese language education in Russia followed by an outline of the content and features of Japanese short-short stories illustrated with abundant examples. Associate Professor Khronopulo brilliantly concluded her lecture by pointing out that Japanese short-short-stories are infinitely free ultra-short stories with original ideas, perfect plots and surprise endings.
In the Q&A and discussion sessions following the lecture, a variety of themes were actively discussed, including a comparison with Russian anecdotes characterized by humor, cynicism and wit, the independence of the short-short story category, a comparison with similar ultra-short stories in other cultures such as the UK, France and Russia, the relationship between short-short stories and science fiction, the possibility of using short-short stories in Japanese language education, and the criteria applied when Japanese literature is translated into Russian. Raising no end of topics and providing much food for thought, the seminar was a great success.