Students at Miyagi University College of Nursing learn Finnish culture


Five years ago Miyagi University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences decided to start students study visits between the two universities. This August again three students head for Tampere for an intensive learning experience. In the curriculum of the School of Nursing even some liberal arts courses are required, which may be the reason why the Finnish Institute in Japan was asked to lecture on Finnish identity and culture at Miyagi University both last year and again this year just before students’ departure to Finland. This year the instructor, Dr. Kauko Laitinen, introduced the new web exhibition “100 objects from Finland” (a project of the Finnish Institute in Estonia), which is also available in Japanese. According to students it was very useful to learn Finnish design in historical context.

Miyagi is a province in Japan, 300 kilometers north of Tokyo. Having a long sea coast, this province is home to one of the first global research missions sent from Japan during the Tokugawa Period (1600-1867). Led by Tsunenaga Hasekura, the mission started in 1613 traveling the globe for 7 years in search of trade opportunities. This global spirit still prevails in Miyagi. In its provincial capital, Sendai, the Finnish Institute in Japan years ago helped to initiate the Sendai-Finland Wellbeing Centre.

Posing at the entrance of Miyagi University College of Nursing: from right professors Etsuko Shiono and Margaret Chang, director Laitinen, three students preparing for exchange visit to Finland (Mizuki Takayama, Masako Masuko, Kanaha Sato) as well as assistant professor Keiko Maruyama.