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​Mapua University Delegation Learnt about Japanese Townscape Preservation Methods


Sakura Science Program (December 18-24)

Ar. Anna Christina G. Ealdana, MS Arch, faculty member Ar. Arianne Joy Dullas, and six architecture students from Mapua University (MU), Philippines visited Okayama University of Science (OUS) from December 19th until the 24th as part of the Sakura Science Program organized by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, which invites outstanding professionals and students from around the world to Japan to experience the latest science & technology, as well as the culture.

The theme of this year's exchange was Technical Experience Focusing on Restoration Methods in Field Studies of Traditional Wooden Architecture: Joint Comparative Study between Japan and the Philippines.
On the 19th, the delegation met with OUS President Dr. Hiroyuki Hirano. During their stay, they learned about Japanese townscape preservation methods while interacting with OUS faculty and students. Dr. Hirano explained the university's history and that it is the largest private university in Chugoku and Shikoku regions. He welcomed the visitors and hoped that this visit would further deepen exchanges between the two universities. Before the meeting, the delegation spent the morning at Okayama Korakuen Garden where they had the opportunity to experience snow for the first time.

Arch Anna was eager to learn more about restoration techniques for wooden structures by seeing Japanese technology on sight. She was enthusiastic and said this would be a valuable opportunity for MU students.

On December 21st, the delegation visited Kibitsu Shrine and the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. On the 22nd, they surveyed Saidaiji Temple and Gofuku Street, where efforts are underway to have the area selected as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.

MU students learned about Japanese garden landscaping methods and how to preserve them. They showed great interest in traditional carpentry reparation techniques. One of the students reported how she learned a lot and enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Japanese people, which will remain in her heart forever.

Although it was a short period, their energetic attitude and ability to absorb everything they could was very impressive, and they will surely use the knowledge and skills they gained in this program whenever and wherever possible in their professional lives.