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Irena Srdanović

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In the academic year 2015/2016, the first generation of students enrolled in the single and double major study program Japanese Language and Culture at the Faculty of Humanities, Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, shortly after we received accreditation for the first and only Japanese studies undergraduate degree study program in Croatia. Two years later, in January of 2017, we organized our first international symposium on Japanese studies, entitled The International Symposium on Japanese Language and Culture in Southeastern Europe (Croatian: Međunarodni simpozij o poučavanju japanskoga jezika i kulture u Jugoistočnoj Europi, Japanese: 東南ヨーロッパにおける日本語・日本文化教育についての国際 シンポジウム). The symposium marked the establishment of Japanese studies in Pula, initiated broader cooperation among experts in our region, and introduced current research topics and Japanese experts in the region and beyond to our students. This edition of Tabula presents a collection of papers written by some of the participants of this symposium, and is also a special edition in honour of the establishment of Japanese studies in Pula. At the international symposium, we hosted lecturers and researchers in Japanese studies from collaborating institutions and from neighboring countries in Southeastern Europe, primarily from the University of Ljubljana, where the 20th anniversary of the founding of Japanese studies was celebrated a few years ago, the University of Belgrade, where the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Japanese studies was recently laureated, and the University of Zagreb and Rijeka. Our Japanese language trainees from partner universities in Japan, the University of Hiroshima and the University of Tsukuba, also participated in the event. During the symposium, we managed to socialize well, exchange knowledge and expertise, and discuss future endevours in a comfortable and motivating atmosphere, and we were especially proud of many of our students who actively assisted in the organization, attended lectures, and learned from their seniors with great interest. This volume of proceedings touches on many important topics from the symposium. We are more than grateful to all of the authors who contributed to this special edition. We would also like to thank all the reviewers for their contributions, as well as the editorial board, the Faculty, and the University, for allowing these Japanese topics to see the light of day in our journal, Tabula.


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