Creating a new cultural art that connects Okinawa to the future

Greetings from the President of the University

Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, founded in 1986, opened its doors in the historic town of Shuri, the center of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, a land that once flourished in the maritime sphere. This year marks the university’s thirty-fifth anniversary. Our founding principles emphasize the pursuit of both the distinctive beauty created by Okinawan culture and the universal beauty of humankind. Based on such principles, our university remains committed to fostering talented individuals who can succeed in, and develop, traditional arts as well as those who can explore novel fields of artistic creation, thus contributing globally to the advance of art and culture.

Artistic activities in which human nature is explored and expressed through an independent spirit are certainly unique to our species. Indeed, the arts have been part of human existence since time immemorial as shown in the examples of cave art from prehistoric times and artifacts from our Jomon culture. Today, we live in a highly-networked information society, and therefore nurturing the great sensibilities both in ourselves and in our perspectives on the natural world has become an imperative need now more than ever. Those of us engaged in the arts in that world are expected to play important roles and surely to fulfill more responsibilities.

Our university commits itself to cultivating individuals who will represent the coming generations and put themselves in possession of an enriched humanity, sociability and international perspective, young people who can contribute to the world as professionals such as artists, performers, researchers and educators. With such a goal in mind, the university implements its curriculum through small-class instruction, thus bringing out the uniqueness of each student. We help our undergraduate and graduate students to strive to acquire a deeper understanding of diverse values and multifaceted viewpoints, essential to those aspiring to be artists. The advanced ICT society today also drives the globalized standardization of the world. Therefore, it is crucial for us to continue to reaffirm critical perspectives free from those existing ordinary values that are, indeed, the foundation of diversity and originality in the arts.

This beautiful southern island with its world heritage sites is endowed with a rich history and environment. The significant historical age covers the great trading era to the present, a period over which people have embraced diverse cultures and created their own rich, unique culture and art forms. As for the Okinawan environment, seasonal changes in nature can be felt close at hand even in our urban areas. Such elements in Okinawan history and the environment inevitably nurture flexible minds and resilient wills, things necessary for those aspiring to live their lives in and by the arts.

Izumi Hatano

Portrait of Izumi Hantano

Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts

Izumi Hatano