Monday, August 6, 2007

Conference in Awaji Island, Japan

(A view from Amar's hotel room - the view is a part of the International Conference Complex called "Awaji Yumebutai")

Amar attended a conference called ISNA-12 which took place in Awaji Island, Japan, from July 22nd to 27th.

Amar was very pleased to attend this conference, and he was quite happy with the talk he gave too. It seems that the conference turned out to be quite a successful, fruitful one and he was even thankful to my sister Tomoko because, were it not for her wedding, he wouldn't have attended this conference ;-)

I joined him in Awaji on the 26th evening, on which night they happened to have the formal conference dinner at the hotel annexed to the conference site. The dinner was very enjoyable, and both Amar and I enjoyed immensely the excellent food (of course!). ;-)

Prior to the dinner, we were invited to a short piece of a Ningyo-Joruri (Japanese Puppet Theater) show, which was quite a fun.
(The following photos were taken during the explanation of the puppets. The woman is a Japanese-English translator.)

The puppets are usually manipulated by a few puppeteers.

The puppets move as if they were real, alive humans.
In Ningyo-Joruri, a singer with a samisen instrument sings/narrates a dramatic story while puppeters move the puppets.

It was also great to meet Amar's supervisor in UCLA days, Fraser, again at this conference. He got knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom, this year, for his achievement in chemistry. (So I should actually call him "Sir Fraser Stoddart" ;-) He has also just celebrated his 65th anniversary in his home country Scotland in June this year.
So, as a sign of our respect and friendship, Amar and I presented him a humble gift of my calligraphy piece with a Chinese character meaning "Creativity".
We chose the word as Amar knew that "Creativity" is one of the most cherished motto of Fraser's. But playful Fraser didn't miss the chance to jest, and said, "Oh --- yes, thank you for the encouragement. I'm getting there, quite soon! ;-)"
But he was also very kind to assure that he really liked the gift and would display it in the "Oriental Room" in his house.

Amar presenting the gift to Fraser

Some more views from the hotel room:

(The conference building - behind are forest on the hills)

(You can see the sea port as well)

No comments: