Tama Art University

Welcoming message to new students

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Welcome message from the President

Igarashi Takenobu

President, Tama Art University

Congratulations to all of you entering Tama Art University and to those are continuing on to graduate school. I should have had the opportunity to offer my congratulations directly to you all, but due to the current circumstances not only were we unable to hold an entrance ceremony, but also must delay the commencement of classes to avoid the infection of COVID-19. Although it is difficult to see what lies ahead, I would like to send you a written message here, as President, imagining the faces of all of you looking forward to the commencement of school with great hope.

Our society is in the midst of a great trial. Art university entrants who have their sights sets being artists may feel at a loss with this unexpected situation. We have always thought that the lifeblood of an art university, the fire of creation, research, and education, would not cease for even a moment. However, we are in a situation now in which we cannot adhere to this fundamental ideal. We must prioritize everyone’s heath, and as such ask you to wait at home for the time being.

Tama Art University is a community of comrades, both students and faculty, who walk the path of art. Art is the core of culture. Art enriches people’s mind. During more peaceful times, everyone thought so, but in this crisis we are facing now, art seems somewhat powerless.

That being said, this can indeed be a rare opportunity to rethink the meaning of art before you begin your specialized study. Art may seem powerless in this serious reality, so then is its purpose? To be honest, this question is not one that arises only at a time of emergency, such as we have now, but a question that will raise its head time and again as you proceed along the path of art. You cannot find an ultimate answer. It remains an endless question for me too. To help you begin, let me write my recent thoughts.

If art is powerless, there is meaning in, and space for futility. Depending on how we look at it, it could make our society more tolerant. In other words, it can contribute to the formation of a society in which we coexist with others and to accept different values affably. A society, in which everyone shares the same values, though efficient, would lose critical perspective and foster exclusiveness. Just as maintaining biodiversity is an essential condition for a healthy global environment, diversity must be ensured in culture and art as well. It may sound paradoxical, but I think it is so.

When we were not able to get collage life back on the track, I decided to write a little. I’m sure you have heard the words “to turn misfortune into fortune” in Sima Qian’s Shi-ji. This is not a passive attitude of misfortune being replaced, but rather expresses a strong will to overcome a crisis. I hope we can overcome this crisis and welcome you on campus as soon as possible. Until then, please focus on preventing the spread of infection. I look forward to seeing all of you in person.

Welcome message from the Chairman of Board of Directors

Igarashi Takenobu

AOYAGI Masanori
Chairman of Board of Directors, Tama Art University

It is unfortunate that due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Tama Art University was unable to hold an entrance ceremony for you, our new students. Indeed, all staff, faculty, and students share the same sense of disappointment. The reason being that the university, as an education and research organization, is reinvigorated through the process of sending out qualified graduates into the world and welcoming new students into the school. The entrance ceremony is held to commemorate the new entrants who provide the university with youthful energy and motivation, and it is also a ceremony that breathes new life into the university. This being said, we must pay the utmost care and attention to the spread of this new coronavirus, which has forced us to cancel this invaluable event. However, we are not powerless. Through the history of the battle between human beings and infectious disease, we have learned much, and as such, we are learning now too from this experience, finding ways of dealing with the current situation. Gradually, the rate of infection will decline and the normal functions of society will be restored, and I eagerly look forward to seeing you on campus in Hachioji and Kaminoge.

Our own humanity is being tested in the battle with the novel coronavirus. In order to prevent infection, measures of quarantine and isolation are being implemented out of necessity. However, we must take care not to go too far in such a way that would lead us towards nationalistic collectivism and isolationism, a possible threat to the individual citizenship of every one of us. Furthermore, despite the need for countries to temporarily close their borders to prevent the spread of infection, we must understand that cooperation on a global scale is paramount for the true prevention of further proliferation of the virus.

We at Tama Art University hope that all new students can come to our campuses very soon. Once the situation improves and the university returns to normal, faculty who are active and experienced in their respective field and new students who are full of youthful energy can work together in creative classes and workshops. However for now, we ask you to understand that controlling the spread of infection must be prioritized.

Update: Apr 11, 2020