On Friday, March 18th, Professor Ikunori Sumida of the Kyoto Junior College of Foreign Languages’ Department of English Studies for Careers, who retires as of AY 2021, gave his last lecture “My encounter with Portuguese speaking countries”. In addition to some 30 faculty, staff and current students attending the lecture in-person, there were also many online participants who watched a livestream of the Professor’s lecture.
Professor Sumida was a student of the first inaugural class of the Department of Brazilian and Portuguese Studies and completed his KUFS Graduate School studies in 1975. He then joined the Department as an assistant and ever since, he has taught students for 46 years and has also been the Chief and the Chair of the Department. The lecture was divided into in two sections; the first half titled “Learning about time and space” and the second half “Major turning points in research”.
Looking back at his 46 years of his career as a researcher and educator, Professor Sumida first spoke about how he loved science as a child. He first learned about Portuguese in his third year in high school, when his teacher advised him to try learning the language. As he began pursuing his path in language studies, he met various people along the way which led him to be where he is today. At the end of his lecture, he mentioned the 1603 edition of Vocabulário da Língua do Japão. In the book, “Thank you” is introduced as "Arigatŏ" which emphasizes the last syllable, similar to the Kyoto dialect—which is what he said out loud as he concluded his lecture, immediately followed by a warm round of applause.
After the lecture, Professor Sumida was presented with words of gratitude and a bouquet of flowers from the Department’s faculty and staff, which he received with a smile, saying “Thank you” only this time in the dialect of his hometown, Hiroshima. Professor Sumida was surrounded by many faculty, staff and students, taking group photos, and cherishing the memorable moment.