‘Japan and the European Southeast. Over 100 years of political, economic, cultural and academic relationships’ November 21-23, 2019

European association of resource specialists: The 30th EAJRS Conference Rethinking the resources for Japanese studies, September 18-21, 2019. Project leaders: Assoc. prof. G. Petkova and Chief assistant Dr. Stella Zhivkova (The Japan Foundation Project)

International conference ‘Pop-culture and Youth of Bulgaria and Japan’, March 10-12, 2019. Project leader: Chief assistant Dr. Stella Zhivkova (The Japan Foundation, Ref.N: 10114601)


International conference: „Teaching and Promoting Japanese literature and Culture“, Varshets, March 18-28 2018. Project leader: Assoc. prof. G. Petkova


National science conference `Spirituality and moral values of the East, conducted in Sofia university `St. Kliment Ohridski`. Sofia, March 24, 2017. Project leaders: Prof. Boyka Tsigova, Lyudmila Ilieva Kirilova


Anniversary science conference with international participation, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Japanese studies in Sofia University: `Future horizons`. Sofia, October 30, 2015. Project leaders: Prof. Boyka Tsigova, Assoc. prof. G. Petkova


First Japanese studies student conference, dedicated to the 55th anniversary of the recovery of the diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Japan, under the headline ‘Japan – mysterious and familiar’. Sofia, October 24, 2014. Project leader: Prof. Boyka Tsigova


Science conference with international participation on occasion of the 60th birthday of Prof. Boyka Tsigova, under the headline `Japan – times, spirituality, prospects`. Sofia, October 31, 2012. Project leader: Assoc. prof. G. Petkova


Anniversary science conference with international participation `20 years Japanese studies in Sofia university `St. Kliment Ohridski`, under the headline `Bulgaria – Japan – the World`. Sofia, June 2, 2010. Project leader: Prof. Boyka Cigova


2.1 General

Results of the questionnaire, conducted in March 2019 concerning the needs and the priorities for development of Japanese studies students

  • Scientific and educational expedition 2018

As a part of a project titled `Cultural and historic inheritance of Bulgaria seen from the eyes of a foreigner` a study trip with Japanese studies teachers and students (bachelor and master) was conducted. On September 24 and 25, 2018 the cities of Starosel and Plovdiv were visited. The students had the opportunity to get acquainted with specific tourist destinations of Bulgaria and with the specifics of the tour guide profession. The students introduced Plovdiv to guests from Japan in an authentic atmosphere, answered questions, participated in practice exercises and theory seminars. On the basis of the acquired experience, the students prepared presentation material, which popularize the Bulgarian cultural and historic inheritance in front of Japanese audience.

Project leader: Chief assistant Dr. Vyara Nikolova

Participants in the project:

Students (Master`s program): Anjela Vaseva, Eva Nikolova, Paulina Carkovska

Students (Bachelor program): Atanas Atanasov, Gergana Drenovska, Martin Petrov, Mihaela Doneva, Monika Hitova

Teachers: Assoc. prof. G. Petkova (head of Department of Japanology), Assoc. prof. Anton Andreev, Chief assistant Dr. Stella Zhivkova, assistant Dr. Cvetomira Ivanova, Dr. Martin Dimitrov

Guests, Japanese language native speakers: Satoru Yamaguchi (Japanese foundation), Tomoki Nodo (Japanese foundation), Saori Hoker

Representatives of the tourism industry: Georgi Kostov

  • Seventh Balkan summer camp of Japanese language and culture

On September 22-25, 2018 the traditional summer camp of Japanese language and culture was held in the Local Government Training Center of the National Association of Municipalities of the Republic of Bulgaria, the village of Gergini. For the seventh consecutive year Sofia university hosted the event. This year students from SU, the Univesity of Belgrade and the University of Bucharest participated. The topic of the event was `Humor` and because of this the location of the final event was chosen appropriately – the city of Gabrovo and the Home of humor and satire there.

During the camp the students had the opportunity to measure their knowledge by creating a common diary in Japanese for the days that they spent together, told each other humorous stories in Bulgarian and in Japanese, incarnated their anecdotes in comics and practiced their calligraphy, origami and dressing in a yukata skills. The participants had the opportunity to watch a kendo demonstration and even participate in a kendo lesson themselves, ask questions and learn more about this sport in Bulgaria and its historic road in Japan. Each morning the day began with a relaxing yoga practise, lead by Lyudmila Kirilova – one of the high-ranked yoga instructors in Bulgaria. The students came into contact with the world of humor through Japanese fairytales, Japanese cinema, academic research of the topic, onomatopoeic words, a quiz with humorous questions and answers in Japanese, humorous games and others. The participants made their bento lunch by themselves – onigiri rice balls in order to properly prepare for the final event – A festival of Japanese and Balkan humor in Gabrovo, which was held on September 25, 2018 in The House of humor and satire.

For the seventh consecutive time Sofia university and the department of Japanology welcomed its colleagues from Balkan countries. With the help of the newest methods and trends in the teaching of foreign languages we work for high standard and competitiveness of the Japanese studies in Bulgaria nationwide and worldwide. Together with the European understanding of a multilinguistic and multicultural society of the 21st century, Sofia university`s department of Japanology  strives to bind the studying of a language with the assimilation of a foreign culture on one hand, and on other – with the establishment of communicative and social skills which are required in the globalizing world. With the financial support of The Japan Foundation.

Project leaders:  Chief assistant Dr. Vyara Nikolova, Assistant Dr. Cvetomira Ivanova