Kyushu (九州) originally consisted of nine ancient provinces. Historically named Saikaido (西海道) it is Japan’s third largest island, located southwest of the main island Honshu (本州). It has seven prefectures; Fukuoka (福岡), Saga (佐賀), Nagasaki (長崎), Kumamoto (熊本), Oita (大分), Miyazaki (宮崎) and Kagoshima (鹿兒島). On this trip we will visit Fukuoka, Saga, and Nagasaki prefectures.
Kyushu, as an early center of Japanese civilization, has a population of around 13 million and offers many historic treasures, natural beauty and modern cities. With plentiful volcanic ash, Kyushu boasts an amazing selection of hot springs, as well as numerous pottery villages, especially around Karatsu (唐津), Imari (伊万里), and Arita (有田) in Saga prefecture.
With Nagasaki at its northwest, Kyushu was Japan’s first gateway to the outside world. Foreign influences from pre-historic continental cultures to the Portuguese galleons, present a great variety of historical interest. Mysterious stone Buddha, Korean pottery villages, remote crypto-Christian refuges and the ruins of a Dutch trading post testify to its volatile and fascinating history.
Fired from the earth and carved from the wind swept through the ages, Kyushu offers haunting landscapes, warm-hearted people with delicious food and drinks and colourful legacies from diverse cultures. Let us see the fire, listen to the wind and feel the passion of the land together.
Keiko Imai Packard spent over a decade in HK around the time of 1997. Enjoying an active life, she was chairman of the Friends of the Art Museum, CUHK while completing a Master of Philosophy degree in Japanese art at HKU. After her return to Japan, she took part in teaching a course on Japanese Culture and Society at the Temple University in Tokyo. She is the author of Old Tokyo, a book that details Tokyo’s evolvement from a Shogun capital of a closed society to its present status as the international capital of modern day Japan. Dedicated to global education, she writes about this topic in a leadership magazine, organizes educational programs for domestic and international markets, and hosts special groups for in-depth look of Japan.
Keiko is the Founder & Director of Knowledge Investment Programs of Japan (KIP http://www.kipprograms.org), and a registered non-profit organization that raises social awareness with a Japanese and global perspective for college students and young people. She is also the President of KIPP Programs (KIPP), a cultural consulting company and the Japanese Representative of Nano Japan Program, International Research Experience for Undergraduates (http://nanojapan.rice.edu/) and US students. Through her work with these programs, she has presented talks at universities, private businesses and public institutions.