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September 24, 2013

A two-day Japan Friendship Festival, honoring the legacy of Shuji Isawa, Bridgewater State University's first international student, will be held Sept. 24-25. A theatrical presentation, "The Traditional Japanese Kyogen Theater: Humor Connecting People Across Cultures," will be presented Sept. 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Horace Mann Auditorium. Kyogen is a spoken drama that is based upon laughter and comedy. It uses everyday life of the common people in feudal society or folk tales as its subject and realistically depicts a kind of "everyman" figure, evoking gentle and entertaining humor.

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the "Japan Friendship Concert" will be held in Boyden Hall's Horace Mann Auditorium at 7 p.m.  In 1875, Isawa was sent by the Japan Ministry of Education to study at Bridgewater Normal School. He was instrumental in introducing a new curriculum for the teaching of music, physical education and special education in Tokyo upon his return two years later. Both events are free and open to the public.