KANSAI Close-up

[Columns]Cultural Revolution

Dr. Piao is one of the important pillars of the firm's outstanding technological staff. 'My first encounter with Japan? When I was in the third year of junior high school, the confusion brought about by the Cultural Revolution was just about to come to an end and foreign language studies were restored to the curriculum. So, I chose Japanese.' He continued his Japanese language studies during his high school days. 'I love Japanese movies.'
'What I enjoyed most was the Tora-san series, the stories about a foot-loose hawker with pathos.' ' Did you study Japanese with movies?' 'No, in China, all foreign movies are dubbed in Chinese.' Does that mean Tora-san, with his wide-jawed face, say defiantly in Chinese 'Ni suan shi shenme dongxi!' (You, worthless creature!)? The writer couldn't help smiling just thinking about such a scene.
In 1980, Dr. Piao enrolled in the Department of Engineering at the Qing hua University, which attracted the brightest students from all over China, to major in combustion and heat conductivity. Out of the total enrollment of 30,000 students, only 30 took Japanese language courses. 'It was an extremely strict university. If you failed in two courses, you had to remain in the same class for another year. If you failed four, you were expelled.' After he was graduated, he worked as an assistant at Harbin Institute of Technology for a year. He came to Japan in February 1987 on the recommendation from a Japanese friend. He worked on a research on 'thermophysical properties of fluorocarbon' at the Graduate School of Keio University.