Opening: Friday, November 7, 2008 at 7 p.m.
Opening hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
Showing until January 16, 2009
SANO Aenne – A pioneer of private initiative for international exchange.
From the private life of a German woman in the village of Ibuka
Well organized international exchange is almost a given nowadays. However, in the early years Mrs SANO had to solve many difficulties all by herself. In this sense, she was indeed a true pioneer.
Born in Cologne, Germany, as Änne Gerber, later to become SANO, she grew up and went to university in Hanover. In 1922-33 she worked at the publishing house Hellasberg in Berlin, and in 1933 she moved to Kyôto to become a German teacher at the Japanese-German Cultural Institute. It was there that she married a professor of economics Sano Kazuhiko who worked at what is now known as Kôbe University. In 1945 the war forced the family to evacuate to Ibuka (since 1954 part of Minokamo), a small village in Gifu prefecture. Frau SANO worked at the University of Gifu as a lecturer for German. In 1953 she was appointed as the director of a college for one year, and afterwards she lectured in languages at the University of Aichi.
Despite these teaching positions her main passion was always the contact with people from her village. She learned about the Japanese culture, and introduced the German language and culture to children, housewives, students and medical professionals – in a sense she was a bridge builder for people. Her work was awarded many prizes; for example, she was presented with the German Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal cross of merit) and the Gifu Prefecture Social Pedagogy Prize.
The exhibition displays photos, manuscripts and letters that document how SANO Änne worked for and became one of the people and their community.