Cultural practices and cultural knowledge are often neglected or allocated a minority role in international and intra-national relations.
However, cultural exchange is a fundamental factor in human society, informing artistic and cultural developments, and has been at the root of economic and political relations and a route to commercial, political, technological and educational relations since the origin of the world economies and societies. Both material and intangible culture have been embedded in relations between countries and between peoples when coming together to exchange goods or technology, knowledge or material artifacts, raw materials or foods. This has been the case within the Pacific as well as across the seas and continents.
Sometimes such practices and knowledge are lost or kept by individuals or by small communities struggling to keep them alive and to pass them on to the next generations, as their cultural survival is threatened by rapid changes in their inhabited landscape and ways of life.
Historically, Sino-Japan relations have been defined by cultural exchanges as the peoples of Japan and China came together to trade, to learn from each other, to adopt each other’s technologies and practices, ways of doing things and ways of thinking. Such has been the case with martial culture in the two countries, which has influenced one another since the beginning of diplomatic and trade relations, over a timespan of nearly two thousand years.
Hing Chao, a business leader and a scholar dedicated to working collaboratively across sectors and to the exchange and dissemination of knowledge, practice and the material culture of nomadic groups and martial arts will discuss the place of martial culture in the history of Sino-Japan relations and will share the work and activities that are at the root of demonstrating the fundamental importance of cross-cultural work and of working across disciplines in collaboration across borders.