Letters from HUAP

Dr. Qian Qian

Deputy Director, China National Rice Research Institute (CNRRI), Appointed as a Hokkaido University Ambassador in April 2018

When I was sounded out about becoming an HU Ambassador, I felt it both a great honor and a heavy responsibility. I feel truly honored that my alma mater still remembered a student from another country and appointed him as an HU Ambassador. More than three decades have passed since I left HU, but the memories of my days there are still etched in my mind. The mission of international students from China is to advance academic exchanges and cooperation between Japan and China and to contribute to the development of various research disciplines.

I was enrolled in a master’s course in genetics and plant breeding at the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Agriculture from October 1986 to March 1989. The scene I most vividly recall is the one where my classmates and teachers were toiling and sweating in a field next to Poplar Avenue, lined with trees over 100 years old. The idyllic sight of their plowing the brown soil beside the green Poplar Avenue under a blue sky with white clouds made a lasting impression. Regrettably, Typhoon Songda in September 2004 toppled more than half of those poplars, but I later received a pendant with a head made of wood from one of the toppled trees from a professor who had really helped me out while I was at HU. I’ve held it dear as a keepsake of my youth.

Since returning home, I’ve often visited HU to promote exchanges and cooperation in paddy rice research between Japan and China while doing my utmost to help advance paddy rice research in both countries by introducing scholars and other experts in China to research programs under way at HU. I’ve also attended gatherings of the HU China Alumni Association, where I’ve made every effort to support current HU students based on my friendly relations with HU officials. As luck would have it, however, I was appointed to the Chinese Academy of Sciences last year, and that appointment has made me even busier than ever. I am, therefore, thinking of retiring from my HU Ambassadorship to make way for a young alumnus or alumna.

I live in Hangzhou City. It’s an adopted home where I’ve lived longer than in my original home, as I found employment here, got married here, and raised my children here. Hangzhou was a small city when I settled down, but it’s rapidly grown into a vibrant metropolis thanks to the nation’s decades-long reform and opening-up policies. I love this city. If there’s any shortcoming, it’s that the summers are too hot. Whenever I’m out in a field cross-breeding rice or observing the grain shapes in scorching heat over 40 degrees Celsius, I wish it weren’t so hot. I miss the snow, the blue skies, and the white clouds of Sapporo.

Since the motto of HU is ‘Be ambitious,’ I hope all its students are ambitious and never cease to keep working toward their goals with the frontier spirit for which Sapporo is known and with the principles of practical learning, diligence, and innovation that have been pursued by HU. I also hope that the HU China Alumni Association will reach out to many alumni and build relations with those who are active in Hangzhou and elsewhere in China to contribute to the friendship between Japan and China and to advances in science.



 1986年10月から1989年3 月まで、私は北海道大学大学院農学研究科で遺伝育種の修士課程に在学しました。最も鮮明に覚えているのは、樹齢100年以上のポプラ並木と、その横にある圃場で汗を流す先生やクラスメイトの姿です。青い空と白い雲の下、緑のポプラ並木の横で、茶色い畑を耕している光景は大変印象深かったです。残念なことに、2004 年9月の「台風18号」により、ポプラ並木は半分以上倒れてしまいましたが、その後、留学時代にお世話になった先生が、ポプラの倒木で作られた小さなペンダントを送ってくださいました。これこそ青春の記憶と思い、大切にしています。


る大都市となりました。私はこの街を深く愛しています。もし欠点があるとしたら、“ 夏が暑すぎる!”ことでしょうか。気温40度を超える灼熱の太陽の下、圃場でイネの交配作業や形状観察をしていると「こんなに暑くなければいいのに」と思います。冬の札幌の雪・青空と白い雲が懐かしいです。

 北海道大学のモットーは「Be ambitious」であり、北海道大学に通う全ての若者には大志を抱いてほしいと思います。札幌の育む「開拓者精神」と北海道大学の理念である実学主義・勤勉・イノベーションの精神を胸、目標に対して絶え間なく努力していくことを期待しています。また、中国北海道大学同窓会がより多くの同窓生に手を差し伸べ、杭州および中国各地で活躍している同窓生との交流を深め、日中両国の友好と学術の展に貢献していくことも期待しています。