The link between a group of visiting Japanese drummers performing a centuries old ritual in the forecourt of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum earlier today and the current clampdown on foreign students may not be completely obvious. However, the back story casts an interesting spotlight on the issue.
The dancers are from the Satsuma province (it’s not called that any more, but I can’t remember what it is called, so you’ll just have to go with Satsuma) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of a small number of local Samurai leaving Japan illegally in order to become students at University College, London. On their return many of them went on to play important roles in the transformation of Japan into a modern state.
The performers are off to Trafalgar Square tomorrow – perhaps they should take a detour to Downing Street and try drumming some sense into David Cameron and his short-sighted cronies.