About the project
Welcome to ritoja.lt!
This website narrates the respectful and warm collaboration of two geographically distant nations, Lithuania and Japan. It was launched in 2022, commemorating the centenary of official friendship between Japan and Lithuania and remembering the most important stories, people, and achievements.
It‘s the most comprehensive data overview of the relationship between the two countries, which we are constantly updating.
Browsing through this site, you will get acquainted with the Japanese who got off a train at a station in the Russian Empire called Kowno in 1862 wearing kimonos and samurai swords. You will find out who were the first Lithuanians to visit Japan, the first Lithuanian to shake hands with the Emperor, and the only Lithuanian to receive Japanese citizenship. This website enables you to travel in time during the devastating wars of the 20th century, occupations, restoration of independence, and a pandemic present.
We invite you to meet artists, students, diplomats, travelers, politicians, writers, missionaries, theater people, teachers, musicians, scientists, and other people who have contributed and keep contributing to building relationships in very different forms.
Maybe you will find yourself here as well.
The project name and address consist of three syllables. Ri is taken from Ritoania (Japanese for Lithuania) and Ja from Japan. They are connected by the Japanese conjunction to, which means and.
The twenty different topics review the beginning of relations between the two countries, the interesting events in history, and the current relations that unfold in politics, culture, education, sports, and, of course, economics. All topics are enriched with almost one thousand illustrations, photos, diagrams, and authentic documents.
We apologize to those who were not mentioned on this site. If you contribute to Japan-Lithuania relations and think that your contribution should be mentioned on this website, please contact us.
The content was created by Aurelijus Zykas and Linas Didvalis, researchers of Vytautas Magnus University. Arvydas Kumpis and Audrius Sabūnas contributed to several topics. We appreciate various people and archives in Lithuania and Japan who kindly provided us with the valuable material.
The website is presented by: Azija LT. Project partner: Vytautas Magnus University Center for Asian Studies
General sponsor: Toshiba International Foundation.