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Arts and Cultural Exchange

Youth Exchange with China

The Japan Foundation China Center

The Japan Foundation China Center was established in 2006 to promote exchanges and mutual understanding between young people in Japan and China. Since it regards young people as the future, the center holds a variety of programs for face-to-face youth exchanges and building connections between Japan and China.

The long-term invitation of Chinese high school students program has Chinese high school students live in Japan for about 11 months to experience Japanese school life and home life like ordinary Japanese students.

The center also operates Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges in China to introduce Japanese magazines, manga, music, and the latest information. Our Heart-to-Heart Website promotes exchanges between young people, information sharing, and mutual cooperation.

Of the 267 students who have completed the long-term invitation of Chinese high school students program, 109 of them (about 40 percent) returned to Japan mainly as university students. After graduating from university or starting work, many of them participate in activities of the Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges or university student exchange activities. Thus, the positive aftereffects of the program last a long time.

New Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges Opens in Hangzhou

In 2014, a new Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges opened at Zhejiang Gongshang University in Hangzhou. An opening ceremony was held on November 15.

To celebrate the center's opening, Japanese-language and kimono lessons and exchange events by Japanese and Chinese students were held. In the class teaching Japanese expressions of anime and manga characters, participants did role playing of diverse characters based on Japanese-language scripts. The kimono workshop had everyone wear a yukata and learn about yukata color patterns, hairstyles, and mannerisms. The "Japanese Culture Festival" college student exchange events saw a total of almost 1,000 participants learning how to make kokeshi dolls, omamori charms, kyaraben (character bento), or trying on cosplay costumes.

All the Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges provide a chance to see Japanese culture and participate in cultural exchange events. Activities of the Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges are reported by our Heart-to-Heart Website(http://www.chinacenter.jp/)External link.

Photo of Making kyaraben (character bento) at the "Japanese Culture Festival," a Japan-China college student exchange event
Making kyaraben (character bento) at the "Japanese Culture Festival,"
a Japan-China college student exchange event

9th Program Cycle Students Studying Hard in Japan

In September 2014, 31 students on the 9th program cycle of the long-term invitation of Chinese high school students arrived in Japan. They were assigned to high schools across Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa for about 11 months. Their student lives and experiences in Japan were presented by the "Heart-to-Heart" website's "Heart-to-Heart TV" and "Study Abroad Documentary" pages. Students also wrote about their daily lives in "Study Abroad Diary." We could get a good look at how hard they were studying. By immersing themselves in a different culture for a long period in Japan while still in their teens, they will mature into fine adults.

In January 2015, after six months in Japan, the students gathered at the Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai for a midterm seminar. They reflected on their lives in Japan and talked about their host families, schools, and friends. By sharing their trials, tribulations, and anxieties of living in a different culture, they reaffirmed their camaraderie and renewed their determination to do their best for the second half of their stay.

Later on a trip to Kobe's Chinatown, they learned about the history of the Chinatown from a local Chinese merchant. In Osaka, they met with former students from the 6th program cycle who had participated in the long-term invitation program and heard their stories of studying in Japan. They thereby also learned about what Japan-China exchanges should be.

First-time Follow-up of College Student Exchange

In March 2014, the "Jejetto Iwate" student team from Iwate Prefectural University visited the Chongqing Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges in Chongqing Normal University. They came for the Jejetto Matsuri of Tohoku festivals held jointly by the Japanese and Chinese students. Four months later, ten students from Chongqing Normal University visited Iwate and reunited with the Iwate Prefectural University students. They combined into a Japanese-Chinese team of 32 students to hold a variety of cultural exchange events in Tohoku. The events made people feel and understand each other's cultures and values in both mind and body.

At the Jejetto Matsuri in Chongqing, the students had practiced dancing the Sansa Odori and therefore was able to dance in the Morioka Sansa Odori Festival. At Tono Furusato Village, they made Japanese crafts. They also visited the Ofunato Tsunami Museum that conveys the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake. For the general public, they held events showcasing Chinese culture like Chinese knotting and the traditional Hanfu dress.

Photo of Japan-China student dancers at Morioka Sansa Odori Festival
Japan-China student dancers at Morioka Sansa Odori Festival