"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science and the Arts High School (Arkansas)

Invitation in May 2013

Short-term stay in Japan: Group 4 (Senior and Junior High School Students and University Students)
Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science and the Arts High School, Arkansas

Period:May 26 - June 5, 2013
Local Visit Destination:Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture
Number of Participants:25

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation
Orientation
(Lecture on Japanese lifestyle)

Photo taken at Tokyo National Museum
Studying Japanese history and culture
(Tokyo National Museum)

Photo taken at National Museum of Nature and Science
Studying Japanese history and culture
(National Museum of Nature and Science)

Photo taken at  Meiji Jingu Shrine
Visit to the Meiji Shrine
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo of Okonomiyaki experience in Harajuku
Okonomiyaki experience in Harajuku

Photo taken at Tokyo Toy Museum
Visit to Tokyo Toy Museum
(Japanese cultural experience)

Photo taken at The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Visit to Miraikan, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
(Learning about cutting-edge technologies of Japan)

Photo taken at Lecture on Hanamaki City
Lecture on Hanamaki City
(Learning about Japanese local area)

Photo taken at Miyazawa Kenji Museum
Visit to Miyazawa Kenji Museum
(Learning about Japanese culture)

Photo taken at Hanamaki city Museum
Visit to Hanamaki city Museum
(Learning about Japanese culture and history of the local area)

Photo taken at  Iwate Prefectural Hanamaki Agricultural High School 1
School exchange at Iwate Prefectural Hanamaki Agricultural High School

Photo taken at  Iwate Prefectural Hanamaki Agricultural High School 2
School exchange at Iwate Prefectural Hanamaki Agricultural High School
(Japanese cooking experience)

Photo taken at  Iwate Prefectural Hanamaki Agricultural High School 3
School exchange at Iwate Prefectural Hanamaki Agricultural High School
(Shikon-dyeing experience)

Photo of Homestay experience in Oshu City 1
Homestay experience in Oshu City
(Japanese agricultural experience)

Photo of Homestay experience in Oshu City 2
Homestay experience in Oshu City
(Japanese papermaking experience)

Photo of Homestay experience in Oshu City 3
Homestay experience in Oshu City

Photo taken at Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center
Visit to Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center
(Learning about Japanese local culture)

Photo taken at Chuson-ji Temple
Visit to Chuson-ji Temple
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken at Edo-Tokyo Museum
Visit to Edo-Tokyo Museum
(Learning about traditional culture and history of Tokyo)

Photo taken at Senso-ji Temple
Visit to Senso-ji/Nakamise in Asakusa
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken on Kappabashi Dougu Street
Kappabashi Dougu Street
(Learning about Japanese local industries)

Photo of Debriefing Session
Debriefing Session

Voices from Participants

1.Having participated in the KAKEHASHI Project, what do you think are Japan’s strengths and attractiveness?

  • Japan’s strengths and attractiveness are greatly diverse. They range from traditional culture to modern. Japan blends aspects of traditional and modern culture seamlessly. The use of modern technology in the traditional life of our host family was impeccable. The country is beautiful in and out of the city (shrines in the middle of the city).
  • Japan’s focus on well-being of the group over individual gain is admirable and its citizens are among the most polite individuals I have ever met. The structure the buildings are built in is also interesting and well-suited to the problems that plague them. The scenery and culture is rich and amazing.

2.How do you change your perspective of Japan through the project?

  • In my mind before this visit Japan was land of isolated people sitting on mountains in traditional dress. Having visited Tokyo and a rural area, I feel that Japan has a healthy mixture of both their cultural heritage and the modern world. Japan is just as advanced or more than America in both infrastructure and class and seems to be very open to people from the outside.
  • Everything has changed. Before I came here, I only knew what I was told on TV about Japan. I saw a cute island with cool toilets and small cars. Now I had a perspective of Japan that provokes respect and will inevitably create a sense of nostalgia in the future. I see a nation that values the preciousness of nature, community and family.

3.After returning to the U.S., what aspect(s) of Japan do you want to learn more?

  • I would like to learn more history. I enjoyed the culture and historic buildings. I would also like to learn more about the economy of Japan, the government and the preservation of the environment.
  • The Japanese architecture in relation to the various shrines and the more modern buildings was very interesting, so I would like to learn more about that. I would also like to learn Japanese.

4.It is hoped that you will promote further mutual understanding between our two countries, serving as bridges in the Japan-U.S. relationship. What will you do to deepen understanding of Japan’s strengths and attractiveness?

  • I will act as a liaison of the US-Japan relationship by spreading my first-hand experience of Japan’s culture and everyday life. From history to the people to even science research, Japan is innovating the world, and more people should know about this. Communicating with the student body of my school, the local community, and my family will also promote the message. I will also take the initiative to learn more of the Japanese language, communicating with my host-family and maybe coming back to visit them will continue my new connections.

5.Please freely describe your experience in the KAKEHASHI Project.

  • My favorite part of the program was the home-stay portion. It gave us the opportunity to see the more traditional side of Japan. We had home cooked food and our family shared traditional clothes, toys, and customs. We worked in fields, wore kimonos, made paper, and met some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. I hope to keep in touch with my host family and hope to see them again in the future. The KAKEHASHI Project was truly amazing and I was very fortunate to have participated in it. I will always remember the things I learned and the people I met including my host family students from other groups and Japanese students I met.
  • Throughout the entire trip we were up at 6 every morning we rushed through museums and we had the best time of our lives. From the beginning I was enthralled with the bustling streets and flashing lights of Tokyo. During the farm stay, however, I was introduced to another side of Japan, the more traditional side. I can safely say that these 3 days were the best of the trip. We made mochi, hand-wrapped sushi, barbecue and more. Throughout this stay I formed a bond with our host family that was so dynamic. Words cannot describe my feelings. I would not have chosen a better way to begin my summer vacation than this. Thank you for this opportunity.

[Contact Us]

TEL: +81-(0)3-5369-6022
FAX: +81-(0)3-5369-6042
E-mail: infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
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