"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: A.J. Dimond High School (Alaska)

Invitation in May 2013

Short-term stay in Japan: Group 4 (Junior and Senior High School Students and University Students)
A.J. Dimond High School, Alaska

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

Tour Photo Album

Photo of 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 taken in Harajuku
Visit to Harajuku
(Learning about ‘Cool Japan’)

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 Fukuoka City Hall
Courtesy call at Fukuoka City Hall

Photo taken at Kushida Shrine
Visit to Kushida-jinja
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken at Hakatamachiya Furusato Kan
Visit to Hakatamachiya Furusato Kan
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture and history of the local area)

Photo taken at Junshin High School
Welcome ceremony at Junshin High School
(School exchange)

Photo of Kendo experience at Junshin High School
Kendo experience at Junshin High School
(School exchange)

Photo of Japanese calligraphy experience
Japanese calligraphy experience

Photo of Homestay experience
Homestay experience

Photo taken at Oki Recycling Center Kururun
Oki Recycling Center “Kururun”
(Learning about Japanese local environmental actions)

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

Photo taken at Senso-ji/Nakamise in Asakusa
Visit to Senso-ji/Nakamise in Asakusa
(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 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 lie in its rich history and national culture. The history of Japan has a huge influence on its people today. All around Tokyo people can be seen in traditional Japanese kimonos, participating in ceremonies, and worshiping at Buddhist temples of Shinto shrines. The culture of Japan is very respectful and rule following. The people's hard working and self-sacrificing attitudes allow for Japan as a whole to accomplish amazing things. We saw this in the recycling center outside of Fukuoka in Oki Town. Japan’s attention to detail and dedication leads to beautiful cities that can work cooperatively as a community to reach great heights.
  • *Some strength about Japan is that everyone is nice, clean, and helpful. Everything is very clean and no one seems to commit crimes. They all mind their own business but are very helpful when asked for help.
    *The unique combination of nature and urban environments is something very rare and very beautiful.

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

  • *Japan was different than I thought it would be. I learned the balance that the Japanese people have between the traditional and western culture.
    *Though I have learned and studied Japan’s culture and history in a classroom for any years, coming and being able to experience it all for myself was an opportunity I could not have imagined. My perspective on Japan is even better than before. I have so much respect for the Japanese people, culture, history, everything. It truly is an amazing place.
    *I really respect Japan’s efficiency. Prior to this trip, I did not recognize how efficient Japan is (waste, transportation, etc.)
    *I have a lot more respect for them because they make the most of what they have and it amazes me how resourceful and considerate they are towards their land.

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

  • *I need to learn more about all of Japan’s language, and definitely learn more about history.
    *While in the United States, there would be many different things I would want to learn about. I need to study the language a lot more. My homestay experience showed me that just two years is not enough, and a few more years would be great for my confidence.
  • I want to learn more about the development and daily life. I would like to know more what the family does in a normal day.

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 tell my friends and family and my classes about my trip. I would correct anyone’s wrong facts on their culture and hopefully my friends and family will carry on my experience to their friends and family.
  • I plan on joining Japan’s JET Program to possibly move to Japan. One day, hopefully after I graduate high school, I want to move here. I see the differences between Japan and the U.S. now, and I feel like I could somehow serve as a help to the U.S.-Japan relationship.

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

  • My experience was amazing! I had so much fun and learned more than I expected to! My favorite part of the trip was the homestay because it gave me the best opportunity to fully learn about Japanese culture. It also gave me a great chance to grow as a person. I feel that I matured and learned to appreciate things more. This trip is beyond words to describe.

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