"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: Murray State University (Kentucky)

Invitation in May 2013

Short-term stay in Japan: Group 1 (University Students)
Murray State University, Kentucky

Period: May 11 - 21, 2013
Local Visit Destination: Kobe City
Number of Participants: 25

Tour Photo Album

Photo taken at First Japanese dinner in Japan
First Japanese dinner in Japan

Photo of Orientation/lecture on Japan-U.S. relationship 1
Orientation/lecture on Japan-U.S. relationship
(The Japan Foundation)

Photo of Orientation/lecture on Japan-U.S. relationship 2
Orientation/lecture on Japanese-language (The Japan Foundation)

Photo taken on a bullet train
Moving to Kobe by a bullet train

Photo taken at Kobe Gakuin University 1
School exchange
(Kobe Gakuin University)

Photo taken at Kobe Gakuin University 2
School exchange/lecture on disaster prevention
(Kobe Gakuin University)

Photo taken at Kobe Gakuin University 3
School exchange
(Kobe Gakuin University)

photo at lecture on the super computer
Lecture on the super computer “K computer”(RIKEN)

Photo taken at Minatogawa Shrine
Visit to Minatogawa Shrine

Photo taken at Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
Visit to Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution

Photo taken at Arima hot springs
Visit to Arima hot springs
(Experience of foot bath)

Photo of Chikuwa making experience
Chikuwa making experience
(Kanetetsu Delica Foods Inc.)

Photo of English Rakugo experience
Enjoying English Rakugo presented by Master Kaishi Katsura
(The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai)

Photo taken with Master Kaishi Katsura
With Master Kaishi Katsura
(The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai)

Photo of go playing experience
Playing “go”
(The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai)

Photo taken at Hamafukutsuru Ginjo Sake Brewery 1
Visit to Hamafukutsuru Ginjo Sake Brewery

Photo taken at Hamafukutsuru Ginjo Sake Brewery 2
Visit to Hamafukutsuru Ginjo Sake Brewery

photo at lecture on Nagata-district recovery
Visit to “KOBE Tetsujin Project”
(Lecture on Nagata-district recovery)

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

Photo of Nihon Buyo experience  1
Nihon Buyo experience instructed by Master Minosuke Nishikawa

Photo of Nihon Buyo experience  2
Dancing Nihon Buyo

Photo taken at Tsukiji fish market
Visit to Tsukiji fish market

Photo taken in Harajuku
Visit to Harajuku

Group photo taken at Meiji Jingu
Visit to the Meiji Shrine

Photo taken at Meiji Jingu
Reading the wishes of people written on Ema(Meiji Shrine)

Photo of Debriefing Session
Debriefing session(The Japan Foundation)

Voices from Participants

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

  • I think Japan’s collective social nature (ie. everyone worrying together and putting the community before one’s self) is very admirable and makes for a strong country in Japan, citizens seem motivated to do their very best at whatever task they had, be it a store clerk or a bus driver. Also, the blend of tradition and nature with modern technology and skyscrapers was very beautiful to me. Also, despite language barriers, most Japanese were still willing to help, and always with a smile.
  • There is a strong sense of community and a degree of trust extended that isn’t found in the US. Japan is very in touch with its history and culture, preserving it for future generations. Nature is incorporated into the architecture, and everyone recycles and throws away their trash, rather than littering. The consideration for others is by far the most attractive part of Japan.

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

  • Japan affirmed previous nations that I had prior to visiting. I knew that the education here is valued and the trip to “K” super computer and the Biology Center proved it. I never knew until after my experience at Kobe that Japan had been affected by a large earthquake. I noticed that afterwards, a large scale effort to rebuild things better than ever and an effort to unite existed.
  • I realized how there is a sense of unity and compassion and kindness throughout Japan, a spirit I could not have experienced without this trip. Everyone, from shopkeepers to hotel staff, was accommodating and helpful. The Japanese are very dedicated and this shrines through in their devoted efforts in reconstructing after the Awaji; Kobe Earthquake of 1995 and the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011.

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

  • I want to learn more about its relationship with the environment and about the mentality of human effect on the world. I also want to learn about its ancient history and how this culture came to be.
  • The main aspect of Japan that I want to learn more about is the language. I’m only a first-year student in terms of my formal Japanese education, and this trip made me realize how much grammar and vocabulary I still have to learn. I also hope to learn more about Japanese history and culture by taking classes at my university.

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 keep in contact with my Japanese friends and keep good relations as well as I possibly can. Also, back in the United States I will continue to break boundaries, stereotypes and superstitions between some of my American friends and Japanese ones. I will also continue to study Japanese as much as I possibly can, for one day I’m hoping that I can come to understand Japanese as much as I deeply desire too.
  • I have been unsure about my future career plans for a while. I am an exercise science major and a Japanese minor at MSU. This trip has opened my eyes and I have realized that I am here, in Japan for a reason. I am meant to create something great from this experience. Although I don’t have a definite career path I am determined to make a good impact between U.S. and Japan relations.

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

  • This experience has renewed my love for Japan. I have studied many years and my language ability has not grown, so this has given me the chance to enhance and refine my skills. This project has done more for me in regards to learning about Japan than an entire textbook could. I may not have stayed long, but this was a life time of experiences. My favorite thing about this project was being able to meet people on the streets and talk to them.
  • I overcame my fear of speaking a foreign language in front of native speakers. I got a taste of the many different faces of Japanese culture. I want to learn more about Japan, eventually seeking post graduate education in Japan (My major is biology.)

[Contact Us]

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