"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: (Japanese American Young Adults Invitation Program Group 2)Group A

Invitation in July 2014 (Japanese American Young Adults Invitation Program Group 2)

Group A

Period:July 14 - 24
Local Visit Destination:Kyoto
Number of Participants:25

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation
Orientation

Photo of Tokyo National Museum (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Tokyo National Museum
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of The Japan Foundation Japanese Language Institute, Kansai (Calligraphy experience)
The Japan Foundation Japanese Language Institute, Kansai
(Calligraphy experience)

Photo of Kyocera Corporation (Learning about Japanese local industry)
Kyocera Corporation
(Learning about Japanese local industry)

Photo of School exchange at Doshisha University
School exchange at Doshisha University

Photo of Fushimi Inari Taisha (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Fushimi Inari Taisha
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Maisendo (Japanese local traditional craftsmanship experience)
Maisendo
(Japanese local traditional craftsmanship experience)

Photo of Shunkoin (Zen meditation and tea ceremony experience)
Shunkoin
(Zen meditation and tea ceremony experience)

Photo of Kinkaku-ji (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Kinkaku-ji
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Nijo Castle (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Nijo Castle
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Learning about cutting-edge technologies of Japan)
National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
(Learning about cutting-edge technologies of Japan)

Photo of Shamisen lesson (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Shamisen lesson
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of National Diet Building (Learning about Japanese society)
National Diet Building
(Learning about Japanese society)

Photo of Akihabara (Learning about Cool Japan)
Akihabara
(Learning about Cool Japan)

Photo of Asakusa (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Asakusa
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Japanese Overseas Migration Museum, JICA Yokohama (Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Japanese Overseas Migration Museum, JICA Yokohama
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of School exchange at Meiji Gakuin University
School exchange at Meiji Gakuin University

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?

  • I love Japan’s efficiency. When it comes to customer service or timeliness of its public transportation, everything was systematic and organized. I also really love how the Japanese people are very selfless. It is a given to be polite and mindful of others.
  • I think one of Japan’s strengths is the beauty in their nature and greenery. Each time we drove around, I would always see lush green trees all adjoined together and would think about how beautiful nature is. Japan is also very clean and conserving itself in environmental ways. I rarely ever see trash cans on the street and they also have many different kinds of recycling bins.

2. How did you change your perspective of Japan through this project?

  • I guess one thing I was really acknowledged or appreciated about Japan was the traditional aspect. This was especially apparent when visiting Kinkaku-ji and Fushimi Inari Taisha. This trip also gave me the opportunity to think about corporate or business life in Japan. School visits also made me realize how other country’s college students are just like us, rather than something foreign.
  • This project changed my perspective of Japan in some areas. The biggest one was the friendliness and genuine kindness of the Japanese people. In particular, the students at Doshisha University and Meiji Gakuin University were some of the most kind-hearted people I have met. I had the false preconceived notion that the Japanese people were “cookie-cutter” type people who seemingly went through the motions. However, I found there to be the exact opposite, with the biggest hearts and sincereness.

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

  • After participating in Zen meditation, I really want to read more about it. I felt so relaxed and had a completely new experience through that. I loved it so much that I have decided to try to put a little bit of meditation into my everyday life.
  • I am interested in learning more about Japanese migration to North America, South America and Europe. As I learned at the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum, there are a variety of factors beyond mere economics that influence migration.

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 am a member of my town’s Arts and Music Festival committee, and we are hoping to include some aspects of the Japanese culture in this year’s festival. I also hope to become involved in an international business to Japan. In addition to these, I will be telling my friends and family about my experiences and the opportunities Japan has to offer. This trip has been such an amazing experience that I want to do everything in my power to make it worthwhile investment.
  • As a member of UCLA’s NSU (Nikkei Student Union) club, I plan to discuss the topic of U.S.-Japan relations with our group in depth. This would include spreading awareness of our responsibility as Japanese Americans and hopefully plan a trip together in future years to Japan. I also want to try to connect Japanese foreign exchange students with our club.

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

  • Traveling with the KAKEHASHI Project really changed my perspective of Japan and my Japanese American heritage. I was very impressed by the Japanese aesthetic and prevalence of Japanese traditional art. Meeting the other students gave me an opportunity to broaden my perspective of Japanese Americans and strengthen my relationship with the community.
  • My favorite part was meeting and interacting with other people, including other students. I believe that establishing such personal connections are vital in creating and maintaining a more understanding in global society, which is why this program is so important. I really gained an appreciation for Japan and am truly proud to have Japanese roots. I want to continue to strengthen my connection to this country and learn more about its people and culture.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation Youth Exchange Bureau
TEL : +81-(0)3-5369-6022 FAX : +81-(0)3-5369-6042
infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
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