"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: Japanese American Young Adults Invitation Program Group 3 report

Invitation in October 2014

Japanese American Young Adults Invitation Program Group 3

Period:October 13 - 23
Local Visit Destination:Fukushima Pref.
Number of Participants:21

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 University exchange at Miyagi University of Education
University exchange at Miyagi University of Education

Photo of Courtesy call at Fukushima Prefectural Government Office
Courtesy call at Fukushima Prefectural
Government Office

Photo of Visit to Tsunami affected area in(Sendai-city, Miyagi pref)
Visit to Tsunami affected area in
(Sendai-city, Miyagi pref)

Photo of Yakult Fukushima Factory(Learning about Japanese local industry)
Yakult Fukushima Factory
(Learning about Japanese local industry)

Photo of Wadaiko experience(Interacting with local people)
Wadaiko experience
(Interacting with local people)

Photo of Courtesy call at Ten-ei Village Office
Courtesy call at Ten-ei Village Office

Photo of Agricultural experience/paddy harvesting(Learning about Japanese local industry)
Agricultural experience/paddy harvesting
(Learning about Japanese local industry)

Photo of Agricultural experience/rice package designing(Learning about Japanese local industry)
Agricultural experience/rice package designing
(Learning about Japanese local industry)

Photo of Akabeko Red-cow Painting(Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Akabeko Red-cow Painting
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Karate experience(Interacting with local people)
Karate experience
(Interacting with local people)

Photo of Tsuruga-jo Castle(Learning about Japanese history and culture)
Tsuruga-jo Castle
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Interacting with local dance team GOJIN
Interacting with local dance team GOJIN

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

Photo of National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation(Learning about Japanese cutting-edge technology)
National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
(Learning about Japanese cutting-edge technology)

Photo of Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building(Learning about Japanese society)
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
(Learning about Japanese society)

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 University exchange at Meiji Gakuin University
University exchange at Meiji Gakuin University

Photo of The Imperial Palace(Learning about Japanese history and culture)
The Imperial Palace
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Photo of Visiting a Diet member, Mr. Manabu Sakai
Visiting a Diet member, Mr. Manabu Sakai

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 think Japan is a unique country in culture, language, customs, character, and international relations. No other countries are like Japan, and this makes it extremely challenging to expose its culture to the rest of the world. However the Japanese culture is so fascinating and I will thus do my part when I return to the U.S. to continue to share my thoughts and knowledge about Japan.
  • Japan's strength lies in perseverance and community regardless at circumstances. After the tsunami, Japan experienced devastation however they worked together and helped each other get back up after a difficult time. People's consideration and kindness make the country attractive.The attention and care to detail is amazing and really refreshing. This trip makes me want to work harder back in the U.S. .

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

  • I realized how intricate Japan is as a nation. It does not fall into one stereotype and each city is most definitely different. For instance, Ten-ei Village, which has a slow-paced environment of forest and trees, serves as a reminder to the different culture existing in Japan. It is such a unique country to deserve to be explored to unravel all of the intricate and minute customs within.
  • I have a stronger pride in my Japanese heritage. The Japanese culture is something that has greatly influenced its ability to thrive.
    My life, as a Japanese American has been greatly influenced by the Japanese culture. I did not realize how unique it was until I came on this trip and met with different ages and various Japanese Americans from Japan and the U.S. This trip has made me prouder to be Japanese American and I have a higher and deeper respect and understanding for my back ground.

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

  • I would like to learn more about the Japanese language. After coming here, I realized I forgot a lot of Japanese Language that I learned in high school. Being able to communicate with the people here is a very important thing if we are able to build U.S.- Japan relations. I would also like to learn more Japanese technology as Japan seemed to be more advanced than the U.S. Another thing more I would like to learn more about is university life in Japan and to learn how similar and how different it is from one in the U.S.
  • I want to learn about more traditional culture and especially from the regions from where my great grand parents immigrated. I want to learn more about Japanese history and my family's immigration story. Finally I really want to know about how Nikkei are studied in Japan and in the U.S. I am interested in potentially doing some scholarly research in Nikkei in the south west region, since that is where my family is from and those communities did not seem to be written about as much.

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 plan on more involving on the Japan American Citizens League (JACL) as a way to retain the connection with Japan. I plan on learning more aspects on Japan that I enjoyed most on my trip: especially, traditional culture, history and science. By learning Japanese and becoming involved and update more current event in Japan. I will be better involved in culture in Japan.
  • Of course I would like to come back to Japan and talk to more people. I think one of the most valuable thing we did on this trip was talking to our Japanese peers so I would like to meet more Japanese people and continue to talking with ones I have met. I also looking forward to do some research on U.S.-Japan relationship, especially in relation to my family history.

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

  • This trip was truly unforgettable. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity once in a life time trip that taught me so much about life in general. I have created many bonds and relationships with some of the greatest people that I have ever met and I owe it all to the people who made this trip possible. I would like to thank the Japan Foundation, the JACL, the Laurasian Institution, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs for ensuring that we had a wonderful experience that has created countless memories.
  • I had a wonderful experience by taking part of the KAKEHASHI Project in both International relations and self-discovery. This could not have been a better time to return to my roots and remember my purpose to help and learn from different cultures and perspectives. I am very grateful for this experience and will always cherish it.

[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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