"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: Thematic Programs (Japan Bowl) : July 2014 (Japan Bowl)

Invitation in July 2014

Japan Bowl

Period:July 8 - 17
Local Visit Destination:Osaka
Number of Participants:47

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation
Orientation

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

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

Photo of Courtesy call on Osaka Prefectural Government
Courtesy call on Osaka Prefectural Government

Photo of Osaka Castle (Learning about Japanese history and traditional culture)
Osaka Castle
(Learning about Japanese history and traditional culture)

Photo of School exchange at Osaka Prefectural Senri Senior High School
School exchange at Osaka Prefectural Senri Senior High School

Photo of School exchange at Osaka Prefectural Minoo High School
School exchange at Osaka Prefectural Minoo High School

Photo of Homestay
Homestay

Photo of Rakugo in English by Kaishi Katsura (Learning about Japanese history and traditional culture)
Rakugo in English by Kaishi Katsura
(Learning about Japanese history and traditional culture)

Photo of Meiji Jingu and Harajuku (Learning about Japanese history and traditional culture)
Meiji Jingu and Harajuku
(Learning about Japanese history and traditional culture)

Photo of Edo-Tokyo Museum (Learning about Japanese history and traditional culture)
Edo-Tokyo Museum
(Learning about Japanese history and traditional culture)

Photo of “Japanese in Anime and Manga” (Japanese language communication)
“Japanese in Anime and Manga”
(Japanese language communication)

Photo of Reception organized by Japan-America Society of Washington DC at American Center Japan
Reception organized by Japan-America Society of Washington DC at American Center Japan

Photo of Courtesy call on Honorary Patron of Japan Bowl Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado
Courtesy call on Honorary Patron of Japan Bowl Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado

Photo of Courtesy call on Mr. Shimomura (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
Courtesy call on Mr. Shimomura (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

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?

  • The Japanese values one’s health, a very strong point in my opinion. Even though Tokyo is a bustling city with cars everywhere, the Japanese manages to do urban life right. They plant trees all over the city, recycle, and don’t litter. Evidence that the Japanese values one’s health includes the large elderly population in Japan. The Japanese also puts full effort and quality into everything they do, demonstrated by their high quality products ranging from stationery to transportation.
  • Despite the short amount of time spent in Japan through the KAKEHASHI program, I was able to make an impression on this country. People are generally uniform, following the laws and signs shown everywhere. For example, people take into consideration the reasons of having so many different recycling bins, and throw away their trash accordingly.  Everyone’s contributing behavior in completing their role in society and treat everyone else with respect.
  • After participating in the KAKEHASHI Program, I think that Japan’s strengths are that the people in Japan value the concept of family much more than the people in the U.S. Even though children have activities like basketball, juku, etc. and the parents have to work, they all make sure to set aside time to all sit together to eat, play games or even just watch TV. Although the flashy lights and cool buildings are indeed interesting, the foundation of Japan is in its culture, which is preserved through their people.
  • Japan is attractive for its beautiful nature, deep cultural history, modern pop culture and its people. The majority of the people I met in Japan were very polite, patient and hospitable.  Japan is very well known for its technology as well.

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

  • Through this project, my perspective of Japan changed from expecting old-fashioned everything to the realization that while the language and culture are immensely different from that of the U.S., the people are still very easy to connect and very willing to help one another.
  • Before this project, I believed that most Japanese people are very serious and stiff. Even though I came to Japan once before, I still experienced very serious people. But because of KAKEHASHI, I was able to go to Japanese high school and do a homestay, which I think is a better representation of Japanese people. Though they are serious and hard-working, they are also silly and fun.
  • Through this project, I have been able to learn much more about the background and history behind famous sightseeing areas and the current Japan government and society. It really allowed me to settle into a more understanding mindset in viewing current problems Japan is facing, and also see the values Japanese society holds and want to adopt them into my own lifestyle.
  • Having been to Japan once already, my perspective of Japan did not change much.  However, the homestay opportunity that I received on this project exposed me to the kindness and hospitality of the Japanese people. My host family treated me not as a guest but as one of their own children.

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

  • More vocabularies, more grammar! I would like to improve my proficiency in the language very much. Of all the languages I have studied, Japanese is both my favorite and the one in which I am the closest to becoming a conversational user.
  • I want to learn more about Japanese history, religious culture, and popular/modern culture. I also want to improve my reading and writing kanji skills to communicate easier.
  • I think I would want to continue to learn more about Japanese history and the daily lives of Japanese people. To me, the most interesting aspect of the Japanese country is how it got to where it is right now. Thus, history and daily life would definitely be aspects of Japan I would want to learn.
  • I want to learn about Japanese culture, especially how each city embraces their roots. I also want to learn more about the two main religions, Buddhism and Shinto. The two religions have heavy influence on everyday life and I want to learn about their customs and traditions. When in the US, I will research the stock market and how it remains economically successful.

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?

  • To deepen the understanding on Japan’s strength and attractiveness, I would definitely tell others about my experience here in Japan. I know that there are still many tensions between the two countries in some areas, but I believe that those who misunderstand Japan really do not know Japan. I hope that through my story (experience in Japan), I can show people the “real Japan” that they are missing out.
  • Upon returning to the U.S., I intend on teaching my family and friends about the various cultural experiences I learned. I hope to encourage the people I know to participate in Japanese cultural events in my city, and continue to support the Japanese program at my own school that has brought me so far already.
  • Hopefully I would like to be a post of the JET program. Or I could go to a Japanese high school and middle school and teach there. By teaching the students English and introducing them to U.S. culture, I hope to deepen the bond between Japan and U.S. To further deepen my own understanding of Japan, I would like to take the AP Japanese course next year. If I return to Japan in the future, I could visit my host sister and make new Japanese friends to help me deepen my understanding of Japanese culture.
  • I am actually planning to major in International Law and Relations, and I am hoping to be one of the future US-Japanese diplomats/ambassadors. I will be going to Nagoya University to immerse myself for 4 years in the Japanese culture and language. From there I hope to make many friends internationally.

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

  • It was actually really fun. At first, I was scared, but afterwards, not so much because I got to make so many new friends. The homestay was fun, being immersed in a completely different culture and sharing ours with them.
  • I am very honored and extremely happy that I was able to participate in this KAKEHASHI PROJECT! I was able to explore all sorts of places in Japan that regular tours do not, and much more in depth. I am very thankful for the wonderful homestay! In general, through this project I was able to meet many people with similar interests and I had lots of fun!
  • The best part of this experience was definitely the homestay. Through the rest of the time traveling in Japan, I felt I could not really connect with the Japanese people, but through the homestay I was able to experience Japanese culture along with being able to connect with the Japanese people and feel how kind they are.
  • I really think the KAKEHASHI Project was one of the best experiences of my life. I enjoyed every moment of my experience. Even the homestay, which I was really nervous about, turned out to be the most memorable portion of the trip. I really would like to visit Japan again in the future.

[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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