"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: DePaul University (Illinois)

Invitation in June 2014

TOMODACHI INOUYE SCHOLARS as a part of KAKEHASHI Project Invitation Program Group 1
DePaul University (Illinois)

Period:June 16 - 26
Local Visit Destination:Kyoto
Number of Participants:25

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation
Orientation
(Lecture on Japan-U.S. relations)

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

Photo taken at Senso-ji
Senso-ji
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken at Kyoto City Hall
Courtesy call at Kyoto City Hall

Group photo taken at Kyoto City Hall
Courtesy call at Kyoto City Hall

Photo taken at Kinkaku-ji
Kinkaku-ji

Photo of School exchange at Ritsumeikan University
School exchange at Ritsumeikan University

Group photo taken at Ritsumeikan University
School exchange at Ritsumeikan University

Photo of Tea ceremony experience
Tea ceremony experience
(Learning about Japanese history and culture)

Group photo taken at Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
(Learning about Japanese local history and culture)

Photo taken at Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine
(Learning about Japanese local history and culture)

Photo taken on Hanami-Koji Street
Hanami-Koji
(Learning about Japanese local history and culture)

Photo of Otabe (Yatsuhashi) making experience
Otabe (Yatsuhashi) making experience
(Learning about Japanese local history and culture)

Photo taken on Sagano Romantic Train
Sagano Romantic Train
(Learning about Japanese local history and culture)

Group photo taken in Arashiyama
Arashiyama
(Learning about Japanese local history and culture)

Group photo taken at Tenryu-ji
Tenryuji Temple
(Learning about Japanese local history and culture)

Photo of Kyo-Yuzen dyeing experience 1
Kyo-Yuzen dyeing experience
(Learning about Japanese local history and culture)

Photo of Kyo-Yuzen dyeing experience 2
Kyo-Yuzen dyeing experience
(Learning about Japanese local history and culture)

Photo taken at Discussion with TOMODACHI alumni
Discussion with TOMODACHI alumni

Photo of Volunteering activity at Hakujusou Senior Home and Meguro Wakabaryo Children’s Nursing Home
Volunteering activity at Hakujusou Senior Home and Meguro Wakabaryo Children’s Nursing Home

Photo taken at Event hosted by USJC member Ernie Higa
Event hosted by USJC member Mr. Ernie Higa

Photo taken at Meiji Jingu
Meiji Jingu
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken in Harajuku
Harajuku
(Learning about “Cool Japan”)

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

Photo taken at Debriefing session 1
Debriefing session

Photo taken at Debriefing session 2
Debriefing session

Voices from Participants

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

  • One of the greatest strengths I have recognized is Japan’s rich history. Japan’s ability to adapt modern practices and values while maintaining the integrity of traditional culture speaks a lot to Japan’s flexibility and future advancement as an attractive country.
  • The Japanese general mindset – one centered around appreciation for often overlooked things by Americans and humility – is truly beautiful to me. I feel these are traits that can be shared and emphasized outside of this culture. Appreciation, humility and strong ties to one’s community all shape the nation’s dynamic in a very positive way. I feel this national character is a strength unique to Japan and worth exploring by other nations.

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

  • Before coming I thought of Japan as an entirely “foreign” place where the customs & lifestyle would be difficult for me to adopt to. That was not the case and I really think Japan is doing innovative things that the U.S. can learn for. I would consider studying in Japan and would definitely tell my friends and family is a beautiful place to visit.
  • When I applied for this project, I realized that I always believed it to be rich in cultural history and scenery. However, I didn’t realize how Japan has transformed into an innovative, first-world power – i.e. strong economy, industrialized nation, large downtown/city areas. Likewise, I also realize now that Japan is not as I initially thought, a homogeneous society, but diverse in its own ways as well. Overall, I have a broader, more positive perspective on Japan!

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

  • Personally I want to learn the language since I want to move here one day. I also want to do more research on contemporary Japan and how the next generation is going to move Japan forward.
  • I definitely want to learn more about Japan because 11 days is not enough for me to really immerse myself in order for me to identify what “to be Japanese” means. I have met so many phenomenal people who I will absolutely with no doubt be keeping in touch over the next years. I would love to be a representative of TOMODACHI initiative, not only talking about it but helping with the mission to make TOMODACHI a brand back in the States at different universities.

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?

  • As an animation student, I hope to do a project that highlights Japanese history and culture through a short film.
  • I will visit Japan more, for longer periods of time, maybe for work or business.  Encourage more people to study abroad. Teach more Japanese and Japanese culture to classmates through on campus events and by collaborating with international organizations such as the Japan Foundation and local organizations such as the Chicago Koto group and Chicago Kendo Dojo.

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

  • As it was my first visit to Japan, I was glad to be immediately immersed in Japanese culture and traditions. Throughout our trip we’ve done so much and visited so many places that I can barely believe that we’ve only been here for 8 full days. For me, I have been so intrigued by this country and its people that I’m planning on returning in the future either to work or study.
  • My experience in the KAKEHASHI Project was one of the kind. I appreciate how I was able to interact with Japanese students and learn from them things about their country that I would not have learned in textbooks. This experience helped me better understand and appreciate the many customs of Japan. It was exciting being able to emerge myself in new cultures. This experience also made me realize that I want to keep traveling and hopefully come back to Japan with new things to discover.

[Contact Us]

TEL: +81-(0)3-5369-6022
FAX: +81-(0)3-5369-6042
E-mail: infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
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