<<  September 2012  >>


  1. Career
    1. My One and Only
    2. Interning at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
    3. S. Takata Memorial Research Library and My Research Theme
    4. Building a Career in Japan - Don't let the Japanese people beat you in linguistic skills and cultural comprehension -
    5. 67 years after World War II
    6. What is a life plan? From the National Bar Exam to becoming a painter
    7. Job-hunting experience note -Receiving a job offer from the first-choice company is not a dream-
    8. Job-hunting experience note -Self-analysis is about "Constructing one-self"-
    9. The skill-levels of world-class top talents are extremely high. That is why, in order to compete against the world, ambition and aspiration is necessary.
    10. Japan's passport did not come falling from the skies. Fight now for the respect of the future Japanese.
    11. OECD Internship Report
    12. Settling down in Waseda
    13. Be true to yourself, boldly step forward into the things that excite you!
    14. Job Hunting experience notes
    15. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    16. Using My experiences from Waseda,
    17. Waseda:An everlasting bond
    18. Recent report from Denmark
    19. Submission from WiN member (Recent Report)
    20. Memories of Waseda
    21. My experience at Waseda
    22. My time at Waseda University
    23. Teaching Position at Korea University
  1. Event Reports
    1. C21 Tokyo Challenge
    2. Enjoying a taste of South-East Asia: Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwiches and Milo
    3. Looking Back on the "Go Global Japan" English Presentation Contest
    4. Student Visa Day at the American Embassy
    5. 3rd Place Finish in the "Hong Kong Cup"
    6. Students' Day at the American Embassy
    7. ASIAN STUDENTS ENVIRONMENT PLATFORM 2012: Environmental field studies by students from Japan, China, and Korea
    8. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 2: Non-academic conference learning
    9. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 1: Academic conference learning
    10. The 7th Foreigner's Traditional Japanese Dance Exhibition: Waseda University student performers' questionnaire interview
    11. [Event] Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 at Waseda University - ended in a great success!
  1. Gourmet
    1. What Do You Do With a Major in Ramen?
  1. Others
    1. "Ship for South East Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP)"
    2. Exchange Students from US Reunite at Waseda after 30 years
    3. "Like" WiN on Facebook!
    4. WiN Blog starts
  1. Sports
    1. Learning How "To Think" Through Waseda University's Track & Field
    2. Participating in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
    3. "Participating in the XXV Winter Universiade Games (2011/Erzurum)"
    4. My experience with Waseda's American Football Bukatsu
  1. Study Abroad
    1. Shifting Cultivation and the Challenge of Sustainability in Mopungchuket Village, India
    2. Building the TOMODACHI Generation
    3. Kakehashi Project Report
    4. The Double Degree Program at Peking University
    5. Camping and Snowshoeing in Canada
    6. An Encouragement of two-stages approach to study abroad
    7. Studying abroad in Brisbane, Australia
    8. A new kind of Study Abroad
    9. 14-Day Short term Study Abroad Program in Chowgule College, Goa - "What can I do? What can they do? What can you do?"
    10. From Tsugaru strait to the African highest peak Kilimanjaro
    11. PIANO LINE -Seattle Study Abroad Chronicles-
    12. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    13. What I learned about China through Shanghai Fudan University
    14. Why are those who've experienced study abroad programs a little different? -Full Japanese SILS student reveals the whole story of studying abroad -
    15. China, The Neighboring Country You Do Not Know ~ My Encounter at Peking University ~
    16. Study Abroad Experience Notes
    17. C'est la vie! This is life! Work hard, Play hard.
    18. Study abroad @ Taiwan
    19. Study abroad @ Beijing
  1. Study in Japan
    1. Visiting the Prime Minister's Residene
    2. IPS Summer School 2016: Culture Meets Culture
    3. The World is Smaller than We Think
    4. Waseda Summer 2016
    5. The Opportunity of a Lifetime
    6. Experiencing Village Life at Kijimadaira
    7. A Fantastic Opportunity
    8. A Rewarding Experience
    9. An Amazing Experience
    10. Take Me Wonder by Wonder
    11. I Couldn't Ask for More
    12. Another Kokusaibu Story
    13. SAKURA Exchange Program in Science
    14. I Want to Go Again!
    15. More than Good Sushi
    16. Immersive Experience into the Japanese Culture
    17. 40 Years of Memories in a Photo
    18. Experiencing Everything First Hand
    19. Waseda Summer Session wasn't like any other Summer Camp
    20. Looking Forward to the Past
    21. Weeding a Rice Paddy ~Field Trip to Niigata~
    22. Japan Study Students to Waseda: A message from the class of 1983-84
    23. Developing Medical and Welfare Robots ~The Challenges of Kabe Laboratory, Faculty of Human Sciences~
    24. Recollecting experiences of Exchange Programme at Waseda
    25. Kuroda Kazuo Interview: About Studying in Japan
  1. Volunteer Activity
    1. Taking the first step in volunteering
    2. "Volunteer experience in earthquake-hit area Natori"
    3. "The Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Volunteering"
    4. How my perspective changed through volunteering
    5. Tohoku Volunteer
    6. Great East Japan Earthquake    "Fumbaro East Japan Support Project"


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What is a life plan? From the National Bar Exam to becoming a painter

Name: Takuma Tanaka
Nationality: Japan
Artist from Tokyo
1977: Born in Tokyo
1996: Drops out of Chiba University
2001: Graduates Waseda University School of Law
2003: Begins artwork

He participates in national exhibitions and other various art exhibitions. With his studio in Saitama as a base, he has held gallery exhibitions in New York and one-man exhibitions in Shanghai.

Artist 014.JPG

Studio in Saitama

How was your student life? What made you shift your focus from the Bar Exam to painting?

Before enrolling in Waseda University, I admired scholars like Takashi Tachibana, and applied for Tokyo University. Enrollment, however, was not granted. After enrolling in Waseda instead, I was in a student club and worked a part time job. At the School of Law, I was deeply impressed by professor Asaho Mizushima’s course called “Kenpou (constitution),” and by the time I was a junior, I had officially begun studying for the bar exam to become a lawyer. 

Simultaneously, I had begun job-hunting with a focus on venture businesses. However, my true goal was to become a lawyer, which became the main reason I was not accepted at the final interview. 

I took the bar exam twice, but I could not pass either time. Failing for the second time was a big shock for me, and I suffered from depression. I started going to see a psychosomatic doctor, and one of the therapies were through painting. When I would draw, the doctor would compliment me. I studied the basics of painting at the Culture School of Yuzawaya 3 times a week. I was about 25. Although it was said to take 10 years to reach the level of acceptance to the prefectural exhibit, I was accepted 6 months after starting painting.

Please tell us about New York, Shanghai, and other activities abroad.

My activities were based in Japan for a while, but after the Lehman Shock of 2008, the Japanese economy became poor. I took that as an opportunity to go abroad. With my art in one hand, I visited over 100 galleries. The standard approach is to go through an agent, but I had no idea of that at the time, so I went by myself. As a result of my efforts, I was given permission to sell my art on a consignment contract at one gallery.

I had heard that there was a gallery street in Shanghai. When I visited, what I saw were many replicas of works by famous artists, and I was allowed to put my work next to them. My artwork is small, but the price is about 10 times the amount for the replicas. Which do the customers end up buying? The inexpensive replicas. My artwork did not sell. I then went looking for galleries by taxi. I had no network of any kind, so I looked in the phone book, and visited 80 galleries. This is how I met the gallery I am connected with today. The owner has studied lacquer in Japan, and understood my hardship coming from Japan. My first one-man exhibition was held here in 2010, a gallery that allows one to showcase over 70 works in an area of 4200 square feet. The first exhibition was visited by mainly Japanese fans, but from the 2nd and 3rd exhibitions, attendance by Chinese fans increased.



The opening exhibition in Shanghai

Please tell us about your future career path

I plan for the center of my activities to be in Asia. I am currently contracted with galleries in Hong Kong and Beijing. However, I want to move the center of my activities to Vancouver, B.C. in 2 years. I am interested in the art business. I have been gathering Western business books and studying how artwork can be sold to customers. I started out selling artwork on the streets of places like Ginza and Urawa. I graduated Waseda, but in terms of art, I began with no knowledge, so it is a very difficult industry. My approach to making art is not changing, but the way it is sold, however, can be changed. Talent in art alone does not guarantee success. I strongly believe business skills are extremely necessary. 

Message to Waseda students

In my case, dedication to life is right behind my art. It is important to decide what kind of life you want to live. The university does not teach you how to plan and live your life. In order to learn these things, one possibility is to learn about life and death, Buddhism, and Confucianism. My “art” comes after focusing on those things. Therefore, the art itself is not the focus. It is self-expression.

There is a lot of time during your university days, so I think it would be good to have conversations with various people you would not normally listen to. Lately, there are many people that fear failure, and as a result, avoid failure completely. I have gone through many failures. It is crucial that one fails because one moves forward as a result of failure. I think things like these become the treasures of life. 


Takuma Tanaka website

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