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    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!
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  1. Others
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    3. "Participating in the XXV Winter Universiade Games (2011/Erzurum)"
    4. My experience with Waseda's American Football Bukatsu
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    2. Building the TOMODACHI Generation
    3. Kakehashi Project Report
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    5. Camping and Snowshoeing in Canada
    6. An Encouragement of two-stages approach to study abroad
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    8. A new kind of Study Abroad
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    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
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    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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Blog:Nov, 2014

SAKURA Exchange Program in Science

De La Salle University Students from the Philippines Participate in the
SAKURA Exchange Program in Science


Written by Joenel G. Galupino and Kristian V. Caringal
Photos by Prof. Jonathan Dungca and Jiaan Gesalem



Last October 12-18, 2014, Waseda University and The Center for Contribution to Peace in Asia hosted the Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program (SAKURA Exchange Program in Science), which was participated by two Professors and 28 students from De La Salle University (DLSU), Philippines. It was an exchange program that gives importance to earth’s resources and environment.
 

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Welcome party at Waseda University

During their first day at Waseda University, Prof. Shuji Owada conducted series of scholarly lectures. His
students presented their current researches, and he discussed the importance of the role of economy, population, food, and industry resources to the society. Subsequently, a visit in his laboratory was also conducted to familiarize the DLSU participants with their research.
 

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DLSU students visit Prof. Owada's Laboratory

Also, to formally welcome the DLSU participants, a welcome party was prepared. The DLSU students and
professors wore their national costumes to show their gratitude and to demonstrate the importance of the occasion.

DLSU participants visited recycling plants in relation to the lectures given by Prof. Owada. Wastes such as printed circuit boards (PCB), air-conditioners, television, etc. underwent various processes to attain rare valuable metals, which are beneficial for other industries. Lectures were also given by these recycling plants to familiarize the DLSU participants with their processes and the importance of their objective.
 

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Recycling plant visit

As a part of their exchange program, DLSU participants visited the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Advanced Industrial Science And Technology (AIST), and National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.
 

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DLSU students with Waseda University students

A closing program was prepared for the DLSU participants to formally end the activity. Certificates of achievement for the course were also awarded by Michiharu Nakamura, PhD., President of Japan Science and Technology, to the DLSU participants.
 

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Closing ceremony


DLSU Students'comments, suggestions and/or impressions:

“The Sakura Exchange Program was a wonderful experience for me, not only as a a student by in the entirety of my person as well. It made me realise that people are not really different after all, especially during the time when we spent with several Japanese Students from Waseda University. It gave me this sense of camaraderie and that striving for excellence and the constant search for knowledge can be achieved through involvement with different kinds of people as well, not only through one's mere effort. The Exchange Program has transformed me to see a world in a whole new perspective. I suggest that this opportunity that was given to us to take part in this program should be prolonged as a unifying form of connection between De La Salle University and Waseda University. Not only strengthening the relationship between the two universities but the two countries as well. Japan and the Philippines in merging into achieving the goal of a better society and world.”
Acosta, Dwayne Mark Y.
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with Specialization in Structural Engineering

“Japanese people are really great teachers of science and technology. This country is really one of the best in the world when it comes to those fields. And I think the main reason why Japanese people are successful is because of their discipline. They are very strict when it comes to following their time and schedule.”
Allas, Mikel Jason DG.
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

“I realized that Japan is really a very impressive city and that the Philippines has a lot to learn from Japan. I believe that with the right work, time and dedication, the Philippines really has a chance to improve as a country.”
Baltazar, Gabriel Rupert C.
Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering and Management
with Specialization in Mechatronics and Robotics

“The SAKURA Exchange Program was truly an enriching experience. I definitely learned a lot about resources recycling and it made me to be more motivated in protecting the environment. Also, our interaction with the other Japanese students made us appreciate Japanese culture. Although there are partly some hindrance (due to language barrier), overall it was really fun and enjoying.”
Bernadas, Edmar D.
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

“I observed that the Japanese are very well organized. All of the schedules are followed on the dot. In
addition, they are also hospitable. They always make sure that the foreign students are feeling comfortable and are learning a lot in their program.”
Caringal, Kristian Lawrence V.
Bachelor of Science/ Master of Science in Civil Engineering with Specialization in Structural Engineering

“The Sakura Exchange Program in Science is truly an unforgettable experience that enables us to fully
interact with the locals, especially the very warm hearted university students and staff, and experience
Japanese culture. I can say that this program has bridged the two Asian countries closer to each other; I
believe this will also be true for the succeeding ones. My only recommendation for the program is that as
part of the culture exchange; also let the exchange students taste the local cuisine like ramen, sushi,
sashimi and such. Overall, the program was a huge success.”
Castillo, Calvin T.
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

“The Sakura Exchange Program was a very memorable experience to all of the delegates. They were very hospitable to us and they made sure that everything would go smoothly and according to plan. They were very strict about the schedule and for example when they say 9:00AM, its 9:00AM sharp.”
Chioson, Charmaine B.
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

“The program was very well balanced and organized. There were enough activities to fill ourselves with new information regarding resource recycling and at the same time, we still were able to sight see all over
Japan. I wish the program would have lasted for another week so we could learned more and visited more
places. I also hope to be in one of Dr. Owada's lectures since his delivery was superb.”
Chua, Renz Anderson D.
Bachelor of Science/ Master of Science in Civil Engineering with Specialization in Structural Engineering

“Although my course is not engineering, I found the program really helpful. At first I thought that recycling was just a simple thing to do, but when the Japanese showed us what happens to old materials/machines, it gave me a new perspective about recycling.”
Consul, Denise Neri I.
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Specialization in Business Applications

“The SAKURA exchange program was a successful event wherein we DLSU students were able to learn more on the advanced research and technological innovations that Japan has to offer. Moreover, the DLSU students were able to bridge our connections to the Japanese community specifically, through the students and professors of the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Waseda University. Thank you very much for this wonderful and fruitful opportunity.”
Cruz, Joseph Benjamin Z.
Bachelor of Science / Master of Science in Civil Engineering
with Specialization in Construction Technology and Management

“The exchange program was very accommodating, well thought of, relatable and relevant to us. I suggest that there should be more lectures on how recycling happens in Japan so that it can spring up ideas to the listeners :)  Also, I suggest that the delegates (we, the 30 Filipinos chosen to be delegates) still get in
touch with the programs of Waseda University. I do hope that the Waseda Science Club is a group we will look forward to in the future. I hope that you still connect with us, even now that the program is over. :)
Thank you so much for the experience! It was indeed a ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE, CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS, an experience we will always be grateful of. Thank you! :) We hope to visit again soon.”
Culaba, Florence Joan Q.
Bachelor of Science in Psychology

“The itinerary prepared for the program was good. It was well-organized and the facilitators were able to
cope with the weather changes easily.  The visit to the recycling centres were very interesting for me since I do not think we have that in the Philippines, and not a lot of people has access to that experience.
I am also thankful that we were given the chance to meet students from Waseda University because it is also a way expanding our networks. It's great that we became friends with them because when they go to the Philippines, they could just contact us and we'll give them a tour. I'm also glad that you provided us speakers who shared their experience about going on exchange and inspired us to try enrol in Waseda
University.”
Culaba, Nicole Vienne Q.
Bachelor of Science in Psychology

“Japan is a very traditional country which time is very essential. They are a very developed country with
citizens that is very disciplined and punctual. Time is very important to Japanese, they are very strict in
terms of their time. The disposal and recycling of waste materials is a very rigorous task but the Japanese government and private companies cooperated well to make the task more simple and efficient.”
Galupino, Joenel G.
Master of Science in Civil Engineering with Specialization in Structural Engineering

“I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to experience the impressiveness of Japan’s culture and
advancements first hand. I really hope more students from the Philippines can experience what I  experienced here in Japan. I’ve always thought Filipinos are the most hospitable in the Asian region but now I think the Japanese deserve the recognition most. I also think Japan would be a very suitable place for researchers.”
Gan, Michelle C.
Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering and Management
with Specialization in Biomedical Engineering

“The Sakura Exchange Program was an experience that I would never forget in my whole life. The program allowed us, Filipinos, to engage and interact with Japanese students from Waseda University. One of the things I really appreciated the most in the program was learning new information about Japan, such as their culture, technology, people, and etc. It was also wonderful and humbling that the program coordinators scheduled some time for us to go around Tokyo, Japan. Overall, the exchange program was an amazing experience.”
Gesalem, Jiaan Regis G.
Bachelor of Science / Master of Science in Civil Engineering
with Specialization in Transportation Engineering

“The Sakura Exchange Program heightened my experience in Japan since it was my first time and aside from the scenery, I was able to gain knowledge about environmental engineering and research. It made me grow as a person because I was able to connect with other students, built up friendship and exchange stories about our cultures. I am really impressed with the staffs that worked hard in putting up such organised program that made our stay in Japan memorable. I hope there are more programs like that so that we can join again.”
Juego, Modwena B.
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with Specialization in Structural Engineering

“The program was well organized and the content was comprehensive. I learned a lot from the different
recycling technologies to the culture of Japan. Personally, I was amazed by how the Japanese give importance to time. They are also very hospitable and generally they are very kind to everyone. I also observed that the Japanese are systematic, and they are also much disciplined.”
Magdaong, Jeremy Jay B.
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

“Some of the Japanese students which we interacted with had previously been to the Philippines. This paints a great picture as to the openness as well as the attractiveness towards foreigners of the Philippines. However most were only able to go to Cebu. Though Cebu is a great place in the Philippines, it lacks the power to truly portray all aspects of Philippine living. IF they wish to truly understand the dominant culture found in the Philippines, I think that they must also experience a stay in Manila. As Manila is the center of the Philippines it is also the center of culture of the country.”
Manzano, Abiel Bernielu L.
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

“The Sakura Program was impressive, I learned a lot of the culture of Japan. And it made me realize how
hospitable Japanese people are.”
Mayol, Andres Philip
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

“I realized that Japan is really a very impressive city and that the Philippines has a lot to learn from Japan. I believe that with the right work, time and dedication, the Philippines really has a chance to improve as a country.”
Peralta, Kean Adriel Filip M.
Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering and Management
with Specialization in Mechatronics and Robotics

“The country (Japan) already speaks for itself. They have a very organized system in everything that they do especially in their subways, convenience stores, restaurants and universities. Also, their facilities are
clean and are well maintained. Like the Philippines, the people of Japan are very welcoming especially to
strangers. A random citizen helped me while I was jogging and even accompanied me going to the main street. Visiting Waseda University was one of my highlights of the activity. They have different rules compared to DLSU and their facilities are very high end. The students also reflect the system of the university by being welcoming and open.”
Rama, Alvaro Martin M.
Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering and Management
with Specialization in Mechatronics and Robotics

“I think that anyone that are studying in Waseda are lucky students. It is nice that the facilities are advanced. Also, the students I've met are all very friendly and approachable. I think it would be difficult at first to fit in because of the language barrier but the students' hospitality makes up for it. The program
itself was very fun-filled and I just hope that there was a day when we could have roamed the beautiful city of Tokyo and appreciate its history too.”
Rice, Samantha June M.
Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering and Management
with Specialization in Biomedical Engineering

“The Concept is very new to me. I was mesmerized on how Precious metals and minerals could be retrieved and recycled to such a great extent. This truly is an amazing technological advancement that would benefit not only the people, but also the environment. Recyling waste materials must be of high priority. Dr. Owada’s lectures are very impressive and eye opening to the extent to which we can help the environment from deteriorating furthermore. They are enjoyable and interesting.”
Sanchez, Heisen Hayes M.
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with Specialization in Structural Engineering

“I think that the students were enlightened by the plant tour. Electronic wastes need not be thrown away
when it is of no use anymore. It can be recycled again and made into a new material. I think this movement is really helpful to the present situation of our planet earth. We should learn how to utilize the wastes and find a way on how to make good use of them.”
Sanchez, Ivy S.
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with Specialization in Structural Engineering

“It was a greatly beneficial experience. You do not only gain knowledge on something relating to engineering but also knowledge on Japanese culture. It would be wonderful if the program could give something like hands on experience as a researcher or more lectures.”
Ting, Racquel Ranchie A.
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

“Unlike in the Philippines where people are always getting late in works and meetings, Japanese people value their time most. I hope that someday Philippines will be the same as Japan.”
Ting, Sean Johnlee Q.
Bachelor of Science / Master of Science in Civil Engineering with Specialization in Transportation Engineering

“The program is very knowledgeable. It is really designed according to the objectives and is very inspiring
especially to future engineers and researchers.”
Villanueva, Cris Danielle M.
Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering and Management
with Specialization in Mechatronics and Robotics

“The Sakura Exchange Program is a really great way to encourage students in to studying in Japan. The
program has left a lasting impression on me, on how well the Japanese culture has help shaped their
development. I would very much want to have another opportunity to study in Japan, be it for a year or a
semester. The Exchange program was so perfectly executed that I do not have anything else to add. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the organizers and thank them for their hospitality shown to our group.”
Yu, Jim Harvey C.
Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering and Management
with Specialization in Mechatronics and Robotics

I Want to Go Again!

Name: Charlotte Dawes
Home Institute
: New York University
Enrollment year and status at Waseda University: Waseda Summer Session, June-July 2014


Summary of experience  
After thoroughly researching study abroad opportunities in Japan, I stumbled upon the Waseda
Summer Program and immediately began my application essay. Waseda University seemed like the
perfect location, size, and timing for an unusual and fulfilling academic experience. The summer
program exceeded my expectations. I learned so much about Japanese history and culture in the
classes at Waseda as I was able to immerse myself in the incredible city of Tokyo. One of the most
valuable aspects of the program was making friends with students from Australia, Singapore, China,
Taiwan, Hong Kong, England, the Netherlands, and so many other places. I learned that exploring
Japanese culture as an American is so different from learning about it with people from other
backgrounds.
 

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Charlotte, second from right

Dorm and school facilities
The Waseda campus was easy to access from the dorms and we were escorted to campus the first
day so that we could figure out the route on our own. In no time I felt like a campus regular! The dorms
were extremely clean and organized and we had a communal kitchen to hang out and cook in.
 

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Courses
I took culture and history classes with a professor from Hong Kong and a professor from Texas. In the
culture class we explored the Japanese sense of self; the teacher touched on interesting topics such
as psychology and family. In the history course, we explored the globalization of Japanese popular
culture and its implications on race, environmental science, and gender.

Japanese culture
As an American, it is one thing to visit Europe or South America, but visiting Japan felt more foreign
than any other place I have visited or experienced in my life. Learning and adjusting to mundane
manners and etiquette was important and I felt like I learned so much so fast. I learned a lot about
kindness, sharing, and the importance of community. It was also extremely fascinating to observe
gender roles in Japan.
    
Highlights
The class field trip to Kamakura/Hakone was really fun and a great bonding experience. Travelling
as a big group was a nice change of pace and we were given a lot of freedom to explore on our own
as well. 
 

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Other highlights of living in Tokyo were eating the food and exploring Japanese fashion. Even the
inexpensive food I bought on the streets was extremely high quality and delicious. I could have an
amazing ramen or sushi meal for so cheap and feel so satisfied. I miss the incredible quality of
Japanese food every day! I went to some amazing art galleries and museums including the Mori Art
Museum and the Cup Noodles museum. I even went to a concert at Billboard Live, attended a baseball
game, and visited Tokyo Disneyland! I loved Japanese street style and going to all the department
stores and vintage stores. I bought some amazing clothing that I would not be able to find anywhere
else in the world or even on the Internet. Tokyo is truly the most unique and amazing place I have ever
visited and I am so happy I could have Waseda as a host and was able to learn about Japan in
academic and urban settings. I want to go again!
 

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More than Good Sushi

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Name:
Jasper Kroese
Home Institute
: University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Enrollment year and status at Waseda University: Waseda Summer Session,
June-July 2014



When people travel, their aim is often to experience a country by visiting as many Lonely Planet-suggested
hot-spots as possible in the limited time they have. They then go home to show their friends interchangeable
pictures of tourist locations and tick that specific country off their wish list. The question is, however, whether
that’s the way to actually experience a country, culture and its people; I would argue it’s not. The Waseda
summer program gave me the opportunity to actually experience Japan.
 

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With daily classes, the summer program allows its participants to get into some form of routine, an
everyday life in some ways. Learning about Japanese culture in classes allowed me to place what I
saw into perspective, and the same time, organized field trips made it possible to personally observe
what we learned in class. This interconnectedness between interesting classes and the time spent
roaming Tokyo forms the full package to get a grasp of this magnificent country and its culture. Tokyo
is an extraordinary city that doesn’t compare to any other place I’ve ever seen. From miles of gray
buildings to in-your-face advertisement to ten-story karaoke bars. From hammered businessmen
trying desperately to hug a bicycle, to cafés filled with robots, cats or unidentifiable tame rodents.
From parks filled with hundreds of teens dressed up as their favorite anime-character (just because)
to our very own Nakano park.
 

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With more people living in Tokyo than in all of The Netherlands, I’m not hesitant to say that Tokyo feels
like a never ending city where everything is possible. However, I’ve also had the opportunity to travel for
two weeks after the summer program (Kyoto, Osaka, Miyajima, Hiroshima) which made me realize that
Japan is even more than the grand city that is Tokyo. Whether you go there for the food, the people,
the religion, the history, the anime or those ridiculous capsule hotels: eventually you’ll
appreciate them all.
 

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Perhaps even more intriguing than experiencing Japan,
however, is the people I was able to share the experience with.
Besides learning about Japanese culture, you also get the
opportunity to interact with other students, each with their own
culture. Normally, learning about a new culture is, for a large
part, comparing it to your own. Through this program, I wasn’t
just able to compare the Japanese and Dutch culture, but also
put both of those in a broader context through interaction with
my fellow students, be it Chinese, American or Australian. This
summer program offers the unique experience to learn both
with and from each other, to share amazement and confusion,
laughter and drinks, stories and games and to become friends
with people from around the world. And let’s be honest, where
else in the world would you be able to find a university with its
own ‘Hello Kitty’-merchandise. An unforgettable experience. 

 

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http://www.wunivcoop.com/?pid=37972023

 
 

Immersive Experience into the Japanese Culture

Name: Justin Daniel Pereira
Home Institute: National University of Singapore
Enrollment year and status at Waseda University: Waseda Summer Session, June-July 2014

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Me (second from left) and some of my new found friends on the field trip

Inaugural Waseda Summer Session 2014
What does it mean to be a Waseda summer student? I’ve to say that it was a whirlwind of exposures
in experiencing a part of Japanese life and history beyond that of the regular traveller. While the tourist
may get a glimpse of the daily lives of the Japanese people, visit places of interest that are commonly
found in guidebooks, it is the experience of being a student living in the city for an extended period of
time that provided a different insight into the daily ticking of the Japanese heartbeat.
 

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Waiting for the train to Waseda University

Time essentially slowed down to a pace that allowed one to truly have a taste of city immersion that
went beyond any regular trip. Be it from living at the fancy dormitories at Nakano; to the experience
of riding the railway system; or to have tsukemen in an off-road restaurant, the journey was both an
adventure and a memory. This was best coupled with Waseda University offering of two intensive
classes throughout the one month stay Summer Session. It furthered in providing a perspective that
allowed me to put what was learnt in the classroom into thought and action as I travelled around the
city of Tokyo. As I took the classes on Japanese history and Japanese politics, I was able to better
understand why society behaved, believed, and dreamed as such. On the international front, there
was greater clarity in seeing what motivates the state to react in such a manner. In short, it was an
excellent, compact and immersive experience into Japanese culture through a glimpse in the
Japanese education system.

The classes and learning environment
Despite the short stay, I also had the privilege of making friends with students and faculty both from
Japan and from around the world. It was an excellent experience of diversity as each brought in their
own insights, shaped by their various disciplines and socio-political context in which they grew up in.
Having that presence of interdisciplinary and international learning in the classroom certainly provided
a different dimension in how regular classes are taught and best appreciated.

I appreciated the complexities of thought brought in by A/P Yuichiro ONISHI and Professor Toru
SHINODA as they explored the historical processes in which the Japanese race and identity came to
be made. It was a mind-provoking exercise as the class compared African-American texts in coming
to understand the negotiable part of identity formation within a nation.
 

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Waseda Summer Session Politics Class in front of the Japanese Diet

A/P Mieko NAKABAYASHI in her politics class provided valuable insight from both her experience as
a politician and practitioner. Her extensive networks in bringing various guest speakers and their
own thoughts to the classroom was something that one wouldn’t expect from a regular day to day
class. And to put learning in context, the class had a close look and visit at the Yasukuni Shrine as
well as the Japanese Diet.

Parting thoughts
The Waseda Summer Session is an excellent way to have both an academic as well as a cultural
exposure to the wonders and realities of Japan that takes learning well beyond the regular classroom.
It becomes a new type of adventure all in itself. With such memories, I look forward to my next return
visit to the country, and discover even more of the society that is close to my heart. Maybe then I’ll
stay even longer and be further surprised by what I didn’t know as I experience a new learning
journey all over again.
 

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j6.jpg

 

40 Years of Memories in a Photo

Name: Roger James (Jim) Mockford
Country: USA
Enrollment year and status at Waseda University: International Division Program Student, 1974-75
Specialty at Waseda University: Japanese Language and Literature
Current Position: Software QA Engineer Wacom Technology Corp.
Job Description: Manage global certifications and quality assurance programs for
touch and pen tablet technology products

How has studying abroad at Waseda aided you in your career/academic path?
All of the jobs I have held during my career have involved Japan and use of Japanese including my
work as Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington in the 1980s,
Pre-collegiate Japanese language teacher in the USA in the 1990s, and for the past 15 years as a
Software QA Engineer Wacom Technology Corp.

Most memorable event at Waseda University
I was asked to give the farewell address in Japanese at the Sobetsu-Kai, final gathering of the
International Division held at Okuma Kaikan garden in June 1975. It was a beautiful day and my
Japanese host mother was so happy with my speech she cried tears of joy when I gave her and
her family credit for teaching me Japanese during my homestay and providing me with a cultural
understanding of Japan that I could never have learned just from classroom studies. We have
remained great friends and stayed in touch for the past 40 years.


40 Years of Memories in a Photo
Roger Jim Mockford

Dear WiN Members, How time flies over the decades which for me have spanned 40 years since my
year as a student at Waseda University International Division. As an exchange student from the
University of Oregon I arrived for classes at Waseda in the fall of 1974 and had a wonderful time with
my host family and many friends made in Japan during the year. During holidays I also traveled to
remote areas of Japan including Izu, Nachi Falls, Cape Shionomi, Cape Ashizuri, Aoshima and
Nichinan Kaigan, Hagi, Hiroshima, Fukushima, Matsushima, and Hokkaido. During the past 40 years
I have made about 30 trips to Japan and in 2012 I visited the Tsunami recovery areas of Tohoku that I
had not seen since my college year in Japan. My life was deeply impacted by the year at Waseda and
there are too many experiences to share in this blog.

waseda20197420group.jpg

Here we are in front of Okuma Auditorium at Waseda University 早稲田大学 on September 6, 1974
having just arrived in Japan on August 31 for a few days of dorm life before meeting our host families
on September 3 and then beginning the Fall 1974 Term. 2014 is the 40th Anniversary of our year in
Japan as exchange students at Waseda University’s International Division (Kokusaibu 国際部) so it is
a time to share and reflect on that experience with a few memories and photos.

I was a member of the Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) Program at Waseda
having studied Japanese at University of Oregon and so most of my friends were students from
Oregon colleges but I also made friends with students from other programs such as CALPUC
California Private Universities and Colleges, CSU California State Universities, GLCA Great Lakes
Colleges Association, ACM Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and some independent students as
well as Japanese students studying in various departments at Waseda. The photo was taken as part
of our orientation to the university and we soon found ourselves living with host families in all different
directions from campus in the Tokyo area.

tanaka-san-in-red-dress.jpgのサムネール画像

My host family Mr. Minoru Tanaka and his wife Fumiko
Tanaka generously opened their home to me as their
first foreign exchange student with the hopes that
their three children might find an interest in studying
English and learn to speak it with an American student
living in their home. The Tanakas lived in the Heiwajima
area of south Tokyo that today has a nice park named
Heiwa Koen or Peace Park but in those days was still
yet to be reclaimed from the industrial waterfront. I soon
learned to commute by train from Heiwajima to Shinagawa Station and transfer to the famous Yamanote
line that circles Tokyo where my hour long ride would take me to Takatanobaba Station and the subway to
Waseda. We students often walked the Takatanobaba to Waseda segment because the subway was
extremely packed with people and we didn’t mind the exercise.
Photo: Ms. Fumiko Tanaka in a red dress

My classes for Fall Semester 1974 included Economic Life of Japan by Professor Teichi Wada,
Contemporary Japanese Literature taught by Professor Katsuhiko Takeda, and Japanese Language
taught by the lively Sugiyama-Sensei. Professor Wada’s class Economic Life in Japan was probably the
most important class for my education about modern Japan. What was happening in the mid-1970s
was the recognition of Japan’s extraordinary economic growth in the 30 year period since the end of
the war and some likely forecasts of what that would mean for the decades ahead. In other words it
was a wakeup call to the opportunity for a college student beginning a career that this was a
promising country to select among the opportunities for international study and exchange and in
fact that choice to study Japanese and go to Japan in 1974 impacted my career for the next 40 years.

At the University of Oregon I had taken Introduction to Japanese Literature taught by Stephen Kohl
who accompanied the Oregon students to Japan as the Resident Director of the Oregon Program
and also taught Japanese Literature courses during the year. He brought his wife Stephanie and
three year old son David and lived in a guest house near Okuma Kaikan Garden. Since I had already
taken Professor Kohl’s introductory class I was interested in Professor Takeda’s class that required
readings by Japanese Novelists such as 1968 Nobel Laureate Yasunari Kawabata, Yukio Mishima,
Junichiro Tanizaki, Shusaku Endo, Natsume Soseki, and other modern writers. Professor Takeda also
was an author, co-author, and translator of many books about Japanese literature and personally
knew writers such as Kawabata and many leading experts on Japanese literature.

Sugiyama-Sensei worked hard to teach us Japanese and endured our misunderstandings,
misspoken utterances, and many hilarious exchanges as we slowly made progress towards speaking
Japanese. Some of us quickly got part time jobs teaching English and several of us worked at the
Tokyo Education Center on weekends where we began to understand the perspective of teaching
a foreign language in Japan. The calendar for fall quarter included an athletic festival and the
biggest university rivalry in Japan culminating in the Waseda-Keio University Baseball Game.

In December the school planned an optional tour to Kansai (Kyoto and Nara) but I had visited that
area in 1971 so I planned an independent tour to southern Honshu and Shikoku Island accompanied
by fellow student from Portland Tom Takeuchi. This turned out to be a great trip that included our
travel by train, hitch-hiking, boat travel, and hiking in some very scenic and out of the way places
in Japan.

Winter 1975 will be remembered as cold and occasionally snowy in Tokyo and we bundled up to stay
warm in the classrooms and in many of our homes that mostly had limited heating via space heaters
or electric kotatsu or if you had a really traditional home a hori-gotatsu (掘り炬燵) with charcoal burner.
My house had an electric kotatsu where the family gathered to study and watch TV and was the
location for a great deal of Japanese language learning for me. It is quite probable that I learned
more Japanese sitting in the warm kotatsu than in the cold classroom.

Several of my classmates from Waseda including Dan Foote, Mark Hirabayashi, Keith Petersen, and
Nancy Sydor had part-time teaching jobs at the Tokyo Education Center. We learned a lot of Japanese
while teaching English and went to 0ff-campus training programs called Gashuku at sports and resort
facilities on the Izu Peninsula and other scenic locations. The program included teaching English while
doing sports and I had fun teaching tennis in English and helping organize an orienteering course with
tips and directions in English for elementary and junior high Japanese schoolchildren.

I enjoyed a winter trip to Fukushima Prefecture and went skiing with the Tanaka family near Mt. Bandai
that I climbed later in the spring. The Tanaka’s maternal grandparents lived at Aizu-Wakamatsu in a
very traditional farmhouse that was able to visit several times during the year including fall rice harvest,
winter snow, and spring rice planting time. When it was time for Waseda spring break I decided to travel
to southern Japan via Kochi, Shikoku and Cape Ashizuri before crossing for Uwajima to Miyazaki,
Kyushu by ferry and traveling past the Nichinan Coast, Kagoshima, Kumamoto and finally Hakata
before crossing back to Honshu Island to see the town of Hagi in Yamaguchi Prefecture and Hiroshima.

jim-mockford-at-cape-ashizuri.jpg

Cape Ashizuri

Returning to Tokyo for spring classes I felt my Japanese language abilities had really improved as a
result of these various experiences and challenges of traveling, teaching, and exploring Japanese
culture. In the spring my Japanese host family brother Shinya Tanaka and I travelled to Hokkaido as
the snow was just melting around Lake Mashu (摩周湖, Mashūko) and stayed in youth hostels around
Japan’s northernmost of the four major islands just as I had stayed in youth hostels on Honshu,
Shikoku, and southernmost Kyushu.

Professor Mori Johji Japanese Poetry Class.jpg

I remember the class taught by Professor Mori (Joji) who
happened to be the grandson of the Meiji period novelist
Mori Ohgai and how he carefully explained Japanese poems
to us. Professor Mori later became Professor Emeritus at
Waseda and I think he is now 83 years old. Years later I
occasionally stayed the Suigetsu Ohgai Hotel in order to
see the Mori Ohgai House in the hotel courtyard.
Photo: Professor Joji Mori in Japanese poetry class

In late May I learned that I had been selected to give the
farewell address in Japanese on behalf of the American
students in the International Division at the final farewell
party or Sobetsu-kai as our year at Waseda came to an end.
Several Japanese friends helped me write the speech
because I wanted to surprise my Japanese host mother and
give her and the Tanaka family a great deal of credit for my ability to become fairly fluent in Japanese
making my year in Japan an experience I have treasured for 40 years.

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Sobetsu-kai in the Okuma Garden

Bruce Caroline Jim and Joani.jpg

Bruce in kimono, Caroline, Jim and Joani at the Sobetsu-kai

My Japanese father Minoru Tanaka passed away many years ago. Mrs.Fumiko Tanaka still lives at
the home I stayed at in 1974. The Tanakas hadthree children. The oldest son Shinya lives in Calgary
Canada and has owned and operated Sushi restaurants for many years and his daughter Atsuko
placed 12th in the Olympics at Sochi in the Women's ski Jump competition as a member of the
Canadian ski team. Tanaka's daughter Kozue is married and lives in Paris. The younger son Junya
is a well-known artist and sculptor living in Italy.

Some of us have had the chance to get together over the many years and some of us have had
careers that have been enriched by our experience at Waseda. We also have enjoyed the camaraderie
of the shared college experience and the opportunities for reunions with old classmates when possible.
Here some photos taken of classmates now 40 years after the exchange program in Japan.
 

bruce-and-jim-at-imperial-hotel 2012.jpg Jim Mockford and Dan Foote at University of Tokyo Restaurant Abrevoir 2012.JPG

Bruce and Jim, 2012/ Jim with Dan Foote, 2012
 

Carolyn Libby Dave Chris and Jim reunion in Eugene.jpg

Carolyn, Libby, Dave, Chris and Jim reunion in Eugene
 

Waseda classmates 2014 Carmen and Dave left and Joani and Jim with UO friend Marsha at center.jpg

Carmen and Dave left, Joani and Jim with UO friend Marsha at center
 

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