<<  January 2015  >>


  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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Blog:Jan, 2015

S. Takata Memorial Research Library and My Research Theme

Name: Hidekazu Nishikawa
Nationality: Japanese
Enrollment year and status at Waseda University: Graduate student at Faculty of Social Sciences, 2002-2006
Specialty: American politics/history
Current position: Part-time Lecturer at School of Foreign Studies, Osaka University

I love books and libraries. Therefore, what I remember most of my years at Waseda could be the fact that I repeatedly went back and forth between my study room and the S. Takata Memorial Research Library*. As we could enter the campus around the clock, I repeatedly borrowed books from the library which were necessary for my research, shut myself up in the study room to read them, and returned them to the library when I was through.

The S. Takata Memorial Research Library is a very wonderful library. The library truly helped me as all of the books on my field of specialty were there thanks to the masters of this field. What I remember most of what you can see in the library is that its ceiling is very low, although this is a fact that anyone would notice if he/she has once entered the library. A man who is as tall as I am must stoop down; otherwise he would bump his head. I bumped my head many times when I found a book I was looking for and forgot about the ceiling at the same time. It is not a neat library. It places importance on how many books they can squeeze into the bookshelves; not on how to make it a comfortable place for a man to be. However, I liked that bluntness because I would feel that this is truly a library-like library. It would be difficult to find a library so library-like as this one. And, isn’t it lovely that it is both dark and musty? In addition, it is an interesting place where you can discover something new as you walk around the shelves even when you do not have any objectives in mind. If you are one of those who have never entered the library, I strongly recommend you to try. The fact that there is a wonderful library on campus is an important appealing attribute of a university.

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Atmosphere of the S. Takata Memorial Research Library

In my “zemi” (seminar) in the graduate school, Professor Yoshio Teruya taught me how to read classics including “The Federalist”. Before I was taught, I was wondering whether reading classics was truly important. However, Professor Teruya taught me the importance of having discussions after thoroughly reading classics. It would only be at seminars in graduate schools when you would have such opportunities. And I was convinced that there are reasons why classics still survive today. At Professor Teruya’s seminars, we were all encouraged to think, and it was perfect for me, as I preferred to think on my own.

In a nutshell, my specialty is everything about U.S. Presidents. I do research on everything concerning them, and I am a nerd when it comes to U.S. Presidents. When conducting research, it is always important to ask why. Why did I choose such theme for my research? The reason is simple. Everyone agrees that the U.S. is a superpower. However, it was not so when it was founded. When it was founded, it was rather a lesser power with a population smaller than that of Japan at the time. Such country has now become an indisputable superpower. Can you believe that? I wondered how and why such a lesser power has become a superpower. The presidential system is not rare now; however, it was an innovative idea back then in the 18th century. And it was one of the driving forces that pushed up the status of the U.S. to a superpower after more than 200 years. I think it is possible to uncover the secrets by conducting research on the presidential system and the presidents. There are good points in the Japanese political system; however, there are good points in the U.S. political system and I think it is very important to learn about other countries for reference.

I sometimes go to the U.S. to look for historical documents. I mainly go to the national archives and the presidential libraries. Although the names of the presidential libraries include the word “library”, their main collections are historical documents rather than ordinary books. Although the main historical documents have recently been digitalized, there are some documents that cannot be found other than by visiting the actual places. For example, there are “historical documents” such as a receipt of the flowers given to the then-Secretary of State John Dulles from the then-President Dwight Eisenhower when Dulles was sick in bed and Eisenhower was visiting him. Such “historical documents” may not be important from the historical point of view; however, I think they are very important in order to learn the characteristics of the President. There are things you can learn only by actually visiting places.


Distant view of Harry S. Truman Library & Museum

Anybody can use the presidential libraries. There is a list of their collection of historical documents which can be seen on the Internet, so if you tell a librarian what you would like to see beforehand, he/she will bring you a cart with relevant documents, as can be seen in the photo. You will be opening and reading the documents one after another. You will not be able to see all of the documents, even if you try all your life. There are that many documents.


Historical documents room in the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum


The documents are like this. They were actually used by government officials.

You can also copy the documents using a copying machine. In the beginning, I used to do so. However, it costs money and takes up a lot of space. One time, I brought back to Japan a bag filled with documents that said “Confidential” or “Top Secret”. The person in charge at the airport was very suspicious, but I remember thinking this was funny because no spy would bring out confidential documents in such an old-fashioned way! Basically, you can only read documents that are classified as “Declassified information”. Even when the documents are declassified, the names of the people in charge at the CIA are sometimes cut off, for example. I am always excited to turn the pages of the documents, waiting for a new discovery.

You can also take a photo, instead of copying. This will be more convenient, as this will save time and will not take up so much space. And the documents will not be damaged. However, you must be careful as if the pictures are out of focus, sometimes you may not be able to read at all. However, there are more advantages. If you use an OCR and convert the documents to digital data, you will be able to use the “find” function. Furthermore, you will be able to easily share the documents. It is also easy to save the data. I once lost all of the data when the PC broke; however, if you additionally use the cloud, you will be able to avoid such accidents.

I feel that, after having used the presidential libraries and the libraries at Waseda, both hardware and software are important. The hardware is historical documents and books. The software is people who introduce and put in order such documents and books. No matter how many documents and books they have collected and how good the collections are, the collections would be meaningless if we cannot utilize them. The librarians at the presidential libraries are experts. They will point out that there are other certain documents for your certain research, and will also give you a variety of advice. The documents would become useful just because such librarians are there for you. I repeatedly visited the presidential library for one month and a half. When I told the librarian that that day was the last day, the librarian went into the back, came out after a while, and gave me an entrance permit. I told him that a new entrance permit was not necessary as that was my last day. The librarian told me to look at the expiration date. It was a year from that day. It probably means that I should come again. The librarian was not only well-versed in the documents but was also full of fun.

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Recent photo of Hidekazu Nishikawa

Recent works (to be published in 2015):
-Complete Collection of All the Presidents of the United States, Vol. 4 “Encyclopedia of James Madison, Jr.”
-Hall of Fame for Great Leadership in the Presidency, Vol. 1 “Young Officer George Washington”
Books already published:
-"A Study of Cold War Rhetoric in the Formative Period" (Waseda University Press)
-Complete Collection of All the Presidents of the United States, Vol. 1 “Encyclopedia of George Washington”
-Complete Collection of All the Presidents of the United States, Vol. 2 “Encyclopedia of John Adams”
-Complete Collection of All the Presidents of the United States, Vol. 3 “Encyclopedia of Thomas Jefferson” (University Education Press)
-“English of American Presidents Used at the Moment the History Was Created” (Beret Publishing)
-“Obama’s Art of Speeches and Bargaining to Become the Winner” (Kodansha)
-“Imperial Tour of Japan by the Emperor Showa” (Archives Publishing)


* Bldg. No. 2 which currently houses the S. Takata Memorial Research Library was first established as the Waseda University Library in 1925. Afterwards, some of the bookshelves in the Waseda University Library became empty as the Central Library was newly opened. However, later the books of the libraries for professors and researchers in each school were collected and moved to Waseda University Library’s empty bookshelves, and in 1994, Bldg. No.2 was newly opened as a research library. The library was named after the third President Sanae Takata. It is truly a unique library as it is a research library specialized in books on social sciences.
Number of books: About 500, 000 (About 180,000 books in Japanese and 320,000 books in foreign languages) (Japanese only)

Photo: Entrance of the S. Takata Memorial Research Library

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