<<  February 2016  >>


  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:Feb, 2016

Looking Back on the "Go Global Japan" English Presentation Contest

On November 21st, 2015 Kazushi Joko participated as a member of a 3-man team representing Waseda University in an English language presentation contest held at Asia University. This event was a “Global Leadership Forum” conceived of as a part of the “Go Global Japan Program” sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). This year’s event featured a fierce competition between representatives from 8 different universities who gave presentations centered on the theme of “Building the future of Asia and the world through collaborative projects.” (The Center for International Education)

Name: Kazushi Joko
Enrollment year and status at Waseda University:
1st year, School of Economics and Political Science

“Don’t you ever leave my side…Take me as I am with arms open wide!”
We were singing together in the dead of night, huddled together in a small six mat room.  Our group, named “Team Himalayas”, consisted of Amon Yamamoto (1st year, School of Culture, Media and Society; native of Kudamatsu city, Yamaguchi), Shrey Sthapit (4th year, School of Creative Engineering; native of Kathmandu, Nepal) and myself, Kazushi Joko (1st year, School of Economics and Political Science; native of Tondabayashi, Osaka). The three of us were living together in the “Wakei Juku” boys’ dormitory in Mejiro. Though the three of us differed significantly in age and background, we worked well together, often butting heads but respecting each other all the same. We were working frantically to finish up the project we had embarked on together,  but no matter how closely the deadline loomed over our heads, we never forgot that we were there first and foremost to have fun. I would like to tell you a little bit about our project and about our experiences over the last two months as we prepared and presented it.  


Standing by the front entrance of the Wakei Juku Dormitory.  Thanks to
this dorm, the three of us became fast friends.  (From left: Shrey, Joko, Amon)

About Team Himalayas and the “Let’s Go, LEGO®!!” Project

Our plan was a simple one: to explore the potential of LEGO® to solve global conflict.

We imagined a system where children from mutually hostile countries would be invited to Malaysia’s LEGOLAND® theme park and given a box of Lego bricks each. They would then be encouraged to pool their resources and collaborate in building “The City of the Future”. Our aim was to give a visible form to various cultural differences and similarities and to promote cross-cultural understanding. We hoped that, if given this unique experience at a young age, such children could grow up into leaders capable of solving all kinds of global conflicts.

The above is a brief summary of our idea. We were searching for a fresh way to think about global problems, when we started reminiscing about how much fun we had building Legos as children and realized that our presentation could be built off of this shared experience. We felt the idea was quite a novel one, and we tried to create a presentation that would be both engaging and easy to understand for both the judges and the general audience. The idea that we came up with was to give a presentation centered around role playing. By giving the roleplays a plausible University setting, we hoped to give our presentation a sense of reality and promote the understanding of the audience. In addition, by incorporating more traditional presentation methods, we tried to communicate our ideas as fully as possible.

Preparations begin and the deadline approaches: working all night and… “morning already?!”

We made the decision to participate in this Forum in the middle of September. I have always made a habit of regularly checking Waseda Net Portal for information and one day I stumbled upon an article promoting this contest. I immediately brought it to the attention of my good friends Amon and Shrey.
During the group introductions at the main event, we learned that most of the other teams had started working on their presentations 4 or 5 months in advance; whereas we on the other hand had had only a scant two months to pull it off.

However, because we all lived in the same dormitory, we were able to meet almost every night to discuss our ideas and plans. Our meetings started around midnight and often ended around 3 a.m. in the morning. We all made sacrifices and cut back on sleep to devote ourselves fully to the presentation. Furthermore, we resolved to eat meals and even bathe together in order to be completely open with each other and increase team spirit. Shrey was in charge of the English; I wrote out the Japanese, and Amon worked hard to provide us all with inspiration in the form of morale-boosting music streamed from YouTube. In light of the fact that our meetings were often held in the wee hours of the morning, maintaining members’ motivation was an absolutely essential role. Our favorite motivational songs ended up being “Lifetime respect” by DOZAN11 (whose lyrics we were singing at the beginning of this article) and “Share the Love” by 3rd Generation Soul Brothers. 
Drawing up the presentation required quite a lot of work. Because of our various extracurricular activities (Shrey was an active member of a volunteer club, Amon worked long hours making drinks in an izakaya, and I was busy preparing for Waseda-sai festival), it was very difficult for us to find time to work on the presentation together. Nevertheless, we made time however we could, such as having short meetings in between our other appointments and shooting video in the early morning hours. Halfway through the preparations we realized that we might have a problem with using a trademarked brand like LEGO® in our presentation, but once we put in a call to the LEGO® Japan offices and explained our project, we were able to receive permission. Our original plan was to film scenes of actual children playing with Legos. Although we were able to get directly in contact with a local kindergarten for filming, we were told that if we wanted to use the images we would have to first receive permission from the parents of each child involved. We quickly realized how difficult and time consuming this would be. However, we recovered from this set-back by hitting on the idea of using an ordinary LEGO®-man to explain things simply to the audience. Once we hit on this idea, we decided to base the slides of our presentation around this LEGO® figure and set to work. As we constructed the sets to use in our presentation, we were reminded of how much fun it had been to build Legos as children. However, just when we were about to start building a scale model of Okuma auditorium, we realized we had run out of pieces. We immediately ran out to the LEGO® Stores in Otemachi and Saitama to buy the required parts.

And the night before the deadline for submission, we stayed up all night putting the finishing touches on the video and abstract of our power point. Pressed as we were for time, we focused so much energy into writing the abstract and producing and editing the video that we didn’t even have time to think about how sleepy we were. At the end of our all-night marathon session, we looked up from the finished presentation and noticed that it was already light outside. And although I dreaded going to my first-period class in such a state, at the same time I was relieved to have finished it on time.

A meeting in progress in Amon’s room (the cleanest among the three). (From the left: Shrey, Amon, Joko)

The Main Event―“Let’s Go, LEGO®!!” at Asia University
The main event was held on November 21st at Asia University. On the morning of event, a refreshing autumn breeze was blowing under a bright blue sky; the perfect weather for a presentation (though naturally the presentations were held indoors). The presentations would be given in alphabetical order which meant that Waseda would be given the headline slot. Though most groups, if put in such a position, would be worn down by nerves while waiting on standby, the mood in the Team Himalayas dressing room was quite relaxed. Right up until our final notice, the three of us were simply chatting and enjoying ourselves as usual. 
Then suddenly it was our turn. Although while on stand-by we had been very, perhaps even overly, relaxed; as soon as we stepped on stage, we snapped to attention and felt a rush of adrenaline hit us. Thanks to this focus, we were able to give our presentation without missing a single beat. Although not one single rehearsal, which we had often presented to dorm friends and to staff of the Center for International Education (CIE), had gone well, somehow, when faced with the glare of the stage lights we were able to pull it off without a hitch. We also got a number of laughs and afterwards felt quite satisfied with our performance. Shrey and Amon were dreaming about medals and trophies while I was already having visions of my impending press conference. 

But when the results were announced, we were shocked to find that we hadn’t even made it into the top 3. Speaking honestly, I felt extremely frustrated with the results; a frustration that was exactly in proportion to the lofty expectations I had held only moments prior. But I was at least able to cover my disappointment with a smile while sitting on stage during the closing remarks,
Even so, I felt that “Let’s Go LEGO®!”, our catchphrase that we shouted in unison at the end of our presentation was able to reach the hearts and minds of our viewers.  Additionally, I felt that the viewers could not only understand our ideas, but could also see how much fun we were having in giving the presentation itself. Though it was disappointing not to be selected for a prize, none of us regret participating in this event in the least. 

The day of the presentation.  Shrey looking much like a young Steve Jobs (Center: Shrey)

Getting the Most Out of Waseda From Now On

Though we were unable to take home the grand prize, I am confident that if the contest had been decided in terms of enthusiasm and spirit, we would definitely have come out on top. Shrey went to an International School in Nepal and has excellent English skills, but Amon and I are limited largely to “Katakana English”. However, by deciding to participate in this English-language presentation contest, we knew there would be no way to avoid using English. Thankfully, we were able to take advantage of Waseda’s many language resources and even asked some of our professors to check our presentation script. And although we were often up against tight deadlines, we never gave up hope that by working together we could make the presentation a big success. We put our all into every presentation that we gave, right from the internal selection stage (October), through the 16 university qualifying round (October), and all the way to the final, 8 university round in November. This was the first time in the history of this contest where a team from Waseda had made it into the final round, so there was a real sense of purpose and significance to our actions.

I would like to acknowledge the invaluable support that we received from the faculty and CIE staff. Through my preparations for this event, I came to realize how many opportunities Waseda students have at their fingertips, and how strong the student support network is here. From now on, I would like to take advantage of as many opportunities and resources as I can. I would like to suggest that the university could make information about to such unique opportunities more widely available and encourage student participation more actively. I also think it’s important for the university to more fully develop an atmosphere of friendly competition on campus.
Thanks to this competition, I feel that I was able to take the first step towards a more global perspective on contemporary issues. On a smaller scale, after the contest was finished, I went out and purchased a new deck of English flashcards. In the future I intend to take further steps to broaden both my perspective and my language abilities!

I was very proud to be able to represent Waseda at this event. I would like to continue to improve myself and engage actively and enthusiastically with the Waseda community, so that in the years to come I can be proud not only of participating in this event, but of all my time spent at Waseda. 

Lastly, I would like to thank Prof. Motoyama, Ms. Murakawa, Ms. Yokoyama and all the staff at the CIE for their time and assistance in offering invaluable corrections to our script, and to all the people who supported us in our journey.

Let’s go, LEGO®!!
Thank you!!


At the closing ceremony.  Big smiles after a successful presentaiton.  (From Left: Amon, Joko, Shrey)

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