The morning was free for the students today, and some enjoyed a nice morning off while some took the opportunity to explore parts of the city, including Harajuku and Shibuya.

Japan Studies: Lecture③ History of Tokyo
For the afternoon, the students came to Showa where they attended Professor Shimoda’s Cross-Cultural Communication class and learned about the history of Tokyo. He lectured on the different periods of Tokyo: the Edo Period, Pre-war period, and Post-war Tokyo. One international student was impressed by the fact that Professor Shimoda was able to “describe Japan’s history in only one and a half hours!”

Japan Studies: Lecture④ Japanese Women
In the second lecture of the day, Professor Bando, President of Showa Women’s University, presented on Japanese Women, addressing issues such as, the employment and wage gap between women and men, what higher education can do to help alleviate this inequality, and current feminist issues (such as the recent scandal concerning sexist remarks made by male members of The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly). One Japanese student stated that it was a good opportunity for her to “learn [more] about Japan,” and that some of the presentation was new to her as well. One international student was surprised by some of the statistics President Bando showed comparing Japanese women to women from other countries (and the gender inequality that they indicated), but she was glad that Japanese government support has reduced some of these disparities. There was a discussion between the students about females roles in their own cultures, and the lecture ended on a lighter note about how, despite there still being gender inequality, there has still been some tremendous progress toward equality made in Japan.