SSIP swu summer international program 2017

SSIP2017_June27 [2017年07月10日(月)]

Following yesterday’s lecture on Japanese education, SSIP participants were taken on a delightful tour of Showa’s Elementary School. Kindly led by Nagino-sensei, with Harvard intern Amanda Yang acting as translator, we were able to observe the interactions between pupils and teachers in a range of classes. After removing our shoes, as is custom, and a quick orientation, we were warmly welcomed by the enthusiastic and well-behaved children (who were, needless to say, adorably cute). Highlights included being treated to a very impressive choir rehearsal by the music department, before moving on to explore a science laboratory home to a butterfly house and aquarium. One participant was surprised by the young age at which the pupils began studying angles in the mathematics class in comparison to their educational experience in their home country. Before leaving, we were able to admire the care with which pupils in their art class painted were painting their wishes with calligraphy pens on paper to prepare for the annual Tanabata (Star) Festival.

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The long lunch break allowed the students to go out for a bite to eat if they wished, before they returned for a lively lecture by history professor, Shigematsu-sensei, on Japanese Pop Culture. Students were lucky enough to have classic manga works passed around, including some highly sought-after copies that are now out of print, whilst hearing about the development of the art and its importance in Japanese society today. We then learned how manga related to anime and the efforts made by renowned filmmakers such as Hayao Miyazaki to establish the latter as an artform in its own right. Spliced in-between information bites were snippets from early Miyazaki works, an exciting introduction to the Ghibli Museum trip on Friday. The lecture concluded with the rise of JPop. Whether connoisseurs or dilettantes of Japanese Pop Culture, sure enough every participants’ knowledge was deepened by the lecture.


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SSIP2017_June26 [2017年07月10日(月)]

After a weekend exploring Tokyo’s plethora of museums, restaurants and parks, the students gathered together in the Global Lounge to kick-off the second week of the program. Today, we had two engaging professors, Ishii-sensei lecturing on Japanese Design, followed by Sim-sensei on Japanese Education before tomorrow’s visit to the Elementary School.  

 The morning lecture began with an interactive introduction to the language of design, with students comparing the remarkable similarities between the images each of the students have in their minds in response to concepts and emotions. We then launched into a brief history of design in the West and how different styles developed across the Eurasian continent over millennia before feeding the diversity of Japanese design today. The lecture concluded by touching on the defining influence of Shinto concepts, before opening up for a comparative discussion with students drawing on their own cultural experiences.

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With their hunger sated by a brief lunch, the students reconvened in the Global Lounge for an enthralling lecture on Japanese Education delivered by Sim-sensei. With a presentation incorporating statistics on levels of education in the countries of the participants as well as Japan, students were left surprised by the contrasts in education levels, costs and methods. They dived into debate with their own remarks over the educational research on such topics. The second half of the presentation was tailored to exploring the shocking and perplexing gender disparities in Japanese education and around the world. With thoughts buzzing from the day’s lectures, students headed out into the city or back to the National Olympics Youth Memorial Center for a well-earned rest.


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SSIP2017_June24 [2017年07月06日(木)]

The weather forecast promised that today would be one of the last sunny ones before a very rainy week. It was a day devoted entirely to cross-cultural workshops at the Global Lounge.

Audrey Morrell continued to lead the workshops, beginning with a make-up class for those unable to attend the first session. For everyone else, the workshop began at 10:40am with everyone sharing an item of cultural significance that they had brought with them. The session went on to explore in-depth the types of miscommunication that occur between cultures.

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After lunch, the class came together to discuss differences between Western and Eastern culture and how those differences developed.

SSIP2017_June23 [2017年07月05日(水)]

It was a hot and sunny day as the SSIP participants arrived bright and early to attend a lecture on kabuki, followed by a lecture on Japanese art, and finishing up with a visit to the National Theater to view an actual kabuki show!

The first lecture on kabuki, traditional Japanese dance-drama, was skillfully done by Showa’s Oyatsu-sensei (Sanae Oyatsu) and translated by Ash-sensei.
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She informed the students on the long history of kabuki in Japan, and how it developed first from an art performed by women, to young men, to the modern kabuki of today performed by older men (yarou-kabuki). She also explained kabuki makeup and the conventions of the art. After the lecture, everyone was looking forward to attending the kabuki show in the afternoon.
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Immediately following the lecture on kabuki, Tsuruoka-sensei (Akemi Tsuruoka) taught the students about Japanese art, assisted again by Ash-sensei. The lecture began with an exploration of folding screens, each of the students getting to fold their own mini paper version of one. They also explored the presence and influence of religion in Japanese art.
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After a quick break for lunch, the students gathered at the Global Lounge and then head off to the National Theater for a kabuki performance. This was actually the first time any of the international students had viewed a kabuki showing, so everyone was excited for it the start. The performance began with an entertaining explanation of kabuki and the kabuki stage from one of the performers, followed by a short intermission, after which the show began in earnest. It was a skillful performance which incited a lot of laughter, and everyone really liked the show!




SSIP2017_June22nd [2017年06月22日(木)]

On this cloudy day students were able to enjoy learning Japanese calligraphy in the morning and hearing about Japanese food culture in the afternoon.

In the morning, Showa’s Utsugita-sensei (Yoshie Utsugita) gave a brief introduction on the history of calligraphy and its different styles in Japan.
She then proceeded to demonstrate how to write the character 「夏」(natsu; summer) in various styles, as well as demonstrating the basic character 「永」(ei; eternity).


Students then began practicing Japanese calligraphy themselves, assisted by the Showa calligraphy club. At the end, everyone took a group photo with their polished finished pieces.
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After a quick lunch break, all the students came together to attend a lecture led by Ash-sensei on Japanese food culture. He presented on topics such as Japanese alcohol, sushi, and bentos (box lunches). It’s a good thing that everyone was able to have lunch first, or surely they would’ve gotten hungry because of the lecture!

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SSIP2017_June21st [2017年06月21日(水)]

Having had the chance to be introduced to everyone at the opening ceremonies the day before, students arrived early at Showa Women’s University, excited for the chance to learn about Japanese tea ceremony and to participate in the program’s first cross-cultural workshop. There was an early downpour and strong winds that remained throughout the day, but that didn’t deter the students from enjoying their activities (though it probably helped that luckily, everything was indoors!)

During the tea ceremony activity, CIE’s Ash-sensei (Ashley Warren) gave a brief lecture on the history and meaning of Japanese tea ceremony, after which Ito-sensei (Eiko Ito) demonstrated a gorgeous traditional tea ceremony. The students then had a chance to sample some traditional Japanese sweets, drink the tea, and try their own hand at tea ceremony.
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After lunch, international students and Showa students gathered together for the first of many cross-cultural workshops led by Audrey Morrell. Students were introduced to each other, enjoyed icebreakers, and had meaningful conversation on the topic of culture and their individual experiences with their own and different cultures.
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SSIP2017コーディネーター・インターン生をご紹介! [2017年06月20日(火)]




Kadowaki Misaki




_1120258Urano Akane




_1120257Ono Kanae




Alice Donnellan_1120261

My name is Alice Donnellan, a rising sophomore from Harvard University, and I am so far thoroughly enjoying my first ever visit to Japan. A prospective major in the Comparative Study of Religion,  I have a special interest in the religions of the Far East as well as Japan’s culture. Interning for SSIP 2017 is giving me a valuable insight into a Japanese workplace whilst exposing me to the society and past of this fascinating country.



Amanda Yang_1120260

Hello everyone, my name is Amanda Yang. 








SSIP2017_June20th [2017年06月20日(火)]

The first day of SSIP!

The interns brought the participants from the Olympics Center to Showa’s Global Lounge. The day started with a welcome speech by Nishikawa-sensei, who organized the Japan Studies portion of the program and has been looking forward to the student’s arrival. It was followed by a brief orientation on the program led by CIE’s Mitsuhiro Kurakata.
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After a brief break, the Welcome Ceremony began with a warm speech from Showa University’s Chancellor Bando. Throughout the ceremony, intern Alice Donnellan was a wonderful MC, introducing the participants, the interns, the Japanese participants, and the faculty and staff.
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Luckily the weather was bright and sunny as the students split up into different groups to go on a campus tour led by Showa students.
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They returned to attend the welcoming party, also held in the Global Lounge, and were joined by many Showa students. Intern Misaki Kadowaki acted as an MC for the welcoming party, first inviting Chancellor Bando to hold a toast to celebrate the start of the program. The toast was followed by good food and great conversation, only pausing for a rousing performance by the Showa Koto Club. They performed the traditional Japanese tune “Sakura” and the ending theme from “Ponyo.” Students were then invited to try playing the koto themselves.
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Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves throughout the day, and it marked a great start to the program!