SSIPswu summer international program 2019

SSIP2019_DAY14_Monday, July 8th [2019年08月06日(火)]

Today is the big and final day of SSIP! A number of students arrived at the Global Lounge earlier than usual to meet with their group members to practice for their final presentation that starts in less than half an hour. At the final session of the Cross-Cultural Workshop, each group presented the advertisements that they found interesting and their analysis of the different themes and designs. Ommura-sensei and many of the CIE staff praised all of the groups for their hard work and even stated that all of the presentations this year were extremely well done!

After the presentations, we had our Closing Ceremony. The ceremony began with remarks with Chancellor Bando. We then presented each student with a Certificate of Completion, as well as a special recognition for Ommura-sensei and Yagishta-sensei (the Cross-Cultural Workshop facilitators) and the CIE interns. An SSIP participant, Laura Valherya Suarez Estebez, gave a heart-warmning speech about her experience this summer.

Next was the farewell party. Professor Naohiro Yashiro, the Dean and Faculty of Global Business gave his remarks and started the party off with a toast. Once we grabbed our food, we watched a recap video of our program, made by Rachel (one of the interns) that brought many of us to tears. Watching the video gave us a moment of reflection of the memorable experience that we had with Japan and with each other.

Once most of us had finished eating the delicious catered food, we passed the microphone around to give everyone a chance to speak a few words. It was an emotional moment filled with both tears and laughter as we talked about the fun that we had during the program and how much we had learned about each other and ourselves.

 

We said our first goodbyes to three international students who were leaving for their flights that afternoon. The tears began flowing again, and we agreed that rather than saying “Goodbye,” we will say “See you again” instead.

The last day was an emotional day for all of us. Although SSIP has ended, we know that we will continue our “Cross-Cultural Workshops” beyond SSIP. We will always cherish our moments together with our friends from all over the world, and one day, perhaps we will meet again when we visit each others’ home countries.

SSIP2019_DAY13_Sunday, July 7th [2019年08月06日(火)]

Today was another early day for the students and the CIE staff at Tomei as today is the day we will be checking out of Tomei. Breakfast started at 7:00am, and many of us finished breakfast earlier than usual to finish packing up and helping each other clean up the facilities. We said our goodbyes to the mountains of Tomei before getting on the bus at around 9:00am to head over to Kamakura. Our first stop was Kotoku-in, where the Big Buddha (daibutsu) was located. We were rather surprised that we could even go inside the Big Buddha for only 20 yen to get a glimpse of how the structure was built from the inside.

As a group, we went for lunch at a place called Ajitei. At Ajitei, we were greeted by the friendly restaurant staff and were served a delicious meal set consisting of pork and rice, sashimi, tofu, Osuimono soup, and some matcha-flavored sweets. We left Ajitei with our taste-buds and stomachs fully satisfied.

The next part of our trip is a part of Kamakura that is famous for the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, which is the most important shrine in Kamakura. Students were free to explore the area on their own. Many walked up the long staircase to pay their visit to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, and the path was paved with Tanabata (Star Festival) decorations that added extra color and elegance to the shrine. We tested our fortune at the Omikuji (fortune teller stand) near the shrine, and received our fortunes from a paper slip.

 

Students then made their way to Komachi-dori, the main shopping street in Kamakura. There were many souvenir shops filled with magnets, keychains, and aesthetic chopsticks that we could even engrave our names on. Some of us tested out several different levels of matcha at an ice cream shop. It rained a little in the afternoon, so we shared our umbrellas and fought the winds together as we explored Komachi-dori.

We gathered back at the bus at 3:00pm to head back to Showa, and then to the Act Hotel Shibuya where we will be staying for two nights. The bus ride on the way back was rather quiet as students were tired from a long day of walking. We definitely enjoyed the accommodation at the hotel (which celebrated its grand opening only a week ago). We can’t believe the end of the program is tomorrow!

SSIP2019_DAY12_Saturday, July 6th [2019年08月06日(火)]

Everyone woke up early for a full day of Cross-Cultural Workshops. First, we started the day off with a hearty breakfast at Tomei that gave us the energy we needed for the day.

After breakfast, students headed up to the sixth floor of Tomei to meet their group members to work on and begin finalizing their presentations together. Since the schedule of the day was rather flexible, many groups chose to work in different locations throughout the building: the cafeteria, the main lounge, and various seminar rooms were popular work spots as they offered scenic views. Ommura-sensei and Yagishta-sensei gave students a chance to practice and rehearse their presentations before their big day on Monday.

 

The students’ hard work was rewarded with a firework party after dinner. Although the skies were covered with rain clouds, we were extremely grateful that it did not rain until after we finished using up almost all of our sparklers and took pictures together with friends. We enjoyed the fireworks, but we can all agree that it was the people that made this firework party a million times better!

 

 

 

 

SSIP2019_DAY11_Friday, July 5th [2019年08月06日(火)]

Today was the day where we checked out of the Olympic Center, watched a kabuki performance, and then headed over to Showa’s off-campus training facility, Tomei Gakurin. First, we took a bus to the National Theatre to see the kabuki performance. Before the show began, we were given an introduction by one of the young actors about the meaning behind certain sounds and movements during kabuki. This explanation, coupled with the previous lecture on Kabuki by Professor Higashi, made it easier for many of us to understand the performance. We enjoyed a good laugh out of the scene where two servants who were tied up by their masters somehow managed to steal their masters’ sake and enjoyed a nice drinking party despite their limited range of movement.

 

We went back to Showa for lunch and picked up 16 Showa students before heading off to Tomei Gakurin. It took us about two hours to get to Tomei Gakurin, and for the few of us who were awake during the bus ride, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the countryside that starkly contrasted with the bright city lights Tokyo. Once we arrived at Tomei Gakurin, the students unpacked their belongings and eagerly waited for dinner. We said “itadakimasu” together before eating our meal and ended dinner together with a “gochisosama deshita.” After dinner, some students went straight to bed while others enjoyed a nice, free evening on the fourth floor of Tomei with a nice view of Oimachi from the mountains.

 

SSIP2019_DAY10_Wednesday, July 3rd [2019年08月06日(火)]

The four SSIP Interns and Fukai-san met the international students at the Olympic Center early in the morning to head over to Ajinomoto, Inc, a famous household brand (literally!) that specializes in the production of umami seasoning and other sauces. We arrived at the Ajinomoto Research and Training Center where we were met by staff members of the company and were given a nice tour around its museum.

 

During the tour, students learned about the history of Ajinomoto, Inc (est. 1908) and how they came into prominence as one of the most well-known food brands in Japan. We also watched a short film about the company and were surprised to hear that when Aijinomoto first started to sell umami seasoning, many people were unsure about how to use to use it. Some used it to wash their hair, while some dumped the entire box into their pot of noodles and complained that it made the food taste weird! The Ajinomoto training center had an outdoor pond and a man-made waterfall, providing a scenic view from its large window.

 

Following the company visit, the students went out to different parts of Tokyo for lunch followed by an hour of free time to explore on their own. They met back at Showa’s computer lounge with their Cross-Cultural Workshop group to begin making their presentation on advertisement design. By the end of session nine of the Cross-Cultural Workshop, it seemed that most groups had made considerable progress on their projects. What a day!

SSIP2019_DAY9_Tuesday, July 2nd [2019年08月06日(火)]

The day began with an afternoon lecture on Japanese Women by Professor Takegawa. In her lecture, Professor Takegawa showed students the changing workplace in Japan as more and more women began to continue to work after giving birth. She showed the students different types of data and research that illustrated how the economic empowerment of women is vital to Japan’s economy. Now, Japan is also beginning to make gender positive actions that strive to increase the proportion of women in managerial positions. Many students also shared their experiences and observations about the status of women in their home countries.

Next was a lecture on Leadership led by Professor Imai, who serves as the Chairperson for the Department of Business Design. Her lecture centers around the theme of leadership styles and practices. She showed a scene from a Japanese drama that depicts a female chief’s efforts to lead her subordinates. After watching this scene, the students engaged in a workshop where they analyzed leadership challenges and their root causes.

 

SSIP2019_DAY8_Monday, July 1st [2019年08月06日(火)]

The main theme for Monday is Film. Students spent the first two hours of the day watching the popular 1953 film Tokyo Story, directed by Yasujiro Ozu. This widely acclaimed film showed the complex relations between an elderly couple and their adult children.

After the film ended, Professor David from the Department of English Language and Communication led a discussion about the film. The international students were randomly sorted into small groups to discuss the film among their group members. Some groups focused on the plot and characters, some on Ozu’s style and techniques, and others on Japanese society at the time the film was made. At the end, Professor Cozy gave each group a chance to share with everyone their findings and their analysis of the film.

Perhaps the film analysis exercise may be helpful as they begin to prepare for their final project on analyzing advertisements around Tokyo!

 

 

 

SSIP2019_DAY7_Saturday, June 29th [2019年08月06日(火)]

Today was an atypical day as students went outdoors for the sixth and seventh sessions of the Cross-Cultural Workshop. Student met up with their fellow group members in different parts of Tokyo: Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku, and so on at 9:00am to begin their data collection. Since their main topic is the study of advertising strategies and design, the students took photos of different ads throughout the city. They were hard at work for the entirety of their morning and afternoon.

 

At 3:00pm, students returned back to Showa to meet their host families who had arrived at the Global Lounge to meet the students for the first time. Kurakata-san gave an orientation for the host families and international students to give them an idea of what to expect.

We took photos of the international students and their host families before releasing them to venture off on their own. We can’t wait to hear about the student’s homestay experience when they return on Monday!

 

SSIP2019_DAY6_Thursday, June 27th [2019年08月06日(火)]

Thursday was a busy day for the international students as their schedules were pretty filled for the day.

First, they arrived at the Global Lounge bright and early for Professor Higashi’s lecture on Kabuki. He introduced the characteristics of kabuki from three viewpoints: the position that it occupies in contemporary Japanese culture, its three main features, and the mutual relationship between the stage and the audience. In about a week, students will watch a live kabuki performance at the National Theatre to watch the art come alive in practice.

Following the lecture, the students left the Global Lounge to walk over to the calligraphy room for their next lecture and activity led by Utsugita-sensei. The students watched in awe as Utsugita-sensei demonstrated the various ways to write 夏 (natsu, meaning “summer”) using different types of script.

 

After the demonstration, the students had the opportunity to practice calligraphy. They were given a packet of popular kanji (prepared by Utsugita-sensei) where they could choose their favorite kanji to practice with the help of Showa students. After some practice, they wrote their chosen character(s) on the final shikishi (a harder, more durable paper).

 

The students were released for a brief lunch break before meeting again at the Global Lounge to prepare for the Ghibli Museum visit. We arrived there at 2:20pm, which was only 10 minutes before 2:30pm, the time that the museum required us to get there by in order to gain entry. In the museum, the students were free to go on their own to explore the exhibits that interested them the most. Some spent most of their time in the gift shop looking for a cute souvenir to take home, while others enjoyed walking up and down the spiraling staircase that took them to the very top floor. At the end, we watched a short animation made especially for the museum. We concluded the day with a group photo near the Totoro statue. It was a busy day filled with fun experiences!

SSIP2019_DAY5_Wednesday, June 26th [2019年08月06日(火)]

The international students arrived at the Global Lounge for Professor Fujimori’s lecture on Religious Views. In his lecture, Professor Fujimori gave students an overview of religion and religious practices in contemporary Japan and how people engage in religion in everyday life. Students also had a chance to share a little bit about their own religion or religious practices.

After a nice, long lunch break and some free time, the students returned to the Global Lounge for sessions four and five of their Cross-Cultural Workshops. This time, they worked together in their groups again for the Marshmallow Challenge. Students were provided with tape, a piece of white paper, and spaghetti sticks and were faced with the challenge to create the highest standing tower that could hold a marshmallow at the top. Because the spaghetti sticks were thin and broke easily, the challenge was a difficult one. For this challenge, teamwork and communication became essential as the students worked together to build a free-standing tower that could support the weight of a marshmallow.