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  • Report: UEC students visit Washington D.C. on the KAKEHASHI project outbound program sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Japan (MOFA) and supported by Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE)


Report: UEC students visit Washington D.C. on the KAKEHASHI project outbound program sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Japan (MOFA) and supported by Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE)

March 10, 2017

23 students ranging from first-grade to postgraduates across all departments participated in the KAKEHASHI Project outbound program to Washington D.C. USA and were escorted by Associate Professor Suwako Uehara (Division of General Education, English Class) and Ms. Ikue Nagata (International Planning Section, Student Service Office) from the 30th November to 7th December 2016.

In the eight-day trip, the participants shared Japanese culture through interactive presentations and performances prepared for the US students; and learned about the history, politics and culture through field trips to universities, historical, political and public spots and local communities. A visit to the Japanese embassy was also made in order to have a greater understanding of the relationship between the US and Japan, and the KAKEHASHI Project. The UEC students also participated in a workshop and reporting session with students from Iwate Prefectural University who were also selected by MOFA for the KAKEHASHI Project. The aim of the workshop was to brainstorm methods to promote Japan’s strengths and attractiveness globally, and in the reporting session, suggested action plans on how to achieve such promotion was presented to staff and organizers from the Youth for Understanding (YFU). YFU hosted and guided UEC students throughout the duration of the visit.

At the University of Maryland, the UEC students were able to promote Japanese culture and technology to local students attending Japanese classes through a variety of interactive presentations and performances ranging from Yoron Island, Kanazawa, origami, shodo (Japanese calligraphy), shamisen, wadaiko, karate, kendo, Japanese dance in collaboration with a piano performance of Sakura Sakura. Another afternoon was spent in a volunteer opportunity sharing Japanese culture to young local children organized by the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme. In the one-week visit, the participants were exposed to many new experiences and overcame challenges to adapt to new environments.

Finally, on February 28, 2017 the students then reported on the KAKEHASHI project, reenacted selected presentations, and announced independent actions plans such as the promotion of Japanese food and robot technology via SNS.

Day 1 Depart from Japan, arrive in DC, bus tour of Washington D.C.
Day 2 Post-Arrival Orientation, Arlington Cemetery, Japanese Embassy, Library of Congress, US Supreme Court, American Japanese Internment Memorial, Marine Corps Memorial.
Day 3 University of Maryland, College Park (UMDCP) campus (meet students at UMD and present Japanese culture), National Archives.
Day 4 Washington Mall, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Volunteer opportunity at King Greenleaf Recreation Center (Japan Day with JET Program), workshop with Iwate Prefectural University.
Day 5 Mount Vernon Estate, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials, Reporting session with Iwate Prefectural University.
Day 6 William and Mary University tour, Colonial Williamsburg.
Day 7-8 Return to Japan.
Photo: Visiting the Japanese Embassy in Washington D.C. Photo: Visiting Maryland University
Photo: Maryland University Japanese class students and UEC students
Presentations and performances

Student participants and roles

Ryosuke Sakurai, Doctorate 2nd year; Workshop leader; Origami presentation
Kazuyuki Saito, MSc 1st year; Workshop leader; Shamisen presentation
Koki Matsumoto, MSc 1st year; Workshop leader; Karate presentation
Aiko Watanabe, MSc 1st year; Workshop leader; Kado presentation
Shota Sakurai, BSc 4th year; Workshop leader; presentation MC
Ryo Kobayashi, BSc 4th year; Kanazawa presentation
Misa Takahashi, BSc 4th year; Shodo presentation
Takuma Sato, BSc 4th year; Kendo presentation
Hideki Fukunaga, BSc 3rd year; Team Sub-leader; presentation MC
Taichi Wada, BSc 3rd year; Robot technology presentation
Kotaro Higashi, BSc 3rd year; Team leader, Head of video and photos, presentation MC
Tatsuki Fujii, BSc 3rd year; Karate presentation
Muying Chen, BSc 2nd year; Head of SNS; Japanese dance presentation MC
Akihiro Kato, BSc 2nd year; Head of finance; Japanese dance presentation introduction
Yuto Masuya, BSc 2nd year; “Sakura Sakura” piano performance
Masaya Amano, BSc 2nd year; Head of video, Game technology presentation
Yuka Mizuta, BSc 1st year; Japanese dance performance
Munehiro Okajima, BSc 1st year; Shamisen presentation
Kodai Kawano, BSc 1st year; Yoron Island presentation
Hiroaki Kawase; BSc 1st year; Robot technology presentation
Minami Kishi, BSc 1st year; presentation MC
Hiroto Kuramata, BSc 1st year; “Sakura Sakura” piano performance introduction
Natsumi Uchida, BSc 1st year; Head of student health; presentation MC

English teachers support

Oku Hiroaki, Professor; coordination and presentation tutoring
Atsuko Jeffreys, Professor; special lecture
Miyako Satoh, Associate Professor; presentation tutoring
Suwako Uehara, Associate Professor; coordination, presentation tutoring and escort

Staff support

Ryo Anzai, International Planning Section, Student Service Office; coordination
Ikue Nagata, International Planning Section, Student Service Office; coordination and escort
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