Rei Yamamoto plays key role in Chuo’s table tennis triumph

Rei Yamamoto plays key role in Chuo’s table tennis triumph




Rei Yamamto plays in a match at the spring Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition.
Rei Yamamto plays in a match at the spring Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition.

Chuo’s women table tennis club won the pennant at the spring Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition last May for the first time in six years. Rei Yamamoto, a 22-year-old fourth grader of the Faculty of Literature, played a key role in Chuo’s 25th career victory. Hakumon Herald interviewed Yamamoto who hopes to play in a corporate team after her graduation.



Rei Yamamoto throws up her arms after winning a match at the Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition.
Rei Yamamoto throws up her arms after winning a match at the Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition.

-Why did you start playing table tennis?


Yamamoto: I was motivated by my father who once played in a table tennis club. That was when I was in the third grade at my elementary school. At first, I felt I was forced to play by my father. However, I could start enjoying table tennis after I won in a competition.


山本 クラブで卓球をしていた父の影響です。小学校3年生のころから始めました。最初は父に無理やりやらされていましたが、大会で勝てるようになり、卓球を楽しめるようになりました。

Rei Yamamoto (left) and Yumi Myojin play in a doubles match at the spring Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition.
Rei Yamamoto (left) and Yumi Myojin play in a doubles match at the spring Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition.

-What impressed you most during your four years at Chuo?


Yamamoto: That was our victory at the spring Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition. That had been one of the targets for our team. Some good junior players joined our team last year and we could improve the quality of our practices. That made our team stronger. All our members could firmly share the goal to win “the victory in the spring league” and that led us to that good result.

山本 やはり春季関東学生卓球リーグ戦で優勝できたことです。この大会で優勝することがチームの目標の一つでした。昨年は、強い後輩たちが入部し、練習の質も向上しました。そのため、チームとして強くなれました。また、チーム内で「春リーグで優勝する」という目標を共有できたことが、このような結果につながりました。


 But I think our junior members still lack teamwork. I wish they will clearly set their aim and try to win a victory at the League competition, the All-Japan Invitational Students Table Tennis Championships and the All-Japan Intercollegiate Table Tennis Championships. I have no regret about my four years at Chuo University because I could devote myself to playing table tennis. But I’m feeling I should have had a bit more time to socialize with students in general.



-Do you have any secret to keep winning in a competition?


Yamamoto: Well, that may be to analyze and reflect upon what I could and couldn’t do in matches irrespective of the result. Before a match, I try to make it clear what I should do rather than considering too much about it.


山本 勝っても負けても、試合でできたこと、できなかったことを分析・反省することです。試合前は、自分がやるべきことを明確にし、試合だということを意識しすぎないように心がけています。

Members of Chuo's team pose for a photo after capturing the pennant at the spring Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition.
Members of Chuo's team pose for a photo after capturing the pennant at the spring Kanto Students Table Tennis League competition.

-What is your future goal?


Yamamoto: I will join a corporate table tennis team this year to keep playing. One of my targets is to contribute to the team. As an individual player, I’ll do my best to go higher in rank at the Japan League competition.

山本 今年からは、実業団チームに入り卓球を続けていきます。このチームのために活躍することが目標の1つです。また、個人としては、日本リーグで少しでも上位に食い込めるようにしたいです。


  -Thank you. We wish you the best of luck.

(Interviewed by: Yuto Yawata)



Kokaji contributes to local community through ceramic art


Interview with Alumni

Kokaji contributes to local community through ceramic art




Mr. Haruyoshi Kokaji, a graduate of Chuo University, works on a ceramic bowl at his studio.
Mr. Haruyoshi Kokaji, a graduate of Chuo University, works on a ceramic bowl at his studio.

Mr. Haruyoshi Kokaji, a graduate of Chuo University, serves as secretary general of “Gayoen Togei Kurabu”, a members-only club of ceramic artists based in Hinohara Village in western Tokyo. The village is endowed with natural beauty like Mt. Osawa and Mito Falls. Kokaji, aged 79, is a member of “Hakumon 37 Kai”, a group formed by persons who graduated from the university in 1962 (the 37th year of the Showa era). In an interview with Hakumon Herald, he said he wants to contribute to the local community through ceramic art.





Photo shows some of the ceramic works made by members of Gayoen Togei Kurabu.
Photo shows some of the ceramic works made by members of Gayoen Togei Kurabu.

--Tell us about your Gayoen?

Kokaji: It was founded in 1995 as a membership-based club to offer a place where retired people can meet with each other. Now it has 15 members. About 10 of them are actually active and many of them are couples.





小梶 この倶楽部は、1995年に定年後の居場所づくりのために設立された会員制のクラブです。現在、会員は15名で、実際に活動しているのは10名ほどです。夫婦で参加している人が多いです。



--What do your members do specifically?

Kokaji: Broadly speaking, our club has two objectives. The first is to deepen the relationships between the members who love ceramic art. Recently, the number of participants has been decreasing because of their old age. But we held a general meeting in the spring, an excursion in May, Ajisai (hydrangea) festival in June, and a summer festival and an exhibition of our works at our studio in August.

Our second objective is to contribute to the local community through ceramic art. In the autumn, we invited community residents to our Momiji (autumn leaves) festival and held a charity auction at our exhibition. We donated part of our profit from the sale of our works to the Social Welfare Council of Hinohara Village. We regularly hold pottery classes. Only recently, we invited people from a local nursing home for the elderly and made pottery with them. Needless to say, ceramic art itself is exciting. But it goes beyond that. Our club’s charm is that it enables us to meet and associate with many other people.

I must admit that we are having difficulties taking care of our studio, the place for many people to meet, because our members are aging. Now, we are looking for successors who can take it over. We want younger generations to take care of our studio, which is blessed with a wonderful natural environment.


--Thank you.

 (Interviewed by: Yuto Yawata)



小梶 画窯園倶楽部の目標は大きく分けて2つあります。1つは、陶芸を愛する会員相互の親睦を深めることです。最近は会員も高齢になり、参加者も減りましたが、春に総会を開き、5月に行楽イベントを開催し、6月は紫陽花祭り、8月には夏祭りと工房での展示会を開いています。







Students debate on Chuo’s relocation plan

Students debate on Chuo’s relocation plan




Chuo University students discuss the school's campus relocation plan at the Korakuen campus on Dec. 13.
Chuo University students discuss the school's campus relocation plan at the Korakuen campus on Dec. 13.

“Chuo Vision 2025”, the university’s midterm development plan unveiled in 2015, proposes relocating part of its liberal arts faculties in the Tama campus to central Tokyo. As an initial step, the Faculty of Law is to be moved to the Korakuen campus in Bunkyo Ward, where the Faculty of Science and Engineering is located. President and Chancellor Shozaburo Sakai, in an interview with the weekly magazine AERA in November, mentioned (1) a more efficient deployment of faculty members, (2) promotion of interchanges between students and graduates who work in legal profession and (3) prevention of students flowing out to other law schools from Chuo as the main reasons for the relocation.

中央大学は2015年に策定した中長期事業計画「Chuo Vision 2025」で、文系学部の一部を東京都心へ移転することを掲げ、その第一弾として、法学部を現在理工学部のある文京区の後楽園キャンパスに移すことを計画している。酒井正三郎学長・総長は11月に週刊誌「AERA」のインタビューに答え、法学部の都心移転の理由について①教授陣の効率的配置②法曹界OB/OGとの交流促進③法科大学院進学時の学生の流出防止、などを挙げている。


By the way, Chuo has a weird student circle which calls itself “Henjin-gakubu” (literally meaning the faculty of erratic persons).  It holds seminars and mock classes for other students. Leading the group is Kazunari Tanimura, a fourth grader of the Faculty of Law.  He calls himself “dean” of the club. On Dec. 13, this Henjin-gakubu organized a public debate on the relocation issue at the Korakuen campus. Before the event, it had polled 104 Faculty of Science and Engineering students about the planned relocation of the Law Faculty to Korakuen. The outcome was neck and neck, with 50 voting for and 54 against.

ところで、中央大学に「変人学部」という風変わりな名の学生サークルがある。 学生向けに学内でセミナーや模擬授業を実施することがこのサークルの活動内容だが、リーダーの谷村一成さん(法学部4年)の役職名は「学部長」だ。この変人学部が12月13日に焦点の後楽園キャンパスで移転問題について公開討論会を開催した。変人学部はこれより先、理工学部生104人を対象に法学部の同キャンパスへの移転について賛否を問うアンケートを実施。賛成50人、反対54人というほぼ拮抗した結果を得ている。

The debate was based on the result of the poll. Three liberal arts students from the Tama campus and four Science and Engineering students from the Korakuen campus took part in the debate as supporters and opponents. One of the supporters, Rumi Fukuda (a fourth grader of the Faculty of Science and Engineering) referred to her own experience of interchanges with arts students from the Tama campus and said, “Features of a comprehensive university cannot be fully exploited in the present situation where arts and science students remain separated at two remote locations. I believe chances to get in touch with diverse values are very much precious.”


On the other hand, a dissenting view was expressed by Keisuke Hosaka (a second grader of the Faculty of Science and Engineering), who pointed out the limited capacity of the Korakuen campus. He said, “The cafeteria on our campus is always packed at the lunch break. If Law Faculty students come over here, we won’t be able to have a meal due to muss and fuss.” In the poll, 31 out of the 54 students who voted against had said such overcrowding will be problematic. Meanwhile, the biggest reason cited by supporters was that the relocation will bring more female students to Korakuen. That looked quite natural given an overwhelmingly high ratio of male students at the Korakuen campus.


 Toward the end of the debate, Takatoki Morino (a third grader of the Faculty of Law) suggested, “Our problem might be resolved if Chuo builds its new campus at the site of the Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market after its relocation (scheduled for October 2018).” Audiences looked excited at his unique idea. “Dean” Tanimura said in his concluding remark, “Students rarely pay their attention to problems their school faces. We organized this debate in hopes of providing them with chances to speak out their opinions.”


 How the school authorities will take the result of the poll and debate deserves full attention.

(Written by: Hideki Kato)



Kyoto city’s decision on dealing with crowded buses




Due mainly to a rapidly increasing number of foreign tourists, municipal bus services in the ancient capital city of Kyoto remain seriously crowded, drawing citizens’ complaint over the inconvenience. The main reason for the congestion is the cheapness of a 500-yen one-day pass for the bus services which tourists often use. So, the Kyoto city government has decided to raise its price to 600 yen from next March, based on the recommendations made by a panel of experts. Will the markup really help ease the jam-up?






  The one-day pass was first put on sale in 1995. It was priced at 700 yen at that time. The deregulation in subsequent years encouraged private companies to begin bus services, prompting the city government to cut the price to 500 yen in 2000. The number of the pass sold annually grew sharply from about one million in 2000 to 3.64 million in 2010 and 6.14 million in 2015. The reason for the upsurge was the arrival of more foreign tourists who were sensitive to cheapness.






  However, the increased sales were not necessarily welcome. The cheaper pass has brought about some adverse effects. Today passengers have to wait in long lines for the next bus to come. Groups of tourists bring their large luggage into the bus, leaving little space for passengers to move around. These have added to the complaint among inconvenienced citizens. The city government has decided to raise the price of the pass to placate their dissatisfaction.






Now, will the hike not result in reducing the number of passengers? The municipal authority estimates that the daily number of bus users will drop by 9,300 from 55,000 at present to some 45,700 after next March. So, it has combined the markup with a cut of the price for its similar “one-day sightseeing bus-subway pass” from 1,200 yen to 900 yen. This is aimed to ease the bus congestion by diverting more passengers to subway services. The city office reckons that the combined annual sales of the two passes will increase from 230 million yen now to 420 million yen.




With the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to begin three years later, the number of foreign tourists may keep growing year after year. Let us hope that the higher price of the one-day pass will help alleviate the bus jam-up, thereby enhancing Kyoto’s appeal to visitors.


 東京オリンピックを3年後に控え、外国人観光客もますます増えていくだろう。京都の良さをアピールするうえでも、値上げを機に市営バスの混雑が緩和されていくことに期待したい。  (Written by: Kazuto Seiryu)(聖生和音)


Three prefectures again rank highest in national achievement test this year



Students sit for an annual national achievement test.
Students sit for an annual national achievement test.


The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) announced the result of its National Academic Ability Survey (National Achievement Test) for fiscal 2017 on August 28. The annual test covers elementary and junior high school students all over the nation. In terms of the average rate of correct answers, Akita, Ishikawa and Fukui prefecture ranked among top three again this year as in the past. 



The national test was changed in fiscal 2007 to a system requiring all students to answer the same questions after Japan’s ranking sharply dropped in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international achievement test. The reformed test, which covers all sixth graders of elementary schools and third graders of junior high schools, was conducted on April 18 this year. Those who sat for the test were approximately 1.01 million from 19,645 elementary schools and about 1.02 million from 9,982 junior high schools. They were required to answer questions in two categories: knowledge (A) and application (B). 



Both elementary and junior high school students from certain prefectures constantly keep better scores every year. They are from Akita, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures. In this year’s test, Akita again ranked top in Japanese language A and B for both elementary and junior high schools. Ishikawa came out top in both Japanese language B and mathematics A and B for elementary schools and in Japanese language A for junior high schools. Fukui took the highest score in both Japanese language A and mathematics A and B for junior high schools. What efforts do the schools in those prefectures make to keep their good performances? 



Akita has been promoting a small-group instruction system featuring smaller classes and team teaching since 2001, even before the start-up of the national achievement test. Moreover, it has been conducting its own “learning survey” since 2002. Ishikawa, in collaboration with Kanazawa University, launched a research system to tally and analyze test results after receiving the results of the national achievement tests for the three years from 2007 to 2009. Furthermore, the prefecture has been improving the learning environment and its quality by establishing what it calls “12 Articles on Learning + (plus)” aimed to enhance the students’ level of academic ability. 



Fukui has analyzed the results from the annual national achievement tests and compiled a collection of cases clarifying teaching methods with a view to identifying the questions for which the rates of correct answers were particularly lower in the past. 



What is common to the three prefectures is that they all analyze the results of the national achievement tests and their own academic ability surveys, find and sort out all relevant problems, set up definite goals and feed teaching methods back to the schools and teachers. 



According to the August 28 edition of the Sankei Shimbun, Professor Fumio Imai of Tokyo Gakugei University’s Graduate School of Education, commented on this year’s test results, “Schools now make it a rule to examine and utilize the outcome of the national tests and some prefectures produce good results by learning the teaching methods adopted by higher-ranking prefectures.” What is clear from his remarks is that education to enhance the students’ academic ability needs to be based on their learning conditions and tendency. Many prefectures may learn much from the methods employed by Akita, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures. 

8月28日付の産経新聞によると、東京学芸大教職大学院の今井文男特命教授は、今回の調査結果を受けて「学校現場では調査結果を検討、活用することが定着し、上位県に指導方法を学ぶことで成果を上げた県もある」と述べている。この発言からもうかがえるように、学力向上のためには児童・生徒の学習状況・傾向を踏まえた教育が必要であり、多くの都道府県で上位の県の学習法を参考にしてもらいたいと思う。(Written by: Yuto Yawata)(八幡 侑斗)

photo credit:

Chuo University’s 10-year development plan in steady progress

New Chief Executive Director Omura tells Hakumon Herald



Omura poses for a photo during an interview with Hakumon Herald at his office.
Omura poses for a photo during an interview with Hakumon Herald at his office.

It is six months since Masahiko Omura took office as Chief Executive Director of Chuo University. Commemorating its 130th anniversary in 2015, the university released Chuo Vision 2025, a 10-year development plan in which it unveiled a policy to relocate part of its liberal arts faculties to Tokyo’s urban center by 2022. The Faculty of Law will be top among those to be relocated. By locating it near Chuo Law School at Tokyo’s Ichigaya campus in an integrated manner, the school authority is aiming to enhance the faculty’s power of brand and maximize the effectiveness of its legal instruction. The plan also calls for founding new faculties at the Tama campus. Hakumon Herald interviewed Omura to ask how the plan is progressing.

 大村雅彦氏が中央大学理事長に就任して6カ月が経過した。現在、大学は「中長期事業計画Chuo Vision 2025」で、2022年までに文系学部の一部を都心へ移転する方針を発表している。移転の第一候補とされる法学部のブランド力を強化するとともに、法科大学院と一体的に配置することによって教育効果の最大化を図るのがねらいだ。他にも多摩キャンパスに複数の新学部を創設するという計画も公表している。そこで白門ヘラルドは大学経営の最高責任者である大村新理事長に話を聞いた。


-How is Chuo’s relocation plan progressing?



Omura: We are passionately pressing ahead with our study and negotiations. Specifically, we are considering whether we can relocate the Faculty of Law and related buildings such as “Honoo-no-Tou” or Tower of Flame (a facility for students preparing to take national examinations, in particular the national bar exam) together with Chuo Law School to the Korakuen campus in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, where the Faculty of Science and Engineering is located. However, an additional building area is restricted there because the mandatory floor-space ratio, the percentage of floor space to site area, is in force in central Tokyo.

大村理事長 検討や交渉は熱心に進められています。具体的には、理工学部のある東京・文京区の後楽園キャンパスに、法学部と法職研究室「炎の塔」などの関連建物を移転できないか検討しています。ただ、敷地に対する建築面積の割合を表す容積率により、増設できる面積が制限されています。


If the additional building being planned by us proves impossible, we may have to purchase a new tract of land elsewhere in downtown. Some people are concerned that land prices may go up prior to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. But we are not worried about that. Judging from the recent trends of land price in Tokyo, we can't think it will soar explosively over the next years as it did during Japan's bubble economy period.



As to possible impacts of the Tokyo Olympics, we are rather concerned about the upsurge of the cost of materials and personnel expenses needed for the construction of our new school building. About this, since the construction of the national stadium and other Olympic facilities should have been completed by 2019 at the latest, we are considering starting the construction of the new school building after those expenses have begun falling. We plan to complete the construction of our Tokyo downtown campus by 2022 while making utmost efforts to hold the cost to the minimum.



-What do you think is important for Chuo’s future development?



Omura: I think it is important to retain and strengthen both our tradition and new elements. Chuo's each faculty has its own tradition. Each faculty has been producing a number of graduates who play an active part at the forefront of various industries. We do want each and every one of you to follow your predecessors. Yet, what society requires of universities keeps changing in tandem with the changes of the times.

大村理事長 伝統と新しい要素の両方を維持・強化することが重要だと考えています。中央大学の各学部には伝統があり、それぞれの業界の第一線で活躍している卒業生を多数輩出しています。後輩の皆さんも、ぜひ先輩に続いてほしいと思っています。ただ、時代の変化に伴い社会が大学に求めるものも変わっていきます。


We must not only maintain the status quo but also change ourselves in line with the times in order to ensure our further development. Therefore, we are planning to set up at the Tama campus new faculties that can nurture the abilities required in modern society. Specifically, we will reorganize our Faculty of Policy Studies to create new faculties dealing with international relations and digitalization.



We are also discussing plans to found a new community-rooted faculty that can help the aging regional society resolve its own problems through sports science. Some other universities have already done such things. But I don't think we are too late.



-Thank you.

―ありがとうございました。 (Written by Yuta Uchino.)(聞き手/内野裕大)


Mr. Omura’s Profile<大村雅彦理事長略歴>

Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1954, Omura graduated from the Faculty of Law of Chuo University in 1977 and was appointed professor of the Faculty of Law in 1990. He served as Dean of Chuo Law School from 2004 to 2007 and as Director of Chuo International Center from 2012 to 2014. He was named Executive Director of Chuo University in 2014 and took office as Chief Executive Director in May 2017.

  1954年生まれ。兵庫県出身。1977年中央大学法学部卒。90年同法学部教授。 2004年同大学院法務研究科長(07年まで)。12年同国際センター所長(14年まで)。14年中央大学常任理事。17年5月理事長に就任。


Traditional Ainu and Ryukyu arts featured at Chuo’s “JAPAN DAY” event

アイヌや琉球の伝統芸能を披露 中大JAPAN DAY

People join Ryukyu dance at G Square.
People join Ryukyu dance at G Square.

Traditional Ainu and Ryukyu dances and music were featured at the “JAPAN DAY” event which took place under the theme of “multiethnic nation Japan” at Chuo University’s Tama campus on May 26. Both Japanese and international students looked satisfied with the rare opportunity to come into contact with those unfamiliar ethnic cultures.

中央大学多摩キャンパスで去る5月26日、「多民族国家日本」をテーマに、アイヌや琉球の伝統的舞踊や音楽などが披露されるイベント「JAPAN DAY」が開かれた。参加した一般学生や留学生らは、日ごろ馴染みの薄いこれら民族の文化に触れる機会を与えられ、満足したようだ。


JAPAN DAY has been held once a month since last December for the purpose of acquainting Chuo’s international students with Japanese culture. It is planned and managed by students. The event is aimed to promote cross-cultural communication by giving Japanese students chances to convey their culture to international students to help them learn more about it. It was the fifth time the event had been held.

 JAPAN DAYは留学生に向け日本の文化を伝える目的で、昨年12月から毎月開催されているイベント。学生スタッフが企画、運営している。日本人学生は自国の文化を留学生に伝え、留学生は日本の文化を肌で感じることで異文化交流を図ろうというもので、今回が5回目だった。


Maoko Yokouchi talks to Hakumon Herald.
Maoko Yokouchi talks to Hakumon Herald.

At G Square where JAPAN DAY took place, the participants were seen trying to communicate with each other in Ainu and Ryukyu languages and perform their traditional dances under the leadership of the event organizers. Maoko Yokouchi, a second grader of the Faculty of Law and one of the organizers, said she has doubts about many people thinking that Japan is a homogeneous state. She told Hakumon Herald, “I hope this event will provide a good opportunity for people to know that Japan is a multiethnic nation.”



Kazunari Tanimura (center right) shows traditional Ainu dance at G Square.
Kazunari Tanimura (center right) shows traditional Ainu dance at G Square.

Kazunari Tanimura, a fourth grader of the Faculty of Law, who performed traditional Ainu dances, underlined the significance of the event, saying, “This is a good opportunity to convey Japanese culture not just to international students but Japanese students as well. I do hope they will know more about various cultures and ethnics in Japan, including the Ainu and Ryukyuan in particular.” Why don’t you take part in one of JAPAN DAY monthly events?



(Written by: Mika Yamamoto)山本美香

Why does Tokyo University drop rankings every year?

 東大が年々順位を落とす理由は? ―世界大学ランキング―

  The University of Tokyo, one of top universities in Japan, has dropped its rank from 39th place to 46th place, its lowest to date, according to the World University Rankings 2018 announced recently by UK educational journal "Times Higher Education" (THE). Why did that happen?



  The annual ranking, published since 2004, is based on an overall evaluation and analysis of five items: (1) teaching ability, (2) research ability, (3) research impact (number of citations from articles), (4) international outlook and (5) income collected from industry.



  The ranking for 2018 listed the top 1,000 universities from 77 countries across the world. The University of Oxford (UK) held on to the number one spot, followed by the University of Cambridge (UK). Third place was shared by California Institute of Technology and Stanford University (both U.S.), with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.) coming fifth. As in the past, European and U.S. universities virtually monopolized the top 10 spots.



  Among the Japanese universities listed in the ranking, the University of Tokyo took the highest 46th position and Kyoto University placed 74th. They were the only Japanese universities to be named among the top 100. The University of Tokyo has been dropping its rank almost every year since it climbed to its highest 23rd place in 2014, falling to 46th in this year’s list.



  One major reason for the Japanese universities’ uphill battle is that both "number of citations” and "international outlook” weigh heavily in the ranking, a factor that makes them disadvantageous both geographically and linguistically as compared to overseas universities. Especially when it comes to the number of articles cited in English, their evaluation tends to be lower than that of universities in English-speaking countries.



  For example, the National University of Singapore, which placed 27th, or the highest in Asia, was evaluated lower than the University of Tokyo in terms of "teaching ability" and "research ability" but scored 79.7 in "the number of citations” to overtake the University of Tokyo which got 62.4.



  Tsukasa Endo, an associate professor of Kogakkan University, said in Yahoo News, "Foreign people cannot cite papers written in Japanese. Even when their contents are highly rated, they cannot be referred to for citation.” He suggested in this regard that Japan should set up an institution that translates excellent research papers written in Japanese into English.

 皇學館大學の遠藤司准教授はヤフー・ニュースの中で「日本語で書かれた論文を海外の人たちは引用できない。研究力は高く評価されていたとしても、論文の引用はされないのである」とし、優れた研究論文を英語に翻訳する機関をつくることを提唱している。(Written by: Akinori Murashima)(村嶋章紀)


Let’s do away with bias against sexual minorities


Learning from participation in LGBT convention


   “Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2017”, a gathering related to sexual minorities or LGBT, was held at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo’s Shibuya in May. The annual event since 2012 drew a record 108,000 participants during its two-day session, also with a record 500 taking part in a parade that followed. Tokyo streets took on rainbow colors as the participants walked along with banners and placards in hand.



  LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. According to a survey conducted in 2015 by Dentsu Diversity Lab, a unit of the major ad agent, the number of such sexual minorities in Japan is estimated at about 9.51 million or 7.67% of the total population.



Tokyo Rainbow Pride is an organization aimed to help LGBTs live positively without being exposed to discrimination and prejudice. It is sponsored by major enterprises such as Japan Tobacco Inc. and Marui Co. and various other organizations. In addition to the annual convention and parade, it monthly hosts an event dubbed “Shibuya ni kakeru niji” (putting a rainbow over Shibuya) to provide a community space for interchanges among LGBTs. The space is an oasis for LGBTs, where they occasionally talk to each other on a theme-by-theme basis. Those who are not affiliated with the organization are free to join them.



 This reporter participated in one of its activities, Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2017. The two-day convention consisted of “Festa Day and “Parade Day”. Your reporter took part in the latter. Among the participants were not only LGBTs but also ‘straight allies’ who understand them and support their campaigns. Singer Mika Nakashima was among the celebrities who took part in the amped-up parade.



Various companies set up exhibition booths at Yoyogi Park, the venue of the convention. One of them, arranged by an insurance company, was seen pitching its products to homosexual couples. Many of the participants left the park for the parade, wearing rainbow-colored goods symbolizing sexual diversity. They walked around in the Shibuya and Harajuku districts, carrying placards that appealed sexual diversity in their own words. One of them read, “Try to know really what I am, regardless of sex.”  Some LGBT supporters carried placards saying “I’m an ally”.

会場の代々木公園には、様々な企業がブースを開き、同性カップル向けの保険プランを提供する保険会社のブースも置かれていた。パレード参加者は、同公園を出発し、性の多様性を表す虹色のグッズなどを身にまといながら、渋谷や原宿でプラカードをもち行進。プラカードには、自らの言葉で性の多様性を訴えものが多く、中には「男女関係なく、本当の私を知って欲しい」という当事者の声や、「Im ally」といったLGBTを支持するものも目立った。


 The parade was utterly devoid of political colors. It gave a bright atmosphere, featuring women dancing and singing on colorfully decorated floats. It is only recently that discrimination against LGBTs has come to be considered problematic in Japan. A Hitotsubashi University graduate student killed himself in 2015 after his homosexuality was revealed by his friend against his intention, drawing a great deal of public attention. Let us wish that more people will correctly understand sexual minorities and do away with their prejudice.

  パレード全体の雰囲気は、完璧に政治性を帯びたものではなく、車両などをカラフルに装飾した山車(だし)に乗った女性が踊ったり、歌を歌ったりしていて、明るい印象であった。LGBTへの差別が問題視されてきたのはごく最近のことである。15年に自らが同性愛者であることを友人に暴露されて自殺した一橋大学院生の悲劇は、世間の関心を呼び起こした。性的少数者を正し理解し、偏見がなくなることを切に願う。(Written by: Yoshikazu Kazamoto)(風本祥一)

Be tolerant to cultural difference


Chuo graduate runs business in Shanghai


Tatsuya Ishigaki poses with a copy of Hakumon Herald in hand during an interview at his office in Shanghai.
Tatsuya Ishigaki poses with a copy of Hakumon Herald in hand during an interview at his office in Shanghai.

More Japanese go abroad each year not to do sightseeing but to work and live there. The statistics released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs put the number of Japanese workers abroad at approximately 1.3 million. Among foreign cities, Shanghai, China, ranks fourth in terms of the number of Japanese residents. At present, some 60,000 Japanese live and work there. Tatsuya Ishigaki, who graduated from Chuo’s Faculty of Law in 1996, is one of them. He is the managing director of the Shanghai subsidiary of Eightrent Co., Ltd, a Tokyo-based office equipment rental service provider. First posted in Shanghai 13 years ago, he now goes all-out to expand his firm’s business in China together with his 20 local employees. Hakumon Herald interviewed Ishigaki in Shanghai about the significance and difficulties of working abroad.


 観光目的でなく、海外で働き、暮らす日本人の数は年々増えており、外務省の統計によると、現在約130万人が海外で働いている。都市別で在留邦人の数が4番目に多いのが中国の上海市で、現在約6万人が滞在している。ここに紹介する石垣達也さんもその1人だ。   1996年に中央大学法学部を卒業した石垣さんは、法人向けオフィス用品のレンタルサービス会社「エイトレント」(本社・東京)の上海現地法人の責任者。上海滞在13年目、現在は20人の中国人スタッフと共に中国事業のさらなる発展を目指す。石垣さんに海外で働くことの意義、難しさについて語ってもらった。

Hard days in new place



  -How were you posted in Shanghai?



Ishigaki: I joined Eightrent upon my graduation and was assigned a job to promote sales in the domestic market for eight years. I had been deeply interested in managing a company since my college days. So, I talked one day with my company president about my desire. He assigned me a job to establish his firm’s subsidiary in Shanghai. It was how I moved to Shanghai. Since 2004, I’ve been working as managing director of the Shanghai subsidiary.

石垣 大学卒業後エイトレントに入社。8年間は国内の営業を担当していました。大学時代から企業経営というものに関心をもっていましたので、当時の社長に相談したところ、上海現地法人の立ち上げを任され上海に赴任しました。2004年から経営責任者として働いています。


 -What difficulties do you have in managing a company in China?



Ishigaki: One of my difficulties concerns management of locally hired employees. Soon after I took up my assignment in Shanghai, I was surprised to see Chinese workers lacked the common practices shared by Japanese business people. For example, they didn’t abide by their work hours. What annoys me even now is their basic attitude to labor. They tend to do only what they’re asked to do. In my opinion, their government has created an environment where it rigorously requires people to follow the directions of their leaders and does not encourage them to think for themselves. I think this is one of reasons for their attitude. With this unique working culture in China, you cannot win the hearts of your customers. However, I failed to produce good results even when I touted Chinese employees to learn the marketing skills I learned in Japan.

石垣 難しいのは現地社員のマネジメントです。駐在当初、社員が勤務時間を守らないなど、日本の企業人の常識が浸透していないことに驚きました。今も苦労しているのは、中国人社員の勤労に対する姿勢です。彼らは言われたことだけやるという姿勢で仕事に臨みます。中国ではリーダーの指示に従うことを、国が国民に徹底的に求め、自ら考えることをあまり求められない環境が理由にあるのではないかと考えます。その中国独特の勤労文化では顧客の心をつかみきれません。かといって、私が日本で学んだ営業手法を現地社員に教育しても順調に実績を上げることはできませんでした。


  -So, how did you sort out those problems?



Ishigaki: I have given up on my stereotyped thinking. I have tried to be flexible in dealing with matters. This has gradually helped me nurture employees who can offer quality services to their customers. For example, I have given them greater discretion and encouraged them to be responsible for their own work. Now I urge them to realize how they can think for themselves and produce results for themselves. I always talk with my employees to encourage them to take a proactive action. More communication has brought more vigor to our office. I think to be tolerant to cultural difference and flexible in dealing with it can provide a foundation for people who work abroad.


石垣 型にはまった思考をやめ、柔軟に対処することを心がけることで徐々に質の高いサービスを提供する社員管理ができるようになりました。例えば、大きな裁量権を社員に持たせ、仕事に対する責任感を持ってもらっています。自分で考え、自分で成果を出すことを実感してもらっています。私は社員との対話を常に心がけ、主体的なサービス提供を促しています。対話が増えた結果、職場には活気が生まれました。文化の違いに寛容になり、柔軟に対応することが海外で働く上での基礎になると思います。

Meet more people in college life



Tatsuya Ishigaki answering questions during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Tatsuya Ishigaki answering questions during an interview with Hakumon Herald.

-How did you spend your days at Chuo University?



Ishigaki: I was just an ordinary student, working part time jobs, doing circle activities and dating with my girl friends from time to time. If I could come back to my student days, I would meet more people from various walks of life, elderly people in particular.

石垣 バイト、サークル活動、時々彼女とのデートがルーティンの普通の学生でしたね   (笑い)。もし、学生時代に戻れるとしたら、目上の人など、もっといろんな人と会っていればよかったな、と思います。


  -Why do you feel so?



Ishigaki: Because I think if I had learned more from predecessors about their failure and success stories, I could have made use of them for my own life. For example, I spent my first three years in Shanghai worrying about how to produce better results by cooperating with people brought up in different culture. I thought I could have avoided making such detour if I had met a person who experienced a failure similar to the one I made. In this respect, I value the Shanghai Hakumon Alumni Association for which I serve as one of managers. It groups Chuo graduates currently residing in Shanghai. It is an ideal community that provides an environment for its members to build both vertical and horizontal relationships with each other.

石垣 先人たちの失敗や成功談を聞いておけば、自分の人生に役立てることができたと考えるからです。例えば、上海に来てから、私は初めの3年間、日本と違う文化で育った人と協力し、ビジネス上の成果を上げる有効な手段が分からず、悩みました。私と同じような失敗をした人と早くに出会えていれば、そんな回り道はせずに済んだと思います。その点で、私が幹事を務める「上海白門会」のような、中大出身者の集まりである中大コミュニティは、世代の縦軸、横軸の関係を構築できるいい環境が整っていると思います。


  -Tell us what the association does?



Ishigaki: Our monthly meetings are always full of vigor. As members are active in various business domains, we can always spend an exciting and fruitful time communicating with each other. One of our members call the meeting “my heart and soul” where they can talk to friends from the same university in a country far from their motherland. Aside from the regular get-together, I’m planning to build a structure that may help younger generations who experience hardships similar to the ones I had soon after arriving in Shanghai.

石垣 月1度の定例会は常に賑わいます。会員の皆さんはさまざまな分野で活躍されているので、毎回、刺激的な時間が過ごせます。異国の地で同郷の仲間と語ることができるこの機会を「心のよりどころ」と表現する方もいます。今後は懇親会に加えて、私と同じような苦労をする若い世代に貢献できるような仕組みができればいいなと思います。


  -Can you give a few words to Chuo students?



Ishigaki: I advise students who want to work in the world to go abroad, do volunteer work, hold study meetings and experience business practice while making friends and enjoying beautiful scenery in culturally diverse environments. To experience the difficulties of understanding each other’s culture and cooperating with local people should surely become your future nourishment.

石垣 世界を舞台に働きたいと思う人は、異国を訪れ、友人をつくる、美しい景色を堪能することに加えて、文化が入り混じる環境で、ボランティア、勉強会、ビジネスを実践してみてください。お互いの文化を理解し、協力することの難しさを経験できることは将来の糧になるはずです。


-Thank you.



(Interviewed by: Hideki Kato)(聞き手/加藤英樹)

Stella Lou quickly gains popularity

New friend born to Duffy



Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, east of Tokyo.
Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, east of Tokyo.

A girl rabbit Stella Lou was born at Tokyo DisneySea in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, in March this year as a new friend to Disney character Duffy. Only six months later in September, she came fourth after Duffy, outstripping once-popular Hello Kitty and Snoopy, according to the “Ranking of Soft Toys” released by a company.



What kind of character is Stella Lou? To begin with, Duffy the Disney Bear, born in 2005, already had Shellie May (another bear born in 2010) and Gelatoni (a cat born in 2014) among his friends. Stella Lou has now joined them. Here is how she was born.



When Stella Lou was practicing dancing one day, she met Duffy and told him that she had a dream to be a dancer. Duffy had thought dreams were something one would see only while asleep. But she taught him that wising to be a dancer someday is also a dream. Then, Duffy wished to support her and they became friends. Lavender-colored Stella Lou, with lovely ears and eyes shining like stars, is a girl who dreams of becoming a Broadway dancer. Her existence lets him know how splendid it is to dream a dream.



According to an online news site, one of the reasons for the popularity of Duffy’s friends including Stella Lou is that their owners can dress them in favorite costumes and that they are available only at Tokyo DisneySea in Japan. Yuka Ishihara, an employee of Oriental Land Co. that runs DisneySea, planned a ceremony featuring the debut of Stella Lou. She said, “We cherish the story about each of our characters and we value their individualities.” As she says, the story about Stella Lou seems to be well put together.



Stella Lou has won popularity in shows and as character goods so quickly after her debut. It is indeed interesting to see how she will do in the future.


(Written by: Yui Tomori) (友利 唯)

Photo credit

Japanese rice cracker flying into space

JAXA certifies kakino tane as snack for astronauts



Kakino tane, a rice cracker certified by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as a snack for astronauts.
Kakino tane, a rice cracker certified by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as a snack for astronauts.

Kakino tane, a rice cracker, was recently certified by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as a snack to be consumed by Japanese astronauts during their stay at the International Space Station (ISS). Originating from Niigata Prefecture, it is one of the most popular rice crackers in Japan. It was so named as it looks alike permission seed in shape. Now a new version has been developed as a pace food by Kameda Seika, a company based in the city of Niigata.



  Kameda Seika launched its project in 2014 and spent three years of research and development in hopes of helping astronauts improve the work efficiency during their long stay at the ISS by enjoying the taste and texture of Japanese food. Its newly developed product was certified as a Japanese space food in August.



  The product is officially sorted as “rice cracker mixed with peanut”. Each pack contains 35 grams, consisting of 60% of cracker and 40% of peanut. It is assured to remain fresh for a year and half, or four times longer than the commercially available version whose eat-by freshness date is four months.



 In order to get their products certified as a space food, producers are required to meet the criteria for space use. Kameda Seika has given various twists to its product to satisfy the requirements. The snack is contained on a 90 mm x 9 mm x 40 mm tray, whose cover and bottom are gilt with something like a fastener tape. The pack can be repeatedly opened and closed or fastened to a fixed place inside the cabin of the ISS. It keeps its content from flying off so that astronauts can easily eat it even in the gravity-free space.



  Kameda Seika’s kakino tane is not the sole Japanese space food certified by JAXA. The agency has so far endorsed 29 items produced by 13 companies. They include cooked rice, noodles, curry and fish. These make us feel the remote space is closer to us.


Written by: Yuto Yawata(八幡 侑斗)

Photo credit

Japan tardy in preventing passive smoking

Ministry unveils amendment bill



Health risks caused by passive smoking or inhaling of tobacco fumes from others pose serious concern in Japan as in many other countries. Kota Katanoda, chief of the Division of Cancer Statistics Integration of the Center for Cancer Control and Information Services (CIS) at the National Cancer Center Japan, reported in May 2016 that “15,000 people die annually in Japan due to diseases caused by passive smoking”. On March 1 this year, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare unveiled a draft bill on amendment of the Health Promotion Act aimed to beef it up with penalty for breach of anti-passive smoking provisions.



  The present law enforced in 2003 requires the managers of public facilities such as schools, hospitals, theaters and restaurants to “take necessary steps to prevent passive smoking.” However, it has no binding power as it does not penalize violations. The proposed amendment sets penalties for wrongdoers. The draft bill reads, “In the case of serious offenses, managers of the designated facilities shall pay a maximum of 500,000 yen and persons who smoked there shall pay a maximum of 300,000 yen in correctional fine.” The government submitted the amendment bill during the last Diet (parliament) session.



 The British medical journal Lancet reported six years ago that an estimated 600,000 people died of passive smoking-related diseases all over the world in 2004. This clearly indicates that health damage caused by passive smoking is a major social issue in many countries including Japan. In this situation, a comprehensive indoor smoking ban has been put into force in the United States (New York State), the United Kingdom, Canada and Brazil. Similarly, China, Russia, South Korea, France and Germany have banned smoking in the premises of public facilities.



  In Japan, however, prevention of passive smoking is not making much progress. Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, deputy director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), made a bitter statement during his visit to Japan on April 7. He said, “Japan’s initiatives are outdated.” Among Japan’s municipalities, anti-passive smoking ordinances with penal provisions were enforced only in Kanagawa Prefecture in 2010 and then in Hyogo Prefecture in 2013. A group made up of 133 insurance companies petitioned Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike for a similar ordinance in September 2016.



  The proposed amendment to the Health Promotion Act was aimed to trigger a national debate on the government’s initiative to ban passive smoking. However, the amendment bill drew criticism from some lawmakers within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) who said its provisions are “too rigid”.  As a result, the bill failed to be enacted during the last Diet session which adjourned on June 18. It seems the day when no one suffers from passive smoking in Japan is still far away.


Written by Yuto Yawata (八幡侑斗)

Photo credit:

Preventing invasion of venomous fire ants

First detected in Japan this spring



Image from Flickr.
Image from Flickr.

Fire ants, a poisonous species native of South America, have been discovered one after another across Japan, mainly in coastal areas, since late in May, causing grave concern among local residents. Once bitten by the insect, humans suffer a severe burning sensation and may die in extreme cases. While they have already been found in Australia, Taiwan, Southern China and some other Pacific Rim countries, their existence was confirmed for the first time in Japan. The Ministry of the Environment has been warning people to be on the alert. Is it possible to block their further invasion into Japan? And what precautions are being taken?



 According to the National Institute for Environmental Studies, fire ants vary in size from 2.5 to 6 mm, have a red brown body and darker abdomen, and build a nest (anthill) 15 to 50 cm tall on the ground. They are fierce and aggressive by nature, stinging humans over and over again. Their fertility is proved to be quite strong, with each queen producing up to 2,000 to 3,000 eggs per day.



 Japan’s Invasive Alien Species Act designates fire ants as a specific creature that disrupts the ecosystem and causes damage to agricultural, forestry and fishery industries as well as human life and health. Once a creature is so specified by the act, its feeding, cultivation, storage, transfer and import are placed under severe restrictions. Furthermore, the legislation requires the state and local governments to take preventive measures where necessary. Accordingly, effective countermeasures need to be urgently taken to prevent the insect from settling in Japan.



On July 4 when a swarm of fire ants were found at Osaka-Minami Port, then Environment Minister Koichi Yamamoto said at a press conference, “The government will do all it can to detect and exterminate (them) as early as possible,” stressing a policy to push ahead with what he called a shoreline operation across the country. In Kobe where fire ants were also detected on July 13, Mayor Kizo Hisamoto told his regular press briefing, “We will step up our fight against harmful alien species centering on insets by enlisting knowledge and information from experts.” The city has formed a task force, made up of Koichi Goka, head of the Ecological Risk Assessment and Control Section of the Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies at the National Institute for Environmental Studies, and about 10 other members including specialists and Environment Ministry staffers, with a view to working out a basic plan geared for prevention at an early stage of the invasion by harmful alien species.



Then, what have other countries done so far to counter the invasion by fire ants? On July 10, the Asahi Shimbun reported a successful case in New Zealand where fire ants were found in 2004 and 2006. It said that periodical checks in the port areas and citizens’ constant supply of relevant information resulted in an early detection of the insects, making New Zealand the sole country to exterminate them. Will Japan be able to keep quick-breeding fire ants at bay?


(Written by: Yuto Yawata)(八幡 侑斗)


How to deal with “comfort women” issue

New South Korean President Moon pledges renegotiation



The comfort woman statue built in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. Image from Flickr.
The comfort woman statue built in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. Image from Flickr.

The issue of “comfort women”, a euphemism for the Korean women forced into Japanese military brothels before and during World War II, holds the key to improvement of the relationship between Japan and South Korea along with the territorial dispute over Takeshima islets which Koreans call Dokto. Drawing attention in this respect is the inauguration on May 10 of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, 64, who had pledged in his election manifesto to renegotiate the comfort women agreement made by the Japanese and South Korean governments in 2015.  Japan has reiterated its position that the accord is not renegotiable. How will the issue evolve in the future?



 The Korean women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers came to the surface and developed into a major diplomatic issue about 27 years ago. In August 1993, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono released a statement, acknowledging the Japanese military’s involvement and expressing apologies and remorse on behalf of the Japanese government. In December 2015, then Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se had a round of talks and reached an agreement. The accord, announced at a press conference by the two ministers, stated that: (1) the South Korean government will establish a foundation for the purpose of providing support for the former comfort women and the Japanese government will contribute 1 billion yen to its funds, (2) the South Korean government will make an effort to remove the comfort woman statue built in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and (3) the two governments confirm that the comfort women issue is resolved “finally and irreversibly” with this announcement.

 戦時中に日本軍の関与の下で将兵の性の相手を強いられた韓国人女性の問題が明るみにされ、日韓間の外交問題となったのは27年ほど前のこと。この間、1993年8月に日本政府は関与を認め、河野洋平官房長官(当時)のお詫びと反省の談話が出たりするなどの経緯をたどった。2015年12月、日韓両外相が会談し、 日本側は元慰安婦を支援する韓国の財団へ10億円を拠出する 韓国側は在韓国日本大使館前の慰安婦像撤去へ向け努力する 同問題を最終的かつ不可逆的な解決とする、などで合意、記者発表された。


 The Democratic Party of Korea led by Moon had expressed its objection to the bilateral agreement even before its upset victory in the legislative election held in April 2016. Therefore, Moon had been expected to pledge a renegotiation of the accord in his manifesto during the campaign for the presidential election, which was held in May 2017 after the impeachment and dismissal of President Park Geun-hye.

  文氏が代表を務める「共に民主党」は、 2016年4月の議会選挙で劇的な勝利を収めたが、それ以前からこの合意に反対を表明していた。したがって、朴槿恵大統領の罷免・失職を受け今年5月に行われた大統領選挙で文候補が合意再交渉を公約に掲げたのも予期されたことであった。


President Moon sticks to a renegotiation of the comfort women agreement because of Korean citizens’ persistent discontent over the document. According to a poll conducted last December by Korean opinion research agency Realmeter, 59% of the respondents said “the agreement should be renounced”. That largely exceeded 25.5% who said “it should be maintained”. The result suggests that nearly 60% of Korean people are opposed to the accord.



What about Japanese people? A nationwide poll carried out by the Yomiuri Shimbun on May 12-14 showed that 61% of the respondents said “the Japanese government does not need to comply with a Korean government proposal for renegotiation.” Queried on future Japan-Korea relations following the inauguration of the Moon administration, 58% replied “there will be little change” while 23% predicted “the relations will get worse”, indicating that there is a wide perception gap between the two neighboring peoples.



In this situation, Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary General of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, visited Seoul on June 12 for his first talks with President Moon. According to the Korean presidential office, the president stressed the need to renegotiate the agreement on comfort women by telling Nikai, “It is unacceptable to the Korean people, in particular, to former comfort women.” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Moon held their first summit on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in July in Hamburg, Germany. However, they reportedly made little headway on the comfort women issue. According to Japanese officials who briefed journalists on their talks, Moon told Abe that the Japan-Korea agreement, made under the Park administration, is “emotionally” unacceptable to many Korean people. In reply, the prime minister was quoted as telling the president that the 2015 accord provides “an indispensable basis for building future-oriented Japan-South Korea relations”. People in both countries are closely watching how the two governments will deal with the contentious issue.

  こうした中、自民党の二階俊博幹事長が6月12日、韓国を訪問し、文大統領と初めて会談。韓国大統領府によると、会談で文大統領は慰安婦問題についての日韓合意について「韓国国民と、誰よりも元慰安婦には受け入れられない」と述べ、日韓慰安婦合意の再交渉の必要性を強調した。安倍首相と文大統領は 7月にドイツ・ハンブルクで開かれたG20会議に出席、その機会に初の首脳会談をおこなったが、慰安婦問題についておおきな進展はなかったようだ。会談について記者団にブリーフィングした日本側関係者によると、文大統領は安倍首相に日韓合意は朴槿恵大統領政権の下で行われたもので、多くの韓国民にとって「感情的に」受け入れがたいものであると伝えた。これに対し、安倍首相は同合意が「未来志向の日韓関係構築に欠かせない基礎をなす」ものである点を強調したという。両国政府が今後この問題をどう処理するか注目される。

(Written by: Yuto Yawata)(八幡 侑斗)





A restaurant run by a Chuo student greets 3rd year



A two-minute walk from the closest monorail station to Chuo University brings you to a restaurant. “Terranch” was opened two years ago mainly for students by Yuki Matstumoto when he was a first grader of Chuo’s Faculty of Commerce. Hakumon Herald interviewed the owner of the restaurant about how he started up his business and what he plans to do with it in the future.




Soon after he entered Chuo, Matsumoto worked as an intern for Nojima Corp., a major consumer electronics retail chain founded and run by Hiroshi Nojima, a graduate of Chuo University. There he met people with strong individuality and that motivated him to open his own restaurant. He acted with a sense of speed. In fact, it was only after a few months of preparation that he accomplished his purpose. Matsumoto said, “I thought if I didn’t act while I was a first grader, I wouldn’t act at all later on.” 


He named his restaurant after a person called Teramoto whom he got acquainted with during his internship. His friends often said, “Let’s go to Teramotonchi (meaning Teramoto’s house).” That was why Matsumoto decided to call his shop “Terranch” for short.




Customers who frequent the restaurant are mostly students. Among them are a unique one who likes to act as a magician, another who does palm reading and many others who are keen about their job hunting. Matsumoto found it hard to retain customers in his first year of business. “Now I rarely have hard times,” he said. He added he finds his job worthwhile particularly when he sees a student say “As compared to eating elsewhere alone, I feel easier to dine here with people who sit around me to listen to me” or when he sees customers hit it off with each other and decide to start up a new student club. 


Terranch Owner   Yuki Matsumoto
Terranch Owner Yuki Matsumoto

Terranchi, now in its third year, is at a major turning point, however. Matsumoto has been running the restaurant with a partner, one of his friends, since its start-up. He said he is having difficulties finding a person who will take it over. He and his partner are planning to hand it over to anyone who is “keenly interested” in doing the business. However, they are worried if they can find a person who will keep it properly. 



Terranchi has helped many people get together. It may remain a place where students can meet with each other to become friends. Let us hope that the restaurant which Matsumoto has elaborately nurtured will continue to play its role.


(Written by: Chika Sato)


About the restaurant

Name: Terranchi

Location: First floor, Gobankangakuentoshi Dragon Mansion 228 Higashi-Nakano Hachioji, Tokyo

Open for business: 18:00 to 22:30

Closed: Wednesdays

Number of seats: 10 (all non-smoking)


 *Up to 25 seats are available on special occasions such as a welcome party for newcomers




Teachers’ English-language skills declining

Cause for concern over government’s educational plans



Image from Flickr.
Image from Flickr.

 The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) announced the result of its “Survey on English-Language Education Practice” for fiscal 2016 on April 7, 2017. It is the fourth in an annual series of the survey, which has been carried out since fiscal 2013 to cover the public junior and senior high schools across the nation. Highlighted in the latest survey is the fact that the English-language proficiency of teachers in these schools has not been advancing in line with the government-set goals.




 The master plan approved at a Cabinet session in 2013 required English-language teachers to have the Eiken (English-language proficiency test) Grade Pre-1 level or higher. It said the level should be reached by 75% of those in senior high schools and 50% of those in junior high schools by fiscal 2017. The survey result made public this time showed that those who have attained that level accounted for 62% of the total (up 4.9 points from the previous year) in senior high schools and 32% (up 1.8% points) in junior high schools. Both ratios, though slightly higher than the year before, indicate that the government-set goals are hard to achieve.



 Two days earlier on April 5, MEXT also announced the result of a similar survey conducted in fiscal 2016 on the level of students’ English-language proficiency. Commenced in fiscal 2012, this survey covers the students at 12,850 junior and senior high schools. The ratios of those who reached Eiken Grade Pre-2 or Grade 3 were 36.4% (up 2.1 points) for the third graders of senior high schools and 36.1% (down 0.5% points) for the third graders of junior high schools. Both barely reached the government-set 50% goal to be achieved by fiscal 2017. One of worrisome points about the latest survey is that the ratio of junior high school third graders, which had kept on rising like that of senior high school third graders, dropped for the first time ever.



 The two MEXT surveys imply that the teachers’ declining English-language ability is partly to blame for the slower progress on the part of students. Put differently, there is concern that teachers’ English-language ability itself is falling, aside from the problem of their leadership to teach students. Reasons for this may include an easy employment of teachers and some shortcomings inherent in the teacher’s license renewal system. Especially as to the latter, it is said that teachers applying for license renewal are only required to sit for a course without having their academic skill or leadership re-examined.Teachers nowadays are too busy looking after non-classroom affairs and have fewer opportunities for self-improvement. That seems to be also responsible for their falling command of English.



 Four years ago, MEXT made public an action plan on English-language education aimed to develop persons who can be active in the international arena. The plan called for English-language classes in junior high schools to be conducted in principle in English and classes in senior high schools to focus on presentation and debate so that students can acquire English-language proficiency equivalent to Eiken Grade 2 to Grade Pre-1 upon their graduation. MEXT said it will start introducing the plan in stages in fiscal 2018 and fully implement it in fiscal 2020.

 文科省は4年前、国際的に活躍できる人材を育成するための英語教育に関する実施計画を発表。中学校の英語授業は原則として英語で行い、高校の授業では発表や討論などに重点を置き、卒業時に英検2級から準1級程度の英語力を身に付ける目標を設定した。そして 2018年度からこれらを段階的に導入し、20年度の全面実施を目指すとしている。


 Judging from the results of the two latest surveys, however, it is questionable whether the government plans will smoothly work or not.(Witten by: Yuto Yawata)

 今回発表された2つの調査結果からみて、政府の計画がすんなり進むのか、危ぶまれる。(八幡 侑斗)


Little still known about schizophrenia

A mental disorder afflicting modern people



Image from Flickr.
Image from Flickr.

Have you ever heard of a mental disorder called schizophrenia? It drew wide attention when the behavioral genetics technology development team at Japanese national research institution RIKEN found in March 2017 that a symptom similar to schizophrenia suffered by adult mice was healed by genetic treatment.



Schizophrenia remains little known in Japan although it is a relatively mundane disease that afflicts one in every hundred persons.  According to a survey made in 2012 by Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K., the Japan unit of U.S.-based medical equipment multinational Johnson & Johnson group, only 55.6% of 5,500 Japanese men and women aged between 20 and 69 answered they knew of schizophrenia. The poll showed that the biggest number, or 57.6% of the respondents, thought the disease stems from “failures in human relations” while less than half, or 43.6%, correctly understood it is a “brain and neural disorder”.



Medical institutions and groups that support schizophrenia patients are puzzled over the lack of understanding. The Japanese government renamed the disease in 2002 to schizophrenia from derogatory split personality. A survey by the Health, Labor & Welfare Ministry in 2011 put the number of schizophrenia patients in Japan at 700,000. People in their early adolescence and those aged up to 30 accounted for 70-80% of them.



The cause of schizophrenia is still unclear. Many scientists think it is caused by an abnormal secretion of neurotransmitter dopamine. That, they say, can abnormally stimulate the brain’s mesocortical pathway which is associated with pleasure and euphoria and the mesolimbic system which controls judgment and recognition. And that stimulation leads up to positive symptoms like hallucination and delusion and negative symptoms, such as poverty of thoughts, social withdrawal, depression and lack of concentration. It can also cause cognitive disorder like linguistic fluency disorder and learning disability.



Then, how are schizophrenic patients treated? They primarily receive medicinal therapy aside from physical isolation and psychosocial treatment. Shinichi Miyazaki, a professor at Chuo University’s Faculty of Law who majors inF neuropsychiatry, said in a lecture in May, “Medical therapy proves effective in 70% of early schizophrenic symptoms thanks to the development of new medicines in recent years. It is also effective in 60% of relapsing patients.” He said that such treatment has helped some patients come back to society with family support.



In the past, some Japanese used to say that schizophrenia patients were “possessed by the devil” or “haunted by a fox spirit”, giving rise to a lot of discrimination and prejudice. Commenting on the survey result made public by Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K., Kiyohisa Takahashi, honorary president of the National Center of Neurology & Psychiatry, said in June 2012, “I think the mass media can help more people have proper knowledge of mental disorders including schizophrenia by sending out the right and relevant information in a proactive manner”. Let us hope that more Japanese people will know better about schizophrenia to do away with discrimination and prejudice in society.

(Written by: Yuto Yawata)

統合失調症は、かつて「悪魔に取り憑かれている」「キツネを憑き」と言い伝えられ、差別や偏見を生んだ。国立精神・神経医療研究センターの高橋清久名誉総長は、前出のヤンセンファーマの調査結果を受けて、12年6月、「統合失調をはじめとした精神疾患に関する正しい情報をメディアに積極的に発信してもらうことで、多くの人に正しい知識が普及していくと考えている」と述べている。国民の多くが統合失調症について正しく理解し、差別や偏見のない社会にしてほしいものだ。(八幡 侑斗)

Ten contestants named for this year’s “Miss & Mister Chuo” pageant



Candidates for“Miss and Mister Chuo”pageant pose for a photo on the stage.
Candidates for“Miss and Mister Chuo”pageant pose for a photo on the stage.

  Five female and as many male students, qualified to contest in this year’s “Miss and Mister Chuo” pageant, made their debut at a ceremony on July 11. More than 200 audiences packed a small room at C Square of the Tama campus where the event took place during the lunch break. Many of them had to watch it standing.


  All lights in the room were turned off suddenly when introduction of the candidates began. Video footage was reproduced on a large screen and loud music played as each of the contestants walked onto the stage. They were greeted with cheers and applause each time they struck a pose on a specially arranged runway. Each of them made a brief speech, explaining why they decided to participate in the pageant and how they will spend their time in the run-up to the event in November. One of the candidates, Mari Matsui, a third grader of the Faculty of Law’s Department of Law, told the audiences, “I applied for the contest after being charmed by my elder sister who took part in last year’s event.” She added, “I will aim for the grand prix which my sister couldn’t get.”


  RP, the student organization that manages the pageant, introduced the theme of this year’s contest: “Self image: change yourself and be attractive”. Kentaro Murata, the leader of the organization (a third grader of the Faculty of Economics), told Hakumon Herald, “We have chosen the theme because we want the contestants to be positive about presenting their personality. It embodies both our wish and hope.”

 今年のテーマは「魅せるわたし、変わるわたし~Self Image~」。コンテストを企画運営する学生団体RPの代表、村田健太郎さん(経済学部3年)は「テーマは候補者に自分らしさを発揮することにポジティブになってほしい、という私たちの思いが込められています」と話した。

The contest is scheduled for November 4, the third day of Chuo’s annual school festival. RP said it is planning some gimmicks including projection mapping (projection of CG visual contents on buildings and open spaces) to make the event more enjoyable.


本番は学園祭開始から3日目の11月4日だ。今年はプロジェクションマッピング(建物や空間にCG映像を投影する演出)による演出など、ミス・ミスターコンを盛り上げる工夫がされるそうだ。(Written by Hideki Kato)(加藤英樹)

Ms. Mizuki Terashima gets confidence and dream from studying in UK



Mizuki Terashima (far right) poses for a photo with her classmates at Sheffield College.
Mizuki Terashima (far right) poses for a photo with her classmates at Sheffield College.

More Japanese high-school students study abroad these days. According to a survey carried out in 2015 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, high-school students who studied abroad for a period of over three months in 2014 numbered 4,197, or 300 more than the year before. It also showed that the majority of them aimed at improving their foreign language ability in studying abroad. Ms. Mizuki Terashima, a third grader at Keiai Gakuen Senior High School in Chiba Prefecture, is one of them. She studied for a year from April 2016 to March 2017 at Sheffield College in the U.K. As a result, she could raise the score of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) from 4.0 (Eiken Grade 2 level) to 7.0. (graduate school admission standard in the U.K. and Australia). Hakumon Herald interviewed Ms. Terashima to know how she carried out her aim since her childhood.

 高校生の海外留学者数が増えている。文部科学省が2015年に実施した調査によれば、前年1年間で4197人の高校生が3か月を超す海外留学を経験、前の年を300人上回ったという。さらに同調査で分かったのは、その多くが語学力の向上を目的としていることだ。千葉県の私立敬愛学園高校に通う3年生の寺嶋美珠紀さんもその1人である。寺嶋さんは 昨年4月から今年3月までの1年間、英国のシェフィールド・カレッジに留学した結果、語学試験のIELTSで4.0(英検2級程度)から7.0(英国および豪州の大学院入学条件の基準)までに語学力を向上させることができた。子供からの目標を有言実行した寺島さんに話を聞いた。

Continue to use language skill


Terashima (far right) with her classmates.
Terashima (far right) with her classmates.

-Why did you think of studying abroad?



Terashima: I once lived in the U.K. for a couple of years when I was a child. After I returned to Japan, I’ve kept in touch with my friends there. One day, I found myself unable to come to English expressions when I was writing letters to them. At that moment, I realized I would easily lose my acquired language skill if I didn’t use it. So, I resumed a language study every day and started to consider studying abroad.

One of my senior friends introduced me about an overseas study program launched in 1999 by Keiai Gakuen. It is designed to dispatch its students to Sheffield College. The program had sent a total of 244 students to the college over a period of 18 years including 13 who belonged to my generation. It’s an attractive program that allows us to study abroad without putting off our graduation from high school.

寺嶋 幼いころイギリスに2年間ほど住んでいました。帰国後も現地の友達と文通を続けていたのですが、ある日を境に英語がとっさに出てこなくなりました。その時に語学は使わなければどんどん忘れていってしまうと気付き、日々の勉強に加え、留学も考えるようになりました。知り合いの先輩が敬愛学園高校の留学プログラムを勧めてくれたのがきっかけです。



  -Didn’t you feel insecure about living alone in the U.K.?



Terashima: Yes, I felt a bit insecure. But I overcame it by preparing myself for everything thoroughly. For example, I received an online English speaking lesson and challenged a qualifying exam beforehand to get myself accustomed to the life in the U.K. Frankly speaking, I had a serious concern about public security because of the confused political situation in Europe. But you can’t be 100% secure even in Japan. So, I made up my mind, telling myself, “Let nature take its course.”

寺嶋 多少はありました。しかし、何事も準備を徹底することで乗り切りました。例えば、語学は事前にオンライン英会話や資格試験にチャレンジし、現地生活に即順応できるようにしました。欧州では政情が混乱していたこともあり、治安には不安を感じていました。ただ、日本が100%安全だと断言できるわけでもないので、「その時はなるようになる」と割り切りました(笑い)。

Acquiring culture as well as language


Terashima (second from right) and her classmates pose for a photo.
Terashima (second from right) and her classmates pose for a photo.

-Tell us how you lived in the U.K.



Terashima: I spent weekdays studying at a language school and visiting local high schools. During the holidays, I spent most of my time with my host family. Daily classes were primarily meant for studying to prepare for English language tests. I learned bakery and IT as well as history and mathematics in extra courses.  As most of classmates were adults, I spent a lot of time taking part in discussions.

寺嶋 平日は語学学校と現地の高校訪問などを通し、勉強に取り組みます。休日はホームステイ先の家族と過ごすことが多かったです。授業は英語の語学資格試験対策が主でした。時には歴史や数学など、そして特別授業でベーカリーやIT技術について学ぶこともありました。私のクラスは社会人から構成されていたので講義に加え、ディスカッションをする時間が多かったです。


  -Did you learn anything new from the discussions?



Terashima: Themes which our teachers picked up varied from day to day. Based on those themes, we students were required to begin impromptu discussions. So, I could acquire the skills to construct my own opinions quickly and express them in English. Thanks to that, I could get high marks in English speaking exams. But at the same time, I keenly felt I haven’t studied enough. While I stayed in the U.K., the country was in the midst of a national debate over whether it should leave the EU or not. The issue was often a topic of our conversation. I was often asked how Japanese people looked at the issue. I was also asked to talk about the legal system in Japan and the history of its relationship with the neighboring countries. Honestly speaking, I couldn’t answer them well. That experience made me realize that no matter how I might be good in English, I couldn’t be a full-fledged person if I didn’t know much about my own country. From now on, I want to learn more about culture as well as language.

寺嶋 先生が取り上げるテーマは日々変わります。テーマに沿って、即興でディスカッションが始まるので、自分の意見をすぐ組み立て、それを英語で発信するスキルを身に付けることができました。その甲斐あって、スピーキング能力が測られる語学試験で高得点を記録できたのだと思います。同時に、自分の勉強不足も痛感しました。留学中はちょうどイギリスのEU(欧州連合)離脱を決める最中にあったため、自ずとそれが話題になることが多かったです。その時に日本人としての意見や、日本の法制度、隣国との歴史などについて聞かれ、うまく答えられませんでした。どれだけ英語に堪能であっても、自国のことを知らない限りは一人前ではないと、気付きました。今後は語学だけでなく教養もしっかり身に付けたいです。

Want to contribute to world peace at UN


Terashima poses for a photo during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Terashima poses for a photo during an interview with Hakumon Herald.

-Did you think about your future dream through your study abroad?



Terachima: I have become keener to work at the United Nations as a member of the Japanese staff to contribute to world peace. I was motivated because I could get confident about my English ability after I was elected a first international officer at Sheffield College. I proposed that the school’s student council take up a lack of interchanges between foreign and local students, and talked about the English speaking society my classmates at Keiai Gakuen launched as a means to improve a similar situation. To promote our activity, I visited each classroom with a view to making a presentation about our event. I also prepared a poster about the event with other members of the student council. As a result, our activity was commended by the school authorities for having contributed to enhancing opportunities of international interchange. This made me confident that I could acquire the language ability to compete on equal terms with the locals in English. While I stayed in the U.K., I formed an image of the Japanese people being quiet and faceless, for good or bad. So, I hope to contribute to creating a new image of the Japanese through my activity at the United Nations.

寺嶋 日本代表の一人として国連で働き、世界平和の達成に貢献したいという思いが強くなりました。現地の学校初の生徒会留学生委員(International Officer)に選ばれたことがきっかけで、語学に大きな自信がついたことが大きな要因です。私は留学生と現地学生の交流が少ないことを生徒会の議題に挙げ、それを改善させるために敬愛の同級生が始めた英会話クラブの宣伝をしました。自分の足で各教室に赴き、イベントのプレゼンをするときもあれば、生徒会でイベント告知ポスターを作ることもありました。その結果、「国際交流の機会が増えた」と学校から評価されました。現地人とも対等に渡り合える語学力をその活動を通して身に付けられたと、自信がつきました。留学中に、良くも悪くも、日本人は静かで、主体性に欠けるというイメージを持ちましたが、日本人の私自身が国際機関で英語を使って活躍し、新たな日本人像を創り上げられたらと思います。


  -Why do you refer to world peace in connection with your dream?



Terashima: An African student once told me that he heard the guns being fired whenever he stopped his car to wait at stoplights. I think people living in an unstable society get too much preoccupied with everyday affairs to think about their study or work. Under such situation, the development of technology and society will inevitably become stagnant. I think people can learn and society can advance only in a peaceful society. As I am still immature, I have no prescription for peace. But I will study harder at college to come closer to my goal.

寺嶋 アフリカ出身の学生から「車の運転中に信号待ちで停まれば、途端に銃声が聞こえる」という話を聞きました。社会が不安定だと、その日のことを考えるだけで精一杯になってしまい、勉強や仕事がないがしろになり、技術の発展、社会の発展が滞ってしまうと思います。平和だからこそ、人は学び、社会の発展も実現できると思います。未熟な私には平和の処方箋がまだ分かりません。これから大学でしっかりと勉強し、目標実現に一歩ずつ近づいていきたいです。


-Thank you.

Interviewed by Hideki Kato



Watch how people’s living can be affected

By conspiracy bill now in Diet deliberation



Photo credit by West LAUNCH Co.
Photo credit by West LAUNCH Co.

At present, an important bill is under deliberation in the Diet (parliament). It seeks to add a new crime of conspiracy such as terrorism to the Law for Punishment of Organized Crimes, Control of Crime Proceeds and Other Matters, the so-called Organized Crime Punishment Law. The Japanese government decided on the bill to amend the law at a Cabinet session on March 21 and submitted it to the Diet. The bill is controversial in that it was scrapped three times in the past in the face of a broad argument by the opposition parties that it could “undermine the freedom of expression” and create “a surveillance society” across the country.



Speaking at a plenary session of the House of Representatives on April 6, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated in support of the bill, “As we prepare for the next Olympic and Paralympic Games (to be held in Tokyo in 2020), it is a duty of the host country to take all possible measures to counter acts of terrorism. Enactment of this bill is indispensable to make the domestic laws ready for that purpose.” His government is aiming to pre-empt terrorism by paving the way for Japan’s accession to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The convention, adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in 2000, came into effect in 2016, but Japan has yet to sign it. To make conspiracy a crime is one of conditions required for Japan’s accession to the convention. The government-sponsored bill looks to add conspiracy to the organized crimes defined in the existing Japanese law.



The proposed amendment seeks to apply conspiracy not only to acts of terrorism but also crimes committed by gangs and fraud groups. However, it does not define the difference between organized crime groups and “other groups” and it is unclear who can be members of those “other” groups. This gives rise to criticism in the opposition camp that members of the general people can be punished once the bill becomes a law. The most controversial point, therefore, is the norms by which acts of conspiracy are made punishable.



The government says that people will not be punished by merely making antigovernment and subversive statements but that they can be punished “when they act in preparation for conspiracy” such as acquisition of funds and preliminary inspection of relevant locations. However, the opposition parties argue that police may start criminal investigation only with depositions made by those who have allegedly made preparations and participated in a subversive plan. They note in this respect that punitive actions in the proposed revision will include an “agreement” (communication of an intention to commit a crime with conspirators). They contend that punishing the “agreement” without any concrete actions could possibly involve innocent people and lead up to false charges. The revised law would allow the investigating authority to judge what will constitute the “preparatory actions”. The opposition camp is worried that such arbitrary criminal investigation can be used for suppressing antigovernment campaigns by civic organizations and labor unions.



The entire nation needs to watch the ongoing Diet debate to see how the proposed institution of conspiracy will affect their society and living.


共謀罪の新設による組織犯罪処罰により我が国の社会や国民生活にどう影響するのか、国会での論議に注目したい。(Written by: Yuto Yawata)(八幡侑斗)

A student club challenges to grow future entrepreneurs

 Interview with representative of Chuo’s Venture & Leaders


Venture & Leaders代表に聞く―


A student club named “Venture & Leaders” was organized at Chuo University last year. This club, which had 18 members as of March this year, aims at developing human resources for next-generation Japan by providing students with opportunities to start up a business or experience corporate internship. Hakumon Herald interviewed Yuto Tokiwa, a Commerce Faculty third grader, who himself once successfully founded a new company and presently serves as representative of the club.


昨年、「ベンチャー アンド リーダーズ」(Venture&Leaders)という学生サークルが中央大学で発足した。今年3月現在18名の部員を抱えるこのサークルは、学生による起業や会社へのインターンシップといった活動を通して、次世代の日本を担う人材育成を目指している。かつて自らも会社の起ち上げを成功させ、現在このサークルの代表として活動する、商学部3年の常盤勇人さんに話を聞いた。

Yuto Tokiwa, the representative of "Venture & Leaders", poses for a photo during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Yuto Tokiwa, the representative of "Venture & Leaders", poses for a photo during an interview with Hakumon Herald.

  Your club aims to develop next-generation human resources. How does that relate to business startup by students?



Tokiwa: Japan currently faces a shortage of competent business managers. So, both the Government and corporations are striving to grow people to be managers while they are still young. That’s why we are eager to help students become entrepreneurs who can carry Japan’s future on their shoulders. I think starting up a business is one of the ways to realize this purpose. It will also come true through internship.


常盤 現在、日本では経営者不足が問題になっており、企業も国も若いうちから経営者を育成しようとしています。ですから僕たちも、経営者になることを目指し、これからの日本を担う人材を学生のうちから育てたいと考えています。したがって新たな事業を始めようという起業は、それを実現するための方法の1つであって、インターンシップ等を通して実現することもできると思います。


What are merits of starting up a company while you are a student?



 Tokiwa: Unlike students, working people must support a family on their salaries. There is a great risk if they leave their companies and start up a new company. Given that, I feel students who have no worry to support a family are in a better position to set up a new business. Even if they fail in their attempt and are forced to seek employment, they can appeal the efforts they have made. Their crude experiences like fund raising will also help a lot when they work at a company. I believe students may take an interest in launching their own business because of such merits.

常盤 学生の僕たちと違い、社会人は自らの稼いだお金で家族を養わなければなりません。彼らが仕事を辞めて新たに会社を起ち上げるのは大きなリスクがあると思います。それを考えると、起業をするのに適しているのは養う家族のいない学生だと思います。仮に会社を起こすことに失敗して就職することになっても、それまでの努力はアピール・ポイントになります。また、出資金を集めたりした泥臭い経験も、働く際に役に立つこともあるはずです。起業にはそういうメリットもあるので、学生は関心を示すのかもしれません。

Yuto Tokiwa speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Yuto Tokiwa speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.


What are required of students when they launch a business?



Tokiwa: I think passion and enthusiasm are most important. Those are necessary not only when starting up a business but also doing any other things. I think faithfully listening to what other people say is also critically important. Whenever I meet entrepreneurs, I see them listen to us seriously. I think listening to employees’ opinions and soaking up their good points are the primary requisite of an entrepreneur.


常盤 やはり情熱、やる気ではないでしょうか。起業に限らず、どんなことでもこれは必要だと思います。人の話をなんでも聞くことも必要だと思います。起業家と会うと、みなさんが僕らの話を真摯に聞いてくれるのです。部下の意見にも素直に耳を傾け、良いと思ったものはスポンジのように吸収できることが、起業家としての第一条件かなと思います。


Do you think Chuo University has an environment that encourages students to be an entrepreneur?



Tokiwa: No, it doesn’t. Or I should perhaps say that such environment has just begun to be created. The Faculty of Commerce has been trying to improve it by preparing career education subjects such as business project courses for first graders or inviting a teacher specialized in business promotion from Kyushu University. But the entire school does not seem to be much enthusiastic to support clubs like us which encourage students’ involvement in business startup. Unfortunately, I can’t say Chuo has an environment suitable for promotion of enterprise.


常盤 ないですね。いや、土壌ができ始めている、と言った方が良いのかもしれません。商学部では、1年のときからビジネス・プロジェクト講座のようなキャリア教育科目を開講したり、九州大学から起業に詳しい先生を招いたりするなど、起業の環境を整え始めています。しかし、大学全体では僕たちのよう起業を行う団体を支援することに後ろ向きです。ですから、やはり会社を起こすことに適した土壌があるとは言えません。


Then, what do you require of Chuo University?



 Tokiwa: I want the school authority to move up the commencement of classes for business startup. At the Faculty of Commerce, such classes are made available only when students become third graders. But that is too late. I also think those classes should cover knowhow on business startup. Our club wants the school authority to provide us with a permanent facility for our activity rather than financial assistance. If we have such facility, we can regularly hold lecture meetings by business leaders and seminars for high-school students. That will enable us to undertake broader and fulfilling activities for the development of human resources.


常盤 起業に関する授業の開講学年を前倒しすることだと思います。商学部では3年生からその授業が始まるのですが、それでは遅すぎます。起業のノウハウを伝えるべきです。僕たちの団体としては、活動資金より恒常的な活動拠点を与えてほしいのです。拠点があれば、起業家による講演会や高校生のためのセミナーを継続的に開くことが可能になり、より幅の広い充実した人材育成のための活動ができるようになるはずです。


Thank you(Interviewed by: Naoya Yoshida)


Thinking of Writing わが経験的文章論

By Kenji Nakadate


Many congratulations to you all on joining Chuo University. Here is an article contributed by Mr. Kenji Nakadate, former editor-in-chief of the Hakumon Herald who graduated from Chuo University in 1965. Based on his own experiences, Mr. Nakadate talks about the pleasure and difficulty of writing. It will be of some help to you in your study and club activity in Chuo University. –Editor


Writing is a comprehensive art of expression. You need to mobilize all your knowledge, experience and imagination. I therefore say writing is difficult and profound.



My interest in writing was awakened and strengthened by my encounter with Shinshow Nakajima, then editor of the Asahi Evening News, who checked our English copies for the Hakumon Herald. While I was an editor-in-chief (in 1963-1964), I was strictly trained by him about selection of headlines, logical description, simple expression, importance of introduction, development, turn and conclusion in articles, utilization of richer vocabularies, etc. I learned a lot each time I reviewed my manuscripts corrected by him. Through these experiences, I came to realize how interesting writing is.

私が本格的に文章を書くことに興味を持ったのは、「白門ヘラルド」で英文チェックをしてくれていた中島申祥氏(Asahi Evening News編集者)との出会いがきっかけでした。中島氏には、私が編集長のとき特に厳しく鍛えられました。タイトルの付け方、論理的な記述、表現の簡潔さ、起承転結の重要性、多様な語彙の活用など、中島氏に直された原稿を見るたびに多くを学びました。そんなことから、私はものを書く面白さを知りました。


An attitude of mind and thoughtful consideration are quite important when you write. You write articles for persons who are not necessarily willing to read them. Most of them are not obliged to read your articles. So, you must present them with the fruit of consideration and the best efforts you make. Your readers are always capricious. To attract their interest, you must pay due consideration in various ways - what topic to pick up, how to construct your articles, how to lay them out, which typeface to choose, where to cut sentences and change paragraphs, etc. You need to do all kinds of things to encourage your readers to turn as many pages as possible. Otherwise, nobody will read them through to the end. You are not a professional writer but you must give all possible consideration as you are going to occupy someone else’s time. Nobody will take an interest in looking through pages which are full of typos, omitted letters, disparate typefaces and shapeless layouts. Those amount to betraying your immaturity and demotivating your readers. I reemphasize that basic consideration and attitude of mind are indispensable for good writing.



The proverb says,“The style is the man”. Written texts unwittingly expose the writer’s real character - serious or irresponsible, punctilious or insensitive, etc. That will be evident from your writing. Therefore, you should not write half-heartedly. Unlike spoken words, texts cannot be undone once printed. They remain on record as they are for the rest of your life. Shame goes along with them. When I write sentences, I always abide by the following seven principles.




1.       Look at things from manifold angles.


2.       Give full attention to titles.


3.       Furnish sentences with rhythm.


4.       Make a sentence as short as possible.


5.       Value a feeling for language.


6.       Enrich vocabulary.


7.       Pepper sentences with a sense of humor.



Among them, I pay utmost attention to the three elements of “rhythm”, “title” and “humor”. I think rhythm is quite important to sentences. Like music, sentences with good rhythm are more readable because they are easier to soak into your head. If you read sentences aloud, you will instantly know whether they have a rhythm or not. Haruki Murakami says, “I have learned the method of writing from music. Most important is rhythm. Nobody reads sentences with no rhythm.” When I put a title to my article, I take time to consider how I can capture readers’ heart. That is because they tend to look at the title before deciding whether to read its content or not. Humor I mentioned last plays a role of hidden flavor. It gives a bright accent to sentences.



My favorite novelist is Hisashi Inoue. His books, rich in humor, are comprehensible. I guess that comes from his theory: “Write something difficult easily, something easy deeply, something deep pleasantly and something pleasant seriously”. I always refer to this theory when I write. It is not easy to write something difficult in a plain manner. There are books written in keeping with Inoue’s theory. They are science-related books for elementary and junior high-school students. The themes they address range from cosmos, zoology and botany to religion and philosophy. They are usually written for children in a simple way by specialists in each discipline. Pundits might deal with those subjects in as much academic way as they would like. But those books are written so plainly that they are accessible even to lay persons like me who are less intelligent with science. I think those children’s books are a good example for writing as well as reading.



The Hakumon Herald in our time was written only in English. But its current edition comes in both English and Japanese. English texts are accompanied by their Japanese counterparts below. Conversely, if you read the Japanese texts first, you can compare them with their English equivalents above. Readers can enjoy dual tastes. They can unknowingly learn the two languages at the same time, a great merit for both readers and writers. English should be the leading player in any English papers. But learning only English may not be desirable especially when readers are Japanese students. The basic language for them is Japanese. For us Japanese, English is an acquired language. We first think in Japanese and then switch over to English. So, the Japanese language comes first in actuality. I am of the opinion that few Japanese can be better in English than in their native language. In other words, we should strengthen our Japanese-language ability to improve our English-language skills. Lastly, I hope that my opinion will be helpful to the working members of the Hakumon Herald. And I do hope that they will challenge the attractive and profound world of writing by enhancing their power of expression and enriching their vocabulary, the key elements of writing, through an intensive daily reading.




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Learning the importance of challenging

Soeda and Shikishi tell Hakumon Herald



More than a thousand audiences come to see the school’s annual “Miss and Mister Chuo” pageant. As Chuo’s faces of the year, contestants set the mood for various campus events during the runup to the contest. They make serious efforts to be successful, hoping to bring some changes to their present state through participation in the contest. Both Yohei Soeda, of the Accounting Department of the Faculty of Commerce, and Haruka Shikishi, of the Economics Department of the Faculty of Economics, were once among those aspirants. Soeda, who won the title of Mister Chuo, and Shikishi, the runner-up Miss Chuo, in the 2014 contest, will be graduating this spring. Hakumon Herald asked them to look back on their memories of the contest and their campus life thereafter.



Hoping to change the status quo



Yohei Soeda answers a question after winning the title of Mister Chuo in the contest in 2014.
Yohei Soeda answers a question after winning the title of Mister Chuo in the contest in 2014.

Both would-be graduates aspired to enter the contest toward the end of their first year at Chuo in the winter of 2014. Recalling those days, Soeda said, “I felt something muzzy about my boring daily life of only doing part-time jobs and some club activities. I wanted some changes in my life. That was why I decided to take part in the contest.” Shikisi said she first took an interest in a beauty pageant in her high-school days when her elder sister went to another university, participated in a contest there and won the crown of victory. “I was very much moved to see my sister clad in a wedding dress with plenty of confidence. After entering Chuo, it took me some time to decide to apply for the contest. But when I met the organizers of the event, I finally made up my mind and said to myself for the first time, ‘I will never miss my chance.’ That was about a year after I joined Chuo,” she said.



Looking back on his participation, Soeda said, “I felt a lot of pressure. But I could keep trying my best thanks to the strong support from my friends.” Shikishi echoed to Soeda.



Even after the contest ended, they continued challenging new things. Shikishi said, “The contest made me interested in the job of a TV newscaster. So I spent the rest of my student life making necessary preparations.” Soeda said, “After the contest, I also began to think seriously about my future career. I wanted to get a job related to TV program production. So I worked as a part-time TV assistant director in hopes of learning about the job.”



New dreams after trial and error



Haruka Shikishi looks relieved at the end of the “Miss and Mister Chuo” pageant in 2014.  
Haruka Shikishi looks relieved at the end of the “Miss and Mister Chuo” pageant in 2014.  

Later on, however, both Soeda and Shikishi decided to pursue new dreams quite different from their first ones. Shikishi has given up becoming a TV caster. She will be taking up a clerical job in an ordinary company this April. “After all my challenges, I couldn’t imagine my future self working as a caster. I asked myself, ‘What do I really want to do?’ I concluded that I like a job where I can feel the value of what I create. After all, that was why I decided to seek my career in the business world,” she said. Soeda, who has decided to take up a managerial post in a business company, said smilingly, “I want to have children at an early stage of my marriage so that I can play catch with them. I thought that if I get engaged in TV program production, I might take longer to have some mental leeway to do that. I have decided to take up my job offer so that I can lead a daily life with some elbowroom and don’t bother my future wife.”

だが、2人はそれぞれ当初とは違う夢を追うことを決意する。色紙さんは今年4月からアナウンサーではなく、一般企業で事務職として働く。「いろいろと挑戦はしたものの、アナウンサーとして活動している将来の自分が想像できませんでした。『私は何がしたいのか』と、自分に問いを投げかけ『私は自分が生み出す価値を間近で実感したい』という結論にいたりました。結局、ビジネスの世界で挑戦することにしたのはそれが理由です」(色紙) 一般企業の管理職を選んだ添田さんは「僕、早く子供がほしいんですよ。一緒にキャッチボールがしたい」と笑顔で話す。「テレビ番組の制作だと、精神的に余裕が持てるようになるまで時間がかかる。将来のお嫁さんに気を遣わせないよう、余裕を持った生活をするために今の就職先で頑張ろうと決めました」(添田さん)

 Hakumon Herald asked them what they have learned from their participation in the contest. “That’s the importance of trying to do something,” both Soeda and Shikishi replied in unison. You cannot go forward by just thinking. You must act to make your dream come true. That was their message. The two would-be graduates looked to have in themselves not just the brilliancy of Chuo’s faces they had once been but also the robustness of grown-ups who are prepared to take responsibility in society.



(Written by: Hideki Kato and Kohei Kuramoto)(加藤英樹、倉本康平)

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Pursuing newness while retaining tradition

Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Sushizanmai, tells Hakumon Herald



Photo shows Sushizanmai's first shop located near Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market.
Photo shows Sushizanmai's first shop located near Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market.

"Sushizanmai" is a sushi chain which runs 50 shops nationwide, mainly in the Kanto region. Hakumon Herald interviewed Kiyoshi Kimura, president and CEO of Kiyomura Co., to ask what he thinks is the appeal of sushi and how he views Japanese traditional culture. Kimura, the founder of the company, is a graduate of Chuo University.



-Probably you didn't expect this question, but why didn’t you adopt conveyor belts for your shops?



Kimura: Because sushi is most delicious when it is made by hand. Even with the same neta (topping) and the same shari (vinegared rice), the taste is quite different between sushi made by robots as in a revolving sushi bar and one made by sushi chefs. It is just like a dish cooked by your mother is much better than the one made by a robot with the same material and cooking method. I would say sushi can have its real value when chefs infuse their sincerity into it by preparing the materials and putting them together with both hands.

木村 寿司は手で握ることで最もおいしくなるからです。同じネタ、同じシャリで握っても、回転寿司店で使用されるロボットが握る寿司と職人が握る寿司とでは味が違うのです。お母さんが作る料理の方が、同じ材料や調理方法でロボットが作る料理よりおいしく感じるのと同じです。職人が仕込んで、手で握ることで真心が込められることに価値があるのです。


-Have you devised anything special to make your shops more popular?



Kimura: We have turned entertainment factors inherent in sushi into our sales point. I think those chefs who please and move you by rolling sushi in front of you are really entertainers. That is something common to the restaurant industry where you hit on your own ideas and cook nice dishes with your own hands. A tuna filleting show is one of good examples.


木村 寿司が持つエンターテイメント性を売りにしました。私は、目の前で寿司を握り、人を喜ばせ、心から感動させる寿司職人はエンターテイナーであると思っています。外食産業が持つ、自分で考え、自分の手で美味しいものを作ることができるというエンターテイメント性に共通するものです。マグロの解体ショーはその良い例です。

Sushi chefs are brought up by customers


-Do you accept ongoing robotization of sushi making?



Kimura: No, I don’t. It may be OK if a robot can make sushi as good as an experienced chef. But the robot cannot go that far. If there are customers who prefer machine-made sushi because it is less expensive, I will ask them to taste authentic sushi. I say that because customers help nurture chefs who make really delicious sushi. I do want them to eat full-blown Edo-style sushi (the Edo Period is from 1603 to 1868) and know their delicious taste. That is why Sushizanmai serves sushi made by chefs at prices not much different from those at belt conveyor sushi bars.

木村 思いません。人間が握る寿司と同じようにできればよいが、機械はそこまではいきません。また、安価だから機械が握った寿司を選ぶというお客様に、本物のおいしい寿司を見極めて欲しいとも思います。なぜなら、お客様が本物のおいしい寿司をつくる職人を育ててくれるからです。江戸前の本格的な寿司を食べて、そのおいしい味を知ってもらいたいのです。だから、すしざんまいは回転寿司と変わらない値段の寿司を職人が握って提供しています。


-Sushi is popular abroad, but its tradition does not seem to be properly communicated. How do you see that?



Kimura: I think while we should stick to our intention to retain the tradition, we should accept new things if they are good. For example, do you know that tuna goes quite well with mayonnaise? This combination is something unfamiliar in the traditional concept of sushi. However, I think we should offer it to our customers if it tastes good and provided it is made with heart and soul.

木村 伝統を残そうという意思を持ちつつ、良いものであれば、新しいものを受け入れるべきだと思います。例えば、マグロとマヨネーズを合わせるとおいしいことを知っていますか。この組み合わせは、伝統的な寿司の概念にはないものです。しかし、おいしいならば、真心を込めて作ったものならば、お客様に提供するべきだと思います。

Resting on tradition makes no progress


Kiyoshi Kimura (center) presides over a tune filleting show at his shop.
Kiyoshi Kimura (center) presides over a tune filleting show at his shop.

-While washoku (Japanese food) represented by sushi has been registered as UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage, some other Japanese cultures have been declining. What do you think about that?



Kimura: Those cultures are declining because they are not in need any more. It is important to think why they are waning and put preventive solutions into practice. We shouldn’t neglect necessary efforts. Just resting on your tradition will make no progress at all. It is important for you to adapt yourselves to the times and send out new things abroad as tradition in different forms.

木村 衰退している文化は必要とされないから衰退しているのです。なぜ衰退しているのかを考え、まずは思いついた解決策を行動に移すことが重要です。必要とされる努力を怠ってはいけません。伝統にあぐらをかいて、しがみついていると発展などしません。時代とともに新しいものを違う形で伝統として(海外に)伝えていくことが大切なのです。


-Are there any particular Japanese cultures you would like to send out abroad?



Kimura: I want to send out  the wholeheartedness of Japanese food culture. This is something similar to "omotenashi (hospitality)", the word we used when promoting Tokyo’s bid for the (2020) Olympic Games. I think hospitality is tantamount to wholeheartedness. You will see the heart of Japanese people embodied in Japanese culture. I want to have Japanese people’s wonderful heart deeper-rooted first in Tokyo’s Tsukiji (where Sushizanmai opened its pilot shop) and then in the rest of the world.

木村 日本食文化の一生懸命さを伝えたいですね。これは、東京オリンピック招致のときに使われた「おもてなし」にも通じるところがあります。「おもてなし」とは一生懸命さのことです。日本文化の中に日本人の心が見えます。もっともっと日本人の素晴らしい心を、まずは築地(すしざんまいが一号店を開いた場所)に根付かせたいです。そして、全世界へ伝えたいです。


Thank you very much.

(Interviewed by: Meiku Takeda)





Mr. Kimura’s profile


 Born in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, in 1952, Kimura joined the Fourth Technical School of the Air Self-Defense Force’s Air Basic Training Wing in 1968. Entering Chuo University’s Faculty of Law (correspondence course) in 1972, he worked part-time at a fishery company while in school, engaging himself primarily in the development and marketing of foodstuffs and foods. In 1979, he founded Kimura & Co. to produce and market boxed lunches and sushi toppings. His firm’s lines of business ranged from importing marine products and manufacturing gari (vinegared ginger) to catching and wholesaling bluefin tuna. He liquidated that firm and founded Kiyomura Co. in 1985. In 2001, he opened the first shop of Sushizanmai just outside Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. He has since opened many more shops across the country.


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Spreading accurate knowledge of sushi to the world


Sushi, one of traditional Japanese cuisines, is now increasingly popular across the world. One estimate says there are approximately 50,000 sushi restaurants outside Japan, many of them in North America and the rest of Asia. However, the proverb says, “Coats change with countries”. As the “California roll” invented in Los Angeles indicates, there are many different ways to make sushi around the world. Also, as sushi uses raw fish and shellfish as toppings, it can pose some sanitary problems. At one point in the past, sushi chefs in the United States were reportedly required to wear gloves when cooking sushi.



The All Japan Sushi Association, headquartered in Chiba, east of Tokyo, has been active in spreading accurate knowledge of sushi to the world. The association, authorized by the Ministry of Health, Labor & Welfare, has set up the World Sushi Skills Institute to carry out various activities with the aim of keeping people who work at sushi shops both at home and abroad better informed of knowledge about hygiene problems and cooking skills.



One of its activities is to certify sushi chefs and people who get engaged in the export of related food materials and equipment. The institute organizes workshops and confers its “Sushi Advisor Certificate” on those who have passed its exams. Since sponsoring the first session in Singapore in January 2010, it has held ones in Japan, Australia, Europe, North America and Russia. The institute has launched its certificate system because countries that have no raw foodism culture cannot theoretically prove the safety of sushi, making people feel uneasy about its possible sanitary implications. It thought the certificate may help wipe out such uneasiness.



Another activity is the World Sushi Cup it has been sponsoring annually since 2013. This competition is for sushi chefs to vie with each other in knowledge and skills to handle raw fish in Japan, the birthplace of sushi. By taking part in the contest, they can hope to improve their skills and enhance their understanding of the sushi culture. The last contest took place at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo’s Koto Ward in August 2016. Let us hope that the institute will continue its activities to make sushi more popular.

(Written by: Chika Sato)

国際すし知識認証協会のもう1つの活動は、2013年から日本で毎年開催している「WORLD SUSHI CUP」(世界すし大会)。生魚の衛生知識面と、さばきや盛り付けなどの技術面の両方を兼ねそろえた世界中の寿司職人が、寿司発祥の地日本で技を競い合う大会で、参加者は技術の向上のみならず正しい寿司文化も理解できる。2016年の大会は8月に東京都江東区の東京ビッグサイトで開催された。今後も国際すし知識認証協会の活動に期待したい。



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Robots support popularity of sushi


Photo shows a sushi robot.
Photo shows a sushi robot.

Sushi ranked top in the list of favorite Japanese foods released in 2007 by the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute. Sushi is now a global word indicating it is also quite popular outside Japan. What supports its bursting popularity is the sushi robot. Suzumo Machinery Co., a relatively small firm with 316 employees headquartered in Tokyo’s Nerima, boasts an overwhelming 60% of the Japanese sushi robot market.



The company, originally a confectionery equipment manufacturer, started developing sushi robots only in recent years by capitalizing on its state-of-the-art rice cooking technology. Its project was prompted by Japan’s “rice glut” created by the government’s controversial policy of reducing the rice acreage in the 1970s. Kisaku Suzuki, the founder of the company, thought that a better use of rice might be possible to turn sushi, which had been eaten only on special occasions, into a casual daily food.



After repeating improvements on ways to make small shari (vinegared rice) balls and put neta (fish and shellfish toppings) on them, the company began marketing in 1981 its "Shari Ben Robo" and a few other robot models that can figure out the accurate amount of rice. Ikuya Oneda, who succeeded Suzuki as president in 2004, hit on an idea of marketing those products in the rest of the world. In the meantime, sushi kept on establishing its image overseas as a typical Japanese food. In fact, about 60% of Japanese restaurants in New York have sushi on their menu, according to data made available in 2006 by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Oneda's strategy was just in line with the trend of the times.



Photo shows California roll made by a sushi robot.
Photo shows California roll made by a sushi robot.

Oneda was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying in 2013 that his company planned to treble its annual exports of sushi robots to 3,000 units by taking advantage of the ongoing boom of Japanese food abroad. One of his firm’s sushi robots is compatible with seven languages of English, French, German, Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. Furthermore, in response to foreign consumers who dislike nori (dried laver), the company has developed a robot to make California Rolls, which are either crab-flavored kamaboko (fish sausage), avocado, mayonnaise, white sesame etc. rolled with laver or laver put inside.



That way, Suzumo has played a significant role in boosting the popularity of sushi with its new idea of robotics. It has quickly detected the trend of the times and made constant efforts to deliver products fit for the times to the consumers. One may expect the company will make another leap forward in the future.

 (Written by: Meiku Takeda)


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Sushi got popular by meeting people’s diversifying tastes

A short history of conveyor-belt sushi bars




"Genroku Sushi", the world's first conveyor-belt sushi bar, opened outside Fuse Station of Kintetsu Railway in Fuse (now Higashiosaka), Osaka Prefecture in 1958. Its owner was Yoshiaki Shiraishi, widely known as the inventor of a rotating sushi shop. Before World War II, he run a tempura restaurant in Manchuria (today’s Northeast China). He launched his “Genroku” stand-up sushi bar chain years after returning home after the war. He died in August 2001.



Higashiosaka used to be known as a town with many small factories. Shiraishi said he thought of changing the traditional sushi restaurant to the conveyor-belt type because he wanted younger people who had come over there in groups to get jobs could enjoy tasty sushi at lower prices.



It is generally said that rotating sushi bars had three separate booms over a period of some 50 years after Shiraishi opened his first shop. The first boom came in the pioneer days that lasted from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. A conveyor line equipped with an automatic tea-making machine, the prototype of the current rotary sushi conveyor, made its debut in 1974. Initially, the mainstay was small shops located on busy downtown streets and in front of railway stations. But they sprawled out into the suburbs in the late 1970s. Shops grew bigger in size. Their customer base also changed from students and salaried workers in early days to family members and women. It was in this period that children came to have a common awareness that "sushi comes around on a plate".



The second boom that began in the early 1990s was characterized by a combination of what was touted as “gourmet sushi” and shops adopting a flat-charge system. Many shops started serving bigger and upscale neta (sushi toppings), as typified by a full fillet of anago (conger eel), by way of dramatizing the pleasantness of rotating sushi. It was an era when shop owners put greater emphasis on qualitative improvement of sushi. At the same time, they promoted a "clearer pricing system” to add to the charm of rotating sushi. Some chain shops introduced a strategy featuring "all dishes available at uniform 120 yen". They won popularity by broadening choices for their customers.



In the third boom from the late 1990s to the present, rotating sushi bars keep sticking to the inherited trend of "differentiation" through promotion of high-end toppings at lower prices. Why have they become so much popular among the people? "Quick and cheap" does not seem to be the sole reason. One may say that largely responsible is their success in the management strategy to meet the diversifying tastes of consumers.

(Written by: Natsumi Sofue)




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Putting heart and soul into song leading

Shinzawa recalls her four years at Chuo




Misa Shinzawa performs at Chou's annual Hakumon campus festival.
Misa Shinzawa performs at Chou's annual Hakumon campus festival.

 Spring is a turning point in life for students. As a new academic year begins, some leave school to set out into the world and others advance to the next grade to continue their studies. Some may be full of hopes and others may feel uneasy prior to their new challenges. Hakumon Herald interviewed Misa Shinzawa, who will graduate in April from the Department of Cross-Cultural Studies of the Faculty of Policy Studies, about her life at Chuo University and her future dream.



-What is the best memory of your four-year college life?


Shinzawa: Well, all in all, that is my activity at the Garnet Girls (GG), Chuo’s song leading club. I had wanted to do song leading since my high school days. But as GG is a strong competitive team among those in Japanese universities, I thought a beginner like me would have no chances if I joined it. It was the presence of my mother that finally gave me a supportive push.

新澤 やはり、ソングリーディング部ガーネット・ガールズ(GG)での活動です。ソングリーディングには高校時代から憧れていたのですが、GGは大学の中でも競合チーム。ダンスなど経験のない初心者の私でしたから、活躍する機会はないだろうと思っていましたが、最終的に私の背中を押してくれたのが母の存在でした。

Members of Garnet Girls pose for a picture prior to their performance at a competition.
Members of Garnet Girls pose for a picture prior to their performance at a competition.

   -Can you tell us more about that?


Shinzawa: When I entered Chuo University, I learned my mother was seriously ill. I was not on particularly good terms with her, but I was full of gratitude to her for having brought up three daughters including myself with a lot of troubles and hardships. I wanted to encourage her by all means. Then I remembered I really felt pepped up when I saw song leading for the first time in my high school days. I thought if I joined a song leading club, I might be able to make not just my mother but a lot of other people smile and feel encouraged. That’s why I decided to join GG.

新澤 私が大学に入学したとき、母が大病を患っていることが分かりました。特別仲がいいという親子関係ではなかったのですが、苦労して私達姉妹3人を育ててくれた母には感謝の気持ちでいっぱいでした。どうしても彼女を勇気づけたかった。そこで、私が高校時代に初めてソングリーディングを見たとき、不思議と心から元気になったことを思い出しました。ソングリーディング部で活動すれば、母を、そしてたくさんの人を笑顔にし、勇気づけられると思い、入部を決めました。


-Didn’t you have a hard time at first as a beginner?


 Shinzawa: My seniors instructed me patiently without letting me down. My age peers encouraged me a great deal. Blessed with good friends, I could bear my hard practice. My feeling about song leading immensely changed in the summer of my second grade when I first performed in a tournament. The floor was full of applause when our performance ended. I had a feeling of exaltation which I had never had before. At the moment, I was attracted to song leading and I came to be able to enjoy it more. I was so immersed in it that I felt I could dance even harder.

新澤 初心者の私を見捨てず、熱心に指導してくれる先輩。一緒に頑張ろうと励まし合った同期のメンバーたち。仲間に恵まれたことで、辛い練習も苦にはなりませんでした。ソングリーディングに対する気持ちが大きく変わったのは、初めて大会に出場した2年の夏です。演技の後、歓声につつまれる会場。今まで感じたことのない高揚感を味わいました。一瞬でソングリーディングの魅力にはまり、より一層活動が充実するようになりました。いくら踊っても足りないと感じるくらいに没頭しましたね。(笑い)


Going all-out without forgetting first resolution



Misa Shinzawa speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald at a Starbucks cafe, her favorite shop.
Misa Shinzawa speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald at a Starbucks cafe, her favorite shop.

-What will you do after your graduation?


Shinzawa: I’ll start working as a cabin attendant (CA) of a foreign-affiliated airline in the spring. I’ve been interested in cross-cultural exchanges since I did a short-term study in Hawaii in the summer of my first grade at Chuo. I thought CA would satisfy my interest and make good use of the teamwork which I developed through song leading. Bearing that in my mind, I did my job hunting. Fortunately I could get an offer from an airline. As I will be starting my job abroad, I’m revving up my language study now.

新澤 春から外資系航空会社の客室乗務員(CA)になります。大学1年の夏にハワイに短期留学をしてから、異文化交流に魅力を感じるようになりました。ソングリーディングで養ったチームワークを活かしつつ、その興味を満たすにはCAが適していると考え、就職活動し、運よく内定をもらうことができました。勤務地は早速、外国になるので、今は張り切って語学勉強に取り組んでいます。


 -What’s on your mind as you begin your new life?



Shinzawa: I spent these four years with all my heart and mind and without making any compromise. In that sense, I could spend a happy college life. I am confident my way of life really suits me. So, I’m not worried about my future life. I tell myself that I am simply moving from a small world of university into a bigger world of society. I will go all-out to make my dream come true and make my life happy. I will keep up my effort without forgetting my first resolution.

新澤 この4年間、全身全霊、妥協なしの毎日を過ごし、幸せな学生生活になりました。これまでの生き方が自分に合っていると自信を持っています。だから、これからの人生について悩んではいません。大学という小さな世界から、社会という大きな世界に移るだけのこと。夢を叶え、幸せになりたいからこそ日々全力ダッシュです。初心を忘れず、これからも頑張ります。


-Thank you.


(Interviewed by: Hideki Kato)(聞き手/加藤英樹)

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Practice Chuo’s philosophy “Knowledge into Action”

Prof. Miyashita talks about “Research Festa”



Students show their research panel at the 2016 session of Research Festa.
Students show their research panel at the 2016 session of Research Festa.

  “Research Festa”, an annual forum of research presentations by Chuo University’s Faculty of Policy Studies (FPS) students, was launched four years ago. Hiroshi Miyashita, an FPS associate professor, has been associated with the event as judge since its inauguration. Students who attend his seminar have made presentations at Research Festa for four years in a row. Hakumon Herald interviewed him to ask about what he sees as the appeal of the event.



  -What do you think is the appeal of Research Festa?


Miyashita: Research Festa is a meaningful event that makes you feel the diversity of FPS students. As a matter of fact, the themes they addressed at the last session (in December 2016) were very much diversified, ranging from “Japan’s postwar reconstruction” and “Aging society and elderly care” to “Stray cats on Tama River” and “An analysis of Islamic society”. Students who present their study results must make preparations different from the ones they do when they routinely attend seminars or write a paper. That is because they make their presentations to other students, professors and members of the community, and answer their questions. What they experience there will surely prove valuable when they go out into the world. Chuo upholds “Knowledge into Action” as its philosophy. I think Research Festa precisely embodies that idea.

宮下 リサーチ・フェスタは多様性あふれる総合政策学部を体感できる有意義なイベントです。今回も「戦後の復興」「高齢化社会と介護問題」「多摩川の野良猫」さらに「イスラーム社会の分析」など、発表内容は多岐にわたりました。発表者にとっては他の学生や教授、さらには一般参加の地域の人々を相手にプレゼンし、その人々からの質問に対応することは、いつものゼミ活動や論文執筆とは性質の違う準備が必要です。そこで得られる経験は今後社会に出てから活きてくる貴重なものになるはずです。中央大学は「行動する知性」をスローガンに掲げていますが、リサーチ・フェスタはまさにそれを体現しているのではないでしょうか。


  -Do you see any changes in the event over the past four years?



Miyashita: I feel it’s getting lively as years go on. Both presenters and visitors are increasing in number. I don’t press students of my seminar to take part in the event. But my students made presentations for four years running since its first session. It seems to me that they routinely put Research Festa into their annual schedule and work hard to get good results there. A similar phenomenon is also happening at other FPS seminars. I think many FPS students are attracted by opportunities to satisfy their intellectual curiosity and inquisitive mind. Students from all other FPS seminars may voluntarily participate in the event sooner or later.

宮下 年を追うごとに発表者も参加者も増え、賑やかになっていると感じます。私から参加を強制していませんが、実は第1回から私のゼミ生は4年連続で発表しています。ゼミ生にとって、リサーチ・フェスタは1年のスケジュールに当たり前のように組み込まれ、そこで成果を残すために研究に励んでいるようです。他のゼミでも同じような現象が起こっています。知的好奇心や探求心を満たす機会に惹かれる学生が総合政策学部には多いのでしょう。そのうち、自然に全ゼミが参加するようになるのではないでしょうか。


Mission to pass on knowledge to society


Prof. Hiroshi Miyashita speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Prof. Hiroshi Miyashita speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.


-Can you tell us what drives you to support Research Festa so proactively?



Miyashita: Research Festa is a good event in which students voluntarily present their research findings and try to pass on knowledge to society. While I was a student, I felt that universities provide plentiful chances to input knowledge but few chances to output and practice it. Later on, I studied at a law school abroad where I experienced lectures primarily based on an exchange of opinions. This made me feel that the university education in Japan gives students fewer chances to use the knowledge they have learned. In other words, I have been supporting Research Festa because it helps resolve that problem.

宮下 リサーチ・フェスタは学生が主体的に自身の研究を発表し、知識を社会に還元しようと試みる素晴らしいイベントです。私は学部生時代のころから、大学は知識をインプットする機会は十分にあるが、アウトプット、実践する機会が少ないと感じていました。その後、海外のロースクールで意見交流が中心の講義スタイルを体験して、やはり日本の大学教育には学んだ知識を使う機会が少ないと感じました。つまり、リサーチ・フェスタはそれを解決する一助となるイベントなので、サポートしてきました。


-Can you elaborate on the importance of knowledge output?



Miyashita: I attach importance to practice of knowledge because the university is tasked with a mission to produce persons who can bring changes to society with their knowledge. Our society sometimes yield to an unreasonable rule by “brute force” brought by “accidents” like natural disasters and by groups of people and socially accepted ideas. That is not an ideal state of society. “Knowledge” is an alternative means of rule. It can be a means to tide over cultural barriers and bring about a fair and stable society. The university has a mission to bring up persons who can help realize such society under academic freedom. So, students are required to practice knowledge and pass it on to society.

宮下 私が知識の実践を重要視するのは、大学には「知」をもって社会を変革する人材を輩出する使命があると考えているからです。自然災害などの「偶然性」や集団、社会通念が導く「暴力」によって、時に社会は理不尽な支配に屈します。これは社会の理想的な状態ではない。それを代替する支配の手段として「知性」があります。知性は文化の壁を超え、公平で安定した社会をもたらすことができる手段になります。大学には学問の自由の下、それを実現するための人材を育てる使命がある。学生にはおのずと、主体的に知を実践し、社会に還元することが求められるのです。


  -Can you give some advice to the students who take an interest in Research Festa?



Miyashita: I think four years of university is a period of self-discovery. I advise you students to focus on your interests without being bound by ready-made ideas. However, don’t forget your duty and mission to contribute to society through practice of knowledge. Let me cite the words quoted in the poster introducing my seminar. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” President John F. Kennedy gave the words in his inauguration speech. University education isn’t compulsory. You should try to practice your knowledge. Research Festa will give you a good chance to do that.

宮下 大学4年間は自由に自分探しをする時間だと思います。既成概念にとらわれず、自分の興味に純粋に向き合うといいでしょう。しかし、学生の本分であり、使命となる「知の実践」と社会還元は忘れてはいけません。私のゼミ紹介ポスターにある1つの言葉を紹介します。それは故ジョン・F・ケネディ米大統領が就任演説で述べた「国が何をしてくれるかではなく、自分は何ができるか考えよ」との言葉です。大学は義務教育ではありません。能動的に知を実践することを心がけてください。リサーチ・フェスタはいい機会になりますよ。


-Thank you very much.

(Interviewed by: Hideki Kato)




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Students who back up “Research Festa”


Students respond to questions during the 2016 session of Resarch Festa.
Students respond to questions during the 2016 session of Resarch Festa.

  Any event needs people who back up to help it proceed smoothly. This is exactly relevant with “Research Festa”, an annual forum of research presentations for Chuo University’s Faculty of Policy Studies (FPS) students. Its executive committee played an indispensable role in bringing a success to the last session of the event in December 2016 which registered a record number of presenters and audiences. Hakumon Herald interviewed Timothy Aaron Loredo Cuellar, an FPS third grader who chaired the committee in 2016, and Yuki Adachi, an FPS second grader and a member of the committee, to ask how they planned and managed their event.



Moved by senior’s presentation



Yuki Adachi speaks to audiences at Chuo's G Square, a community space for students.
Yuki Adachi speaks to audiences at Chuo's G Square, a community space for students.

-Why did you decide to join the committee?


Cuellar: I was one of audiences at Research Festa in 2015. That motivated me to get engaged in the annual event. Seeing a senior student present his research result, I found in him an “eagerness to pass on what he has learned to the society rather than keeping it for himself”. I thought that was exactly what FPS students are supposed to do. And I wanted to do something to make the event better while taking part in it as a research presenter. That’s why I joined the committee.

クェリャル 2015年のリサーチ・フェスタに聴衆の人として参加したことがきっかけです。先輩の発表を見て、私が考える総合政策学部生の本分である、「知識を学んだままにせず、社会に還元できるよう実践する姿」を感じ取りました。私自身も発表者としてチャレンジしつつも、このイベントをより良いものにしたいと思い、実行委員会に参画することになりました。


  Adachi: I have been a committee member since I was a first grader. I first joined it simply because it looked to be a fun. But my mind gradually changed as I saw students make their presentations lively. Now I want to see participants look livelier at our future Research Festa. It is only four years since the annual event was launched and we still have many problems to sort out. I decided to remain a committee member for a second year in hopes of helping resolve those problems.

足立 私は1年生のころから実行委員を務め、今年で2年目になります。単に面白そうだからという理由で参加したことがきっかけだったのですが、リサーチ・フェスタで発表する学生の一人一人が生き生きとしている様子を見て、これからも参加者が輝ける場を提供したい、と考えるようになりました。イベント自体は生まれて4年目で、課題も多く、それを解決してみたいという考えもあって2年目も実行委員として参加することに決めました。


Knocking at every professor’s door



-Did you do anything particular to make your event successful?



Cuellar: I spent six months as committee chair with a view to getting all FPS seminars represented at Research Festa. I myself have picked my seminar after attending the past sessions of the event. I thought first and second graders will have better chances to consider what they should study in their college life if all seminars are represented at our event. So, I knocked at the door of every FPS professor’s office room to tout my idea. Eventually the participation by students from all FPS seminars didn’t come true. But I’m sure we could make our event more visible than before.

クェリャル 総合政策学部の全ゼミに参加してもらうことを目標に、実行委員長として半年間活動しました。リサーチ・フェスタの発表を見て今の研究室を選んだ私自身の経験から、全ゼミが参加することで、1年生や2年生が今後の学生生活で学びたいことを考えるいい機会になるはずだと思ったからです。そのために総合政策学部のすべての教授の研究室をノックし、それを提案しました。結果的に、全ゼミ参加は実現できませんでしたがイベントの知名度は上がったと思います。


Adachi: I was charged with public relations. I put particular emphasis on the preparation of a poster announcing our event and its promotion via SNS. I emphasized that our Research Festa is an academic event. In so doing, I used the Open Research Forum (ORF), a similar event organized at the Shonan Fujisawa campus of Keio University, for reference. I had been worried until the day of the event if our publicity campaign was really effective. But I was pleased that it drew a record number of visitors.

足立 私は広報を担当しました。特に注力したことは告知ポスターの作成とSNSを使ったプロモーションです。慶應義塾大学湘南藤沢キャンパスが企画するORF(Open Reserach Forum)を参考に、アカデミックなイベントであることを強調したポスターデザイン、SNS広報を実践しました。効果があるかどうか分からず、当日まで悩みましたが、過去最大の来場者を記録できてよかったです。


A host of tasks



Timothy Aaron Loredo Cuellar answers questions during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Timothy Aaron Loredo Cuellar answers questions during an interview with Hakumon Herald.

-Looking back at last year’s Research Festa, how do you feel now?



Cuellar: I think FPS students take it for granted to dig into their diversified interests and concerns as much as they want. More of them now see Research Festa as a chance to present their research findings. We may well say that our event amounts to FPS by now. It will become a better event if all FPS seminars and other faculties of Chuo are represented there in the future. I want to make the next session even livelier as one of presenters.

クェリャル 総合政策学部は多種多様な興味や関心を、好きなだけ掘り下げることが当たり前の風土になっています。リサーチ・フェスタを、研究活動の集大成を発表する機会とする学生が多くなりました。もう総合政策学部といえばリサーチ・フェスタといってもいいのではないでしょうか。将来的には全ゼミが参加し、他学部からも参加者が増えると、よりよいイベントになるはずです。次回は私も発表者としてイベントを盛り上げたいと思っています。


Adachi: I would say that Research Festa is still an imperfect event. Even in the present way, it can showcase the diversity of FPS. But I think it will become much better if we can sort out problems we face. For example, we can change the date of the event and make it better known to the students of other faculties. Such approaches may make it more attractive. At present, Research Festa is held in the first week of December. But that comes only after first and second graders have chosen the seminars they attend. I would suggest the date of our event be moved forward so that it will make their decision easier. I myself desired to make use of Research Festa in choosing the seminar I’d join from my second year onward. So, I want to resolve the matter one way or another.

足立 リサーチ・フェスタはまだ不完全なイベントです。現状でも総合政策学部の多様性は十分確認できるイベントですが、例えば、開催日の日程を再調整すること、他学部への告知強化などの課題を解決することでさらに素晴らしいものになるはずです。リサーチ・フェスタはこれまで毎年12月の第1週に実施されることになっています。しかし、それは1年生や2年生のゼミ選びが終わったあと。1、2年生がゼミ選びの参考にできるような時期に日程を繰り上げることが必要ではないでしょうか。私も次年度以降に所属する研究室を選ぶためにリサーチ・フェスタを活用したかった。この課題をどうにか解決したいと考えています。


-Thank you.

 (Interviewed by: Hideki Kato)



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FPS’s “Research Festa” draws record audience

総合政策部12月の「風物詩」リサーチ・フェスタ ―過去最大、474人が参加―

Participants enjoy chatting at a sandwich buffet after the 2016 session of Rsearch Festa.
Participants enjoy chatting at a sandwich buffet after the 2016 session of Rsearch Festa.

“Research Festa”, an annual forum for research presentations and interchanges for Chuo University’s Faculty of Policy Studies (FPS) students took place at Building No.11 of the Tama campus on December 2, 2016. The event featuring the presentation of study results and an exhibition of research panel displays ended in a big success with a prize-awarding ceremony followed by a sandwich buffet as in the past.



 Research Festa, which has now become one of FPS’s December features, started in 2012 at the suggestion of a group of students who initiated a “project to given FPS a big boost”. FPS provides students with multidisciplinary studies ranging from law and economics to cultural anthropology and media literacy. However, the students had been give few chances to exchange knowledge and present their research findings.



The group proposed to the faculty office that Chuo’s FPS also hold a research presentation event after the example of “Research Fair” which has been carried out by Kuwansei Gakuin University’s FPS since 1998. Their proposal was discussed and approved by the faculty council. Students organized an executive committee to implement the scheme. Looking back at those days, Kosuke Onishi, an officer of the FPS faculty office, told Hakumon Herald, “The committee and our office sent a joint team to Kuwansei Gakuin University to study how to organize our event. The school administration pinned big hopes on our scheme.”


Ryoichi Matsuno, Dean of the Faculty of Policy Studies, hands an award to a student.
Ryoichi Matsuno, Dean of the Faculty of Policy Studies, hands an award to a student.

Four years have passed since then and Research Festa has grown to become a popular FPS event. The number of research presenters has kept increasing year after year. The 2016 session saw 27 presentations made, three more than the previous year. It drew 474 audiences including students, professors and visitors, the biggest number ever.



A team led by Hiroaki Onuki and Takamitsu Suzuki, third graders of FPS, Department of Cross-Cultural Studies., won the highest award for its study on “Social role played by Muslims in rescue work during a major flood in Indonesia”. Judges commended their field research, creative point of view and logical configuration. Themes addressed by other studies includedBuilding a model for a study tour on historical relations between Japan and TaiwanandResearch on regional revitalization in Japan's countryside using an anime pilgrimage" indicating the characteristic diversity of FPS students. Students have already begun preparing for the next session of Research Festa in 2017. You must be looking forward to upcoming presentations in December.

 (Written by: Hideki Kato)


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Events held to deepen international exchanges

Birthday party at Tamadaira residence



Chuo University has one of its two International Residences for students at Tamadaira in Tokyo’s Hino. At present, about 60 foreign and Japanese students live together there. They hold various events to deepen their mutual understanding. One of them is a birthday party they have once a month.


Students enjoy their Christmas party at Tamadaira international residence.
Students enjoy their Christmas party at Tamadaira international residence.

Such parties are organized monthly during the summer term from April to July and the fall term from September to January to celebrate all students who reach their birthday each month. Preparations used to be made mostly by Japanese students. But they began to be joined by foreign students in the fall term this year. Riku Kurosaka, a Faculty of Policy Studies second grader, explained, “Some foreign students have offered to help us in the preparations. Besides, we thought we can have better cross-cultural exchanges by cooking different national foods together.”

For example, when the students had a birthday party in November, they cooked traditional spring rolls with the help of their colleagues from Vietnam. They usually enjoy not just meals but also some entertainment as well. They often play a game in which they guess who it is after looking at someone’s childhood picture and charades in which a Japanese student teams up with a foreign student. Kurosaka said such games really help warm up the parties.

A birthday party was an event initially planned and launched two years ago by Kengo Osawa, a Faculty of Commerce third grader, who was then dormitory leader. Its main purpose was for all student residents to join hands to celebrate a colleague’s birthday. Osawa mentioned what he called a secondary effect of such party. He said, “Students have their own styles to celebrate birthdays in their countries. So our party gives us a very good opportunity to promote contacts between different cultures.”




Residents enjoying the party.
Residents enjoying the party.

The party is quite popular because it can be joined even by students who are usually too busy attending classes or doing a part-time job to communicate with each other. Ling-wei Li, 26, from Taiwan, said, “Birthday party is my favorite event because it helps me find something quite unexpected of my colleagues through the games and cooking preparations.” The Tamadaira residence had its December party on Christmas Day.


(Written by: Kohei Kuramoto)(倉本康平)        

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Chuo has two types of international dormitories

To allow for flexible interchanges among students



The Tamadaira Residence built in 2011 in Hino, western Tokyo, is not the only international dormitory Chuo University offers to its students. In 2012, it build another one at nearby Seiseki-Sakuragaoka in Tama. Both are aimed to play a role in nurturing international exchanges among students and their cosmopolitan way of thinking. But they differ from each other in terms of life style the resident students can have.


Residents at lounge.
Residents at lounge.

The feature of Tamadaira is that it is based on a sharing formula. The dormitory has 62 rooms, which are arranged in a unit of three rooms each and a communal living space that has a toilet, sink, kitchen and shoe locker. Each unit is shared by three persons and one of them must be an international exchange student. Besides the communal space in each unit, the dormitory has a large lounge along with a laundry (washing and drying machines), shower booth, refrigerator and kitchen which are shared by all students.

In the lounge, the students can freely interact with each other, cooking, studying and chatting together. Most Japanese students at Chuo choose to live at Tamadaira because it gives them more opportunities to interact with students from all over the world. Keisuke Watanabe, a Faculty of Law second grader who serves dormitory leader, told Hakumon Herald, “I have picked Tamadaira as I have found it attractive because its unit system may put me closer to foreign students.” He added smilingly, “In my unit, all three of us accidentally queue at the sink each morning for brushing teeth,” implying how they get on well with each other. Such family-like atmosphere may indeed come from the dormitory’s facility sharing formula.

Keisuke Watanabe who serves as dormitory leader speaks to Hakumon Herald.
Keisuke Watanabe who serves as dormitory leader speaks to Hakumon Herald.




 On the other hand, the Seiseki-Sakuragaoka dormitory features a private room formula. It has 94 rooms each of which is equipped with necessary facilities like a bathroom, washing machine, shower, mini-kitchen and refrigerator. Students who live there only share a large communication room which they usually use for some events. Most of them attach importance to their own private life. They do not seem to take it as an “international” dormitory as such. Dorm leader Hidemasa Hamada, a Faculty of Policy Studies second grader, said, “I live here because it was recommended by my parents. At first, I wasn’t much interested in international exchanges, but I have woken up to their fun as I kept communicating with the exchange student next to my room and knew of our different ways of thinking. Now we eat out together once a week.” The students who live in this dormitory seem to have fewer opportunities of daily communication although they are in an environment that enables them to do so if they wish.




As seen here, the two dormitories have different characteristics while belonging to the same university. Even students who wish to have cross-cultural interchanges may well opt to have more privacy in their own rooms. Chuo may be offering flexible support so that students can choose a type of dormitory fitter to them.


(Written by: Ayane Fujiki) (藤城彩音)

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Chuo appeals to high-school students with international dormitory

Interview with staff of International Center



Chuo University runs two International Residences for its students. One of them, located at Tamadaira, Hino in western Tokyo, is called “Tamadaira-no-Mori 244”. The 62-room dormitory is a conversion from a housing-complex apartment house rented from a private real-estate company. This sharing-type facility is arranged in a unit of three rooms accommodating one person each and each unit has a communal living space so that international exchange students and Japanese students can routinely communicate with each other. It has greeted its sixth anniversary this year. Hakumon Herald interviewed Shinya Aoyagi, manager of Chuo’s Public Relations Office who had been charged with the management of the dormitory till March 2016, and Tomoko Fujita, who works for the International Center that manages the dormitory, to ask about its purpose and future prospect.


Tomoko Fujita (left) and Shinya Aoyagi speak during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Tomoko Fujita (left) and Shinya Aoyagi speak during an interview with Hakumon Herald.

-What is the primary aim of Chuo’s International Residence system?

Aoyagi: We have two aims. One is to secure housing for international exchange students who learn at Chuo. The other is to accept Chuo’s Japanese students who want to study abroad in the future. Our decision to have a sharing-type dormitory is related to Chuo’s designation by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as a university eligible for its “Go Global Japan” (GGJ) program. Taking that opportunity, we decided to accept more international students to promote Chuo’s globalization. This required us to prepare a better housing environment for its students. And in so doing, we thought we shouldn’t simply supply housing but offer a facility where students from various countries and territories can live together and experience better cross-cultural contacts with Chuo’s Japanese students. We thought such facility can also be one of Chuo’s charms appealing to Japanese high-school students who want to join us.