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.


青柳 目的は2つあります。1つは海外から来る留学生の住居の確保。もう1つは中大の日本人学生で留学を考えている人の受け入れです。これらの目的を果たすシェア方式の寮が生まれた背景には、当時の状況が関係しています。さらに、本学が文部科学省の事業である「Go Global Japan」(GGJ)の採択校になったことも追い風となり、キャンパスの国際化を図るため留学生の受け入れ数が増加していきました。これに伴い欠かせなかったのが住環境の整備です。その際、単なる住宅ではなく、さまざまな国・地域の人が集まり、中央大の学生も一緒に住める環境を提供することで、日本の学生が日本にいながら異文化交流を体験できると同時に、受験生にも中央大学の魅力の1つとしてアピールできると考えました。    

They showed us many newspaper clippings about dormitory.
They showed us many newspaper clippings about dormitory.

-We hear that the Tamadaira dormitory might be closed down.

Aoyagi: This dormitory, converted from an old apartment house, has been managed under a lease contract between Chuo and a private business proprietor. The contract came up for renewal in 2015 and we discussed if we should continue it. We eventually decided to retain it for two reasons. Both international exchange and Japanese students told us they had realized the importance of cross-cultural interchanges which are made easier by the dormitory. Moreover, it had won high reputation from the media as a pioneer student dormitory in Japan.


青柳 元々この寮は、団地を改良した民間事業主と賃貸借契約を結んで運営されています。その契約が昨年更新の時期を迎え、本学として継続するかどうか検討しました。しかし、国籍を問わず寮生の間から異文化理解の重要性に気付いたという声や、国際寮の先駆的な例としてメディアから評価されたことなどもあり、契約更新を決定しました。

-Do you have plans to set up a new dormitory?

Fujita: Yes, we are giving positive consideration to the matter. Chuo has about 800 international exchange students at present. At the same time, more of our Japanese students want to study abroad. So, we cannot say we have a sufficient number of rooms with our two international residences. We have a lot of options to take. For instance, the present owner may offer to construct a new building after demolishing the Tamadaira dormitory. Or Chuo may choose to build a new larger dormitory on the Tama campus or nearby and manage it on its own.


藤田 前向きに検討中です。現在、約800人の留学生が本学に在籍し、海外へ留学する日本人学生も増えています。2つある国際寮を合計しても交換留学生の部屋数が不足しています。新規建設や改修等、さまざまな選択肢の中から検討を重ねています。


-Thank you very much.

(Interviewed by: Hiroki Sajo)



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Tama Future Scholar Project helps revitalize regional community



In Tokyo’s Tama region where Chuo University is located, a public interest incorporated association named “network Tama” is engaged in various projects aimed to promote regional revitalization. One of them is the “Tama Future Scholar Project”. This initiative encourages students of the universities affiliated with the network to make recommendations on what should be done to help revitalize the Tama region. The network financed by contributions from its regional member companies and organizations provides an annual scholarship totaling 300,000 yen to each of the students who are chosen to study regional problems and recommend possible solutions with the help of university faculties and specialists. Some 25 students from 28 universities including three from Chuo were enrolled for the project in 2017. They finished their activities by December.


Yuji Sawano, a section chief of Chuo's Educational Affairs Division, speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Yuji Sawano, a section chief of Chuo's Educational Affairs Division, speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.


With regard to this project, Yuji Sawano, a section chief of Chuo’s Educational Affairs Division in charge of social collaboration and Parents Liaison Association, told Hakumon Herald, “As the aging of population progresses in the Tama region, people’s ways of thinking and perceptions are becoming old and unfit in addressing the present situation. New perspectives and ideas of young people who will support the future of Tama are badly needed in order to revitalize the region. I think the Tama Future Scholar Project well mirrors the young students’ perspectives for the region.” In fact, company officials who participated in a meeting held in August to hear the presentations by the students said they found the project quite effective in helping them get new viewpoints about the issues facing the region.


Yuta Uchino of Hakumon Herald interviews Yuji Sawano, a section chief of Chuo’s Educational Affairs Division.
Yuta Uchino of Hakumon Herald interviews Yuji Sawano, a section chief of Chuo’s Educational Affairs Division.


 Sawano said that the students taking part in the project are required to have comprehensive capabilities such as a spirit of independence and an ability to make plans and presentations. The project surely benefits the students by enabling them to enhance those capabilities. On the website of network Tama, one of the students wrote, “My experiences in the process from finding problems to studying solutions have given me a big asset which I am sure will be useful after graduating from school and becoming a member of society.”



The participants in the project can listen to the opinions of students from other universities and officials from businesses and local governments to get a deeper and broader understanding of their main theme of regional revitalization. Especially, those who want to be civil servants after graduation can get valuable experiences closely related to their future work. Sawano said, “I do hope students who love Tama will participate in this project.” Applications for the scholarship are accepted each year. Why don’t you consider filing your application?

(Written by: Yuta Uchino)



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Hino values residents’ individuality in community revitalization


This is a picture of Japanese rural scenery.
This is a picture of Japanese rural scenery.


Regional revitalization, for years a popular political mantra in Japan, is aimed to bring vigor back to towns and villages by stemming the ongoing depopulation and decline of regional economies. Various initiatives are in progress at many autonomous bodies across the country. Hakumon Herald took up the city of Hino, which adjoins Hachioji where Chuo University is located, to see what it does to revitalize itself and how students are get involved in its programs. The city puts particular emphasis on tourism promotion.



Hino, with a population of about 190,000, is widely known as the birthplace of Hijikata Toshizo, deputy chief of the "Shinsengumi”, a collection of ronin (masterless samurai) picked to form a new elite corps to police the then capital Kyoto during the final days of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1868). “Hino Shinsengmi festival” is the city’s biggest annual event. Many tourists visited the city when the festival was held for two days from May 7 last year. The city’s Tourist Association writes on its website, "Hino is home to Shinsengumi. We look to reinvigorate the city by taking pride in its history and culture."


Toshio Komatsu, chief of the Hino municipal office's Tourism Promotion Section, speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Toshio Komatsu, chief of the Hino municipal office's Tourism Promotion Section, speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.


How does the municipal office see regional revitalization? Toshio Komatsu, chief of the Industry & Sports Department’s Tourism Promotion Section, told Hakumon Herald, “Our citizens are the core players in our initiatives. We play the role of motivating them. It’s crucial to carry out our schemes by making full use of the city’s individuality." That individuality is indeed the residents’ pride in Shinsengumi. Komatsu added, “If our town’s characteristics spread across the city, that will help boost the number of visitors, which in turn may help expand our tax revenue.”



The city office regularly organizes what it calls “Hino course” as a forum to promote mutual communications among its citizens. The participants discuss how community activities should be steered and how their city’s traditional culture can better be handed down to future generations. This is just one example to show how residents voluntarily engage themselves in the city’s revitalization programs.



Then, how can students get involved in such activities? Komatsu said regular participants are students from Meisei University and Jissen Women's Educational Institute, both of Hino, and Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, of Hachioji. He said, "Students can get involved in our programs in every field. For example, those who are interested in agriculture can be active in that particular field. Those who love eating can be gourmet hunters to walk around in the town to find good restaurants. Anyway, we do want students to enjoy themselves in contributing to our community revitalization."

 (Written by: Yuto Yawata)




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Creating sustainable place for residents


Interview with representatives of “C-plant“


They are members of C-plant.
They are members of C-plant.


Chuo University has a student organization aimed to help revitalize regional community. Just launched in September 2016, it calls itself C-plant. Hakumon Herald interviewed Motoyoshi Kuwabara, a Faculty of Policy Studies second grader, and Ayumi Yakuwa, a Faculty of Law second grader, who serve as joint representatives of C-plant, to ask about how they formed their club and what it specifically does.



-What has motivated you to form your club?



Kuwabara: The idea of opening and operating a “Kodomo Shokudo” (lunchroom for children) began in Tokyo’s Ota Ward about five years ago with the aim of saving children who have no place to stay after school and cannot have a meal. I myself is engaged in the management of one in Kanagawa Prefecture. However, people who operate such facilities continue to face trials and errors, finding it hard to offer services in a stable manner. That is the present situation. In fact, some of those lunchrooms have been closed down. I was wondering how I can create a sustainable place for children when I happened to meet Ayumi. We considered what we can do together. Then we concluded the best thing we can do might be to create a place where not just local residents but anyone else including students can casually pop in. We hit on an idea of setting up an organization for that purpose in cooperation with the regional community. That’s why we decided to form C-plant.

桒原 居場所がなかったり、食事が食べられない子どもを救うため、「こども食堂」を設置、運営する活動は約5年前から東京都大田区で始まり、私も神奈川県にある食堂の運営に携わっています。しかし、運営は試行錯誤の連続で、安定的に「こども食堂」のサービスが提供できないというのが現状です。閉鎖された食堂もあります。持続可能な居場所づくりをしたいと考えていたときに、八鍬と出会い、どうすればいいのかということを共に考えました。そして、地域の住民だけでなく、学生をはじめ誰もが気軽に立ち寄れる場所を地域コミュニティーと協力しながら創出する活動を行う団体をつくることが最適であるという結論に達し、C-plantを結成することにしました。


-Why do you focus your activities on Hino? 



Kuwabara: Hino has a rich nature that doesn’t make you feel you are in Tokyo Metropolis. It has a farm called “Seseragi Noen” aimed to promote the local community by making full use of its natural environment. We had felt the city has good conditions needed for regional revitalization. When we actually visited Hino, we also had an impression that elderly people who live there are keen to participate in local community events. On the other hand, the city faces the problem of child poverty. We thought we might be able to create a new sustainable regional community through solution of the problem by utilizing those conditions and cooperating with those willing elderly people. That’s why we have chosen Hino for our main activity.

桒原 日野市は東京都とは思えないほど自然豊かで、その自然を活用して地域コミュニティーづくりを行っている「せせらぎ農園」があり、地域活性化の土壌があると感じていました。実際に日野市を訪れてみると、高齢者の地域行事への参加意欲が高いという印象も持ちました。その一方で、日野市は子どもの貧困という課題を抱えています。地域活性化の土壌を利用し意欲のある高齢者と協力しながら、課題解決を通して新たな持続可能な地域のコミュニティーを創出することができるのではないかと考え、日野市を選びました。

Motoyoshi Kuwabara (left) and Ayumi Yakuwa (center) answer questions during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Motoyoshi Kuwabara (left) and Ayumi Yakuwa (center) answer questions during an interview with Hakumon Herald.


-What do you think is the significance of students taking part in regional community activities? 



Yakuwa: I think it is significant in the sense, for example, that when providing services at Kodomo Shokudo, students closer in age to children are easier to have contact with them. I also feel students today spend their daily life without getting involved in the community where they live. By taking part in regional community activities, they will be able to have better chances to become interested in knowing what their own community exactly looks like and who live there.

八鍬 例えば「こども食堂」では、サービスを提供する際、年齢の近い学生のほうが子どもたちに接しやすいという点で意味があるのではないかと思います。また、いまの学生は自分の住む地域とはかかわりを持たずに生活していると感じます。学生が地域活動に参加することで、自分の住んでいる地域はどんな地域で、どんな人々がいるのかということに関心を向ける良い機会になります。


In the present situation, activities for regional revitalization are primarily undertaken by members of nonprofit organizations and local residents who are aged 60 years or over. So, I think the power of students who have energy and willingness such as physical strength and intelligence and who have ideas adults cannot think of is important in furthering regional revitalization.



Kuwabara: That doesn’t only apply to regional revitalization. I think if young people including students take initiative and act, adults who play an important role in this era will be motivated, saying, “Look, young people do it. Why don’t we?” That, I think, can lead to changing the whole Japanese society.

桒原 地域活性化に限らず、学生をはじめとする若者が率先して行動を起こすことは、「若者がやっているのだから、我々も動こう」と、今の時代を担っている大人が行動を起こす理由になると思います。それが、大きく言うと日本社会全体を変えていくことにつながると考えています。


-Thank you.Interviewed by: Naoya Yoshida 



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Kimura takes part in Japan-America Student Conference

For the first time in 13 years from Chuo University



Participants pose at Glacier National Park in Montana.
Participants pose at Glacier National Park in Montana.

  Chuo University has some students who are globalization-oriented and keen to take on new challenges. Hono Kimura, a first grader of the Faculty of Law, Department of Political Science, is one of them. She participated in the 68th Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) that took place in four U.S. cities in August 2016, becoming the first Chuo student to do so in 13 years. JASC, initiated in 1934, is aimed to promote international communications and understanding at student levels. About 70 participants from both countries spent a month together during the conference whose key theme was: “Addressing Our Changing Future: From Self and Community to the World”. English is the official language in the annual event which can be joined by anyone as long as they are students from both countries. “I had a lot of valuable experiences,” Kimura said in an interview with Hakumon Herald.


During a month-long session, they visit Boston.
During a month-long session, they visit Boston.

  -What motivated you to take part in JASC?



Kimura: I think students should keep acting with a clear sense of purpose and without being afraid of taking on a challenge in order to lead a fulfilling college life. JASC brings together Japanese and American students who have broad communication abilities backed by specialized knowledge, linguistic proficiency, logical ability and tolerance of different opinions. I decided to take part in it, thinking I might be able to identify some abilities I lack by testing out my own abilities in such challenging environment.

 木村 充実した大学生活を送るためには、明確な目的意識と挑戦を恐れず行動し続ける姿勢が大事だと思っています。JASCには専門知識、語学力、論理性、異なる意見に対する寛容性など、様々なコミュニケーション能力を兼ね備えた日米の学生が集まります。ハイレベルな環境で自分の力を試すことで、私に足りない能力を具体的に把握することができると考え、参加を決意しました。

Perceived lack of knowledge and debating skills



Hono Kimura answers questions during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Hono Kimura answers questions during an interview with Hakumon Herald.

  -What were the results?



  Kimura: I realized an overwhelming gap in ability between myself and other participants. It was a good event in the sense it helped me find out the challenges I face. I found most participants have been active on the front lines in specific fields like a graduate who specializes in national defense policy and a student who studies child rearing by homosexual couples. I only regret that I failed to make the most of that opportunity for my own growth. After perceiving my lack of knowledge and poor debating skills, I became hesitant to join the discussions for fear that the expression of my opinions might stagnate the whole debate. Since then, I simply kept on listening to others all day long. This prompted me to make up my mind. I said to myself, “I’ll never feel this much miserable again. I shall overtake them one day!”

 木村 圧倒的な実力差を感じ、自分が抱える課題を発見できたいいイベントでした。防衛政策を学ぶ院生、同性愛者の子育てに関する研究をする人など、専門的な分野で第一線をゆく人ばかりでした。ただ、この機会を自分の成長に最大限に生かすことができなかったことには悔いが残ります。知識と議論の力が欠けていることを自覚してからというもの、私の意見がむしろ議論を停滞させてしまうのではないかという不安にかられ、議論への参加に委縮するようになってしまいました。それからは毎日、聞いてばかりの日々。「こんなみじめな思いはもう嫌だ。みんなを追い越してやる」と、決意を固めました。


  -Can you tell us about the theme you discussed?



  Kimura: Our Roundtable (consisting of four delegates each from Japan and the U.S.) had a month-long discussion on “Identity: Self and Nation”. We had at least three hours of discussion each day on problems experienced by the sexual minority (LGBTQs), physically disabled and Korean residents of Japan, for example. In our presentation on the final day, I spoke about the structural imperfection inherent in our society and culture that inevitably makes specific groups of people suffer from inequality.

木村 私の分科会は「個人とナショナル・アイデンティティー」というテーマで1カ月間議論しました。毎日、最低3時間のディスカッションが行われる中、例えば性的マイノリティー(LGBTQ)や身体障害者、在日朝鮮人の方が直面している課題について話し合いました。最終日のプレゼンでは、私はどんな社会や文化の中にも特定の人々が不平等に悩む構造があることを発表しました。

Keen about infant education



-Did you find anything new from the discussion?



  Kimura: Before I participated in JASC, I had thought of getting engaged in poverty reduction in developing countries as a member of an international organization. But I became newly aware through the JASC discussion that relations between society and individuals are quite complicated. I began to feel I need to listen to people who suffer from inequality and a poor environment and build up my experiences before actually trying to tackle issues. I will be visiting Laos in February 2017 on a JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) program to take part in workshops on infant education. In my opinion, sentiment education like music and arts is essential in promoting infant education in a developing country like Laos. I will be tasked with briefing local teachers on the outline of such education and giving them practical guidance.

木村 JASC参加前まで、国際際機関で途上国の貧困支援などに携わりたいと考えていました。しかし、社会と個人は複雑な関係に置かれていると議論を通して再認識したことで、不平等や恵まれない環境で耐える人々の声を聴き、実際に課題解決に立ち向かう経験がまずは必要だと考えるようになりました。今年2月から国際協力機構(JICA)のプログラムでラオスに行き、幼児教育の分野で現地研修に参加します。発展途上のラオスにおける幼児教育を発展させるためには、音楽や美術など情操教育の導入が必要です。私は滞在中に現地の先生に情操教育の概要を説明し、実践指導をします。


  -What has made you interested in infant education?



  Kimura: I love kids and that is my main motivation. For that reason, babysitting and after-school care for children are my present part-time job. Keeping in touch with children, it occurs to me that they cannot choose their living environment on their own. Some of them become handicapped in their later life because of inadequate education stemming from poor living conditions during their childhood, which is a crucial period for character formation. I want to help improve that situation.

木村 まず、子供が好きなことが第一の理由です。それが理由でアルバイトはベビーシッターと学童保育です。子供たちと触れ合っていると、ふと思うことがあります。彼らには自分の意思で生活する環境を選べません。人格形成の重要な時期に、生活環境が理由で十分な教育を受けられず、その後の人生でハンディを背負う子供がいます。その現状を改善したいと思っています。


  -Can you give some advice to Chuo students who are eager to participate in JASC?



  Kimura: Participants in JASC are all very much passionate. While they respect each other when they debate, they keep to what we Japanese call a rule of “tameguchi” culture (talking on friendly terms) and play hardball with each other irrespective of nationality, seniority and gender. Therefore, Japanese students talk so straightforward that it is too much of a stereotype to think Japanese are shy and gentle. They hit back at American students who speak only English, their mother tongue. I encourage Chuo students to try JASC if they really want to debate with high-level persons or meet with interesting persons.

木村 JASCの参加者はみんな情熱にあふれています。議論ではお互いの意見を尊重し合いながらも、国籍、年齢、性別にかかわらず手加減はしない〝タメ口文化(友達口調)というルールがあります。そのため日本人はおとなしいというイメージが全くのステレオタイプだと思うほど、日本人学生は発言しますし、英語を母国語にするアメリカ人の学生に食ってかかります。高いレベルの人たちと議論がしたい、面白い人に会いたいと思っている人はぜひチャレンジしてみてください。


  -Thank you.  (Interviewed by: Hideki Kato)



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Chuo’s street dance circle NAOKAN aims to become No. 1




Members of Naokan pose at the Chuo Tama campus.
Members of Naokan pose at the Chuo Tama campus.

Do you know Chuo University’s street dance circle called NAOKAN? It is so popular among students that it draws a big audience each time it performs at the school’s annual festival in the autumn. Street dance literally means dancing in open spaces such as streets. It includes hip hop and break among others.



NAOKAN is a large student club consisting of some 200 members ranging from first to fourth graders. As such, its members are diversified in their orientation toward dancing. But they have a good environment where they can practice in keeping with their own pace.



Making its debut in 1999, NAOKAN was named after its founder. It is made up of eight groups each specializing in lock, house, jazz, waack, girls and pop on top of hip hop and break. Each group has its leader called “komacho”.



NAOKAN is now preparing to take part in the Japan Dancers Championship (JDC) scheduled for February 16 at Zepp DiverCity shopping mall in Tokyo’s Koto Ward. First held in February 2915, JDC is an annual competition of college dance circles across Japan, a major intercollegiate event that attracts more than 2,000 audiences each time.

このNAOKANが来年2月16日、東京都江東区のショッピングモール「Zepp DiverCity」で開催される日本ダンサーズ選手権大会(略称JDC)に出場する。JDCは2015年2月に初めて開かれた大学ダンス・サークル日本一を決める大会だ。例年2000人以上の観客が集まる大きなイベントだ。


After having been lackluster in the past two championships, NAOKAN is now practicing intensively in a bid to grab its first title. Lee Jong Min, a Faculty of Commerce second grader and representative of the club, told Hakumon Herald, “I think the upcoming championship is very much important for all of us incumbent club members. So we are committed to work as hard as possible. We will make no compromise and just do our utmost to win the championship this year.”

NAOKANは過去2回の大会であまり良い成績を残しておらず、初優勝を目指して猛練習を重ねている。NAOKAN代表の李 鍾民(商学部2)さんは、「今回のJDCは、私たちの代にとって大変重要なものになると思います。部員たちは充実した練習をするよう心がけています。妥協はせず、こだわりを持って優勝に挑戦します」と、大会への意気込みを語った。


If you are interested in street dance, why don’t you come and pep them up?

(Written by: Daichi Tsutsui)




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Sincerity never fails in human relations


Says Albanian student Ervin Myshketa



At present, a total of 797 exchange students from 31 countries study at Chuo University. While many of them are from neighboring Asian countries such as China, South Korea and Taiwan, some are from countries little known to Japanese. One of them is Ervin Myshketa, 26, who has joined Chuo just for the fall semester. He was born in Albania, an eastern Balkan country with a population of about 2.7 million, approximately equal to that of Japan’s Osaka Prefecture. After spending his high-school days in his own country, he went to Switzerland to enter the University of Geneva. Hakumon Herald interviewed him to ask about his impression of Japan and environmental and cultural differences between his mother country and Japan.



Keen to see Earth’s opposite side



"It's my pleasure to be here, studying in Chuo", says Myshketa during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
"It's my pleasure to be here, studying in Chuo", says Myshketa during an interview with Hakumon Herald.

  -What has brought you to Japan?



  Myshleta: The University of Geneva has an efficient system to support its students who want to study abroad. Many take advantage of that system to study abroad at least once while being enrolled at the school. I applied for its scholarship with Asia in my mind, believing it could be my last chance. To us Europeans, Japan is a country located on the opposite side of the Earth. Luckily enough, my wish has been realized. It was Chuo University that has accepted me.

ミシュケタ ジュネーブ大学には、学生の海外留学を積極的に支援する制度があります。それを利用して多くの学生が在学中に1度は留学をします。私はこの機会を逃したら行かないかもしれないアジアに絞り、出願しました。私たちからしたら、日本は地球の裏側です(笑い)。祈りが届き、決まった留学先が中央大学だったのです。


-What impression have you formed since coming to Japan?



Myshketa: I’ve felt the social environment and human characteristics in Japan resemble those in Switzerland. My homeland Albania is still a developing country in terms of politics, economy and education because of the immature policies taken by the Communist regime over a long period from the end of World War II to the middle of the 1990s. A high unemployment rate is also one of its serious problems. In my native town, I often saw people just stumbling around without doing anything even in the daytime. When I went to Switzerland, I was amazed to see its well-organized cityscape, sophisticated educational environment and people’s disciplined attitude to be caring to others. I have the same feeling about Japan, too. What strikes me particularly in Japan is that complicated things are practiced so smoothly and easily. For example, trains arrive on time and people wait for them in good manners. All those are quite new to me.

ミシュケタ 社会の環境、人々の特徴はスイスに似ていると感じました。私の故郷、アルバニアは戦後から1990年代前半まで続いた共産党政権の未熟な政策で、いまだ政治、経済、教育が発展途上中です。また、高い失業率も問題の1つとなっています。昼間から何をするでもなく町をふらふらしている人々を、私が生まれた町ではよく目にしました。スイスに移住すると、整備された都市、洗練された教育環境、他人を思いやる姿勢が徹底されているのを見て驚きました。日本についても同じ感想を持ちます。複雑なことがいとも簡単に実行される風景。例えば、列車が定刻通りに到着すること、それを礼儀正しく待つ人々の姿。私にとって新鮮な光景に映ります。


  -Do you see any similarities between Albanian people and Japanese people?



Myshketa: Albanian people tend to be hot-blooded. On the other hand, Japanese look calm and collected. I don’t feel the two peoples have much in common characteristically. But I do think they are similar to each other in terms of, for instance, respect to the elderly and tolerance of religion. The Albanian Communist regime used to prohibit people from having faith in specific religion. However, that has changed now. My country is religiously tolerant just like Japan, where traditional Shintoist practices like Matsuri (festival) and Shogatsu (New Year’s Day) and Buddhist practices like Bon festival go hand in hand with traditional Western religious practices like Christmas and Halloween.


ミシュケタ 血気盛んなアルバニア人。穏やかな日本人というように国民の性格は似ていない部分が多いように感じますが、高齢者への敬意や宗教への寛容性は共通していると思います。アルバニアでは共産党政権時代には特定の宗教を信仰することが許されませんでした。しかし、今は違います。お祭りやお正月などの神道の宗教行事、お盆などの仏教行事がクリスマスやハロウィーンなどの西洋の宗教行事と共存する日本のように、宗教的な寛容性がアルバニアにもあります。

Miss Albanian coffee bar



Myshketa is busy on Thursday. He has a couple of classes including Japanese which he's struggling with.
Myshketa is busy on Thursday. He has a couple of classes including Japanese which he's struggling with.

What Albanian culture do you miss in Japan?



Myshketa: Either in Geneva or Tokyo, I sometimes miss the Albanian lifestyle in which people slowly spend every day without much stress. Albanians enjoy having nonsensical talks with their family, friends and even strangers at coffee bars seen here and there in town. They let me have mixed feelings. I sometimes want to go back to such life but don’t want to at other times.

ミシュケタ 毎日をゆったりと、ストレスなく過ごすアルバニアの生活がスイスや東京にいると、時々恋しくなります。町中にあるコーヒー・バーで家族、友達、時には見知らぬ他人と他愛のない話をする。そんな日々に戻りたくもあり、戻りたくもない複雑な思いです。


-Albanians frequent a cafe, don’t they?



Myshketa: Well, Albanian coffee bars are slightly different from cafes. They look like restaurants or night clubs furnished with a bar and tables. Coffee bars are the second home for Albanians. You can have a cup of coffee there just for 60 yen. That affordable price attracts a broad range of people from children to adults. They are always bustling. Some people even have business talks there.

ミシュケタ 喫茶店とは少し違います。バーとテーブルがあるレストランやナイトクラブのような場所です。アルバニア人にとって、コーヒー・バーは第2の家です。1杯60円程度なので、子供から大人まで店内はいつも賑やかです。ビジネス上の交渉もコーヒー・バーですることもあるようです。


-Can you tell us about the hardships and funs you may have while living in foreign countries?



Myshketa: It’s always exciting to go out of a familiar society to live in a country with different culture. However, you will have a string of hardships until you get accustomed to your new life there. I moved to Switzerland after finishing my high school. At first, I was often annoyed by linguistic and cultural differences. But I can say one thing for sure. Wherever you go, people will open their heart if you try to be sincere and nice to them. I’m convinced that my effort like my study never fails in human relationships. I think studying abroad gives you a good chance to realize how important your sincerity is.

ミシュケタ 慣れた社会から飛び出して異なる文化圏で過ごすことは、いつでも刺激的ですが、その土地に慣れるまでは苦労の連続です。私は高校卒業後からスイスに移りました。言語、文化の違いで悩むことが当初は多かったです。しかし、誠心誠意な態度を心がけていれば、場所に関わらず人々は心を開いてくれます。勉強と同じように、努力を裏切らないのが人間関係です。留学はその重要性に気付くいい機会になると思います。


-Thank you.

(Interviewed by: Hideki Kato)





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Keen on developing friendships built by forerunners

Mexican ambassador