Beyond The Clasroom
Getting to know Japan
"Japan, Rising Again”- is the current slogan of Japan tourism agency. On March 11, 2011 the biggest earthquakes jolted Japan, followed by the massive tsunami that shook the north-east part of the country, which lead to the explosion of Fukushima nuclear power plant. Thousands of people died and several economic problems ensued. A number of overseas students left Japan and various misconceptions about Japan spread out through different media. To remove these misconceptions from the global scene and attract more international students, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan arranged Japan Study Program (JSP) 2012.
JSP'12 was a 13 day long program, scheduled to take place from March 7 to 19, 2012. A total of 216 participants from 44 countries, including 10 from Bangladesh attended the programme. I, along with nine other candidates from different universities in Bangladesh, was selected under the supervision of the Japanese Embassy in Bangladesh and JUAAB based on academic qualifications.
During the entire program, we had to attend a number of seminars, campus tours, group discussions etc. Seminar topics comprised mainly of scholarship opportunities for international students and the current status of safety and disaster management in Japan. In the early stage of JSP, we were shown Kabuki, a classical Japanese dance-drama at the National Theatre. We observed the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Tokyo National Museum and felt fortunate to visit the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). We caught the glimpse of Tokyo Sky Tree, which is the tallest free-standing communication tower in the world. In the middle phase of the programme, we were divided into three groups, namely- Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima. Participants under each group got the chance to visit local universities and corresponding disaster stricken areas. It is impossible to imagine the impacts of tsunami without being there and observing through one's own eyes. We understood and respected the utmost resilience of Japanese people. The disaster and the trauma of course crushed souls of millions, but the people of Japan did not give up hope, because they chose to be united, and therefore, stronger. I was in the Iwate group and had the chance to visit Kamaishi city, which is severely damaged by tsunami. The impact of tsunami is still visible even after one year, but the reconstruction process has already started. They are on track to rebuild the city, which will be beautiful and safer than before. Three main facts were focused in JSP. Firstly, quality of the education system, researches and scholarship opportunities for overseas students are world class in Japan. Secondly, although Japan cannot stop earthquakes, they are equipped with best technologies and alertness to stand against earthquakes and other natural calamities, thereby making Japan a safe place to study and live. Finally, Japan has a strong exciting culture that certainly allures everyone.
We, the 216 participants of JSP, were invited by the Japanese government to know the current condition of Japan and convey the right message to the people of our country. During my stay in Japan, I asked myself several times that why is Japan so developed in so many aspects. I realised that it was because of their strict discipline, strong foresight and addiction to perfection. They also have a unique culture. They are always dedicated, polite and kind to everyone. Every foreign student is bound to feel at home if they decide to study in Japan. It is difficult not to love Japan, once students get to understand the humility of the Japanese people and uniqueness of their culture.
(The writer is a Masters student of Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Dhaka University)
DID YOU KNOW?
Clarence Hudson White
American Photographer, teacher and a founding member of the Photo-Secession movement Clarence Hudson White was born on 8 April 1871 in West Carlisle, Ohio, to Lewis Perry White and Phebe Billman White. He was raised in what was known as "The American House," a large tavern built by his great-grandfather and Ohio pioneer settler Augustine White in 1817. His childhood was described as "idyllic", and, unlike many children of the time, he grew up in good health and with no deaths or tragedies in his family. He and his brother Pressley, who was two years older, spent much of their time playing in the fields and hills near their small hometown.When White was sixteen the family moved to the small town of Newark, Ohio, where his father accepted a job as traveling salesman for the wholesale grocery firm of Fleek and Neal. With his father gone much of the time White was left to pursue his own interests, and he became a serious student of the violin. From his late teens into his mid-twenties White kept a diary in which recorded both the events of his days and also his interests and opinions. He wrote increasingly of his interest in music and pictorial arts. After high school White became a bookkeeper at the firm where his father worked. He was a diligent worker, but his job gave him little opportunity to pursue his artistic interests. His maternal uncle Ira Billman, who was a published poet, encouraged White to continue developing his creative skills, and by 1890 White was producing sketchbooks filled with pencil sketches, pen-and-ink drawings and watercolors. Some of the artistic vision White developed during this time he later applied to his photography.
Information Source: Internet