Exchange Students-Field Trips & Other Events(vol.5) - 明治学院大学 国際学部・国際学研究科 The Faculty of International Studies | The Faculty of International Studies at Meiji Gakuin University Exchange Students-Field Trips & Other Events(vol.5) - 明治学院大学 国際学部・国際学研究科 The Faculty of International Studies

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Field Trips & Other Events

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Field Trips & Other Events(2018-)

Field Trip to Hiroshima, 2018 Fall

From October 31 to November 3, UC students and Prof. Takahara’s seminar students visited Hiroshima to gain a better understanding of Japanese history.

The students visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Okuno-shima (the site of a WWII era weapons plant) and Iwakuni (the city the US military base is stationed). They also had an opportunity to hear the experience from a survivor of the atomic bombing.

[ A student’s reflection on the trip 1 ]

Upon arriving in Hiroshima and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, I felt this wave of heaviness on my heart. We have all learned about this bombing from textbooks, but we gained a wholly different perspective by being in the city itself and listening to an actual person who survived the chaos. The story of how they lost some or all of their loved ones and of the horrid aftermath that they had to endure… these are the kind of stories that bring home the impact of war.
After walking through the museum, the survivor’s story left me with a more realistic understanding of the event and the utmost sympathy for those who experienced it. She made me feel more connected to WWII, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to learn about her history that wasn’t taught in my education system. The people of Hiroshima–even if they are no longer with us–are not just numbers on a list of victims, but they are actual people whose stories need to be told and remembered.
Through the field trip, I realized that all local volunteers, including our guides and the survivors, have devoted themselves to making their city the City of Peace. It’s amazing how a city with such painful memories is able to leave their chaos behind, and instead, draw upon those past memories to evolve it into something that helps us see the devastation and aftermath of what bombing can cause to humanity.
By the end of the Hiroshima trip, I understood that we will not be able to fully understand the legacies of war, the internment silence, and the painful assimilation of an experience that damaged their community. However, these people who have lived through such turbulent times are now advocating against war, nuclear weapons, and racial hysteria. By doing so, they are telling us what we, as young adults, can do is to help alongside them and fight for world peace. (Written by Stephanie)

[ A student’s reflection on the trip 2 ]

As a newcomer to both Japan and the world of nuclear warfare, our educational trip to Hiroshima was like no other in terms of cross-cultural exposure and as a wakeup call to Americans and our colleagues abroad. In visiting key sites from the Second World War and experiencing the joy, sorrow, and memory that each brought, I gained a new appreciation for the severity of the conflict and the horror of weaponized nuclear technology. What struck me most was our incredible opportunity to hear from those who lived through the bombing and to learn from their advocacy of peace instead of retribution.

After a whole semester spent studying the world views of Japanese students, family, and culture, this trip was a humbling experience that re-centered what could usually be a very American perspective into an understanding that includes empathy, respect, and honor for those who came before us. I left Hiroshima with new knowledge, and this understanding has instilled in me the value of being an advocate for non-violent, non-lethal forms of conflict resolution. To any UC student who is thinking of joining this program in the future, the Hiroshima adventure is a life-altering experience and it alone makes joining this MGU program worthwhile. Of course, beyond that it offers a unique, incredible opportunity to form lasting bonds of friendship with your classmates that you will have with you long after college. (Written by Xander)

Recent UC Program Extra Curricular Activities

On Sept. 22, a number of UC students and the UC Director took a guided tour of Kamakura with a Meigaku faculty member. Kamakura was a center of political and cultural power in medieval Japan, and this legacy is reflected in the city’s many temples and shrines. Meigaku provides these tours every semester to visiting exchange students, and this time the participants went to Kenchoji, Ennoji, Hasedera and the Kamakura Daibutsu (great Buddha).

The next day, UC students joined a group of local farmers in nearby Maioka Park to thresh rice. Unlike most city parks, Yokohama developed Maioka into an urban nature/agricultural preserve, and it allots fields and rice paddy lands to citizens who wish to experience traditional farming methods. One such group consists of Meigaku graduates, and they invite exchange student to work with them during the farming year.

last updated on 2018.12.07

Field Trip to Hiroshima, 2018 Spring

Every semester, UC exchange students at the Faculty of International Studies visit the Hiroshima area to study issues relating to modern weapons of mass destruction, and post-WWII peace activities in Japan. The April 28th–May 3rd itinerary for the 2018 spring term tour included visits to the Peace Memorial Museum and Park, a day trip to Okunoshima (the site of a WWII-era Japanese biochemical weapons development center), and a meeting with an atomic bombing survivor.

While the atomic bombing is described in many textbooks, TV programs and movies, this tour gives students an opportunity to directly engage the continuing legacy of this seminal event in human history. At the same time, the participants experience the city’s post-war rejuvenation.

In addition to the sites mentioned above, they go to the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima and the rebuilt Hiroshima Castle. The evening hours of each day give students opportunities to experience Hiroshima’s unique restaurants and foods.

last updated on 2019.06.25

2018 Kamakura Trip

On April 21st, UC and ISP students took an extracurricular trip to Kamakura. Once a seat of samurai rule, Kamakura is now home to many famous temples and shrines. Thanks to the excellent spring weather, the students, staff and a faculty guide enjoyed an extended walking tour that went from Kenchoji in Kitakamakura to the Zeniarai Benten shrine. The group also went to Ennoji to view its famous kings of the underworld statues, and took a tour of Jokokomyoji that included a brief lecture on its famous Buddhist iconography. At the end of the day, a few students extended the walk to visit the Kamakura Daibutsu statue in Hase.

Kamakura is only a short train ride away from the international student dorm in Totsuka, and exchange students can easily explore the city and its unique history thoughout their time at Meigaku.

last updated on 2018.12.07