The Annual School Trip to Taiwan Comes to a Close

| by:教頭堀

  The second year class returned safely from Ichijo’s annual four day, three night trip to Taiwan, which began on Wednesday, December 13th.

     Ichijo students visited various places in the city of Taipei, including the National Revolutionary Martyr’s Shrine and the National Palace Museum. They also had the opportunity to interact with students from Taipei Private Tsai Hsing High School, Taipei Fuhsing Private High School, and Taipei First Girls’ High School, Ichijo’s sister school.

    Amongst the students, those new to international travel got to experience the exchange of foreign currency, time difference, immigration and emigration processes, and the sheer nervous excitement of carrying one’s passport and embarking overseas for the first time.

    A number of the students also made local friends (some who even exchanged contact information) while fully interacting with a foreign country’s culture and history. Through their comparisons and observations, students not only learned about Taiwan, but also gained a newfound awareness of what kind of country Japan is.

    Though they had studied many of these things in their contemporary history textbooks, the school trip allowed students to experience firsthand Japan’s history with its neighboring countries, as well as see structures built during Japan’s governing of Taiwan.

    As part of the upcoming generation’s global human resources, Ichijo students had countless invaluable learning experiences during their trip. Details about Ichijo’s Annual School Trip program can be found on this homepage under, “School Trip Information.”

     Below are some student opinions and stories about their trip.

n  When I said, “Taiwan is such a great place. I don’t even want to go home,” one of the college students who assisted us through the B&S program told me, “Everyone who eats the food in Taiwan says that.”

n  The people in Taiwan shared tissues for the restrooms with me, came running to give me my change when I’d forgotten to take it, and even reminded me about purchases I’d forgotten to grab. I was moved by everyone’s kindness!

n  The atmosphere in Taiwan was really different. Many people spoke Japanese and, probably having realized we were from Japan, talked to us kindly in Japanese. It was also more comfortable going around Taiwan because the climate was warmer than that of Japan. I’d read a number of books about Taiwan before the trip, one of which had a line that read, “When I’d stopped to take just a moment, the view I saw was the most beautiful I’d ever seen.” Going there for myself made me understand just how true that line was.

n  Our welcome ceremony was incredible, and the high school students there also spoke such fluent English. It made me realize the level I need to be at if I want to work a global career in the future.

n  Getting to participate in the local high school’s club activities, laughing and enjoying time with the other students, I felt like I’d really managed to cross cultural boundaries and truly make friends regardless of nationality.

n  Even though it was my first time flying to a foreign country, for the four days of the school trip, I felt hardly any anxiety or limits. Being able to fully enjoy the food and the whole experience became a source of confidence for me, like I could manage anything no matter where I went. After seeing their persistence toward living freely and the tenacity toward learning of the people in Taiwan, I wanted to grow as a person. Additionally, the experience of being a foreigner myself made me want to be more welcoming toward the foreigners I encounter in Japan.

n  Compared to Japan’s temples, I was deeply impressed by the way Taiwan’s buildings were brilliant and colorful on the outside, but still rich in history on the inside.

n  Despite its history under Japanese reign, I was happy to see that there were many Japanese companies and products in Taiwan.



Chinese Classes Held By Ichijo Students

| by:教頭堀

  During 5th period on both Wednesday, November 8th and Wednesday, November 29th, Ichijo students held their own Chinese language classes in the school gymnasium.

  The classes were held as part of the preparations for second year students’ annual four day, three night trip to Taiwan coming up on December 13th. The planning, management, and actual instruction during both days of the class were done entirely by four Chinese speaking Ichijo students. The students readied high-quality teaching materials with fun content such as the names of popular characters in Chinese, and offered simple, easy-to-understand instruction on pronunciation, grammar, and daily conversation.



Preparation for the Second Year Students’ Taiwan Trip (School Song Rehearsal)

| by:教頭堀

  During 5th period on November 16th, second year students gathered to rehearse Ichijo’s school song, in preparation for their performances at high schools in Taiwan, which they will depart for on December 13th.  The students will visit their sister school, Taipei First Girls’ High School, as well as Taipei Private Tsai Hsing High School, and Taipei Fuhsing Private High School. 
These plans were organized entirely by the second year students themselves, and practice for the school song was conducted with special focus on Ichijo’s music club members. As the practice came to a close, many students mentioned how excited they were to go to Taiwan. 


A Lecture from Ms. Rumiko Seya

| by:教頭堀

  On Wednesday, November 15th during SG Exploration Learning, first and second year students had the opportunity to hear Rumiko Seya, board chairman of the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention (JCCP), speak about, “Women’s Role in the Pursuit of World Peace.”

  Ms. Seya told the students about how the current conflict in the Middle East and Africa is causing the number of refugees to skyrocket, and about the relief efforts the JCCP is providing. She taught the students about the strength they could lend to the pursuit of peace, both as women and as Japanese citizens. Ms. Seya inspired hope toward the end of world conflict and left the students with the message that true power lies within the choices they make.
The event closed with a stimulating Q&A session that left a strong impression on the students.


Cross Cultural Talk

| by:教頭堀

  At 1:00PM on Saturday, November 11th
, Cross Cultural Talk was held as a part of SGH activities. Participants included international exchange students from 12 different countries (Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, England, the USA, and Uzbekistan)
 currently studying at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and 65 Ichijo students. The students broke into groups by country, discussed gender roles, and later gave a presentation on their findings.
  The students gained an invaluable experience through their interactions, learning about the similarities and differences between the cultures and customs of each country.




Cross Cultural Talk (Taiwan edition)

| by:教頭堀

  On the afternoon on October 28th, the Taiwan edition of Cross Cultural Talk was held.  Ten Taiwanese students currently on exchange at the University of Tokyo came to Ichijo to talk with the 42 Ichijo students doing research on Taiwan through the “Taiwan Research Project.” Students presented their research on topics such as, “Advancement of Women in Taiwanese Society,” “Food Self-Sufficiency in Japan and Taiwan,” “Political Awareness Amongst Taiwanese Youth,” and then discussed their findings with the Taiwanese students. The Taiwanese students offered their personal opinions as well as advice on how Ichijo students could further their research. 
Ichijo students will finish off their research during their annual school trip in December by collaborating with students from the National Taiwan Normal University.
Through this Cross Cultural Talk, students were able to prepare for their fieldwork in Taiwan and gain valuable insights through their interactions.




A Chinese Conversation Workshop Held for Second Year Students

| by:教頭堀

  On Wednesday, November 1st, a Taiwanese interpreter arrived at Ichijo to teach a Chinese conversation class to second year students in the school gymnasium.
  The event was held in preparation for the second year students’ annual four day, three night trip to Taiwan in December.
  The students were taught Chinese pronunciation and simple, daily conversation. For both students encountering the Chinese language for the first time, and students who would go on to continue practicing Chinese even after the class was over, the workshop proved to be an invaluable experience for all.



Taiwan Fieldwork Report Briefing

| by:教頭堀

During 5th period on October 12th (Thurs.), the Taiwan Fieldwork Report Briefing was held by second year students in the school gymnasium.

The fieldwork in Taiwan was carried out by seven student volunteers in Taipei City from August 20 to 23, 2017, and the Fieldwork Report Briefing was given with PowerPoint presentations made by the seven participating students showing the results of their exploration learning activities.

The students in the audience listened to the presentations with tremendous interest. The seven presenters each focused on topics which they were interested in and talked about how they conducted actual field research rather than relying on guidebooks or Internet information.

This coming December, second year students will visit Taiwan for 4 days for their annual school trip, during which time they will also participate in a cultural exchange with students at Urawa Girls' Upper Secondary School’s sister school, Taipei Municipal Taipei First Girls' High School.

For second year students, this briefing served as invaluable study and preparation for their upcoming school trip. Students in the audience were heard commenting, “I’m getting excited hearing about Taiwan. I’m going to really enjoy the school trip.”


Holding of the SGH All-School Lecture

| by:教頭堀

On October 6th (Fri.), the FY2017 SGH All-School Lecture was held in the school gymnasium on the theme “Thinking about ‘working’: changes in the environment surrounding working women”. The speaker was Ms. Kazuyo Shinya, a graduate of Urawa Girls' Upper Secondary School who is now an Executive Officer of Resona Holdings, Inc. and Executive Officer/Human Resources Services Manager of Resona Bank, Ltd. In her lecture, Ms. Shinya spoke to the students about the following points:

In recent years, systems to ensure women’s participation in Japanese society and the workforce have been taking a more definitive shape.

However, many issues remain, and drastic measures truly need to be taken regarding Japan’s long working hours, etc.

Resona Bank, Ltd. has been a leader in implementing measures to facilitate women’s participation in the Japanese workforce.

Frameworks have also been put in place to enable employees to work while caring for their elderly relatives.

In Japan’s future, many changes advantageous for companies will take place, such as an increase in workplace diversity. Including freelance workers and foreign-national employees will foster employees’ inventiveness and generate innovation.

In many cases, women are more adept than men at accepting workplace diversity.

Some women hesitate to seek managerial positions, saying that “It looks too difficult” or “I don’t have the confidence,” but female managers are essential, and so many women should take on this challenge.

Although the introduction of AI into society will advance, there will still be a need for people to perform tasks that computers cannot do (generate unique ideas, empathize with others, consolidate teams, etc.).

Moving forward, the ability to design and carry out one’s own work independently will become increasingly important.

  The students listened intently to what Ms. Shinya had to say and asked questions enthusiastically following the lecture.


Taiwan Fieldwork Report

| by:教頭堀

As a part of SGH activities, 7 second year students carried out fieldwork in Taiwan from August 20-23. The fieldwork was conducted with research themes such as history, culture, and education in Taipei City. This is the second year this program has been implemented, and thanks to effective preparatory training, the students were able to conduct thorough research while enjoying their time abroad.

Day 1: August 20 (Sun.)
  After arriving at Taipei Songshan Airport, the students visited the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum. Located within the large 228 Peace Memorial Park, this museum provides detailed explanations of Taiwan’s path towards democratization.

Next, the students toured the Presidential Office Building of Taipei (formerly the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan), Urawa Girls' Upper Secondary School’s sister school, Taipei Municipal Taipei First Girls’ High School, the Bank of Taiwan, and other facilities.

At night, the students ventured into the Ningxia Night Market, where many people, both tourists and locals, were enjoying the festival-like atmosphere. The smell of fermented tofu was highly stimulating.

After arriving at the hotel, the students organized the content of their fieldwork using the KJ method and shared their findings. Even at nighttime, the students worked enthusiastically. 


Day 2: August 21 (Mon.)

After breakfast, the students went to Taipei Station to carry out their fieldwork. There were convenience stores similar to those in Japan, and the students took note of their observations.

Next, the group visited Taiwanese households until lunchtime. The students went shopping with their families, but since it was Monday and the markets were closed, the shopping was done at the supermarket. The host families were extremely welcoming to the students.

In the afternoon, the group visited an English language school and participated in a trial lesson with an American English teacher, and later heard about education in Taiwan from locals. In the evening, the students went to the Ximending shopping district to conduct fieldwork on Taiwanese youth culture. 

Day 3: August 22 (Tue.)

During the morning, the group toured the Palace Museum. Thanks to the detailed explanations provided by their guide, Ms. Chen, the students were able to gain a deeper appreciation of each of the exhibits. In the afternoon, the group visited the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, located near the Palace Museum. Here the students learned about the lives and culture of Formosan Aborigines—the correct terminology according to the Taiwanese. Next, the group visited Taiwan’s largest bookstore, the Eslite Bookstore, and then conducted interviews with tourists visiting the Lungshan Temple of Manka. The students worked hard and made the most of the short time they had. In the evening, the students had free time, and everyone went out to visit places they were interested in.

By the third day of the field trip, the students were increasingly proficient with their nighttime summation work using the KJ method.

Day 4: August 23 (Wed.)

In the morning, the group visited the Mizuho Bank Taipei Branch, where Mr. Tanaka, who has been working at the Taipei Branch for five years, presented a lecture on the current status of and future outlook for the Taiwanese economy. Although the content was slightly difficult, the students listened intently to Mr. Tanaka’s presentation.

Next, the group’s guide, Ms. Chen, spoke about the differences between Japanese and Taiwanese women in terms of social participation and work outlook, using her own work history and experiences as examples. Since she has also worked in Japan, Ms. Chen’s anecdotes were very interesting for the students.

After eating lunch, the group flew home to Japan on a 2:00PM direct flight to Haneda Airport. The students were able to gain a deeper understanding of Taiwan through their fieldwork over the four-day trip.




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