Japanese Culture Course Annual Report (2019) Part 2 SJSU

Japanese Culture

Students of San Jose State University, U.S. visited Kagoshima University in January 2020, and vice-versa, students of Kagoshima University visited San Jose in February-March 2020.

Eight San Jose State University (SJSU) students and their professor visited Kagoshima, Amami, and Okinawa from 5th to 18th January 2020 as part of the course: “Local and Minority Culture in Japan” organized by Kagoshima University (KU) in collaboration with SJSU. The course examines how identities and cultures of the ethnic minorities of Japan, such as Okinawans and Amamians, changed over time from Edo era to present, interacting with majority groups in mainland Japan and the U.S. under their political controls.

SJSU students participated in an American literature class in Kagoshima University (KU) and had discussions with KU students. They made research trips to Sakurajima island, Japanese gardens of Sengan’en, and Chiran Samurai Residence Complex. They identified traditional Japanese garden style and enjoyed local foods such as Ramen, Shochu, and the largest radish variety in the world, the ‘Sakurajima Daikon’ grown in ash fields at the foot of the active Sakurajima volcano. Also, whilst in Chiran, they visited the Chiran Peace Museum where they learned about the experiences and memories of the young Kamikaze suicide pilot corps in the second World War. In Amami and Okinawa they discovered how local folk culture differs from “Japanese Culture.” A field research in Amami was made collaboratively with KU students who major in anthropology and archeology. They interviewed local elderly people on whether they identify themselves either as Amamian or/and Japanese.

A month later, a group of Kagoshima University students visited California to participate in a course consisting of a leadership workshop and hands on training at educational institutes and business companies in San Francisco Bay Area. KU students visited SJSU campus where SJSU students made a poster presentation about their research findings during their Kagoshima, Amami, Okinawa trip and shared their experiences in Japan with KU students. It was an exciting event in which both student bodies confirmed their friendships and enjoyed interactions.

Sumie Nakatani

Course Schedule: San Jose University

Date Topics, activities
1/4(Sa) Departure from the U.S.
 1/5(S) Arrival at Kagoshima airport.
1/6(M)9am-6pm Orientation 09:00-11:30am11:30-12:30  Lunch at Kagoshima University Cafeteria

12:50-14:20 Discussion and interview with KU students of American Literature course

14:30-16:00 Discussion and interview with KU students of  Comparative culture course

16:00-18:00 Campus tour of Kagoshima University

18:00-20:00 Mixer @Inamori Memorial Building 2F Vege Marché

1/7(T) 8:30am-6pm Sakurajima Mountain sightseeing08:30 Start Sakurajima nature and agriculture lecture

10:30 Arimura Lava view point Walking

11:10 Sakurajima Visitor Center (Museum, Foot Bath)

11:40 Radish cooking at Café Shirahama

12:40 Lunch at Café Shirahama

15:00 Reimeikan museum (Kagoshima History and Culture)

Dinner: Kagoshima Ramen/Soba/Udon

1/8(W)8am-6pm 9:00 Start from Kagoshima University10:00 Chiran Peace museum

11:00 Lecture in English

12:15 Chiran Samurai Residence Garden

13:00 Lunch

14:30 Shouchu, Satumaage and Karukan making and eating at

Musouzou and Musouan

16:00 Scholarship procedure

1/9(R)8am-8pm 09:30 Sengan’en (Garden) & Shuseikan museums*11:00 Satsuma Kiriko factory and shops

12:00 Shiroyama hiking

13:00 Lunch: Biking restaurant in Reimeikan

14:30 Nanshuu park and Takamori Saigo

16:00 Ferry Port

18:00 Departure to Naze

1/10(F)7am-5pm 05:00 Arrive at Naze Port, Breakfast, Drop by hotel08:00 Amami city Naze Elementary school (center of reversion movement), cultural exchange with Naze elementary school kids, Ogamiyama park walk, statue of Yoshiro Izumi and reversion memorial statue, View of Naze city,

10:30 Amami museum (History&culture of Amami)

12:30 Lunch, Keihan at Torisen

14:00-16:00 Yumeorinosato Oshima Tsumugi Kimono wearing or dyeing experience

Reading: The Return of the Amami Islands by Eldridge Chapter2

1/11(Sa)7am-6pm 07:15 Move to Koniya harbor, arrive at 8:45am09:15 Ferry to Kakeroma

Lunch: Umi Yado

Kakeroma WWII battle sites visit and talk with elder

1/12(S) 05:30 Ferry From Naze to Okinawa, Naha


08:30 Shuri Castle*, Benzaitendo, Ryutan, King’s graveyard*11:00-12:00  Shikina garden* ¥400

13:00 Lunch at Omoshiro machi

14:00-16:00 Okinawa Prefecture museum (Okinawa history and culture)

1/14(T)8am-6pm 09:00 Namino Miya (Okinawan shrine)10:00-11:30 Okinawa International Peace Research Institute ¥500

12:00-13:00 Okinawa soba

13:30 Bingata dyeing experience at Kokusai street ¥2570

15:00 Kokusai street walk( Makishi public market, Tenbusu Naha2F Sakurazaka Theatre)

1/15(W)8am-6pm 09:00-13:00 Gyokusendo and Okinawa worldLunch: Abura somen

14:00-17:00 Okinawa Peace Memorial Park*

1/16(R)8am-6pm 09:00 Kakazu takadai park(Futenma Base)11:30 Road station Kadena (Kadena Air base)

Lunch: Uchinaa Bento at Kadena Michi no eki

13:30 Goza histreet museum (Free) and Eisaa museum(Free)

03:00 Katsuren Castle(Free)

1/17(F)8am-6pm 10:00 Yomitan village,  Chibichirigama, Shimukugama, Gosamaru’s Zakimi castle ruin*13:00 Lunch : Tako rice at American Village

14:00-16:00 Chatan (American Village, Ahama beach, Sunset beach)

1/18(Sa) Departure for the US.