The KAKEHASHI Inouye Program’s mission is to enhance bilateral youth exchange, increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and Japan, and build a network of future leaders interested in U.S.-Japan relations. In February 2019, six MAGIC students travelled to Japan together with 17 other Miami Dade College students, and participated in a variety of cultural activities and site visits to explore Japan’s rich cultural heritage, vibrant contemporary culture, and cutting-edge technology. The journey started in Tokyo where students visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a lecture on Japan’s culture, religion, traditions, political system and current affairs. Sites visits to an Anime Studio and a Shinto shrine and different neighbourhoods in Tokyo.
From Tokyo the students traveled to Kumamoto Prefecture located on the island of Kyushu. Kumamoto Castle dates back to the 17th century. On the castle grounds is the reconstructed Honmaru Goten Palace with its ornate reception rooms and murals. Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art shows both European works and Edo-period prints. Southeast of the city center is Suizenji Garden, a Japanese landscape garden with a central pond, created in the 1630s.
The group had the opportunity to visit Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto University where a traditional tea ceremony was performed and students from both education insitutions got to learn more about each other, cultural differences and similarities. Students participated in a two day home stay with a Japanese family, living and experiencing life in Japan from within. The stay in Kumamoto ended with the “Yamaga Tourou Roman Festival” in the town of Yamaga. Japanese umbrellas and bamboo lanterns light up a whimsical Buzen Road. The Yamaga Fuzei Monogatari (Tales of Yamaga) are told in Yachiyoza. It takes place every Friday and Saturday in February.
TOMODACHI KAKEHASHI Inouye Scholars Program
The TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program is a unique 10-day youth exchange that provides a total of 200 American and Japanese university students (100 American and 100 Japanese) an opportunity to learn about each other’s countries and cultures. These exchanges are part of the broader Government of Japan’s KAKEHASHI Project which seeks to:
1. Promote deeper mutual understanding among the people of Japan and the United States
2. Enable future leaders of U.S.-Japan exchanges to form networks, and
3. Help young people develop wider perspectives to encourage active roles at the global level in the future.
For more information on this program, visit the U.S.-Japan Council website
Thanks to the U.S. Japan Council, the Kakehashi Inouye Program and our friends in Japan who welcomed us so graciously.