Japan Alumni eNews (Vol.102)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 102 October 10th, 2017

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 102

1. Life in Japan by Photo

Learn the life in Japan with photos posted by our readers! We look forward to your submissions of memorable photos of your experiences in Japan, including your student life, exposure to Japanese culture and history, travel, and more.


1 Photo title (15 words or less)
2 Name (katakana and alphabet)
3 Nationality
4 Name of your school in Japan

October of Japan

The theme of the October issue is photo introduces October of Japan.

Sports day

Sports day





Autumn bellflower

Autumn bellflower

2. Alumni News

Bringing you news and first-hand stories about international students!

1) News on International Students

NEWS 1 : 7-Eleven Accepts Internship Students from Vietnam

Industry-leading convenience store 7-Eleven announced that it has signed a memorandum of international cooperation with six universities in Vietnam, including national universities.
This undertaking involves providing opportunities for Vietnamese students to deepen their understanding of international society and preparing them for taking on an active role in society in the future. It is expected that completing the internships will open up many possibilities for the students, including utilizing the knowledge they gained to contribute to retail in Vietnam or to find employment in Japan.

NEWS 2 : Japan Anime Tourism 88-Stop Pilgrimage Announced, Selected by Anime Fans Around the World

The Anime Tourism Association has announced the selection of the anime spots for the 2018 Japan Anime Tourism 88-Stop Pilgrimage. The 88 spots are selected based on the results of online voting by Japanese anime fans all over the world through comprehensive consideration of the spots in discussions that include copyright holders, municipalities, tourism associations, etc., as participants.

2) Introduction of Current International Students

Nguyen Do Duy

Name: Nguyen Do Duy
Nationality: Vietnamese
University: The University of Kitakyushu
Major: Environmental Engineering
Academic Year: 1st year (master’s degree)
Period of Stay in Japan: October 2016 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N4

Since I was a first-year university student in Vietnam, I have had a deep interest in traditional Japanese architecture. Japanese architecture is the product of magnificent culture and the refined technique of artisans. To experience it firsthand, I studied as hard as I could so that I could study abroad in Japan.

My first impression when I came to Japan was of the convenience and accuracy of all the systems here. Many items are made for those tiny aspects of life. It surprised me, for example, that you can get special caps at the 100-yen shop to put on milk cartons for pouring. I have been very impressed at how Japanese people pay attention to the smallest detail in life. Also, the trains and buses are always on time, run smoothly and accurately down to the minute. In Japan, time is money, and so is used carefully.

One thing that sticks out in my mind from my experiences in Japan is the time I participated in a small event to teach elementary school students in Kitakyushu about rivers. At that event, I learned how Japanese people protect their rivers. I want to share this with people in Vietnam. There were many children at the event, and I had the opportunity to play with them. We told each other our names and talked about our favorite manga. They were cute and full of energy.

My plan for the future is to work for a famous architectural firm in Japan. I am working hard toward that goal so that my dreams can come true. The quickest way to work in Japan as an architect is to learn the Japanese language and study for the employment tests. I hope to work in Japan and travel all over the country to explore all kinds of buildings.

My advice to people thinking about studying abroad in Japan is to consider the importance of thinking deeply about your finances and emotional readiness, and make preparations accordingly before you come to Japan even if it’s a promising destination for your future. The reason is that Japan’s cultural standards are completely different from other countries. If you don't prepare well, you may experience severe culture shock. The most important characteristics for doing well in Japan are humility and enthusiasm for learning. It’s also very important to study the Japanese language. Before coming to Japan, you need to spend at least a few months studying Japanese in your country. If you're proficient in Japanese, you’ll find life in Japan to be very convenient.

3) List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of “Support for International Students Returning Home”

Kanazawa University International Students Network (KUISNet)

Kanazawa University International Students Network (KUISNet) is a network to connect Kanazawa University, international students studying at the university, and international graduates of the university.
Anyone can participate if you're an international student who is studying or has studied at Kanazawa University.
KUISNet provides information on scholarships, internships, employment opportunities and various events and programs on campus, in the region, and at affiliated companies.

3. Academic News

Introduction of scholarships, grants, unique activities at particular universities, and more!

1) Introduction of Faculties/Graduate Schools

Here we introduce you to particular faculties and graduate schools at Japanese universities.

Higashi Nippon International University

Higashi Nippon International University

University Profile (as of July 1, 2017)
Name: Higashi Nippon International University
Address: 37 Suganezawa, Taira-Kamata, Iwaki, Fukushima
Number of students: 619 (Undergraduate)
International students: 128 (Undergraduate)

1. Overview of University (History, Mission, etc.)

The teachings of Confucius serve as the spirit of the university’s founding. In particular, the words “practicing righteousness to carry out their principles” from the Confucian Analects serve as the school creed. The spirit of righteousness pursued by the university is to clear a path for one’s own future by performing acts of righteousness. Performing acts of righteousness refers to fulfilling one’s mission as a human being or, stated simply, taking action to change reality while maintaining ideals.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Faculties and Departments

The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration consists of three courses (Management Business, Glocal Solutions, and Civil Service) and provides organically-linked education with small group seminars. The Faculty of Health and Welfare also has three courses (Welfare Social Work, Sports Health, and Psychology). In addition to those aiming for welfare-related jobs for social change, the faculty accepts students wanting to contribute to local society by studying social welfare in general.

3. Efforts to Support International Students (Living Support, Residence Scholarships and Reduced or Free Tuition)

Various kinds of support are available to ensure a worry-free study abroad experience. The International Office, which serves as the contact point, has foreign employees that provide detailed advice for various situations that arise in the lives of international students. Additionally, as economic support measures, there are student apartments (Kamata Koso Kaikan) next to the university that we offer 30% rent subsidy on for those wishing to live there, and there is a tuition reduction program offering 50% off tuition.

4. Other Efforts to Support International Students (Employment, International Exchange, etc.)

We plan various exchange programs and events for international students to participate in. In particular, we provide information on events held by various exchange organizations and community members in Iwaki City and other parts of Fukushima Prefecture, and provide support for participating in the event as well. The aim is to help students experience Japanese culture firsthand and to improve their Japanese language skills and deepen cultural understanding by introducing the culture from their home country and other such activities so that they can become true citizens of the world.

There is an information desk in the Career Center where staffs answer questions from international students concerning support for finding employment. Additionally, the Career Center and International Office hold joint career programs. When you receive an unofficial offer or decide to extend your job hunting activities, we will provide guidance for switching your visa over. We also visit companies and gather information on job openings. The head of the university’s Tokyo office also comes to the university to talk with international students and provide information on employment opportunities in Tokyo.

Higashi Nippon International University students

Higashi Nippon International University campus

2) Application Information for Scholarships, Grants, Invitations, Prizes, etc.

LightStone Corporation

Program name
9th LightStone Student Essay Contest

1. Essay requirements
a. Positive analysis of financial/securities market
b. Positive analysis with implications on economic policy
The essay must fall into one of the above categories and meet the essay submission guidelines posted at the URL in the 6. Contact section below.

2. Applicant eligibility
University and graduate school students. Includes working university and graduate school students.
(International students are welcome to apply).
However, doctoral students are excluded.
Individual and group submissions are accepted.
The essay is to be written in Japanese or English.

3. Deadline
Entry period: Friday, December 15, 2017
Submission of essay: Monday, January 15, 2018

4. Awards
LightStone Award (one recipient) Monetary prize of 50,000 yen
Runner-up Award (one recipient) Monetary prize of 30,000 yen

5. How to apply
Submit your entries through the inquiry form in “Inquiries regarding prices, quotation, purchases and others.” For files larger than 2 MB, please refer to the Secretariat for the Student Essay Contest.

6. Contact
LightStone Corporation Secretariat for the Student Essay Contest
E-mail: sales@lightstone.co.jp

Doshisha University Archives Center

Program name
2017 Jo Niijima 175th Birthday Anniversary Student Essay Contest

1. Theme
Jo Niijima or the history of Doshisha University

2. Applicant eligibility
Applicants must meet any of the following criteria. (International students are also eligible to apply.)
• Students who are enrolled in any of the faculties or graduate schools of Doshisha University
• University or graduate school students who take interest in Jo Niijima or the Doshisha University

3. Deadline
Must be received by Monday, November 6, 2017.

4. Notes concerning submissions
• Japanese essays should be around 12,000 characters, and English essays should be around 7,500 words. Review the guidelines for the Jo Niijima Birthday Anniversary Essay Contest posted at the URL under the 6. Contact section below.
• Do not use other people’s writings without citing them. If using references, add notes or provide a list of cited and referenced documents at the end. Refer to the instructions provided in “2017 Winning Essays - 2016 Jo Niijima Birthday Anniversary Essay Contest” for details. The booklet is distributed or mailed free of charge. The instructions can also be found on the URL provided in the 6. Contact section.
• Use of Niijima’s own writings, such as Niijima Jo Zenshu (The Complete Works of Niijima Jo), Gendaigo de Yomu Niijima Jo (Jo Niijima in Modern Language), Niijima Jo no Tegami (Letters of Jo Niijima), Niijima Jo Kyoiku Shukyo Ronshu (Jo Niijima’s Essays on Education and Religion), and Niijima Jo Jiden (Jo Niijima’s Autobiography) is preferred.
• In principle, submitted essays will not be returned.

5. Awards
Essays will be judged by the judging committee, which will select the Grand Prize, First Prize, and Honorable Mentions. The award certificates and prizes will be presented at the 175th Jo Niijima Birthday Commemorative Ceremony (tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at Doshisha Chapel). Winning essays will be published in “2018 Winning Essays - 2017 Jo Niijima Birthday Anniversary Essay Contest.” The name and school of the writer will be included in the book.

6. Contact
Doshisha University Archives Center
TEL: 075-251-3042
FAX: 075-251-3055
E-mail: ji-shasi@mail.doshisha.ac.jp

3) Information about International Symposium

Asian Wetland Symposium 2017

The Asian Wetland Symposium (AWS) is a forum for policy makers, wetland managers, non-governmental organizations, funding organizations, conservationists, academics, researchers, practitioners, students, and various other groups to share their knowledge and practical experience with conservation, sustainable management, and wise use of Asian wetlands, and have the opportunity to learn.
2017 is the 25th year since the 1st AWS. On this occasion, we will review the progress on conservation and wise use of Asian wetlands over the past quarter century, identify the current situation, and engage in lively discussions on how to achieve sustainable management of wetland ecosystems in the next quarter century and beyond.

Dates: Tuesday, November 7 to Saturday, November 11, 2017
Location: Hotel Grande Hagakure (2-1-36 Tenjin, Saga City, Saga Prefecture)

4) Academic Societies

<Literature, Philosophy, Education, Psychology, Sociology, History>

<Law, Politics>

  • The Association for Taiwan Studies
  • (In Japanese Only)

<Economics, Commercial Science, Management>




<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences>

5) Japanese Language Tests

4.Business News

JASSO provides information about job-search for both current and graduate international students!

1) Job Hunting Event Information

The Program for Advancement of Foreign Human Resources is launched in 2015, as a collaborative effort of related government ministries and agencies, and other relevant organizations. The Program seeks to increase employment of international students in Japan, and hence increase the number of highly skilled international professionals in the future, following the recent trend in policy that includes the 2014 revision of “Japan Revitalization Strategy – Japan is Back” (approved by the Cabinet on June 24th, 2014). The ultimate aim is to vitalize the Japanese economy further and enhance Japan’s presence in the global economy.
Through seminars, events and other activities, the Program will strengthen the system of connecting international students and other foreign nationals looking for employment in Japan, with companies in Japan looking to recruit international employees.

Events for International Student

Useful Web Site for International Students

2) Job Hunting Report

Tripathi Gyanendra Nath

Name: Tripathi Gyanendra Nath
Nationality: Indian
University in Japan: Kyushu Institute of Technology
Major: Brain Science and Engineering (Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering)
Period of study in Japan: April 2013 to March 2016
Name of Company: Renesas Electronics Corporation
Japanese proficiency level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N3

The opportunity to study in Japan was introduced by a friend who is also studying at Kyushu Institute of Technology. After that, I chose my advisor and which research department I should join based on my specialized field. Receiving the JASSO scholarship was another reason that I selected Japan for my studies.

The reason I chose to find employment in Japan was that the level of technology is higher in Japan, and I would not have been able to do the job I wanted to do in my home country. I also fell in love with Japanese culture (Zen, tea ceremony, everyday life, and festivals) while I was studying here. Also, since I studied Japanese language and became proficient, I decided to find a job here. I currently work for Renesas Electronics. It’s a global semiconductor manufacturer, and I joined because I was able to get interviewed in English and it was a job related to my specialized field. My job is developing solutions with microcomputers.

The most important thing when searching for a job is to thoroughly research companies. Rather than simply relying on company information sessions and information on their websites, it’s important to gather various information about the company on your own. I picked out the companies I was interested in about a year before I started my job hunting activities and thoroughly researched them. I chose the companies that fit with my own research or that were involved in similar research. It’s also important to carefully prepare so that you can answer questions about your reasons for applying and what you researched at your university. You should think about what kind of job you want to do at that company and what you bring to the table.

My advice to students who are going to start job hunting is that the most important thing once you join a company is interpersonal relations. Even at companies that conduct interviews in English, once you join the company, most of your co-workers will be Japanese people so if you can’t speak Japanese you won’t be able to communicate with them, and it could lead to misunderstandings. So I think it’s important to study the language.

3) Job Hunting Information Article

Perform self-analysis in preparation for job hunting.

What is self-analysis?
Self-analysis is learning deeply about yourself by reflecting on the past and sorting through your experience, interests, and thoughts. At interviews and on applications, you will be asked what you worked on as a student, what your strong points are, etc. These are things you will talk about based on past experience, so it is necessary to perform self-analysis. By performing self-analysis, you will learn what to say to communicate things about yourself, and it will give you a focal point for choosing a company to work for.

How to perform self-analysis
One way to perform self-analysis is the self history method. Reflect back on your life starting with your childhood and write about what you put the most effort into and what decisions you made from elementary school up until the present. When doing this, provide details on how you worked on those things and why you made those decisions. The result will be an understanding of what you thought about in the past and what criteria you acted on.

It is not enough to perform self-analysis by yourself, however. Many times friends, family and others around you can identify appealing characteristics that you have not noticed about yourself. Asking others about your strong points also leads to a more objective understanding of yourself. Try performing a self-analysis, and enlist the cooperation of those around you.

See the following resource for a detailed explanation of self-analysis and evaluation:
Job Hunting Guide for International Students P7–P9

5. Visit Japan

Have you been travelling around Japan? In this section, we bring you information about sights, events, and foods from all over the country! The October edition looks at Kochi prefecture.

Kochi prefecture

Shimanto-gawa River
Courtesy of Kochi Visitors & Convention Association

This is the longest river in Shikoku and is second to the Yoshino-gawa River in terms of basin size. No dams have been constructed along its main course, so it is called Japan’s last clear stream. There are many bridges from upstream to downstream that are designed to be submerged during a flood. They do not have railing and are constructed in such a way as to not be washed away when river levels rise. Not only are they a lifeline to the residents of the area but they are also a symbol of the Shimanto-gawa River.

Monet’s Garden Marmottan in Kitagawa Village
Courtesy of Kochi Prefecture

This garden is a reproduction of one in France that fascinated impressionist painter Claude Monet known as “Monet’s Garden.” Monet built his ideal home and garden in Giverny, a commune in northern France. The house and garden were reproduced at Monet’s Garden Marmottan in Kitagawa Village under guidance from the Claude Monet Foundation and opened to the public in 2000. The garden area consists of three gardens: Flower Garden, Water Garden, and Light Garden.

Katsuo Tataki

This is a kind of sashimi made from bonito. The scales are removed from fresh bonito, and it is prepared with the skin. Five slices are put on a metal skewer and seared over straw before being quickly chilled with ice. Topped with chopped green onions, ginger, garlic, and perilla leaf, and eaten with ponzu sauce or salt, it is also called “tosazukuri.

Tosa Washi

Made in Kochi, the Tosa brand of washi (Japanese paper) has a history of more than 1,000 years. Kochi is a prefecture where much Japanese papermaking takes place, and the tradition continues to be kept. The key to producing high-quality Japanese paper is said to be the water and wood from the paper mulberry tree. The fiber of Tosa paper mulberry is thicker and longer than that of other prefectures, making for thin and durable Japanese paper.

Yosakoi Festival

Dancers carry naruko wooden clappers and dance while parading through the downtown areas of the city. Each team of dancers has its own choreography, costume, and music. The different styles of the competition are one of the highlights of the festival. The festival was organized chiefly by the local Chamber of Commerce to revitalize the shopping district about 60 years ago and has grown in scale every year since. It is now a major event with about 190 dance teams from all over the country and more than 20,000 dancers.

6. NIPPON Information

This section features enjoyable stories about pop culture, traditions, dining, cutting-edge technology, and more!

1) NIPPON Time Machine

Jidai Festival (October 22)
Courtesy of Kyoto Tourism Photo Web

The Jidai Festival is one of Kyoto’s three main festivals along with the Aoi Festival and the Gion Festival. The Jidai Festival has the shortest history of the three, planned in 1895 based on the concept of presenting the history and culture of Kyoto at a glance as an event commemorating the 1100th anniversary of the transfer of the capital to Heian-kyo.

The highlight of the festival is seeing the long procession of performers in costumes from each period of time. There are a total of about 2,000 participants forming a procession that is more than two kilometers long. They wear costumes from eight different periods, transitioning in chronological order from the Enryaku period in which Heian-kyo was constructed to the Fujiwara, Kamakura, Yoshino, Muromachi, Azuchi-Momoyama, Edo, and Meiji periods. The clothing and props used for each period are authentic pieces restored using traditional techniques based on careful research.

2) Lifestyle Information

Long Autumn Nights

The sun sets earlier in autumn, and it’s a season in which the nights seem longer than other times of year. How are you going to spend these cool, longer nights?
In Japan, the two weeks from October 27 to November 9 are designated Autumn Book Week. The country has also produced two Nobel laureates in literature in the past. In 1968, Yasunari Kawabata was the first Japanese person to win the Nobel Prize. His most famous works are The Dancing Girl of Izu and Snow Country. In 1994, Kenzaburo Oe won the Nobel Prize. His most famous works are A Personal Matter and The Silent Cry. Haruki Murakami has been a leading candidate for the Nobel Prize. His most important works include Norwegian Wood. Why don’t you spend the longer nights of autumn reading a book, too?

3) Magazines and Brochures from Japanese Government

Providing public relations materials regarding Japan including culture and sport.

7. JASSO News

Information about JASSO Scholarship programs, invitation program, Study in Japan Fairs, and the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU).

1) Schedule, etc. for 2017 Study in Japan Fairs

JASSO holds Study in Japan Fairs overseas to provide information to high school students, university students and other individuals who are interested in studying in Japan. We also attend and cooperate to the events and seminars sponsored by other organizations.

2) Information about the “Student Guide to Japan”

For all those considering studying in Japan, we recommend you to read the “Student Guide to Japan” first.
In addition to information on the Japanese education system, scholarships, and daily life in Japan, the guidebook also includes stories on experience of international students in Japan.
You can read the guidebook on the JASSO website, so we encourage not only those who are considering studying in Japan, but also students already studying in Japan to take a look.

You can read in 14 languages such as Japanese, English, Chinese (Simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese), Korean, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Myanmar language and Bengali, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French, German, Mongolian, and Portuguese.

3) Official Facebook Pages of JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices

We also provide the latest information on studying in Japan on our official Facebook pages. Check them out!

4) Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

5) JASSO Scholarship Programs

6) Web Magazine “Ryugakukoryu”

The October 2017 issue will be published on October 10th. Please make sure to read it!

7) Follow-up Research Fellowship (Invitation Program)

This program provides former international students who play active roles in education, research and government in their home countries to conduct short term research at universities in Japan.

8) Follow-up Research Guidance (Dispatching Research Advisors)

This program provides Japanese academic advisors with an opportunity to visit and to help further research of former international students who are teaching and/or researching at universities or research institutes in their home countries.

8. From the Editor

How did you find the October edition of Japan Alumni eNews?
In October, the gods from each part of Japan gather at Izumo Taisha Shrine to discuss the year’s events and are away from their usual locations. Hence, it is called Kannazuki (month of the gods’ absence).
In this month’s NIPPON Time Machine, we covered Jidai Festival, one of the three major festivals of Kyoto. It is an event where you can learn about the clothing and culture from each period from the Nara period in the 700s to the Meiji period in the 1900s. Many festivals will be held in the fall, so please try to join them by all means.

Japan Alumni eNews Editorial Desk is looking for someone who can share their job searching experiences. We also welcome pictures from your life abroad as an exchange student and your comments for our email magazine. Our next issue of “Japan Alumni eNews” will be distributed on November 10th. Don’t miss it!

  • Information in this issue may change without notice. Please visit their web sites for latest information.
Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
  • Address 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 JAPAN
  • TEL +81-3-5520-6030
  • FAX +81-3-5520-6031
  • E-mail alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
  • Please convert "at mark" to @ when you send an e-mail to us.