Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 91 November 10th, 2016

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 91

1. Life in Japan by Photo Memories of Japan (Photo from readers)

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

November of Japan

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



Shinjuku Imperial Garden

Shinjuku Imperial Garden

Chuzenji Lake

Chuzenji Lake

Haza hanging rice

Haza hanging rice

2. Alumni News

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

1) News on International Students

NEWS 1 : The number of international conference opened in Japan of 2015 marked highest in the past

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) gathered information based on convention associations throughout the Japan, the number of international conference opened in Japan was 2,847 and it is 9.9 percent increase compared to last year. See this number by city, No.1 is 23 Wards of Tokyo with 557 conferences, No.2 is Fukuoka with 363 conferences, and No.3 is Sendai with 221 conferences. From now on, JNTO is going to make purpose of Japan Revitalization Strategy come true such as “get a permanent place as No.1 place of international conference in Asia by 2030” by connecting not only big cities but also local cities and promote attraction of international conferences.

NEWS 2 : International exchange event “Beyond2020 Grand sumo tournament” had opened

Nihon Sumo Kyokai (Japan Sumo Association) held the international exchange event which enhance opportunities for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic“Beyond2020 Grand Sumo Tournament” on October 4 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Sumida, Tokyo for better understanding of national sport and Japanese culture. In front of about 2,300 guests including international students and disabled people, top-division wrestler showed a match and a ceremony of entering the ring. Sumo Wrestlers welcomed visitors and at the match, there was announce of simultaneous interpretation in English for foreigners. Sumo Wrestlers got a big hand from the audience when they have grapple and festive ceremony of entering the ring.

2) Introduction of Current International Students

Phan Quynh Uyen

Name: Phan Quynh Uyen
Nationality: Vietnamese
University in Japan: Osaka Prefecture University
Major: Environmental System Sciences
Academic year: Sophomore
Period of Stay in Japan: From April 2013 to present
Japanese proficiency level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1


The reason I chose Japan to study is that I liked the cute voice of Japanese anime character when I was an elementary school student. I had a dream, I could speak Japanese someday. When I entered a high school, I wanted to challenge living by my own and the past dream which want to master Japanese got together. Then, I decided to come to Japan as study abroad.

Currently I’m studying in Osaka Prefecture University majoring Environmental System Sciences. I took introduction curses which are common subject of study field at first grade and got cross-disciplinary perspective. At second grade, I took courses such as “environmental ecology of marine and land”, “environment policy studies”, and “environmental sociology” and learnt interdisciplinary knowledge and methodology. Furthermore, I took science subjects such as “community hygiene” and “atmosphere and marine environmental studies”. From third grade, I’m going to take “environmental assessment studies” and “environmental restoration studies “to strengthen expertness.

My favorite Japanese tool is a vending machine. I knew it before coming to Japan but vending machines in Japan sells variety products such as drink, snacks, daily necessities and so on. IT is very useful and helping everyday life.

My dream is to spread the taste of Vietnamese cuisine to all over the world. I would like to start this dream by opening restaurant in Osaka. I’m thinking to prepare not only famous Vietnamese food but also home-cooked food with full flavor of imported local Vietnamese coffee. By offering Vietnamese food and drink, I make a restaurant as a place to spread Vietnam culture.

I think international students whose studying in Japan must feel homesick and anxious sometimes but at the same time, there are many attract things. I believe if you set a goal, live in your way, and make effort day by day, you can accomplish a result someday for sure. So please hang in.

3) List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of “Support for International Students Returning Home”

JDS Alumni Association Mongolia

Volunteers of Mongolian students returning home who got grant by JDS established “JDS Alumni Association Mongolia” in December 2015. JDS is a scholarship project and has started in 1999 for human resource development of young administrative officers in developing countries by JICA. In Mongol, JDS project started in 2001 and the number of dispatched international students is about 280 at the time of August 2016. From this time, the association is going to create opportunity for an Mongolian students returning home to serve as a bridge for both countries and strength network between former students by sharing information of activities in own country and connecting related people.

Secretarial organization of JDS
Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE)
Person in Charge: Shikano
TEL: 976-11-327052
Mail: jds.mongolia@jice.org

3. Academic News

Introducing 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.

Musashino University

Musashino University

General Outline of the University
Name: Musashino University
Musashino Campus: 1-1-20 Shin-machi, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo
Ariake Campus: 3-3-3 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Number of students: 8,219 (Undergraduate), 339 (Graduate)
Number of international students: 349 (Undergraduate), 148

1. About Musashino University

Established in 1924, Musashino University has a rich history and tradition, centered on the spirit of Buddhism. It offers a wide range of programs and has continued to advance the quality of its education and research. With its newly established vision of “Shaping the Happiness of the World,” the school aims to prepare students to contribute to the betterment of the world through refining individual sensibility, expanding their knowledge, enhance ability to collaborate and co-create.

2. Outline and features of distinctive courses

This program aims to develop individuals who can succeed on the global stage in business or academia using Japanese language. Students from Japan and other countries learn side-by-side to master business communications skills in Japanese, and develop better understanding of Japanese culture (including subculture) and Japanese business culture. Students are also expected to acquire skills necessary to become a Japanese language instructor.

(Japanese version only)
Note: Programs start in the spring and fall

Offered only to international students, this course aims to develop individuals with advanced business Japanese proficiency. Students improve their Japanese by learning business communication skills, inter-cultural coordination skills, problem-solving skills through project-based classes, through partnerships with industry players and internship opportunities.

3. Support for International Students

We offer dedicated counselors for international students and offer individual support such as academic writing, preparing for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. There are various opportunities for practicing communications and activities through the support system with Japanese students and Japanese senior-supporters. International students can take advantage of career counseling and job placement support tailored to international students, including internship opportunities. Finally, in April 2015, the Kasai International Dormitory was opened to create a nurturing environment for both Japanese and international students.

(Japanese version only)

2) Application information for scholarships, grants, appointments, prizes etc.


Project Title:11th fellowship project (research grant)
Shikohin study project has started in 2001 by volunteers to research about Shikohin (luxury). While researching about open up various “Pleasure” world start from Shikohin, we started a research grant project to research next generation Shikohin culture and support young researchers who has interested in possibility of Shikohin.
Applicant Eligibility:
1. This grant is for research about culture of Shikohin in various generation and area. It won’t accept only research by viewpoint of pharmaceutical sciences, medical science, and nutritional science.
Note: Shikohin means things only for pleasure, not for nutrition intake like typical example such as alcohol, cigarette, coffee, tea and so on.
2. This grant is for personal research and cover overseas research.
3. Applicant must study in graduate school in Japan when the applicant started research.
Note: Include international students. It is accept apply from people who will be in graduate school next year, who take a leave of absence, and who stays in overseas.
4. Applicant must attach recommendation paper by advisor of the university you are in when sending application form.
Application period:
Entry must arrive by Monday, December 26, 2016
Amount of grant
600,000 JPY per case
How to apply:
1. Download application form from the website below.
2. Fill out the form in Japanese by type or black ink and get recommendation from advisor of your university. Then send us by mail include a reply envelope for selection result. We do not accept submit by hand, e-mail, and fax.
Public offering of research grant project, Shikohin study project bureau Inside of CDI, 83 Tomoe-cho, Ebisugawadori-Muromachi-Higashiiru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-0863
TEL: 075-253-0660
FAX: 075-253-0661
E-mail: shikohin@cdij.org

(Japanese version only)

Toka Kyoiku Bunka Koryu Zaidan

Project title:Grant of self-supporting international student from China
The purpose of organization is to drive international students exchange between Japan and China by offering grant and expect the grant will contribute to the both countries understanding and friendship activities.
Applicant Eligibility:
The applicant must be over third grade of Japanese University or study in a graduate school or going to enter at the date of April 1, 2017. The applicant must be self-supporting students from China including Taipei, Honking, and Macao who is recognized as person needs economic support, person with good grades, and person with good health. Application period: November 20, 2016(must be postmarked by the deadline)Only accept by mail
Amount of grant
100,000JPY per month for a year from April 2017 to March 2018 (continuing recipient is allowed)
How to apply:
Send the following documents by mail.
1. Application form
2. Recommendation letter from the advisor (the letter must seal off by the reference and only written in Japanese will be accepted)
3. Questionnaire
4. Research plan
5. Any one copy of (1) or (2)
(1) If you are already a student of university or graduate school at the application date: school certificate
(2) If you are going to enter graduate school from April 2017: copied letter of acceptance
6. Academic transcript
7. Any one copy of resident certificate issued by administrative institution where you live or vivid copy both side of residence card
8. One copy of passport
9. A reply envelope
From 1-3, please download designated format from the website below:

(Japanese version only)

Toka Kyoiku Bunka Koryu Zaidan
2-12, Ginza 8 -chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0061
TEL: 03-3571-7613
FAX: 03-3572-5943
E-mail: info@donghua.or.jp

(Japanese version only)

3) Information about international symposium

10th International Conference of Japanese literature “Soseki Natsume International Symposium”

This conference hosted by Department of Japanese Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters of Ferris University and it marks 10 times since beginning. Theme of the conference is “How Soseki read the world? How world reads Soseki?” featuring “Soseki Natsume” who is Japanese famous writer died 100 years ago and celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth in coming 2017.

(Japanese version only)
Date: Thursday, December 8, 2016 – Saturday, December 10, 2016
- Ferris University Ryokuen Campus (Thursday and Friday, December 8 and 9, 2016)
- Yuraku-cho Asahi Hall (Saturday, December 10, 2016)
Organizer: Asahi Shimbun Company, Iwanami Shoten, Japan Foundation, and Ferris University

4) Academic Societies

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

<Law, Politics>

<Economics, Commercial Science, Management>




<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences>

5) Japanese Language Test

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 being launched from 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.

For International students

Useful web site for International students

2) Job-hunting report

Paulo Queiroz sousa

Name : Paulo Queiroz sousa
Nationality : Brazilian
University in Japan : Graduate school of Tohoku University
Major : Environmental Studies
Period of company : From April 2001 to March 2005, October 2010 to September 2015
Name of company : EX Research Institute Ltd.
Japanese proficiency level : Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1

When I was a high school student in Norway, I studied Japanese and Chinese history about a year. It was really interesting and I wanted to keep study at university but there were only a few universities which has “Asian history” major in my home country aka Brazil at that time. At the year of 2000, I knew the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan has a scholarship program for university students and graduate school students so I entered. I passed the paper test and interview, then came to Japan in 2001.

I experienced life and custom of Japan as a university student but I had a thought, if I go back to home country without any working experience in Japan, I might regret at some point. So I decided to enter a venture company in Tokyo after graduated from School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University. Although while I was working for 3 years in that company, I wanted to work something related to the key word of “Environment”. Then, I got back to university to have master and doctor degree. I spent 5 years to have professional knowledge and skill and now I’m working for an environment consulting company that I can use my ability. My current job is in international consulting department and I support in various aspect of environment solution and environment business which develop in overseas by Japanese government and ministry, International Cooperation Agency, and private companies. My dream is to contribute to better environment of earth through my job in the future.

About what you should be careful at interview of job-hunting, it is important to explain how your strength is merit for a company. Also, it is important to have flexible response for unknown questions from interviewer. If you have confidence, tell your weakness honestly and then explain what you do to overcome for that.

While you are doing job-hunting, I think you don’t really know what you want to do or even you have a dream, you don’t know how to make it. Important thing is do it, do something anyways. Why? Because you will know and find things through firsthand knowledge and experiences. Doing such things over and over, you are going to realize or see what you want to do and how in the process.

3) Job Hunting Information Corner

Start preparing things for job-hunting

Have you started prepare things for job-hunting, those who will graduate March 2018? Job-hunting in Japan starts from company information session in March and interview and other screening process in June, but basically Japanese students start prepare things before March. What you should do to prepare is things below.

1. Self-analyze…u ssjob-huntingt some point.r you have a dreamLook back to the past to know what you have interest and who you are like.
2. Research industry and company…Research about industry and company to know your interest and which fits you.
3. Paper test…Study SPI before take tests and get used to the questions.
4. Entry sheet…Write things asked frequently such as about self-PR and what you made effort while in University then ask peers to check.
5. Visit OBOG…To meet seniors whose working at industry or company you are interested in to know the industry and company deeply.
6. Internship…Join internship which opens while winter or spring (Feb) vacation to know company well.


Self-analyze is organize your strength and weakness, like and dislike, specialty and ability, interest, dream, sense of value, and attitude on life by ask yourself. Look back the past and take a look of yourself again to know the way you are that you didn’t notice before by visualize the future of ideal situation. The reason of doing self-analyze is to find suit job for you and to appeal yourself well on entry sheet and job-interview. There is a way to write personal history to do self-analyze. Look back from young age, elementary school to present and at each timing, write out what you did hard and what decision you made. When you write, you should write how you did things hard and why you made decision. By doing this, you will know what you had in your mind and your code of behavior. Also ask what is good about you from people around you such as your family and friends, you will also know about you objectively. Please do self-analyze to get help from people around.

5. Visit Japan

Kyoto prefecture

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

Fushimiinari-taisha Shrine

The head shrine of about three thousand Inari-jinja shrines in Japan. Also it’s the most popular tourism spot for foreign visitors in 2015. The shrine was built in 711 and nowadays, over 270 million people come and pray for success in business at New Year. Famous thing of Fushimiinari-taisha is the Senbon Torii (a thousand torii). Go through continuing thousands Torii, you can have extraordinary experience. This is a spot often used for TV and movie shooting. Omikuji (paper fortune) of Fushimiinari-taisha has Daikichi (good luck) and better one, Daidaikichi (very very good luck).

Kiyomizu-deera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera temple is the most famous tourism spot in Kyoto and over 5 million tourists visit in a year. It is registered as world heritage and built by a traditional Japanese method of construction called “Kakezukuri” which uses slope of cliff and mountain. It built with 400 years old Japanese zelkova without nails and also used various measures, this architectural structure is proud of high technique. Furthermore, there is a power spot called Otowa no taki Waterfall. The fresh water gush from the Otowa Mountain and the name of waterfall derived from this. It is believed the water has benefit for “academic achievement”, “relationship achievement”, and “life-sustaining achievement”. Choose one benefit and only have a sip is enough to make your wish come true.

Matcha (powdered green tea)

Matcha is a powdered Tencha (a kind of steamed green tea) and its production volume of Kyoto is the largest in Japan. Especially the production area Uji is famous for the brand of powdered green tea, and it is represent good taste of Matcha. Powdered green tea is used for Japanese tea ceremony for drink, Japanese and western confectionery and cooking as standard ingredient since it has a taste of making refined sweetness. Especially in Kyoto, there are many place and souvenir shops offer sweets such as cake, ice cream, parfait, jelly and so on.

Kyo Yuzen Dyeing

Yuzen is a method of dyeing pattern on fabric which made by Yuzensai Miyazaki, a painter of folding fans in the year of 1678 in Kyoto. Since Kyoto is a place for aristocracy and court noble, a really gorgeous dyed fabric was loved by people. The fabric mainly dyed bright colors of red-based and express floridness and gorgeousness by added technique of embroidery, gilding, and tie-dye. Yuzen dyeing in these days are 2 ways, one is used pattern to dye same design for large number of Kimono called “Kata (pattern) yuzen” and another one is write pattern by hand and dye called “hand-drawn yuzen”.

Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro

“Kyoto Hanatouro” is a project for making new tourism resource themed “Lights” started in Higasiyama area from 2003 and the purpose of Hanatouro is going to be a new seasonal tradition of nights of Kyoto start from 21st century. From 2005, there is also a “Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro” every December in Saga and Arashiyama area. It uses scenery and historical culture assets of Saga and Arashiyama area, about 2,500 lights pf paper lantern and work of floral arrangements line up and add a nice touch to about 5 kilometers road. Also, around Togetsukyo Bridge and bamboo forest areas are lit up and the sight there is overwhelming.

6. NIPPON Information

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

1) NIPPON Time Machine


Torinoichi is an annual event of various shrines of Washi (Eagle) in every region of Japan. On the day of the Tori (Rooster) in November (11th at this year), shrines open Ichi (open- air market) and the accrual event called “Torino-ichi”. The popular thing of Torinoichi is a bamboo rake with many lucky charms called Engi-kumade. Many people come to Torinoichi to pray for good fortune and good business of New Year and this is continuing typical annual event from Edo period.

It is said that the origin of Torinoichi is Otori-jinja Shrine in Hanamata Village (which is present Hanahata, Adachi Ward, Tokyo) and the style of festival that time was harvest festival to thank Otori Daimyojin (the Great Eagle God) as village shrine by neighbor farmers. On the day of the festival, people dedicated chicken to Otori Daimyojin to celebrate harvest of autumn and after the festival finished, gathered chicken carried to Sensoji in Asakusa, then release in front of Kannon-do.

Engi-kumade used to sell as kumade for farm tool at Torinoichi, then people use kumade to resemble tool for gather luck, gold, and silver. People decorate kuamde with various lucky charms and the kumade has a meaning of good business and good luck. For more luck for the next year, it is said that it is better for Kumade-mamori (rake-shaped amulets) to buy a bigger kumade year after year. Bring back kumade to home in higher position to shovel big luck and put it on the higher position of entrance or dedicate it on a home shrine before starting New Year.

Torinoichi is a seasonal event which tells beginning of prepare things for New Year. Why don’t you enjoy Torinoichi by giving more than a passing thought to coming year?

2) Lifestyle Information

Soba (buckwheat noodle)

Soba (buckwheat noodle)
In autumn, you can see signs known as “New crop soba” at every soba restaurant. There are two types of soba, such as “summer soba” and “autumn soba”. Basically, “autumn soba” is available at restaurant in October and November. “New crop soba” is a freshly harvested soba. In general, autumn soba has a better aroma and taste and you can see green colored soba a lot and it’s beautiful than usual ones. So, normally people think “New crop soba” is freshly harvested autumn soba.

The history of soba in Japan has a really long history. In Kochi prefecture, pollen of soba found at archaeological site from 9300 years ago and it is considered that buckwheat's seed which is basic ingredient of soba has cultivated at that time. It is said that people eat soba as powder by grind on top of stone. In Edo period, the style of soba became long and thin noodle. People learn how to make soba by monk from Korea and use buckwheat flour and small amount of wheat flower to make the noodle as it is now. Soba does not take time to eat and delicious, so workers from local areas to Edo liked it very much.

There are countless soba restaurant in Edo period. Some of the soba restaurant is still open as well-established restaurant now. Representative Soba restaurant continuing from Edo period as Edo soba are “Sunaba”, “Sarashina”, and “Yabu” and it is called “the three branch families of goodwill”.

Soba contains various things such as rutin and choline. Rutin makes blood clean, lower blood pleasure, less likely to have diabetes, prevent heart disease, and prevent senile. Choline has good effect on protecting cirrhosis and arterial sclerosis, less likely to have autonomic imbalance. Furthermore, soba has various good effects such as recovery from exhaustion by pantothenic acid, prevent freckle by cis Umbellic acid, and prevent bowel cancer and constipation by high-fiber.

7. JASSO News

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

1) Schedule, etc. for 2016 Japan Education Fairs

JASSO holds Japan Education 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 November 2016 issue will be published on November 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 November edition of Japan Alumni e-mail newsletter?
November is called Shimotsuki and it is a beginning of winter. Shimo is a crystal of white ice which is made of water vapor in the air when the temperature is below zero and got frozen on the ground. After temperature gets low and air gets dry, cold and flu is start to epidemic. To prevent cold, basic things to do are “wash hands frequently”, “wear mask”, and “avoid people who has symptoms”. If your strength and resistance are low, it is easy to infect by virus than other people around you. To have healthy body that can fight with cold, take enough sleep, enough nutrition, and exercise moderately.

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 December 9th. 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 address is 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 JAPAN
  • TEL (telephone) number is +81-3-5520-6030
  • FAX (facsimile) number is +81-3-5520-6031
  • E-mail E-mail address is alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
  • Please convert "at mark" to @ when you send an e-mail to us.