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Japan Alumni eNews (Vol.82)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 82 February 10, 2016

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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 Japanv

February of Japan

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


2. Alumni News

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

1)News About International Students

NEWS 1: International students develop small satellite in Japan, the first to be produced by Philippine government

"DIWATA-1", a miniaturized satellite developed by the Department of Science and Technology, the University of the Philippines, Hokkaido University and Tohoku University, is scheduled to be launched towards the International Space Station (ISS) this spring. The Philippine Department of Science and Technology developed the satellite, and funded the launch; the development of the satellite bus was assisted by Tohoku University, and the development of the payload, such as the sensors, were assisted by Hokkaido University. Tohoku University and Hokkaido University are accepting international students and researchers from the Philippines to cultivate human resources, and Japan and the Philippines are jointly working on development projects in Japan.

NEWS 2: More and more Halal restaurants in Tokyo

There is an increasing number of cafes and restaurants in Tokyo, which serve foods that comply with the dietary requirements stipulated by Islamic law. There is the Manhattan FISH Market in Ikebukuro, a Malaysian chain of halal restaurants, and offers halal desserts which are rarely seen in Japan. The Halal Bakery Cafe Liaison, which opened in front of Keio University’s Mita Campus, was the first bakery to obtain a halal certification. Their curry bread that meets halal standards is their signature treat, and many Muslim international students visit.

2)Introduction of Former International Students

Name: Jonas Hanson
Nationality: USA
University in Japan: Osaka University, Osaka School of International Public Policy
Major: International economics
Period of stay in Japan: 5 years

 I often get asked, both in Japan and in the US, why I chose to go and study in Japan. I didn’t have any deep reason - to put it simply, it was because of a few coincidences, and the fact that I had some time.
Before I went to Japan, I had studied economics at an American university, then had joined a logistics-related company. One day, a friend of mine, who had started his own company, said that he wanted my advice on logistics because he wanted to extend his business to Asia, and so we spoke. Before I knew it, my friend had talked me into quitting the company where I was working, and to help out with his company.
After a while, he asked me to go to Asia to prepare for the business expansion there, and I happened to choose Japan as my destination. At the start, the plan was to stay for a few months, and head back to the US after the preparations were complete. But before that happened, my friend became unable to keep up business, and I turned from a businessman who had come on business to Japan, to an out-of-work visitor.
I could have gone back home straightaway, but for some reason I decided to stay on in Japan, thinking, “Well, I have plenty of time, and some money. Maybe I’ll live in Japan for a while.” I had the idea to go to a Japanese graduate school. I had a wish to do research since my student days, and I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea realizing this wish outside my home country.
I had time on my hands so I didn’t have much trouble preparing for my study abroad, but as I had not studied Japanese in advance, I didn’t even have the most basic knowledge, so had some trouble.
My mother language is English, which is a language that give you access to a lot of support in Japan. It’s possible to get by even if you don’t speak much Japanese, but it’s not good if you get too dependent on that environment. For example, you might not be able to get through in English to the staff at the venue of a research conference, and end up in a mutually awkward silence. I don’t there will be anyone who comes to study in Japan with a motive like mine, but I think you should study some language in advance. Luckily, in Osaka there were lots of people who did not hesitate to speak to me, even though I spoke no Japanese. Nowadays, I’m an American who speaks the Kansai dialect, like Steven Seagal.
Since I came back to the US, I’ve been working for a logistics company again. I sometimes communicate with Japanese firms, and on those occasions, I have fun greeting them, saying “Maido!” (a casual greeting in the Kansai dialect).

3) List of Japan Alumni Associations

  • Brazil
    Notheastern Association of Brazilian Former Scholarship and Treinees in Japan
  • URL:
  • (Portuguese version only)

Information about programs for former international students

About the Hiroshima University International Alumni Network

Since 2002, Hiroshima University has established an International Alumni Network primarily for the Asian region, for two reasons: to encourage students who studied at our university, to communicate in their own home countries after they have returned to them; and to strengthen the coordination and human network between alumni and Hiroshima University.
Currently, we have six overseas alumni associations: the Korea Alumni Association, the China Friendship Meeting, Taiwan Friendship Meeting, Vietnam Alumni Association, Brazil Alumni Association, Myanmar Alumni Association, and Malaysia Alumni Association. Furthermore, there are eight registered regional alumni associations: the Shanghai Alumni Association, Beijing Alumni Association, Bandung Alumni Association, Surabaja Alumni Association, Makassar Alumni Association, Jakarta Alumni Association, Northern Vietnam Alumni Association, and Dalian Alumni Association.
The reason that our overseas alumni association are concentrated in Southeast Asia is that there is a tradition of receiving Southeast Asian international students, especially from Indonesia, since receiving 24 “Special Southern International Students” during the war. At present, in November 2015, roughly 20% of all international students are from Southeast Asia.

Please help us build a database of contact details after your departure from Japan

At Hiroshima University, we are building an Alumni Directory for former international students, with the aim of providing information from the university, promoting mutual friendship among former international students, and using the information to build a network.

Please download the format from the above page, and submit to the support office at your faculty or graduate school.
If you could not submit it before returning to your country, or if you are a previous student in Japan who has already returned to your country, please send the format to the e-mail address below.


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.

Hiroshima University

[University profile] (as at November 1st, 2015)
Name: Hiroshima University
Higashihiroshima Campus: 1-3-2 Kagamiyama, Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture
Kasumi Campus: 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture
Higashi-Senda Campus: 1-1-89 Higashi-Senda, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture

Number of students: 10993 undergraduates, 4227 graduates
Number of international students: 64 undergraduates, 1109 graduates

About Hiroshima University

Hiroshima University was founded in 1949 as a composite of a university and a handful of higher education institutions, under the old Japanese system of education. Since then, new faculties and facilities for education and research were added, and now it is one of the leading universities in the country, owning 11 faculties, 11 graduate schools, 1 research institute, as well as education and research facilities, and a hospital.
At present, in November 2015, there are 1284 international students, including special research students and auditing students, from 70 countries and regions.

Faculties and Graduate Schools

The Faculties are as follows.

The Graduate Schools are as follows.

Details such as the required qualifications and the selection method sometimes vary from faculty to faculty, graduate school to graduate school. So please contact the faculty or graduate school where you would like to come and study, and inquire for more details.

Support for international students

Hiroshima University also appoints supervisors, academic staff dedicated to international students, and staff in charge of international students, who offer attentive support so that international students can spend a comfortable and rewarding student life.
Furthermore, we have the International Center as an organization to support international students, and the Health Service Center, which sees to work related to managing the health of students and academic staff, can be contacted in English too. We have a support system in place for students’ health and everyday life, not just for academia.
More information about support for international students is posted on “Momiji”, the portal site that contains information that Hiroshima University students need.

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

Setsutaro Kobayashi Memorial Fund

  • Project name: Foreign Students Research Grant

Since our foundation, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. has been conducting its business activities under our basic principle: to contribute to understanding of human society and the promotion of harmony, through better communication. From this basic stance, we support the research activities of international students in Japan, who are enrolled on a doctoral program. Our fund was set up to commemorate the late Setsutaro Kobayashi, our first president, in order to cultivate personnel who aim to be leaders in their respective fields, countries and regions in the future, through supporting research on international understanding and its promotion, and the academic exchange created in the process.

Eligible areas of research:
Only humanities and social sciences subjects are eligible for the grant, and the research must be an individual effort. We prioritize research in which the researcher deepens understanding and awareness of the society and culture of Japan and Asian and Oceanian nations, and through which international exchange between Japan and these countries may become more active in the future.

The applicant must meet all of the following conditions at the time of application (February 29, 2016), and at the time of receiving the grant.
1. International students who have come to Japan from South Korea, China, Taiwan, Mongolia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Australia, New Zealand, or an island nation in the Oceania region.
2. Those enrolled on a doctoral program at a Japanese graduate school (excluding those equivalent to a master’s program, such as the first stage of the doctoral program), or those who have completed the doctoral program at a graduate school, and is staying on to obtain a Ph.D. However, those who have already obtained a doctorate, and those who are set (including unofficially) to be awarded a doctorate at the time of receiving the grant (end of July, 2016), may not apply.
3. Those who can be recommended by the supervisor.

Grant amount:
the maximum limit is 1.2 million yen per recipient, and we will be choosing around 32 recipients.

Application period:
January 4, 2016 - February 29, 2016


  • To apply, please register the applicant’s information from the application guideline website, and mail the prescribed documents to the office.
  • This fund allows parallel funding with other scholarships and grant money from other grant organizations other than this fund, but beware that other grant organizations do not allow parallel funding.

Setsutaro Kobayashi Memorial Fund, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.
9-7-3 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052
TEL: 03-6271-4368

3) Information and testimonials about scholarships, prizes, appointments etc.

How did the Foundation start? Please tell me more about the Foundation.
The Tokyo YWCA is the Tokyo Branch of Japan YWCA, an international NGO which engages in various activities to realize a peaceful society where human rights, health and the environment are defended. This is in the belief that all people have equal value, based on Christian teachings.
The “Japanese Mothers for International Students” Movement (JMIS) is an initiative that was started in order to promote long-lasting contact, as between family members, even while living separately. It began in 1961 from a friendship between a Japanese lady and an overseas student. As part of its activities, the JMIS Scholarship was set up in 1982, supported by the kind donations and cooperation of many people inside and outside the JMIS movement.

Who is eligible to apply?
The scholarship accepts applications from international students enrolled at a Japanese university (undergraduate), junior college or specialist college, who meet all the conditions below.
1. A self-financing international student with the status of residence “study abroad”
2. A first/second year undergraduate in a Japanese university, first/second year at a junior college, or first/second year at a specialist college (for specialist collegest, those enrolled on Japanese language education programs do not qualify)
3. Able to attend the interview, and the report sessions held three times a year at Tokyo YWCA
4. To not be receiving scholarships or similar totaling over 360,000 yen per year.

How much money do you provide?
We provide 30,000 yen a month. But rather than pay every month, we pay 6 months’ worth of money into recipients’ bank account twice a year, on the last day of July and of October.

How long is the term of the scholarship?
The scholarship term is the one year between April 2016 and March 2017.

When is the application period?
Applications are planned around mid-May, 2016. The details are scheduled to be posted on the Tokyo YWCA website around March.

How do I apply?
Applicants must post to our office 4 documents: the designated “scholarship application form”; a “recommendation letter” from a member of the academic staff at the school at which the student is/was enrolled at this academic year or the previous academic year; an academic transcript (in the case of first years, a transcript from a Japanese language school. If the applicant has not been to a Japanese language school, then a transcript from the school attended during the previous academic year); and a certificate of student status.
We also request that you send us two pieces of writing, one on the theme of “The reason for studying abroad, and future plans” (800 characters max.), and another on “A memorable event from my teens” (600 characters), writing them in the designated writing form.
The designated paper is distributed from the office, or alternatively you can request for it by mail, or download it from the scholarship information page mentioned above.

Are there other things to note when applying?
Scholars are required to attend the report sessions, which are held three times a year at Tokyo YWCA. We also ask scholars to submit, separately from the time of the application, an academic transcript and a report of living situation (in the prescribed form) once a year.
JMIS does not just assist international students financially, but receives them in the members’ homes as part of the family (it is not a home-stay). Our wish is for these relationships to last for a long time, from during the students’ stay in Japan until after they have gone back to their home countries. Please make sure to contact the office in the case of temporary leave of absence from school, change of school, or change of address, telephone number or other contact details.

4) Academic Societies

<Literature, Philosophy, Education, Psychology, Sociology, History>
Japanese Society for the History of Medicine

<Law, Politics>
Japan Association of the Law of Civil Procedure

<Economics, Commercial Science, Management>
Japan Society for Distributive Science

Nano Biomedical Society

The Magnetics Society of Japan

The Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences>
Japanese Society for Surgery of the Foot Secretariat(JSSF)

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 this academic year, 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>

<For both International and Japanese students>

<Useful web site for International students >

<Web sites providing information on“Job Fair and Seminar in 2017” >

<Web sites providing information on“Job Fair and Seminar in 2016” >

2) Job-hunting report

Name: Rafael-Shige Watanuki
Nationality: Brazil
University: Graduate School of International and Regional Studies, Tokai University
Major: International and Regional Studies
Period of stay in Japan: April 2008 - March 2013
Name of Company: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

 As you can see from my name, I’m a Brazilian of Japanese descent. But I didn’t have a particular interest in Japan, and even when I started at university in Brazil, I had not considered coming to study in Japan.
It was around 2005 that this changed. Even though Brazil’s GDP was growing, and its economic growth was being touted, it was a period where you could really feel a mismatch between the movement of money and the social structure, which was yet unable to address income disparities, create more employment, and assist education.
To learn how to solve these problems, I need to leave Brazil, and look at it afresh from another place. Thinking this, I decided to study in Japan, my grandfather’s country, which was an economic powerhouse, had many large companies, and was sure to be socially mature in the grandfather's country.
At first, I planned to get a degree in Japan then head straight back to Brazil. But the society and the economy cannot be understood just by studying theory from books, and doing research. Unless you experience environments that actually operate by those systems and rooms, all you’ll have is knowledge. The more I furthered my research, the stronger that feeling became, and I ultimately made the decision to work in Japan for a Japanese company.
It was tough going through the ‘job-hunting activities’ with Japanese students, but what was most difficult was that many companies asked me at the interview, “Why do you want to work in Japan at our company?” There are many Japanese firms who do business in Brazil, and to put it extremely, in the current situation, if I just wanted to work for a Japanese company, then I could just find work in Brazil.
It was difficult to explain why I wanted to study in Japan, and communicate myself to the recruiting officers. But to put it the other way around, as long as that part is clear, you’ll definitely be able to get through to the interviewers, even if your Japanese is a little shaky.
Research results and Japanese language proficiency is obviously important, but please always consider why you want to work in Japan.
I am currently responsible for analyzing, from the perspective of production and infrastructure, how to stably and efficiently supply hydrogen and electricity, bioethanol, and so on, which the next-generation fuel vehicles require. Brazil is a country with many natural resources, and I believe this work experience can someday contribute to Brazil's economy, environment and society.

3) Job Hunting Information Corner

Rules and customs unique to Japanese companies

Although you will find unique rules and customs in whatever country, Japan also has some that foreigners find difficult to understand. You might feel this often in your daily life too, but in actual business scenes, you will probably be more likely to encounter such situations. In this issue, we will introduce you to rules and customs in Japanese companies that former international students, who actually work in Japan, say took time to get used to.
A former international student from Vietnam, who works for a major construction company, told us that it was particularly difficult to differentiate between the various types of keigo (polite register of Japanese), and that he still gets it wrong sometimes.
“For example, it’s fine to call someone ‘Chief Yamada’ at the office, but in situations where there are people from outside the company present, then you have to call him ‘Yamada’ without titles or honorifics. It took time to get used to those rules about changing how you address people, depending on the situation.”
You can even cause great offence just with a subtle difference in nuance, so this is a point to keep in mind before starting work.
“Someone who always to impress might find it uncomfortable, however skilled he or she”, said a former international student from China, who works as a researcher for a manufacturer.
“Even in researching positions and developing positions, which are all about the individual’s results, you are expected to an extent to build positive relationships with the people around you. If you constantly try to show much better you are than other people, or act as though rules of seniority don't apply to you because you’re so talented, then you might be ostracized by your colleagues.”
Work is of course evaluated according to performance, and the old seniority-based system, by which employees who had been at the company the longest were promoted in turn, is dying out. But companies do tend to place weight on teamwork and group synergy.
It’s important to find out in advance, for example by making the most of OB/OG visits, what the companies are like, and what kind of rules and customs they have.

5. Visit Japan

Nagano 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 February edition looks at Nagano Prefecture.

Mt. Norikura’s “snow corridor”
  • Mt. Norikura’s “snow corridor”

Mt. Norikura is covered in deep snow even in the spring. So when the snow is cleared from the roads, it creates walls of snow as high as 10 meters, on both sides of the road. These walls are known as the “snow corridor”, and is a popular tourist attraction. They can be seen from the Mt. Norikura Spring Mountain Bus, which operate from the end of April to the end of June every year.

  • Tsumago-juku

The Tsumago-juku, which is located in Minami-Kiso in Kiso district, flourished in the Edo period as a post town on the Nakasendo, which connected Edo and Kyoto. It was the first town in Japan to be designated an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional buildings, and boasts the largest total area in Japan. There are restaurants serving local foods, cafes serving sweets, and souvenir stores, and visitors can enjoy strolling around the old-fashioned streets.

Chestnut kanoko
  • Chestnut kanoko

This is a chestnut sweet, and a specialty of Obuse, which is noted for its chestnuts. Chestnut kinton, a staple in the New Year osechi ryori cuisine, has sweet potato sauce around the chestnut; but chestnut kanoko is typically enveloped in sweet chestnut sauce that is made only of fine-quality chestnut and sugar, highlighting the elegant taste of chestnut. It is also popular as a souvenir.

Shinshu Soba
  • Shinshu Soba

This is the general term for soba (buckwheat) noodles made in Nagano Prefecture. There has been much cultivation of buckwheat in the prefecture for centuries, and various regions within Nagano offer distinct brands of soba noodles, such as Togakushi soba, and Kaida soba. The prefecture offers the biggest number of soba restaurants in Japan, so it’s worth going to a few to compare.

Oshika Kabuki
  • Oshika Kabuki

Local kabuki that has been handed down since 1767 in Oshika Village, Shimoina District. It is a nationally-designated Select Intangible Folk Cultural Property. Once a settlement with only a few dozen buildings, there were stages reserved for acting set up in 13 places within the precincts of the shrine and the temple. 7 of these are left today. There are programs that are only known in Oshika, and many tourists gather to see the regular performance which are held every year in the spring and the fall.

  • Nagano Prefecture Official Tourism Website: Go! Nagano
  • Photo credit: Shinshu Nagano Prefecture Tourism Association

6. NIPPON Information

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

1) The plum blossom that heralds the spring

The plum blossom that heralds the spring
  • The plum blossom that heralds the spring

The plum begins to blossom in early spring, when the whether is still cold. They say that “the plum is the earliest of a hundred flowers,” and has been dear to Japanese people for blossoming earlier than any other flower, announcing the advent of spring.
 Some say that the plum was always native to Japan since ancient times, but the most prevalent theory is that it was brought from China in the 7th or 8th century. There are said to be 300 to 400 varieties, which are divided into the hanaume, those planted for visual pleasure, and the miume, those planted for its fruits. The flower’s color ranges from white to pale pink and deep red, and the white plums are called hakubai, and the red plums kobai.
 The plum, which blossoms at the start of spring, are an auspicious symbol, together with the pine, which keeps its leaves even in the freezing cold, and the bamboo, which grows long and strong. The shochikubai (‘pine, bamboo, plum’) is a motif that has been used for centuries in the designs of new-year and congratulatory ornaments, paintings and craft products.
 Nowadays, the cherry blossom is the first flower that comes to Japanese people’s minds; but until the early Heian period (the end of the 8th century to the early 9th century), it was the plum blossom. The Manyoshu, the oldest surviving collection of Japanese waka poetry, there are around a 100 poems that mention plums. In the cold, pure air, the rich fragrance of the plum flower no doubt brought hope to people who longed for the spring. It is still loved by many people today, and tells us first of the arrival of spring in the corner of the garden.

2) Lifestyle Information

If in trouble, contact a consultation desk for foreigners

 Although life in a country with a different language and culture is exciting, you can get lost as to what to do, when you encounter trouble. Universities and Japanese language schools have a consultation desk for international students. Municipal offices and international exchange organizations also have a consultation desk set up for foreigners. There are are some that will offer advice for international students and counseling support, in addition to issues related to daily life. If you have a problem, seek help from someone, rather than try to face it by yourself.

Municipality consultation desks for foreigners
There are many municipal offices that have consultation desk in place for foreigners, so inquire at the office in the area you live in. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government's consultation service is available in English, Korean and Chinese. The telephone number and the opening hours are as follows.
English: 03-5320-7744 (Monday - Friday) 9:30 - 17:00
Korean: 03-5320-7700 (Wednesday) 9:30-17:00
Chinese: 03-5320-7766 (Tuesday - Friday) 9:30 - 17:00

Tokyo YWCA Foreign Students' Advisory Center
This is a consultation service for international students. On top of advice about educational careers, scholarships, accommodation, part-time work and job-hunting, this service also provides information about home-stays and home-visit programs, and opportunities to practice conversations in Japanese with volunteers. The Center also receives telephone calls.

Telephone: 03-3293-1233

Inochi no Denwa
This service offers over-the-phone counseling about issues and troubles. The service is based all over the country, but here are a few numbers that you can call in a language other than Japanese.
Tokyo English Inochi no Denwa (TELL Japan): 03-5774-0992 (English)
Yokohama Inochi no Denwa: 0120-66-2477 (Spanish) 0120-66-2488 (Portuguese)
Hamamatsu Inochi no Denwa: 080-3068-0333/053-474-0333 (Portuguese)
Kansai Lifeline: 06-6441-9595 (Taiwanese, Mandarin)

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 2015 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 foreign 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.

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 February 2016 issue will be published on February 10th. Please make sure to read it!

7) 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

[From the Editor]
How did you find the February edition of Japan Alumni eNews?
We introduced the plum blossom in NIPPON Time Machine this month. There are shrines called the Tenmanguu Shrine, many of which are famous plum blossom spots across Japan. It enshrines an aristocract from the Heian period called Sugawara no Michizane, who is known as a scholar and politician. He was said tohave been fond of the plum, so plum blossom trees came to be planted in the shrine’s precincts. Although the shrine was originally built to avoid being cursed by Michizane, who died under unfortunate circumstances, but he is now a familiar figure as the god of learning. There is said to be between a few thousand and ten thousand Tenman-gu shrines in Japan, so there may be a plum blossom spot that you’re unaware of near your own house.

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 March 10th. Don’t miss it!

  • Information in this issue may change without notice. Please visit their web sites for latest information.
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Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
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