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How about this opinion? [Last updated: 2012/1/13 14:33]
>> How about this opinion? - Tak Sakai     [2003/9/23 15:38]
Hello!
It is now autumn! In Japan, they say it to be the best season for reading books. Then I was reading some book, in which I found out an interesting opinion saying " Only Japanese people feels comfortable by the sound of insects as that of ringing-bells, violins and so on. While, other than Japanese people doesn't especially."
How about this opinion?
Opinions of yourselves for/against this opinion would be much appreciated.
I hear comfortably the sound of insects through the window here. Thank you.
Tak Sakai

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Sympathy and Support to Yamakoshimura [Last updated: 2012/1/13 14:29]
>> Sympathy and Support to Yamakoshimura - Jorge H. Primavera     [2005/3/4 18:59]
Last March 18, 2005, I, together with Lin-san, and Mihai-san, together with Kubota-san of UMEX, had the opportunity to convey IUJfs and UMEXfs sympathies and support to the people of Yamakoshimura through a meeting with its town head, Nakajima-soncho.

Yamakoshimura is a mountain village in Niigata famous for its annual bullfighting festival and as a place where colorful and very expensive carps are grown.  The recent earthquake has caused a lot of damage to the village and made it inaccessible as the road going there was destroyed.  

The meeting took place at the government building being temporarily occupied by the Yamakoshimura town officials, in Nagaoka City, just beside the Nagaoka City government building.  There, we gave UMEXfs token donation (gienkin in Nihongo) to Nakajima-soncho as our little way of showing our support to the village.

Nakajima-soncho updated us with the status of the village.  He told us that all the residents have now moved to other places as the heavy snowfall has made access to the village impossible.  At the time of the meeting, he said that snow in the village has reached more than three meters, so much higher than what we have in Urasa.  The residents would be returning to their homes as soon as possible and hopefully return to their normal way of life.  The bulls have been moved elsewhere, though we were sad to learn that some of them have died. Nakajima-soncho was very appreciative of our support and invited us to come and see the bullfighting event as soon as they can hold it again.

As the four of us had been to Yamakoshimura and seen the bullfighting event held there through a field trip organized by UMEX last June, we deeply condole with the residents as they go through many difficulties brought about by the recent earthquake.  Yamakoshimura is a very beautiful mountain village.  One thing I particularly remember about it is that its rice fields seemed to look like artificial rice fields because everything seemed to look perfectly planted and neatly arranged.  

We hope that the bullfighting event can still continue despite of what has happened. The annual bullfighting event has been going on for at least a thousand years already and we know deep inside that not even an earthquake can make this cultural tradition disappear.

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Impression Regarding Rice Seedling Plantation [Last updated: 2012/1/13 14:21]
>> Impression Regarding Rice Seedling Plantation - Dieter Avonds     [2005/7/1 21:43]
Today, two weeks after the rice planting trip, the mosquito bites remember me at
this nice event. We left IUJ in the morning and arrived at Tookamachi City around
eleven pm. When we arrived the school children and there teachers were waiting
outside. They were just like us very exited about the coming day. After a short
introduction of ourselves we drove with the bus up to the rice fields in the beautiful
mountainous area.

Now the real work could start. After a short explanation we could start planting the
rice. On first sight it looked very easy but my perspective changed quickly. The
children had more capacities than us to plant the rice. The result of all the work was
a nice field build up by a diversity of cultures hand in hand.

After the hard work efforts everybody felt hungry. The mothers of the school
children made a rich variety of traditional, delicious Japanese food.

This day was for me a very special day. I could experience the hospitality of the
Japanese people. I am very thankful that the students of the school showed me
something of their culture. I learned that the process from seed to rice plant is long
and asks for good care. The next time I eat rice with my friends in Europe I can tell
them how much effort and dedication it takes to create this high quality product.


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X'mas concert in Kitasato hole [Last updated: 2012/1/13 14:02]
>> X'mas concert in Kitasato hole - Totoro     [2003/12/10 23:30]
The X'mas concert in Kitasato medical school is held in Dce 13th, 17:00`. For free. If you have free time, please coming!

The program is ubody percussionsv,uVocal musicv,uchorusv,uhand bellsv,uensemblev,urecordersv,upianov,upipe organv so on. I'll singing uMoscow nightsv, this time.

We are waiting you!! See you!!

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Report on gThe Japanese Tea Ceremonyh [Last updated: 2012/1/13 13:28]
>> Report on gThe Japanese Tea Ceremonyh - Shukhrat     [2003/9/10 18:40]
One of the wonderful cultural programs organized by UMEX was gThe Japanese Tea Ceremonyh which took place in Koide on September 4, 2003. The students who participated in this event had very great opportunity to see and feel one of Japanfs cultural traditions in place.

We started the ceremony from the tsukubai (stone basin), which was set among low stones with fresh water. Taking a ladle of water we purified our hands and mouth than we entered the teahouse. Inside the room we didnft see any decorations except for an alcove. Hanging in the alcove was a kakejiku (scroll painting), carefully selected by the host, which revealed the theme of the ceremony.

The ceremony itself consisted of many rituals that had to be learned by heart. Almost each hand movement was prescribed. The tea was first prepared by the host, and then drunken by the guests. During the ceremony we also saw the way how the tea was prepared and by its end the host kindly showed and explained us the main tea utensils.

At the conclusion, we expressed our appreciation for the tea and admiration for the art of the host.

>> Re: Report on gThe Japanese Tea Ceremonyh - Tak Sakai     [2003/9/23 16:43]
To Shukhrat-san,
I am very much surprised to read " The ceremony itself consisted of many rituals that had to be learnt by heart" , you wrote.
I know that your understanding is correct and wonderful, though I haven't exact knowledge of tea ceremony.
Wishing you to understand further of Japanese culture.
Thank you very much. T.Sakai

[ Reply ]

Hottoke-Night Dinner Party [Last updated: 2012/1/13 13:21]
>> Hottoke-Night Dinner Party - Kyoko Ode     [2008/2/13 21:11]
Shapla Neer Caravan comes to Urasa on Feb 14

Mr. Atsushi Ojima (33) has just came back to Japan, after working in Bangladesh for more than 2 years. He will talk about NGOs/Fairtrade in Bangladesh and share his experience of international development with us.

Date: 18:00-21:00, Thursday, February 14, 2008
Place: Musodo (5142-1 Urasa, Minamiuonuma-shi) 10 minutes walk from JR Urasa station, next to Care house Suzukake.
Fee: 3,000 yen (including catered Asian food, vegetarian menu are also available.)
RSVP
Tel: 080-5003-0322

Organized by Hottokenai Café
Supported by e-activists and Fairtrade MAVI

Hottokenai café is a not-for-profit, English speaking café, run by Community Leaders Network and supported by volunteers. We are one of the participating organizations to the world campaign known as gMake Poverty Historyh and promote fairtrade.

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UMEX BBQ & Rice Harvesting [Last updated: 2012/1/13 13:00]
>> UMEX BBQ & Rice Harvesting - Anna     [2009/10/4 15:51]
Dear UMEX team,

I wish to express my gratitude to all of your great effort in introducing us, IUJ students, to Japanese culture particularly around Urasa and neighboring cities. We were very delighted to meet some of UMEX members during our first event, which was UMEX BBQ.
Most of UMEX members speak very good English, and I found no difficulties to speak in my poor Japanese with them.
Today we had the second UMEX event, which was the 'Rice Harvesting' near Tokamachi. It was such a beautiful scenery we had from Urasa to Tokamachi. We went through valleys and few tunnels. Once we arrived there, we were warmly welcomed by Japanese locals, and directly guided to rice field.
After grabbing a pair of gloves and a scythe, we began to cut some rice corps. It was difficult at the very beginning, but we managed to learn it quickly. It was lots of fun, and stress-relieving activity.
Then we got a chance to see how rice corps being harvested by machine, taken to factory, reaped, dried, and finally polished.
So it took long journey from corps to Gohan which we eat in canteen.. I was very happy and excited to see the whole process, and I wish to thank UMEX for making this wonderful trip happened.

Anna Y. Khodijah
E-Biz Student 2009-2010
Indonesia

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My memory of UMEX and my latest report [Last updated: 2012/1/13 12:11]
>> My memory of UMEX and my latest report - Tang     [2007/3/8 12:42]
It has been 4 years since my graduation from IUJ in 2003. I have got used to the work and life in Tokyo. But sometimes on Friday night, I came across a thought how Umex is doing in its Friday meeting. This brings back my memory 4 years ago.

I am the lucky one seeing the establishment of Umex in campus. I did not recognize it until I found the consultation room in SD3 was occasionally open and some students were there practicing Japanese with some local people. I was invited to join the conversation and met many conversation partners there. One of my conversation partners was Sato Yaeko-san (²“¡”ªdŽq‚³‚ñ). Our conversation varied from topics in campus, foods, interesting Japanese customs, business conversation practice and sometimes even Japanese trouble-shooting like how to describe a hair-cut to barberfs shop. My favorite practice was reading the conversation column from the Japanese Journal. It was a good practice for Japanese pronunciation. Reading from the text sometimes could be boring. But Sato-san was always very patient and paying good attention. Sometimes, we repeated a single sentence or even a word for many times. She was always listening patiently and speaking with a smile. Her smile and patience was the best help for me to overcome the language barrier. Apart from Japanese conversation, I also met Umex people from sightseeing tours, Umex parties and all kind of activities, in which I met Mayumi-san (^‹|‚³‚ñ), Oabata-san (¬”¦‚³‚ñ), Etsuko-san (‰xŽq‚³‚ñ) and more. Although every student is staying on campus for 2 years, the memory with Umex can definitely carry beyond, which they can bring home and still remember it today.

After my graduation, I moved to Tokyo working for a Japanese company. I am unable to attend any Umex meetings but I am glad to read Umexfs news from Kawaraban. In the time Kawaraban releases its 50th issue this March, my career also begins a new path. I changed to work for an American company and have just spent two months in its US office. During my stay in US, I tried to meet and talk to more people, attend my US colleaguesf parties almost every week, just like what I did in Umex- trying to have more international communications and mutual understanding. I have now backed to Tokyo, and I really look forward to seeing the 50th issue of Kawaraban very soon. I believe there will be always new things to learn and experience to share in Umex, just like what I feel about my new job. When we enjoy reading the 50th issue of Kawaraban, I would like to thank many people working very hard behind. They keep us stay in touch through Kawaraban, and we can grow together in Umex.

Sai Keung Tang

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Unleashed Memories UMEX and UONUMA [Last updated: 2012/1/13 11:18]
>> Unleashed Memories UMEX and UONUMA - Nancy     [2007/3/10 11:53]
This article is dedicated to those who have shared and dedicated their time in that special place we all once called gHomeh at Uonuma. I spent two wonderful years in IUJ. Despite the heavy snow and harsh weather, I had found a lot of warmth in the smiles of UMEX members. We spent time enjoying simpler things in life- the breath taking nature of the place, the river and above all the invaluable friendships.

Through UMEX we were exposed to the core of the local culture. UMEX offered for us a wide range of activities varying from language classes to rice planting trips!
On a very personal note, I would like to gratefully acknowledge the help of UMEX members and their friends for their support and enthusiasm for my thesis project without which it would have been factually impossible to complete my work. I would especially pick out for mention: Satoko Takeda, Etsuko Ohira, Yuko Iizuka and Keiko Sumiyasu to whom I am heavily indebted.

Currently, I work for Save the Children in Cairo an educational project linking schools, NGOs and the corporate sector. Corporate volunteers teach public school students life skills, fundamentals of economics to make them either better employees or entrepreneurs in the future. I benefited tremendously from my research in Japan and direct exposure to the educational system in my current work.

At the end, I would like to send a big hug to everyone in UMEX and thank them for the great job they are doing. I know in my heart someday I will be back to my second home and till then letfs stay virtually in touch thanks to modern technology!

Nancy from Egypt

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My Message to UMEX and a Personal Update [Last updated: 2012/1/10 21:05]
>> My Message to UMEX and a Personal Update - Anton     [2007/2/24 22:31]
Dear UMEX members:

Even though I graduated IUJ in 2005 I still remember UMEX to be the most delightful part of my IUJ life which helped me to manage the strain of my studies. So I take this chance to thank UMEX once again for its existence and the cultural opportunities that it provides to IUJ student and Japanese community around campus. If it was not for UMEX, my understanding of Japan would have been much more limited and I would have missed so much fun.

In this regard, I advise IUJ students to engage actively in activities provided by UMEX because they can easily one of the most exciting experiences of your stay in Japan. It was like that in my case. My most memorable even in Japan was my trip to Aizu-Wakamatsu, organized through UMEX and guided by Takeda-san. It was interesting, fun, and above all it gave me a chance to make new friends.

At this point, I work as Chief Economist in ACDI/VOCA-Kyrgyzstan. Our company works in the development field helping poor people with microcredit and microloans, which they can use in order to sustain their small businesses and then further develop them. This job is very interesting and rewarding. The most important thing is that I can use the knowledge and skills I received from IUJ in my work on a regular basis. Our company often sends its employees abroad for conferences and trainings. When timing is right I hope to be able to come to Japan on a business trip and then in this case I will try my best to visit IUJ and hopefully participate in one of UMEX activities.

As to my personal situation, I am still not married, but I think I am on my way to it. I met a wonderful girl who is my colleague at ACDI/VOCA and we are together now. This year she is applying to IUJ and I keep my fingers crossed for her. She is a great person: very smart, kind and understanding. Her name is Viktoriya An and she is Korean ethnically but Uzbek by citizenship. With a bit of luck, you will be able to see her this year. I am sure you will find communicating with her pleasurable and delightful. Of course, I told her that one of the first things she should do in IUJ is to get in touch with local people through UMEX and communicate actively with them as it is one of the most rewarding experiences one can get while in Japan.

In closing, I want to pass huge hello and warm regards to all UMEX members and especially the ones who I interacted with as an English language teacher and just as a friend. I still remember the fun classes that we had and great parties we had after those classes. In my free time I teach English to local people as well but UMEX class still stays my favorite. As you can see from this update there are chances for us to meet again. Until then good bye, take care and do your best!


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UMEX Uonuma Association for Multicultural Exchange
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