School Visits 2013
Grand Prize 2013: NAKAMURA Tetsu
- Monday, September 2 (11:10-16:35)
- Chikushi Jogakuen Junior High School & High School, Lecture hall
- Wednesday, September 11 (10:00-11:40)
- Seinan Gakuin High School, Gymnasium
- Friday, September 13 (14:40-17:00)
- Fukuoka Prefectural High School, Gymnasium
“It's time to think about the relationship between Mother Nature and human beings”
Dr. Nakamura visited three schools to speak to more than 4,500 students. In the speech, he warned against the recent trend of standardization, and emphasized the importance of willingness to acknowledge diversity. While presenting the drought situation in Afghanistan, the Grand Prize winner pointed out that the water problem emerges from the people’s involvement in nature, and that what is happening in Afghanistan could well happen in Japan. He also shared an episode of one occasion when the farmers rejoiced in the hope of life when all the irrigation channels were opened. Dr. Nakamura also put the following question to the students: “In spite of the constant suffering, the local people seldom have a sad face. Japanese people seem to look more depressed. Perhaps the more people have money, status, jobs, and entertainment, the more they get depressed. The urban space gives people an illusion of power to do anything at will. Isn't now the time to think about the relationship between Mother Nature and human beings, and to ask ourselves, what is the fundamental way of living?”
In response to the question asked by one of the students in Chikushi Jogakuen High School, “What is necessary for achieving something you want to accomplish?”, he answered, “What is important is not guts or belief. Rather, it is important to have a heart able to forgive, to accept, and to love”.
In Seinan Gakuin High School, where Dr. Nakamura was asked a question, “ What difficulties did you h ave in communicating with the local people”, he answered firmly, “We had misunderstandings all the time because of differences in language, customs, and religion. But I always believed that we will be able to find something to share with each other, as long as we worked together”.
In Fukuoka Prefectural High School, where Dr. Nakamura himself is a member of the 17th class of graduating students, some students asked for some advice about their career options. When asked, “What is important for someone who wants to become a medical doctor?”, Dr. Nakamura’s answer was, “A medical doctor should not be merely a technician. You also need to learn about things that may seem unrelated to medical practice”.
Dr. Nakamura’s lecture was a great opportunity for the youth, who will be the leaders of the next generation, to expand their world view.
Academic Prize 2013: Tessa MORRIS-SUZUKI
- Friday, September 13 (14:30-17:30)
- Fukuoka Prefectural Shuyukan High School, Audio-visual Room
“The grassroots campaigns have spread seeds of hope like dandelions”
The audio-visual room was filled with the students who wanted to participate in the workshop. After introducing herself, Prof. Morris-Suzuki started her presentation while projecting slides on the screen. She talked about her motivation for coming to Japan after graduating from college, about the people she met, and her experiences in Japan. She said that she could not visit Sakhalin during her stay in Japan at the time, “But,” she said, “It was after the restoration of diplomatic relations between Japan and Korea, so I went to Korea and stayed there for about two weeks. I still remember that the people in the countryside were very nice to me”.
As compared to 40 years ago, the exchange between Japan and the surrounding countries are more vibrant now, and “I am happy to learn about the changes in history by visiting different places as a historian”, she said. Prof. Morris-Suzuki showed her concern about the recent critical situation of Japan and its neighboring countries over the territorial issues.
She is concerned that the more exposed the people are to this kind of news, the more invisible the grassroots interactions become to people’s eyes. “People have established fantastic “people-to-people” relationships, but they are not broadcast enough through mass media”, she pointed out. She entrusted the future to the youth by saying, “The grassroots campaigns run at different locations have spread seeds of hope like dandelions. I hope you will take them into the next generation”.
Arts and Culture Prize 2013: Nalini MALANI
- Friday, September 13 (13:00-16:00)
- Fukuoka City Nagao Junior High School, Gymnasium
“Just feel something, if my works are too difficult to understand”
Walking through the paper arch made by the students, Ms. Malani appeared on the stage to a big round of applause from all students.
When she first came to Japan, there were two things that she really wanted to see: the Great Buddha in Kamakura, and calligraphy. She thinks that, “Japanese kanji is very human”. When the laureate was 40 years old, she borrowed kanji to use as signatures in her artwork.
Following the presentation of the Indian flag, she explained her works while showing them on film to the students. The strong messages she put in all of her pieces shown on the slides and video clips, left a strong impression in the students’ hearts. Ms. Malani explained that, “If you feel my works are too difficult to understand, I just want you to feel something”.
After the session, she moved to the principal’s office to review and give advice on the paintings and pencil drawings produced by three senior students in the art club. The students looked a little nervous at first, but as Ms. Malani gave a lot of praise and encouraging words in a warm and friendly manner, they seemed more relaxed at the end.
Arts and Culture Prize 2013: Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL
- Friday, September 13 (9:30-16:30)
- Fukuoka Jogakuin University, Aburayama Citizens’ Forest, downtown Tenjin, Fukuoka Jogakuin University Tenjin Satelite Campus
“It is important to prioritize your imagination”
The participants to the workshop this time was about 20 students from Fukuoka Jogakuin University. They spent the morning in the nature of Aburayama Mountain surrounded by rich greenery, and spent the afternoon in Tenjin, a commercial environment. They wrote down in words and sentences what they saw, what they heard when they were listening intently, and visual scenes and stories that popped up in their mind at the time.
In the meeting after the excursion, they experimented to create characters, such as “a nicely dressed up old lady you saw in a cafe”, by asking questions to each other, the same method that Mr. Apichatpong uses to make a film.
After that, they tried making a story freely using the keywords they had collected. For the daring story they made up, the film director smiled saying, “You have made up such a terrible story, but it was absolutely original”. He concluded the workshop by advising them on key factors in production such as, “If you start off thinking about whether this is a good story or bad story, that will disrupt your imagination right away. In any creative activity, it is important to prioritize your imagination”.
Download the Anuual Report 2013
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