When a fall course focused on economic recession in Japan, Ken Fujiwara, MBA 13, was motivated to counter the ensuing perceptions of his home country. “I wanted to introduce my classmates to the fundamental strength of our culture,” he says.
Fujiwara and Japanese classmates Kota Fukasawa, Masaki Nakamura, Roy Fujimoto, and Shanshan Liu, all MBA 13, organized a trek to Japan over spring break for 45 fellow students. “It was my great pleasure to see them enjoying Japan’s cultural experiences and finding energy in its cities,” says Fujiwara.
Students took in Osaka’s famous “eat-till-you-drop” kuidaore; sake breweries and temples in Kyoto; and hot springs and a traditional banquet in Hakone, where the trek leaders shared the tradition of Sohran bushi, a traditional (and energetic) fishermen’s dance.
“Kyoto was my favorite,” says Amara Aigbedion, MBA 13. “Visiting the numerous temples and shrines brought to mind a feeling of serenity that seems to be engrained within the Japanese culture.”
In Tokyo, students visited the imperial palace and explored pop culture in either Shibuya, a district known for fashion and nightlife, or in Akihabara, known for anime and computer and electronic goods. The journey came to a close at a final party where alumni and prospective students shared their favorite experiences of Japan.