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私にとっての食というのは、様々な種類があり楽しいことで、自己紹介等でも「趣味は食べることです」というフレーズを何度も耳にします。しかし、この番組で写される食は、命がけのもので必要最低限のもの、という場合もあります。食べるためには働かなくてはならない。でもその働き方は決して楽なものでなく、常に死と隣り合わせであったり、寿命を縮ませながら行うものであったり… しかし、逃れることのできない負の連鎖や不条理さを多く目にする一方で、そこに写る人々の優しさも目にします。過酷な社会の中で生きていても、美味しそうに、嬉しそうに食べる姿を観ると胸が締め付けられるとともに、全世界共通の食の偉大さを再認識します。





Love Letter to Tokyo

A.M. (ICC Student Staff Leader)

Reading this blog post, I think you will know which one of us student staff wrote it, but I have never been shy about sharing my thoughts or my feelings, so this is my love letter to internationalism.

I first came to Japan in 2017, straight after the most bizarre, jam-packed month of my life. In my last 30 days at home, I made Christmas dinner with my friends in the lingering heat of the summer, had minor surgery, and one week later ran my first marathon. The truth is, I pushed myself to do as many things as I could before leaving my home country, because I was scared. I was scared about moving to the other side of the world, not knowing what to do if something bad happened, being so far from friends, from family. It was totally different to times when I had left home before, as I wouldn’t be able to fly right home if there was an emergency.  

My 留学生活 , however, did not disappoint. It was 10 months of great change. I made friends from all over the world, improved my Japanese to a level I never could have achieved at home, visited all the places I wanted to go, stayed up and watched the sun rise more times than I could count. I had made my new home, and my new home was Tokyo. 

Until it was time to leave again. No matter how much I wanted to, I had to go back to finish my undergraduate degree. I was fresh off the plane from Tokyo, so fresh in fact that I was still waking before the sun, when I scheduled a meeting with my professor. It was finally time to start thinking about what I was going to do after finishing my Bachelor’s degree. I knew I wanted to do a Master’s degree, continue in my field of language and cultural studies,; I wanted to focus on Japanese, but was at a loss as to how I could have it all. That’s how my story with Waseda began.  

A grueling 21- month process of researching, writing, applying for scholarship, finishing essays, panicking before oral exams, graduating, finding a full- time job, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, all the while, dreaming of Tokyo. The email came at the end of February 2020. A scholarship and an acceptance letter. I was going back home!  

Sometimes it seems that there is a cruel irony in the fact that I have come here during the coronavirus pandemic. Yes, I was able to come to Tokyo, and start the graduate student life experience… from the comfort of my own home. I have not met most of my classmates, nor very many people at all for that matter. It was not until I started working at the ICC, that I began to feel as I used to.  

The ICC has given me the chance to cross paths with so many people, the gift of hearing their stories, and courtesy of sharing a small part of their lives. I have relearned what I knew to be true before this pandemic;: the value of interaction. I don’t believe in the archaic ideas of borders, or nationalism,  these are silly categories that confine individuals to a certain set of expectations which they may or may not live up to. And when you sit behind the counter at the ICC, this is what you see. Not groups of students that can be neatly separated by country, but a bricolage of culture, identity, and personality.  

And this never fails to remind me why I love living in Tokyo. There is a vast, never ending expanse of people just waiting to have their story heard. There is a constant flow of those moving away, those moving in, those moving around. There is always a new road that I haven’t followed, a train line not yet taken, a building I have never seen. The permutations are limitless.

Of course, there are times in which it feels too much. Being so far away from home and everything that I know. I don’t have much of a community, nor a place to remind me of home. Sometimes I long for someone who will give me that familiar feeling. 

But every morning and every evening, as I look out at the view of Tokyo, framed by my kitchen window, I remember why I worked so hard to be here, and why this is truly a freedom like no other. 

Image from Imgur






(image by author)
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参考:「極上の『温泉王国』ぐんま」 ググっとぐんま公式サイトこちら


参考:「世界遺産 富岡製糸場」富岡市観光ホームページこちら




(image by Raita Futo)











ここまで群馬についてたくさん紹介してしまいましたが、「是非とも群馬県に行ってみたい!!」とまで思ってもらえなくても全然大丈夫です。でも、このブログを通して群馬と私について少しだけ知っていただけたと思います。皆さんもそれぞれ地元があると思いますが、地元にたまに帰るとなんだかホッとしたり、素の自分に戻れたりしませんか?その人が生まれ育った土地について知ることは、その人がどんな人かを知る一つの方法だと思います。早稲田大学には全国、全世界から様々なバックグラウンドを持った学生が集まっていて、それぞれ育った土地や思い入れのある場所があるでしょう。その土地について聞いてみると、その人の意外な部分や土地の魅力など、新たな発見があるかもしれません。みなさんもぜひ友達とJIMOTO talkをしてみてはいかがですか?

ICC Student Staff Leader



Part I

 「男のくせに女々しくて気持ち悪い」、「その女の子は何で男のふりをしているの」、「姉が同性愛で恥ずかしい」… このような考えを持っていた過去の自分がとてもバカだと思う。





Part II






Part III


愛は愛だ(photo by 42 North

Q.Z. (ICC Student Staff Leader)

My Story with ICC

Y.Z. (ICC Student Staff Leader)

Hi! This is Y.Z., a new Student Staff Leader (SSL) at ICC from Xian, a historic city in China. I came to Japan as an international student in April 2019.

Here’s the photo I took from the plane at that time. I was so looking forward to the life here.  

(photo by author)

Since I studied pretty hard, I got accepted to the School of Culture, Media and Society (CMS) at Waseda University in the same year. I was going to be a college student in April 2020. It seemed like my exciting university life would start then. I was super excited. But unfortunately, Covid blanketed the world. The situation was extremely serious. Even the entrance ceremony was delayed for a year. 

Entrance Ceremony at Waseda University, April 2021 (photo by author) 

Also, all the colleges in Japan had to change all their courses to online. I mean, ALL THE COURSES were online when I was a freshman. Such a painful thing! Since communicating with people and making friends is a necessity to me, I can’t stand being alone all the time. So, I searched for events and to interact more with the outside world. It was that time when I found ICC, and participated in its events from time to time. 

(photo by author)

The reason that I was attracted to ICC is that I can talk with many international students like me in Waseda University. There are lots of language activities. I can practice different languages, like Japanese or English, and in the meantime, I can also make friends. I’ve talked to Japanese and students from other countries. Sometimes, I can meet Chinese students in the events as well. And there are lots of interesting events, such as events about fashion, geography, earth’s environment and so on.

ICC’s events fulfilled my life a lot when I was a freshman, especially in this unusual period of time. I mean, I think it’s pretty important for both international students and Japanese students to have a place like ICC in university, where we can interact with different cultures and practice our foreign language skills. 

When I joined the events here, all the staff were so nice and kind. I gained lots of information from them. They talked about their studying life, hobbies, experiences working in ICC and so on with participants. We had such nice conversations. At that point, I really wanted to know how it would feel to be a student staff leader. Then, I applied for the position of student staff leader in ICC, and I passed, so now I’m a SSL at ICC.

(photo by author)

At first, when I joined ICC’s events as staff, I made lots of mistakes, specifically, many small mistakes. Like in the online event, I didn’t share the PowerPoint smoothly or failed to get screenshot photos of everyone. Those things are all simple and I never thought I would make mistakes on them. I feel I still have a lot to learn here, because in order to make sure an event goes well, there are so many things to consider besides those basic things I mentioned. For example, coming up with good and appropriate ideas, communicating with the guest speaker, adding specific activities, thinking about possible risks, cooperating with other SSL and full-time staff, and how to do PR, like designing posters, SNS posting, much more than I thought. Therefore, I am going to continue learning here. I hope I am able to plan an interesting and attractive event someday in the future as well.

Now I’m a sophomore, and I’m still worried about my future, like all college students: the job I’m going to do after graduation, where I’m going to live, relationships with others. But at least I found something to do at Waseda University that I can spare no effort on. That’s my story with ICC so far. I still feel that I was blessed to find ICC when I was a freshman, and very happy to be a staff member here now. I’m certain that the experience here will be memorable. 

迫真水族館部 国内旅行の裏技

 χαρετε! 最近古典ギリシャ語を学び始めました、ICCのSSLStudent Staff Leader)のR.T.です。ついこの間入学したばかりだと思っていたらもう3年生。久しぶりの対面授業は嬉しいものの、新入生を見るたびに私の大学生活はあと半分しかないという事実に衝撃を受けながら、日々の課題に追われています。 


























































































R.T. (Student Staff Leader)

Staying Active During the Pandemic: Jump Rope

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced and encouraged many to stay cooped up at home. Without a doubt, this has decreased many of our activity levels, leaving our long-term health at risk. On the other hand, however, many also have taken this opportunity to dedicate their free time to exercise at home, just like I have.

When I found myself stuck in the Philippines and stuck at home due to the nationwide lockdown, I did not want to just sit and wait around. I thought, “this is the perfect time to focus on my well-being.” I remember exercising to workout apps like Nike Training Club, dancing to Zumba YouTube videos, and using liter bottles of water as my homemade weights. 

Out of all the exercise routines I adopted though, there was one that I fell absolutely in love with: Jump Rope.

The problem for most about exercising is that it is just not fun or appealing to spend about an hour doing repetitive sets and making your body struggle. I felt the same way, and that is why it was so important to me to find a hobby that was fun and active. For me, that was jump rope.  

The difference between jumping rope and other regular gym exercises is the tricks. I love the feeling of achievement that comes with seeing improvement. In my opinion, improvement in terms of gym exercise is seen through the number of reps or sets you can withstand or the increase in weight for a particular exercise. However, the tricks learned through jump rope are so much more fulfilling. It shows not just improvement in fitness but in body coordination and concentration.

Did you also know that jump rope is the fastest calorie-burning workout? Jumping rope for 10 minutes can be roughly equivalent to jogging for 30 minutes. This is because it is a full-body workout. So, if you are a very busy person but want to include exercise into your routine, I definitely recommend jumping rope.

Another benefit of jump rope is the portability! I used to be a member of a commercial gym, but wanting to be safer during the pandemic, I canceled my membership. With jumping rope, you don’t need a gym. All you need is some space and your rope. Thus, I usually tend to go out to a park to jump rope. Also, no more paying 8000 yen a month for a gym membership!

I first started jumping rope on June 1, 2020, and after two months I had already learned a lot of tricks, specifically, boxer jump, cross jump, and double-unders. However, my form was still not great. By May 2021, after almost a year of jump rope, my form was better when it came to tricks, my jumps were faster and less exaggerated: overall, the visual improvement was there. 

Check out my progress in the video below: 

If you want to try jumping rope, as a beginner I would check out some of the tons of YouTube videos to understand the right form and make sure you are not risking injury. I definitely recommend not jumping at first, but starting with the hand movements. Once you’ve learned how to do the basic jump, try repeating this routine five times for a short, 5-minute workout:

  • Single-Unders: 30 Seconds 
  • Rest: 30 Seconds 

The better you get, you can try decreasing your rest time and increasing the intensity of your jumps by adding more tricks. This is one of my jump rope workouts that I do almost every week:

  • Single Unders: 30-45 seconds
  • Rest: 10 seconds
  • Boxer Jumps: 30-45 seconds
  • Rest: 10 seconds
  • Criss-Cross Jumps: 30-45 seconds
  • Rest: 10 seconds
  • Double-Unders: 30-45 seconds
  • Rest: 10 seconds
  • Freestyle: 1 minute
  • Rest: 15-30 seconds

I repeat the workout above until I have been jumping for at least 30 minutes.

The kind of jump rope you use is also something to take into consideration. For beginners, I definitely recommend a thicker rope because it is easier to gain momentum. I use a weighted jump rope with heavy handles and a thinner rope. Weighted jump ropes are great for developing upper-body strength!

There are always more fun and time-efficient ways to exercise and change to a healthy lifestyle. Definitely give jump rope a try — you won’t regret it!

Let’s continue staying active during the pandemic! 


From the balcony on the fourth floor

Online Writing Contest 1st Prize

by CAPRIOLI Nicole
Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies

The poem I wrote express the emotions I recently felt while I was looking from the balcony of my apartment in Tokyo. The outbreak of the Corona virus and its consequences made me think even more deeply about human nature and how it has been changed and affected by the environment through the years. At that time, I remembered Mishima’s words written in the epilogue of the book “Sun and Steel,” and as I was thinking about that, the image of the Teshima Art Museum and the emotions I felt that day made their way into my mind. So, this poem was born.

* * *

From the balcony on the fourth floor
of my apartment in Tokyo
I watch a man dig a hole
deep into the earth’s soul
to plant slabs of concrete
and grew up too tall.

I look up at the sky
I see people skimming the sky
atop birds of metal wings
gliding gently with the wind.
It reminds me of those words
written by the last Japanese who
grabbed a sword

“Do I, then, belong to the heavens? […]
Or do I
Belong, after all, to the earth?”*

And like a spell my shell
opened again, my mind
had to hide, to leave space
to the emptiness that was inside.
No pearl was there
nothing my heart could glare.
Many thoughts came by back then

Where’s the place
we humans should stand?

Once I felt I was between
the sky we long for, and the
earth, where we belong
I think:

A man had married his former
climbing the latter with a ring
then he let humans in.

Drops begin to fall from above,
touch the soil and start run slow
to the architecture’s core.

And people quietly are left to stare
naive and unaware.
And I think:
Neither sky nor earth,
And if there is no “I,”
Then the truth just hurts.

* Yukio Mishima, Sun and Steel


Online Writing Contest 2nd Prize

by YANG Hang
Graduate School of Social Sciences


* * *

4年前、初めて成田空港に着いた時、面白いところを見つけた。到着した人に挨拶文字として、英語は「Welcome to Japan」。それに対して、日本語は「おかえりなさい」と表記された。その時、言葉意味の違いを発見したが、深く考えを全くできなかった。だが、先日、母国から日本に戻り、「おかえりなさい」を見ると、由来もなく感動が湧いて、「ただいま」と心の中で返答した。4年間の留学生活は、私をこの国との絆を深くして、「私の中の日本」も日々変わって行き成長している。




Discover the Japan inside you

An Ibaraki Prefecture travelogue

Online Writing Contest 2nd Prize

Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Ibaraki Prefecture is considered the least popular prefecture for travel in Japan. I wanted to share my personal experience to not just talk about the beauty of Ibaraki prefecture, but to make other students consider traveling to unusual destinations in general, as this may become a very special experience.

We come to Japan, we go to study almost every day, we walk around the same city in our free time. But at some point, we inevitably realize we only see a small part of the country.

Such a regret awakened in me with the first cold winds of Autumn. Looking through the photos on the Internet, my choice fell on an unusual option – Ibaraki Prefecture.

The noisy Tokyo station brings you to the small city of Hitachinaka, and then it takes just a little to arrive at Hitachi Seaside Park. The main attraction in Autumn is red Kochia bushes. The summer cypress, gentle shade of green falling into the red, its leaves seem sharp, as if you touch it you will get pricked. A whole mountain wearing a dress of red leaves. But October is second to April in Ibaraki Prefecture when blue flowers of nemophila bloom, and the fields, endless fields, become a scene from another world you probably saw in dreams.

Image by author

As night fell, I was already sitting in a half-empty train, rushing into the darkness. I couldn’t get to Fukuroda Falls directly; the railroad that had broken down has not yet been repaired. Stations in the provinces are very different from those in big cities, there are no ticket gateways, and in the late hours, even people cease to be seen. Only lonely house lights and forests in the distance make up for the company. But even there some kind people who were driving in the same direction as my hostel gave me a ride. As I got into the car, I did not feel the slightest bit afraid, I just trusted – this is perhaps one of the great wonders of Japan.

Image by author

The hostel was more like a cottage – standing on a hill, an epitome of an idyll. Inside were old lights, souvenirs from various parts of Japan, and inscriptions from various countries. Now, of course, there are fewer. But I am sure they will come back for sure, some day we all are waiting for.

Image by author

After treating me to some breakfast (I had no idea that fresh natto could be so delicious), the inn owner took me to Fukuroda Falls. A small trail lined with local stores leads to an amazing place, a huge and majestic cascade of waterfalls. In summer its waters shine crystal bright, in fall they are framed by a veil of scarlet leaves, and in winter covered by a cap of ice, creating a whimsical, snow-white still shot.

Image by author

The path to the station was paved with numerous advertisements for orchards offering “apple hunts”. I did not have a chance to go to such an orchard, but I could buy one apple – sweet and crispy – from a nice grandmother on the side of the road.

Nevertheless, an obstacle was waiting for me at the end of the road.

“Hello, when is the train to Mito?”

“In two hours.”

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Go to the onsen. There’s nothing else around here.”

And so I went.

It was in the little onsen that I happened to strike up a conversation with Kawase-san. Kawase-san had once moved from Ibaraki to Tokyo, and I asked her a little bit about what she thought about Ibaraki Prefecture.

From what she said, Ibaraki’s geography is stretched and narrow, and the thinking of those who live closer to Tokyo and those who live closer to Fukushima is noticeably different. Ibaraki may seem like a remote province, but it is where Tsukuba Science City, Hitachi, Ltd., and Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute are located, so you can meet many foreigners there – a slice of globalization carved deep into the depths of Japan. Despite this, Ibaraki is famous as a rather conservative place. It was with Mito that the last Shogun was closely associated. Maybe that historical pride still lingers, finding a place not only in the old Edo-era wooden buildings in the city of Mito but also in the hearts of the people.

Ibaraki has a lot to offer. Landscapes, delicious food, hot springs. So why do so few people come there? My footsteps led me there, and this prefecture found a place in my heart, became a piece of “Japan inside me.”

I am not just trying to tell you to go to Ibaraki. Go beyond Tokyo and Kyoto, and you will find a Japan for yourself, one that is unique and precious. Japan inside you will become Japan around you. Discover it for yourself, so that it opens up to you. It has lots of treasures to share.

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