カテゴリー: ARTICLES (2ページ / 53ページ)

A Crocodile That Will Die in 100 Days

(Picture: The cherry blossoms at Toyama campus today. The last episode of the series involved cherry blossoms and a Hanami picnic, which we unfortunately cannot do this year because of the virus)

“Memento Mori” is a famous old Latin saying that means “Remember that you must die” in English. I love this phrase and have thought of it as a motto of sorts ever since I learnt about it in Bible class in my first year of high school. Despite the fact that I am non-religious myself, I used to go to a Christian school for 6 years before university, so we had classes on the Bible and Christian thought once a week with a pastor as our teacher. To be honest, I didn’t care much for those classes; as a non-religious person I found it at times quite hard to understand and accept the concepts of the religion as fact, but this one really stuck and left a lasting impression on me. In fact, “Memento Mori” is not an idea unique to Christianity, and similar concepts are also fundamental to other religions such as Buddhism and Islam, proving that the art of acknowledging our own mortality should be something really important to all of us.

Meanwhile, personally, the past year has been very hectic and busy for me, as I have been settling into new environments, and I started doing all kinds of things that I had never tried before. I have slowly started to get used to my new life now, but at the end of last year, I honestly had no room in my head or my heart to reflect upon my actions and my life as a whole, and this motto of mine had also gone to the very back of my mind. It was around this time when I found out about an online manga series about a crocodile that, and reading through it really reminded me about this mindset of “Memento Mori”, and why I had thought I wanted it to be my motto for life in the first place.

      100-Nichi-Go-ni -Shinu-Wani(100日後に死ぬワニ, A Crocodile That Will Die in 100 Days) is an online manga series, written and illustrated by illustrator Kikuchi Yuuki. Each episode is in the form of a 4-koma manga or 4-cell comic, which is a popular style especially in newspapers and magazines. On December 12,2019 Kikuchi abruptly began the series by posting his first episode, which had a very mundane plot, with absolutely nothing special happening at all: it featured a crocodile dressed a pair of trousers, simply sitting in front of the television and laughing out loud at it for 4 cells straight, blissfully unaware of his fate. Under the fourth cell, in black hand written letters, were the words 死まであと99日(99 days until death). Following this weird but attention-grabbing, a new episode was posted daily on the account in the same fashion. Each episode is a little excerpt from the daily life of this crocodile, such as him meeting up with his friends, working his shift at his part time job, riding on the train somewhere, and so on, with the reminder of the date of his death on the end. Quite soon after the very first episode was posted, the series blew up on the Japanese internet and became an overnight success. And it soon became a national cultural phenomenon, even becoming a worldwide number one trending topic on the last day. I discovered the series at the end of December when I was checking Instagram, and I got really intrigued while reading all the posts that I had missed. When you look at one individual episode, it doesn’t progress much story wise, nor does it have much of a morale or meaning. Still, as I started checking on the crocodile on a daily basis, it began to feel like I was getting to know him personally. As a typical Japanese person around the character’s age, I found his traits and his actions very relatable and familiar, and near the end, it felt like he was one of my old friends.

There are other manga series that depict the daily lives of characters in a similar manner, but this one feels really different from those because of one principle that it has, which is the inevitable fact that the crocodile is going to die on a fixed date. As I read along each day, with every little moment of joy in the croc’s life, I got this bittersweet feeling of realization that this would come to an end really soon. Each time the crocodile looked forward to something happening in the close future, we were given the hint that in fact he would not make it, that he would not live to see the release of a new product he wanted, or to go somewhere he wanted to go to. It was so heart-breaking to see this person who I had grown to like on every single day, with the knowledge that he was going die very soon, and there was nothing I could do to stop it (It might seem like an overstatement for a cartoon character, but seriously, you should go and ask the entire Japanese internet.) Again, I have read manga in the past that focuses on a main character’s death, but because there were no other-worldly fantastical settings or flawlessly beautiful characters, the rawness was on another level with this. This relatability was what made the series so special and popular: everything was so genuine and believable, and it felt like there was a direct connection to the story and our own lives today.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, because it felt so relatable and closely connected to my own reality, the series made me reflect upon my own actions, and made me wonder if I was actually living each day in a way that I would like to live my last. It also struck me that although it could be me who dies today, but it could also be someone that I love, and I realized that I should be treating everyone in a way that I wouldn’t regret if it became the last time to see them. I tend to forget the fact that our time is limited, especially when I get busy and have a lot on my mind, but I think having this mindset is very important, especially nowadays with the coronavirus situation going on. The worldwide spread of the virus and the paranoia that comes with it is revealing who we really are inside, and sadly I feel like we are becoming more and more hostile towards each other, rather than being kind and considerate. Nobody could have anticipated this back when the series started, but coincidentally, it seems to have come and ended when we all needed it the most.

The series and the crocodile came to its end on March 20th. I’m not going to spoil the ending for you, but I can say it certainly did not disappoint. The manga doesn’t use any elaborate or complicated big Japanese phrases, so it should be quite easy to understand even for beginners in the language. Also, you can currently find every episode online at the Twitter and Instagram accounts of Kikuchi Yuuki, as well as the internet media ねとらぼ, so I really recommend you give it a shot if you haven’t read it yet. 100 episodes may seem like a drag, but trust me, it will be a good read, and a great opportunity for you to stop and think about how you should live each day with the end in mind.


H.S. (Student Staff Leader)

















私のジャズへの興味を深めてくれたのは、サークルだけではありません。国際教養学部の授業(中級科目)で、私は先学期「Introduction to Jazz History」という科目を履修しました。この授業では、ニューオルリンズジャズをはじめ、様々な種類に派生していったジャズの歴史を、実際にジャズを鑑賞しながら学ぶことができました。特に、期末試験のテスト勉強のために様々な年代の膨大な量のジャズの曲を聴いて覚えたこと、自由課題として数軒のジャズ喫茶に足を運んでレポートを執筆したことは、私にとってジャズとじっくり向き合う良い経験となりました。今まで、私はジャズを鑑賞するよりは実際に自分が演奏することの方が多かったため、自分のお気に入りの曲を見つけたり、有名な演奏者それぞれの奏法や人生に着目して勉強するのはとても面白くて、楽しかったです。




ところで、ICCラウンジでも、バックミュージックとしてジャズがよく流れていることに、皆さんお気づきでしょうか? 私はジャズを聴くようになってから、ラウンジで流れている曲の曲名が徐々に分かるようになってきて、最近一人でひそかに喜んでいます(笑)。

その他にも、ICCはジャズと関わりを持つことが多いように感じます。ICCでは過去にプロのジャズの演奏者を招いてイベントを行ったこともありますし、ランチイベント「ミュージック・ランチ」などに参加していただければ、早稲田の音楽サークルによるジャズを含む様々な音楽の演奏を聴く機会もあると思います。もしかしたら、そのうち私自身がICCでジャズイベントを企画するかもしれません! みなさん、少しでも興味があれば、ぜひぜひジャズ喫茶やICCのイベントなどを通して、ジャズに触れてみてくださいね。


W.K. (Student Staff Leader)

Food tour around Hanoi’s Old Quarter

Hi guys, today I will talk about my must-try-food in my favorite city’s most famous area which is also my hometown. A day is not enough for exploring and understanding all the delicious foods of this more than thousand-year old city but I hope that this blog will be useful for you if you just have a short time to enjoy Hanoi.

Hanoi’s Old Quarter has 36 ancient streets, after the 36 streets or guilds that used to make up the urban area of the city. The most famous trait of the Old Quarter is its areas dedicated to one specific trade or guild. Craftsmen from villages around the city used to gather in one area of their guild to sell their wares to merchants. The crafts or guilds of each area gave the names to the streets of the quarter, so that most streets acquired names starting with “hang” (“wares”), such as Hàng Bún street (” rice noodles street”) and Hàng Đào street (“peach street”).

Several of the streets are still specialized in the trade that gave them their names. Others still specialize in one specific trade, but a different one from their traditional specialty — such as Hàng Buồm street (“sails street”) which has become dominated by Vietnamese cakes and candy nowadays.

I would recommend you to book a hotel in this area since it’s very convenient to get around just by walking and most of all; almost all of Hanoi’s best cuisine is located in this area. Although the food culture of Vietnam is changing every day because of the customer’s habit, there are still many local restaurants as well as local vendors that are still super crowded. Thanks to their amazing delicious secret recipes that have been transferred across many generations, the younger generations can still experience the authentic taste of all the traditional foods. When we talk about Vietnamese food in general or Hanoi cuisine specifically, it is all about the balance of the dish. It’s like a classical song with all the instruments that make a perfect harmony. You can feel the sweetness from the bones of the broth, the saltiness of the fish sauce, the sourness of lime or a bit of spice from the fresh chili. All the flavors are dancing on your tongue and they make you miss it very soon after you finish it.

I think that everyone has been heard of Vietnamese Pho. When we talk about Vietnamese cuisine, we must talk about Pho. Just like ramen or soba, there are many restaurants that say they make the authentic Pho in Vietnam but after trying many restaurants, I would like to say Pho in Hanoi is the best and most authentic taste that you could search for. People eat Pho in the morning, at lunch or evening. You can have it anytime. There are a lot of ways to eat Pho but the best way is to enjoy it is with a little bit of fresh lime juice and some fresh chili. Talking about Pho, it’s all about the freshness and the balance of the flavor. When I went back to Hanoi for a few days after a long time, Pho is the first thing that I thought of (actually Pho was on my mind for a few days before I even went to the airport). One thing I can say is never have Pho in the airport, since it does not taste like the real one. There’re many good ones in Hanoi but these days, I believe that the restaurant shown below is the one that has the best taste of the real Pho. They have all the balance of the broth with the freshness of the noodles, beef and also the vegetables in one bowl. Especially they also have the good Quay, which is necessary for this dish. Put a bit fresh chili and a few drops of lime, then have a gulp of noodles, beef and taste some broth. This is the best way to start your day every day of the year. This restaurant usually runs out of all of their ingredients before lunch so I suggested that you should come from early morning to have the best kinds of beef that you want.

Full options of Pho

How to enjoy: Taste the broth, fix with lime juice or vinegar, chili sauce or fresh chili.

Price: ~250 yen or more, depending on which part of the beef you choose.

Recommend place: Phở Tuyết, 12 Hàng Than, Ba Đình, Hà Nội


The second dish that I want to introduce is called “Bun cha”. Normally I prefer to eat this one at home, which is made by my mom. However, making this one is very hard and tiring so sometimes I still have this one outside. After trying “Bun cha” in some restaurants, I realized that it’s the best to have it at the local vendors. The best aspect of Vietnamese food is you always can enjoy the food while provide to your body enough nutrition. “Bun cha” includes rice noodles, grilled pork, vegetables and delicious sauce. The sauce and the pork taste decide a lot of the flavor. I don’t recommend having this dish in a restaurant because they don’t make the grilled pork as fresh as the local vendors. The pork must be eaten immediately after being grilled by the chef. It can’t be too raw neither too cooked. The sauce is very important since it can decide the whole flavor of the dish.

Put some fresh chili for more flavor~

How to enjoy: Taste sauce: fix it with some vinegar or chili (more garlic if you prefer garlic). Put some noodles and vegetables into your bowl then dip them into the sauce. Take one gulp with everything (pork, noodles and vegetables)

Price: ~250 yen

Recommend place: 74 Hàng Quạt, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội.

The last one that I want to introduce today is Banh-mi. Banh mi is a typical Vietnamese sandwich is a fusion of meats and vegetables from native Vietnamese cuisine such as chả lụa (pork sausage), coriander leaf (cilantro), cucumber, pickled carrots, and pickled daikon combined with condiments from French cuisine such as pâté, along with chili and mayonnaise. However, a wide variety of popular fillings are used, from xíu mại to ice cream. In Vietnam, sandwiches are typically eaten for breakfast or as a snack. The Oxford Dictionary has already put Banh-mi as an English word: “a Vietnamese sandwich on a crisp baguette spread with mayonnaise, typically containing pork or chicken and pâté, with pickled vegetables, cucumber, and cilantro.” Banh mi is everywhere in Vietnam with a lot of options. However, if you want to try the most common one in Vietnam, just ask them for a full-option version of Banh mi (Thập cẩm). They will put everything they can onto the tiny bread so you can try all at once. I recommend that you ask the chef to give you some chili sauce to make the Banh mi more perfect.

You need to open your mouth wide~

How to enjoy: Open your mouth as wide as you can and… eat them all.

Price: ~200yen

Place: Bánh mì, 2-4 Hàng Chuối or 51 Trần Xuân Soạn.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope that you can enjoy them all someday! If you need any more information, please come and join the Vietnamese event later which will be held by the Waseda ICC ^^~~~

S.R. (Student Staff Leader)



It’s Cherry Blossom Season!

After the warm and boring winter in Tokyo, finally, spring is coming! Though this year the ICC Hanami event was canceled due to the coronavirus, you all still have plenty of choices to enjoy this beautiful season because the city is going to be filled with Sakura. You can find it in your neighbor’s garden, in your neighborhood park, school and anywhere.

Today, I am going to talk about my experience with Hanami in Tokyo.

Hearing the fame of the cherry blossom in Japan for a long time, I eventually was able to see it with my own eyes 3 years ago when I began my studies at Waseda University. During the spring of my freshman year, I was so excited about it. I visited most of the popular places and saw the joy Hanami brings to everyone. It is hard to tell whether one place is better than another, but I am going to list my personal Top 5 Hanami Places. This is all based on my own preference, and I welcome all of your opinions about your favorite Hanami place.

No. 5 Ueno Park

This is a really interesting place to visit especially in the evening. You will see lots of Japanese office workers sitting under the trees having drinking and welcoming parties. They are very well prepared with picnic sheets, tables, lights, food, drinks and sometimes even mini-refrigerators! I think the cherry blossom season at Ueno Park is a wonderful opportunity for foreigners to know about Japanese company network building and urban culture.

No. 4 Shinjuku Gyoen

Since Shinjuku Gyoen is a well-organized royal garden, besides cherry blossoms there are still many other scenery spots you can enjoy in the garden. Also because it charges an entry fee, there are fewer visitors than other free open spaces. My way to enjoy Shinjuku Gyoen is to bring my breakfast early in the morning, finding a place on the grass near a cherry tree and enjoying the food, sunshine and the peaceful cherry blossoms before the place becomes too crowded. The ideal time for breakfast at Gyoen is before 12:00 am.

No. 3 Kanda River

As a Waseda student, you definitely should not miss this beautiful riverside cherry blossom spot. It is also an alternative to the crowded Meguro River. But instead of making you feel like you’re at a scenic spot, Kanda River makes you feel relaxed and closer to the daily life of Japan. Most importantly, it is close to the campus which means you can casually drop by any time to enjoy the cherry blossom there when you come to school.

No.2 Meguro River

Getting off the train at Naka-Meguro Station, you can feel the popularity of this place immediately. Not only Japanese but tourists from all over the world urge to see the romantic pink Sakura arch along the Meguro River. At night, there are illuminations and it makes the whole place even more beautiful. If you are tired of being part of the crowd, there are lots of distinctive cafés and restaurants for you to enjoy the view and indulge your gourmet side at the same time.

No.1 Chidorigafuchi

If you are looking for a more breathtaking Sakura scene, you should never miss this place. Though there’s nowhere to sit under the trees and it’s usually very crowded, it’s totally worth it. You will be walking along the green-lined paths under the Sakura and watching the blossoms arch over both sides of moat of the Imperial Palace. Boating on the water surrounded by Sakura is also a way to enjoy the beautiful view if you are willing to wait in line for about 2 hours. There is illumination at night. The best part is that you can see Tokyo Tower from there, which makes you feel you are in the Tokyo of your dreams.

Honorable Mention: Rikugien Garden

I want to give an honorable mention to Rikugien Garden because it is quite different from other Hanami places listed above. Rikugien Garden is originally famous for traditional Japanese Garden instead of a Hanami place. However, they have special species of Sakura each tree of which is huge. The garden charges visitors at evening because they have illuminations for the whole garden. Seeing those breathtaking huge trees in the dark is kind of special experience for me.

Find and enjoy the beauty of this season!

Considering the current situation, it is better not to go to crowded Hanami places. You can save this blog for your TO GO LIST for next year. For this year, instead of heading to these popular places, you can try to explore somewhere else maybe just in your neighborhood. I think the excitement of Hanami is not only about where you go, but your feelings. If you are in a good mood and feel energetic, then anywhere would be the best spot for your Hanami. I am sure you will find the best place for you to enjoy the beautiful blossom.


T.L. (Student Staff Leader)

「ぼくはイエローでホワイトで、ちょっとブルー」から 読み取る多様性の奥深さ















S.Y. (Student Staff Leader)

Time is Passing Fast

Well February was a busy month for me, not because I had many shifts at the ICC during the holidays, but because there were also many other things happening.

Firstly, because time is moving on and I am going into my 2nd year of Graduate School, I feel as if I need to make the most of my time at Waseda, and at the ICC, meaning I want to work even harder. I am not sure if I am going to do Japanese job hunting yet, but this year I need to basically learn how job hunting works in Japan. Of course, I know the rules of what to wear and some of the manners but there are so many things that are different from my own country. For example, in Japan, everyone must do self-analysis (to find out what industry they are interested in) and write/prepare a PR statement that it meant to catch the interviewer`s eye. This concept is not so foreign to me, of course we must also explain why we want the job and how our strengths and weaknesses connect with the contents of the role, but the Japanese method feels a lot more detailed and requires more effort. Something I do not particularly like is that everyone basically wears the same thing and there aren’t many chances for individual applicants to show off their personalities (though this is slowly changing).

(and I recommend to take your C.V. photo at a photo studio like I did in Ginza, rather than using the photo booths at the station - Impressions are very important here!)

Another thing that happened is that I turned 24 years old. Naturally I had a good day spending time with friends, but it made me reflect a bit on my life. I am busy with university work, planning events at the ICC and improving my Japanese but there are also so many things I want to do. I studied in Korea before entering Waseda last year, and I have slowly forgotten many words and grammar patterns so I want to make a consistent effort to study a little every day, even if it is just 15 minutes. I learnt how to use Adobe Illustrator just so I could make better posters for our events and I really had fun, so I’ll continue to improve. Lastly, last year I learnt a little bit of programming so I want to fiddle around and make some small projects during my free time.

Sure, this might be a lot of work, it might even be too much work, but I think if you have the drive and willpower you can do anything! Rightly so, I am doing these things for my own satisfaction, but I am also doing them to make me more appealing when I inevitably do job hunting. I do not know if I will work in Japan, or what kind of job I will do but I hope I`ll be able to report back with good news later in the year! I hope job hunting will go well for everyone else, and they can get a job that they are truly happy in!

G.F (Student Staff Leader)







「リヨンの人形劇 ギニョール」







最後に、留学先のトゥールーズの紹介をしたいと思います。トゥールーズはオクシタニー地方にあります。ハンドクリームの「L’Occitane en Provence」というブランドを聞いたことがありますか?駅ビルやショッピングモールでよく見かけることがあると思います。訳すとプロヴァンスのオクシタンという意味になりますが、それぞれ南フランスに位置し、東がプロヴァンス、西がオクシタニーに分割できます。ニースやマルセイユに代表され、フランスの天国のような人気観光スポットとして有名なプロヴァンス地方に対し、あまり観光のイメージがないのがオクシタニー地方です。ヨーロッパ人のバカンスには欠かせないビーチがないこと、そしてパリから離れているのに加え、パリとトゥールーズの間は山が多く、TGVの直通運転がないことが観光地としての発展のマイナス要因となっています。しかし、トゥールーズはフランス第4の都市ということで人口が多く、農業が盛んで、ワインやチーズの産地があり、活気あるマルシェや蚤の市が開催され、世界的に評価されているキャピトル交響楽団やバレエ団を有し、フランスらしいものを一通り経験することができます。また、エアバスの本社があり、コンコルドなど航空史上重要な機体の展示をする博物館もあります。


フランスは一般に石造りの建物が多い中、トゥールーズ周辺は建物に適した固い石がとれなかったため、煉瓦づくりの建物がメインです。昔は煉瓦がオレンジ色だったそうですが、長い年月を経てピンク色になったということで、現在はピンク色の煉瓦の”La ville rose”(バラ色の街)と呼ばれるようになりました。フランスの中でも特にスペインに近く、冬も東京よりは暖かい街中には、テラス席の付いたレストラン・カフェがたくさんあります。バラ色の街並みに囲まれながら、現地の食材を使った郷土料理をテラス席で味わえたら、最高の思い出が作れると思います。


「トゥールーズの郷土料理 カスレ」



À bientôt!


Getting around Tokyo is easy

Do you use train every day in Tokyo? Have you ever got lost in the train station? This article will help you to go around easier in Tokyo with some tips. This year is almost my fourth year in Japan and I hope that you see this one is useful. I have used train in some other countries but for me the train network in Japan is the most complicated.

It looks scary right? But it would be fine if you stay calm and carefully check the signs! And don’t forget that all the staffs are very friendly and always be there for you!

Today I will talk about the city that never sleeps and it almost reach 14 million people this year, Tokyo. It has 882 interconnected rail stations in the Tokyo Metropolis, 282 of which are Subway stations, with several hundred more in each of the 3 surrounding densely populated suburban prefectures. Tokyo is covered by a dense network of train, subway and bus lines, which are operated by about many different companies. People in the city mostly use the train lines by JR East because it’s convenient and famous stations. When I first arrived in Tokyo and lived inside the downtown, I always used JR Yamanote Line. I guess a lot of you have already known this line as it’s passed by Takadanobaba and some other famous spots like Shibuya and Shinjuku. The city’s 13 subway lines are operated by two companies and run largely inside the Yamanote circle and the areas around Ginza and the area east of the loop line. Most of the many suburban train lines commence at one of the six major stations of the Yamanote Line (Yellow-green): Tokyo, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa.

Besides that, there are some major JR lines in Tokyo: Keihin-Tohoku Line (Light- blue), Chuo/Sobu Line (Local) (Yellow), Chuo Line (Rapid) (Orange), Saikyo Line (Green- blue), Shinkansen.

I have some friends who spend more than 2 hours every day from Chiba or Saitama to Waseda University which makes them very tired when they arrive at school. There are many other lines connect Tokyo with the metropolis’ outer regions and surrounding prefectures. There is one interesting fact is many of the private railway companies also operate department stores usually at their train lines’ major stations. That’s why when you see the name of the line; you will feel familiar because they have many famous department stores around all the famous tourist spots. Some of them are:

  • Kanagawa – Tokyo: Tokyu Railway
  • Saitama – Tochigi (including Nikko): Tobu Railway
  • Tokyo Tama Region – Saitama: Seibu Railway
  • Tokyo Tama Region: Keio Railway
  • Kanagawa: Odakyu Railway (you also can go to Hakone) & Keikyu Railway (including Haneda Airport also)
  • Chiba (connect Narita Airport to central Tokyo): Keisei Railway
  • Akihabara – Tsukuba, Ibaraki: Tsukuba Express

Here are some useful websites for your information:

Another way to go around the downtown is the Tokyo Metro. It’s one of Tokyo’s subway operators. Waseda and Nishi Waseda are the nearest station to Waseda University. There are some major lines: Ginza line (Orange), Marunouchi line (Red), Hibiya line (Silver), Tozai line (Sky blue), Chiyoda line (Green), Yurakucho (Gold), Hanzomon line (Purple), Namboku line (Emerald), Fukutoshin (Brown).

You will find it more easily as the website is very useful and friendly display in English!
Tokyo Metro Website: https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/

Finally, as I’ve said at first paragraph, Tokyo’s train network is very complicated and hard to use but after a few times using, you will feel better as you can follow the website and the train apps on your phone! With a bit of planning and research, you will find it more interesting and easy to go around by yourself!

S.R (Student Staff Leader)

Myanmar in me

An enjoyable night with ICC Myanmar culture night

This will be a very long blog; I hope that you could find it’s not so sleepy. Today I will write about my experience in ICC Myanmar culture night. It was a very nice and fun memory for me. I have met many interesting people and made a lot of friends (of course ate tons of foods, too). Let me tell you a bit about my past experience with Myanmar.

My first knowledge about Myanmar is from Myanmar friends. I’ve met them from The Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP). SSEAYP is the program from the Japanese Government which promote friendship and mutual understanding among the youths of Japan and the ten Southeast Asian countries, to broaden their perspective of the world, and furthermore, to strengthen their spirit of international cooperation, and practical skills for international collaboration. Each contingent will have 28 participants and 1 National Leader. The program will hold a few days in Japan including the homestay program and Japan-ASEAN Youth Leaders’ Summit (YLS). After program in Japan, we started our on-board program on the trip name Nippon Maru.  The Government of Japan chartered the Nippon Maru and entrusted its operation to Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line Ltd. for the 42nd SSEAYP in 2015. The Nippon Maru is an ocean liner with an overall length of 166.6 meters and a gross tonnage of 22,472 tons. It is equipped with 202 cabins, a hall, a lounge, a theatre, a library, a Japanese tea room, a swimming pool, a clinic, laundry rooms, a dining room, and grand baths, etc.

“Nippon Maru, sailing the blue ocean…”

The time when I went to Myanmar, it was a few years after the country opened up so I felt that Myanmar people were still not get used to the tourists. The first impression was Myanmar people were very nice and friendly. Because the weather in Myanmar is very hot so both man and woman in Myanmar put the traditional sun cream and wear their traditional clothes everywhere.

Myanmar national costume consists of two sets, one for men and one for women.

I stayed 4 days in Yangon which is the biggest city in Myanmar. Before I came to Myanmar, my image of this country was just the small and not developed country, but when I put my first step in Myanmar, my eyes were wide open because of its beauty and the modernist of the city. My host family was a very happy family which has 4 people. Dad was a songwriter who graduated in America and his daughter was a very famous singer. Mom stayed home and cooked so many delicious foods every day and one young son who was a junior student. Their house construction is not too big and modern but they used the hover board inside house. Everyone has their own latest Samsung phones which made me feel so cool. Because the family was working in the music industry so they owned a lot nice guitars, piano and some other modern instruments. Just in a few days, they took me around the city and shown me all the famous spots of Yangon, I have bought a lot of souvenirs because everything was very cheap and beautiful. Especially for some of my jewellery which I bought from Myanmar, I wear them every day as my luck charms and they always stay the same condition like when I bought them.

Most of all, after a while staying far from my family, I was missing my family vibe a lot. However, I felt like I was in my house when I stayed with them. The yummy foods of Mom, the warm care of Dad and too funny siblings which made me cried a lot before I came back to the Nippon Maru ship after the host program. If I had chance, I will definitely come back to Myanmar and see them again.

When I heard that ICC would hold an ICC Myanmar Culture Night, I immediately cleared my schedule and asked my best friend to join the event with me. There were so many people took part in the event, even Waseda student and other people outside the school also came to the event which made me so surprised. At first, the students from Myanmar did some presentations about Myanmar and even the Counsellor of Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar also gave us an opening speech. Next, there is a professional traditional dancer from Myanmar shown everyone the beauty of their dance and she even taught some individual volunteer learners (including me). The most impression when I stayed close to her was her “beautifulness” and the good smell from the Myanmar cosmetics. The light spots were all focused on her as there was a miracle light made her dance “bling-bling” in front of all the guests.

Myanmar Beauty

As I have mentioned how nice and friendly the Myanmar people are, there foods were a big treat for everyone joined the event. There were many kinds of foods including the main foods and some other snacks. They also brought their famous instant milk tea and coffee for everyone to enjoy which made so impressed.


Oishii snacks and drinks from Myanmar

After the event, I saw everyone were so happy and enjoyable. I bet they had tons of fun and must be so full thanks to Myanmar delicious foods. My friend and I were also very happy and she thanked me a lot for inviting her to the event. She had learned a lot about Myanmar culture as well as made a lot of friends through the event. I hope that ICC will make more events like this in the future!

S.R (Student Staff Leader)

O-Ku-Ri-Mo-No Holiday!

Salvete! SSL(Student Staff Leader)のR.T.です。最近入学したばかりと思っていたらもう12月で、SSLにも後輩ができていました。直近の感想としては、「ラテン語の文法が難しすぎる」。格変化と動詞の活用が多すぎて覚えきれないです…


◆第5位 クルンテープ・マハーナコーン・アモーンラッタナコーシン・マヒンタラーユッタヤー・マハーディロック・ポップ・ノッパラット・ラーチャタニーブリーロム・ウドムラーチャニウェートマハーサターン・アモーンピマーン・アワターンサティット・サッカタッティヤウィサヌカムプラシット(タイ王国)


◆第4位 サマルカンド(ウズベキスタン共和国)


◆第3位 イスタンブール(トルコ共和国)


◆第2位 シンクヴェトリル国立公園(アイスランド共和国)

第2位はアイスランドにある世界遺産、シンクヴェトリル国立公園です!アイスランドは北大西洋にある島国で、歴史はヴァイキングによる植民活動から始まります。長らくノルウェーやデンマークの植民地でしたが、1944年に独立。また古ノルド語で書かれた民俗叙事詩『サガ』が地理的要因から良好な状態で保存されるなど、独特な文化を形成してきました。アイスランドといえばやはりその広大な自然が有名で、シンクヴェトリルはその代表例でしょう。シンクヴェトリル付近は大西洋中央海嶺の地上露出部分となっており、ユーラシアプレートが東に、北米プレートが西に広がっている光景を眺めることができます。各地にギャオ(アイスランド語: gjá)と呼ばれる大地の裂け目が見られ、独特な岩肌や氷河、雪解け水が溜まった湖など、壮大な自然に圧倒されることでしょう。それだけではなく、この地はアイスランドの歴史に深くかかわる場でもあります。930年、植民者たちによってこの地で「アルシング」と称される民主的な全島集会が開催されました。これは単に植民活動の完了を意味するだけではなく、欧州最古の民主的議会の開催として、アイスランドの歴史的方向性を決定するものでした。この人類史のロマンが私の胸に深く突き刺さり、私は死ぬときはこの場所がいいと思っています。みなさんも、この美しい国をぜひ五感で楽しんでください!

◆番外編 碓氷峠(群馬県・長野県)

第1位発表の前に、いま私が一番気になる国内のスポットをピックアップ!その場所とは、群馬県横川と長野県軽井沢を結ぶ難所、碓氷峠です!その特徴はなんといってもその急峻な地形で、長野県側の軽井沢は標高939mと峠 (960m) との標高差がほとんどないのに対し、群馬県側の麓・横川の標高387mと極端な片勾配となっています。そのため、一般的な山脈をトンネルで抜けることで峠越えの高低差を解消できる両勾配を持つ峠と異なり、通行には近代に至るまで多くの困難を抱えてきました。最大66.7‰、水平方向に1000m進んだ時に66.7mの高低差がある状態、といえばその急峻さが伝わると思います。この急勾配を解消するためにアプト式を導入した「横軽」の歴史はここに書ききれないほど興味深いものです。また、碓氷峠にまつわる駅弁で有名なのはいわゆる「峠の釜めし」で、碓氷峠通過に際し補助機関車の連結が必要なために長時間停車するという条件下から流行しました。北陸新幹線操業に伴い信越本線横川 – 軽井沢間は廃止されましたが、現在では北陸新幹線内や麓のドライブインなどでも販売されており、その気分を追体験することができます!

◆第1位 グリーンランド(デンマーク王国)

第1位はヨーロッパ最果ての大地、グリーンランドです!グリーンランドといえばメルカトル図法でやたらと大きく見える寒い島、というイメージでしかあまり知られていないかもしれません。しかし、この島は実に魅力あふれる土地なのです!この島はアイスランドと同じくヴァイキングによる植民活動からデンマーク=ノルウェーの支配を受けることとなりましたが、カラーリット(イヌイット)という先住民たちがいました。キリスト教の影響をふんだんに受けた北欧文化が政治的にも強い影響を及ぼしていた一方で、カラーリットたちは現在に至るまで独自の文化を保持し続けています。また2018年、氷河の大地とフィヨルドの海の間で4,000年前から狩猟生活を営むカラーリット文化が残るイルリサット・アイスフィヨルドはUNESCOの世界遺産に登録され、まさに今注目を集めています。グリーンランドといえば、かのタイタニック号を沈没させた氷河のように氷の大地が広がっていると、私は思っていました。もちろん北極圏には大陸氷河が広がっていますが、しかしその名の通り「緑」が生い茂る場所もあります。夏には平均気温が10度近くまで上がってトナカイやホッキョクウサギなどの哺乳類が顔を見せ、家畜たちは牧草地を駆けます。フィヨルドの間を船で廻って、しばし上陸しその広大な自然に身をまかせる… これが今の私の夢です!




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