Japanese are punctual. More than that, they have good ethics. First time I arrived on Japan, I felt the city is quite. There are no traffic jams in Tokyo. People in Japan always use public transports such as trains, buses, or taxis. The city is also clean. A lot of garbage cans are anywhere, in the buildings or sidewalks, with much different specialization as non-combustible garbage, burnable garbage, and bottle. Pedestrian are really helped by traffic-sign. Anywhere you go in Tokyo, you just use Suica card to enter the train and walk a lot. It is my cultural shock, lifelike away.
Even anything in Tokyo made it easier for all people, you must have good stamina to walk anywhere. Do not be spoiled! That is the point. Japanese are autonomous. They work hard. In midnight, we still met a lot of people went back from work in the train. This is a 24-hours city.
In The 5th Global Leadership Program for the Five Jesuit Universities in East Asia held by Sophia University, in Tokyo, Japan, on August 5 - 11, 2012, we learned how to be punctual and to be students in Japan. In a week, we learn hard about “Recovery and Reconstruction” as Japan did.
Since a keynote lecture from Prof. Mistuhiko Hosaka from Nihon Fukushi University, we got ability on how to build a community-based development for recovery and reconstruction after disaster. He believes that idea can be transmitted if there is an equal dialogue between people and outsider. This work could be carried out by made an agent to organize people and encourage them to get together. This work needs collaboration.
The other speaker in Panel Discussion Number 1 brought us to understand how Sophia Volunteer Network works as mentioned by Mr. Yong Kil Ko, a student of Sophia University. His work is to distribute many volunteers to a disaster area as in Tohoku or Fukushima. In the other hand, Mr. Yu Ogawa shared about his work with MARU project which brought two different cultures in different nation to be connected one another by analogy with the mixing of a cuisine’s ingredient.
In the last Panel Discussion Number 2 we got a true story from Ms. Mao Sasaki, an evacuee from the leakage of nuclear power in Fukushima, about how she escaped from the disaster. Meanwhile, Ms. Reiko Inoue from PARCIC told us how to empower fisherman in Tohoku to recover from tsunami.
Not only listening, we should be active in other discussion sessions in a group for our own presentation focused on: (1) Immediate Aftermath, (2) Mid-term Recovery, (3) Long-term Recovery, and (4) Disaster Prevention. Learning becomes easier because we were helped by TOR – term of references. Even we spent a lot of time to discuss, we still have a time to go sightseeing to Shinjuku, Akihabara, Enoshima, Kamakura, Asakusa Temple, Sky Tree, Tsukiji, Japanese Garden, Takeshita Dore Street-Harajuku, and take a picture with Hachiko statue in Shibuya.
I tried to have a culinary adventure in Tokyo with the other delegates as in Kyomachikoishigure, a restaurant in Shibuya, offers Small-Kyoto atmosphere and in Monjayaki, a restaurant nearby Asakusa Temple, offers special food since Edo era. All of these memorable travelings were guided by two students from Sophia University, Mr. Tetsu Ishiguro and Ms. Erina Miyazaki. However, besides experiencing a leadership program, we also started to build a connection in East Asia for the future based on our special attention on recovery and reconstruction.
Another thing that still remains in my brain is, all speech in Opening and Farewell Party by the professors always mentioned about the history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombing on August 6 and 9, 1945. This big nation do not forget their history.
By: Dyah Indrawati