We can only begin to share in words and images all of our favorite moments from our days at Kichijo.
Calligraphy class was one of many highlights at school as we learned how to write the kanji for beauty, flower, heart, and friend.
Everyone took such good care of us – from helping us choose our entrees and desserts in the cafeteria to lending us extra shorts when we forgot our Porter’s gym uniforms. We spent time in English Conversation, Math, Biology, Ethics, and other regularly scheduled courses with our host sisters and students from our homeroom classes.
Fukuwarai comes in many different faces, but this old grandmother helped us have fun while learning the words for directions in Japanese class.
We also had classes built into the schedule just for us, like calligraphy and Japanese lessons. A lot of laughter, love, and lessons followed us through the halls and courtyards of Kichijo and many of the things we learned will stay with us for a long time.
For one of our last reflections, we composed a list of questions we are still thinking about for our experience. The focus of our course on women in modern Japan combined with our experiences with other young women at three different schools in Japan has left us with more questions than answers.
- What’s your image of a typical American?
- What surprised you about your visit to QMS or having visitors from MPS?
- What would you want to do if you visited MPS?
- What do you think about the Japanese education system compared to what you know about the US and Canada?
- What do you love about it?
- What would you want to change?
- What do you expect for your life after university?
- Do you plan to return to work after marriage and/or childbirth?
- Can you see yourself working at the same level or above men?
- What do you know about US politics and the new president?
- How often do you talk about politics in school?
- How often does the US come up in those conversations?
- What are the benefits of girls’ schools?
- If you could create your own school…?
- What do women need to be successful?
- What is the definition of a successful woman?
- Do you have female role models?
Some of our questions have as many answers as there are girls at Kichijo. Others are ones we will continue thinking about during our spring semester, as we move into the next phase of InterMission. We look forward to putting them together with some of our more lighthearted experiences in order to show our community what it was like to spend two weeks in Tokyo.