Fuji Television Studio, Final Reflection, and Poetry

We spent the first hour of the day in reflection, writing thank-you notes to our host sisters, families, and buddies, for their warm welcome and generous care and kindness during our time in Tokyo. Our host families opened their homes and hearts to us, and saying goodbye tomorrow will be an emotional experience. How hard to is to say goodbye to those we love and honor! Perhaps it is best to think of our goodbye as an opportunity to stay in touch, foster relationship, and look toward a return to this wonderful city and country–its people and this culture. Let’s plan for our NEXT trip to Tokyo!

Kichijo in the early morning sunlight.

After reflection time, we took the train to Odaiba and enjoyed free time in the harbor area before our tour of Fuji Television, one of the world’s largest global media hubs.

Zoom in on the Olympic rings in the background: TOKYO 2020! Folks here are excited AND concerned. Consider adding another million-or-so people to a city of 15+ million!
THIS is a great story…

As were were exiting the train at Tokyo Teleport for our Fuji Television tour, we heard this family–also heading to Odiaba–talking energetically about Miss Porter’s School. As it turns out, they were on a holiday to Japan from China; they’ve visited our campus and they’re eager to learn more about our IM curriculum–the very one that brought us to Tokyo! All roads lead to Farmington!

In Odaibo, we were lucky enough to have an extensive tour of Fuji Television–the media equivalent of ABC, NBC, CBS, and maybe even Apple TV +. Fuji Television is a global hub of news and media technology, and though we were not allowed to take photos during most of the tour, the facilitators gave us permission for a few awesome photo opportunities.

Inside one of the mid-day talk show studios.

“Puppy Rafa-kun, whose name is derived from the English word, ‘laugh,’ was originally a character for TV show broadcast in 1998.” Rafa-Kun is the mascot of Fuji Television.

Students enjoyed free time in Odaiba before heading back to their final night with host families. As overwhelming as it was to arrive here, it is equally overwhelming to say good bye to a place and the people we have come to love in a brief and powerful moment in time.

Lydia, her host family, and host-dog!
Just. So. Lovely. Blythe and her (extended) host family.

As we prepare for our leave-taking tomorrow, we are enormously grateful to all who have made this experience possible. It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes an army to send 80+ students to six disparate and diverse global classrooms! Thank you to all who have had a hand in making this experience a profound opportunity for all of us to reach and grow, build and support, learn and live together. Domo arigato gozaimas: thank you so very much.

Finally, here is a haiku poem that, for me, describes an incredible season of growth in our students’ experience. Though it is not yet spring, in Japan it is not far away from sakura-time.

This haiku expresses the anticipatory light and bloom of spring, a similar experience to our illuminating time in Japan:

The light of a candle

is transferred to another candle–

Spring twilight.

(“Lighting One Candle,” by Yosa Buson).

See you in the sates.

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