July 29th was the first day of 2019 CAMPUS Asia Tokyo session, at the Komaba campus of the University of Tokyo. We welcomed this year’s participants — young undergraduates from Peking University, Seoul National University and UTokyo — with great pleasure. During a one-week session in Tokyo, they will attend lectures and do group projects together, whose aim is greater mutual understanding, as well as exploring the summer program topic “Environment and Life in East Asia”.
During the opening ceremony, Prof. Shimizu Takashi from UTokyo delivered greetings to all participants, explaining the purpose of CAMPUS Asia program, and encouraged the students to take part in activities and enjoy their stay in Tokyo. After that, all the students, professors and staff introduced themselves, and some necessary information about the schedule was also made clear.
Students and professors had lunch together at the Wakan (KPC Japanese-style House). Seeing the sushi prepared by staff, students from China and Korea were greatly delighted. Everyone chatted cheerfully, and the lunchtime finished in a warm atmosphere.
In the afternoon, Prof. Kim Bumsoo from Seoul National University gave our students the first lecture of Tokyo session, entitled “Culture and Difference in Everyday Life”. He started with the question “what is the definition of culture?” and talked with the students about a number of everyday experiences in Korea, Japan and China, while also introducing the latest academic research on this topic. Prof. Kim emphasized the difficult problem of how to treat minorities and “bad” cultures while we promote cultural diversity in the modern world. As he asked students for their opinions on some recent news concerning this problem, the discussion heated up gradually, and the time passed quickly. Even with a lecture in a limited time, we believe the students will continue thinking about this topic, looking for their own answers.
(Written by Zhang Yingzi, EAA Research Assistant)