Journal 5

The sky I looked up at Dulles Airport was high and wide-opened. This was my first impression of the U.S.. I had never been to foreign countries until I joined this CCC program. There were so many things I got in touch with for the first time, other than the sky and atmosphere of the U.S. and I was excited and impressed by all of them. In this journal, I would like to write about what I saw and thought in this program, including observations on the life in the U.S. and some difference from Japan.

The first point I was surprised was the meals. I thought I would eat “the American food” everyday but I had heard that it was a prejudiced idea that American foods and meals were very large in quantity. However, it turned out to be what I expected. My stomach had felt heavy for a few days, but I enjoyed big hamburgers, chips, sandwiches and so many kind of foods. Another point was there were few vending machines. It was a little inconvenient that there was no vending machine in the dorms. In Japan, there are vending machines everywhere, from stations to back streets. I heard in Williamsburg there were remnants of old buildings underground so that we could not locate ones. One of the most impressive points was the goods of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In Washington D.C., I saw many merchandises of the two candidates, including T shirts, caps, toys and so on in the souvenir stores, but in Japan there are few goods of the Prime Minister or other politicians.

I found that there are some good points I think are different from Japan in the life of American people. Firstly, people are very kind and friendly. In pharmacy or other shops, salesclerks at the counter said to customers “How are you doing?” and have a short conversation. In restaurant, they always asked us whether we could have a good time. I know it is a kind of common greetings, but I liked this and felt a little kindness. Also, I saw salesclerks talked and laughed with their customers many times. As for me, I had a chance to talk with them in the first day luckily. When I went to Target and took some CDs, a salesclerk talked to me because he liked the CDs too. It was very exciting experience for me because I was a little nervous of the two-week program in the place where I’m not familiar with. In addition, even those who happened to come along were very kind for us. Needless to say, people in Japan are of course kind and like to help others. However, I think there is surely difference in how people interact with others, and sometimes Japanese people tend to avoid interacting with who they do not know or foreign people, and even there are still a kind of discrimination against them. Another point is townscape. I had expected that Washington D.C. would be a great city. Actually it was, but a little different from what I had expected. Firstly, green grass was everywhere. In Japan, we seldom see grass in the center of Tokyo and other cities like Yokohama or Osaka, though there is shrubbery instead. However, in Washington D.C., we could see grass at the circles and the building sites. I was impressed how neatly it was manicured. Secondly, the buildings in Washington D.C. were not high, except for the Monument. After I came back to Japan, I researched why there were no high buildings. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the U.S., wanted to make Washington “Paris in America”, so he thought they must build low and convenient buildings and wide roads. In 1899, the Congress passed the Heights of Buildings Act and regulated the construction of high buildings to succeed Jefferson’s wish. I think it is very great that even now the city remains as Jefferson wished and looks good.

However, sadly everything I saw was not wonderful. In the metro, I saw a woman showing a cardboard written that she was pregnant but had no money, and asking people in the train something to eat. Also, there was a mother with her baby sitting down in the station and asking charity. It is true that there are homeless persons or people suffering from poverty in Tokyo or other cities, but it was surprising that poverty of the people, especially women, had become so apparent. I am afraid that poor women in Japan would fall into the same situation because poverty rate of Japanese women are increasing. In addition, I noticed that many black or Hispanic people were working as cleaners, bus drivers or guards, but there were few white people in the same jobs. For example, in McDonald’s near the campus, there were many Asian and black workers but few white people, as far as I could see. It is possible that my speculation is wrong and actually the case is different from what I thought, but I researched that in 2015 the poverty rate of the black people was 27.4% and the Hispanic people was 26.6%, and mainly lack of education and living styles like ghetto caused such high rates. I think these facts lead differentiation of jobs between black and white people.

My first step to overseas could not be better and perfect because not only through the lectures but with my own eyes I could learn many types of differences, mainly cultural difference. Even after coming back to Japan, I feel the difference between two cultures more strongly. Through this program, I got new perspectives to see and analyze the world, and of course many friends and precious memories.

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Entry 5

I have been to Hawaii when I was 2 years old, but I don’t remember it. So effectively this short term study is my first trip to foreign countries.

In my trip, I was surprised at everything such as “I don’t know how to use this shower,” “Cars really go right side on the road,” “Why are American dishes so big and expensive,” “Signals are different from ones of Japan.” In this program, I saw many things that I didn’t know.

I have two topics that I was surprised most. First, intimacy of American people. For example, when I went to the fast food restaurant, the casher told me “How are you?” I was confused because I was never told such a thing in Japan. Here is another example of it. When I saw PA and CI talk each other, PA used friendly words such as “Gotcha.” That sounds strange for me because when Japanese people talk to others who are senior to themselves, they use respectful words in some case that they are lovers. In the presentations of focus groups, a group showed “small talk.” This can explain why the casher told me friendly, but I think it is hard for this to explain the conversation of PAs and CIs because they had known each other and never considered the others as enemy. So I think there is another factor that makes the difference between America and Japan, however I can’t figure out what it is.

Second, the differences of restaurants. What made me confused most was the tip. At first time, I didn’t know when I should pay it, with the charge or separating from. Also that the waiter recommended the sides as it was free made me confused. I couldn’t recognize whether what they told me was about the side or option of the meal I chose because of my poor listening ability. I think that American meals are more expensive than Japan. People hesitate to pay $11 (is equal to about \1100) for a hamburger in Japan.

Before I went to America, I thought that American people were inhospitable to and not interested in others. But actually, they are friendly and kind. For example, the waiter explained how to order very politely and waiters refilled my grass of water without me asking him/her. Also PAs and CIs were very kind even when I mistyped their name! I was grateful for their kindness. Kindness of American people made my trip more enjoyable.

Nowadays MEXT, Japanese ministry of education, are focusing on speaking English. The examination for national universities will change in 2020 to measure candidates’ speaking abilities. But I think this policy is not good by the experiment in America. In my opinion, Japanese student should learn more about listening to English. In America, I had difficulties listening to it when talking with waitress or PAs. Of course, it is difficult to speak English, but by PAs’ help and dictionary, I could tell American people what I want to say. If we don’t have abilities of speaking, we can write down our opinion and thought on notes. But when we don’t have ones of listening, we cannot start even conversation. Before visiting America, I thought speaking is most important, however this short-term study change my opinion.

By using what I learned in America, I want to help Japanese people know American culture and be able to speaking English by teaching English, participating in international fairs and so on.

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Journal4

In August 15, we departed for Washington D.C. I have never been to Washington D.C. Now, I want to compare Washington D.C. with Tokyo, because of Tokyo being the capital city of Japan. I think that there are a similarity point and a difference point between Tokyo and Washington D.C.

The first, the similarity point between Washington D.C. and Japan is that the representative of Washington D.C. is much the same as that of Japan, which is a historical place. I think the representatives are Lincoln memorial, White House, Smithsonian museum and the other museums in Washington D.C. They are the very historical places or the places relating to American history. On the other hand, the representative is Asakusa in Japan. Asakusa is very historical place. In Asakusa, there are so many shops where craft objects of Japan and traditional food are sold.

The second, I think the difference point between Washington D.C. and Japan is weather economy, politics and culture are concentrated on a capital city or not. In America, there are many main cities, like Boston, New York, California, San Francisco, and so on. They are not concentrated on Washington D.C. and are dispersed to each city. On the other hand, they are concentrated on Tokyo, though there are large cities in Japan, like Kyoto, Osaka, Kanagawa, and so on. So Japan has a deflection to population. If some of many functions in Tokyo, like network and traffic, are stopped, the functions in whole Japan are stopped. Now, a movement of trying to disperse economy, politics and culture to each city has already been done. But I think the movement should be done more actively and quickly than ever before.

I only have two days left to stay in America, so I want to learn about America and have a good time to the last.

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Journal 4

Journal 4

Kosuke Tojima

August 15, we left Williamsburg for Washington DC, which is the capital city of the US. Actually I am so interested in American politics, and this is why I applied to this program. So when I came here, I was thrilled because there are so many political sites here. Now I’m going to write down about our attitude toward politic.

In Japan, actually most of us don’t care about who represents us. This is partly because we think that every candidate can govern the country as well as other candidate, which means that every candidate is equal in term with how well they can govern. And recently many politicians has done something dishonest; cheating, fraud or things like that. This is other reason we don’t care about politic.

On the other hand, in the US, more people vote for candidates compared with Japan even if there are lots of negative campaigns. If there are negative campaigns in Japan like one in the US, our turnout is going to be much lower than now. Then, why do American people vote? I think that there are two reasons for that. One is that American people have to legislate as voter, which means most of American voter are supposed to vote. Another reason is that American media broadcast election widely especially in presidential election. So many American people have lots of opportunity to come in touch with politic and know about politic. In other words, politic is more popular for American people than for Japanese people. I found that in America there are lots goods about this election like caps or bags. And also I felt in that many students told about politic, but most of Japanese people avoid talking about politic.

I’m writing down this journal in Japan while watching news show about American politic. I think this program is so precious opportunity, because we could experience America’s origin; Virginia and America’s capital city; Washington, DC. I decided to keep studying American politics.

 

Due to mechanic trouble, I was late for sending this journal.

 

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My comments on this enjoyeble program

Journal 5

I`ll write about what I felt during this program.

First, this is about the PA and CI.

In Japan, also in my university, it is difficult to make new friends.

On the other hand, I was very surprised at their attitude to me.

All of them talked to me smiling as if we have been good friends.

All of them are very kind so I was very sad when I had to say goodbye to them.

I have a bad habit of imagining that He hates me or she looks down on me.

So I have decided to overcome it.

 

Next, this is what I felt during my free time.

I enjoyed sightseeing by myself all the time.

When I go to George Town.

I was afraid whether I can go back to the hotel.

I felt loneliness and fear that I never felt in my lifetime.

What is more, I ate nothing in lunch and dinner that day.

So I was very very very very very very hungry

When I go back to the hotel, I was so exhausted.

And I was very hungry.

Then my PA and CI told me the way to the vending machine and gave me some food such as miso soup and cracker and sweets.

I was very impressed by their kindness and I was about to cry.

 

From this, I found that, I always live on the support or kindness and friendship

 Consideration between people especially adults(in this program CI and PA  and my parents and grandparents)

Actually I often say I don`t need friends. But this is totally wrong,

I am very happy to have very kind and funny friends in foreign country. And communicate with them with the international tool,English/

Adventuring became my hobby because of this program.

 

Let`s be united

GOFIGHTWIN

 

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The most exciting sightseeing

Journal 4

Excuse me. I don`t remember the content of some lecture.

So, I`ll write about my sightseeimg.

On August 15, Devon and Sam took me and my friend to a delicious oyster restaurant.

I was happy to communicate with them and have such delicious food.

Then they took us to a pharmacy CVS.

There were so many CVS stores in Washington DC, It was like 7eleven in Japan.

 

 

Next day, it was all free day

I went back to the Beacon hotel to take my map and guidebook, so I couldn`t enjoy sightseeing with my friends.

Instead of it, I could go everywhere I want to go.

Devon gave me a convenient map and told me the way very kindly.

First, I went to The white house.

I love this building because it is a very interesting matter whether the next president is Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton, White house is very relevant.

Next I went to The Air and Space museum.

It has very many models of spacecraft and of combat plane.

I enjoyed all.

Next I walked to and enjoyed the The Capitol and The Supreme court, The Library of Congress.

They were much more beautiful than them of Japan.

I went to inside of it and received three strong impressions,

After it, I used the subway and went to the opposite station.

There was George Town University.

From there, I tried to walk to the George Town.,

I was about to get lost, however I managed to get there with my guidebook and the question to people.

But there was no attractive building or event in George Town.

What is more, I tried to go to Washington National cathedral.

I was foolish, it was very very very far

I decided to turn back.

On the way to the hotel, I got lost,

I walked too long distance, so when I got to the hotel. I was so exhausted and my leg became a stick.

Unfortunately, I couldn`t sleep well that night.

Next day, we went to the Japanese Embassy and listen to the diplomats.

I learned the way to survive this international society from them.

Thank you.

After it, we have the free time.

I went to a shopping mall.

I bought a T-shirt for me and a T-shirt foe my friend there.

After it, I went to the Holocaust Museum.

It was so serious so I felt that I have to convey this memory to the future memories.

That night, I slept very deeply

 

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Journal 4

As soon as we arrived at Washington DC, I spent most of the free time walking around the town and found out that the city is totally different from Williamsburg. The city of Washington DC is more similar to the city of Tokyo. There are many embassies, lots of buildings, and many people. But I also found the differences. Unlike Tokyo, Washington DC has few tall buildings. In fact, all the buildings are smaller than Washington Monument. I also surprised that even DC is a capital of the US, there are green all over the place. Meaning, tree and glass are everywhere. In Tokyo there is less green and you can barely find green near the Emperal House. The night walking we did in the other day was my favorite except we failed to get the last train! Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr, and Abraham Lincoln are one of the important people in the US history. I only studied about them for short but I know how big they were in the US history. I am glad to meet them in Washington DC. I wanted to spend more time on Martin Luther King Jr museum. I like his quotes a lot. My favorite quote from Martin Luther King Jr is “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moment of comfort and convenience. But where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” This quote encourages me to be aggressive and take risks to change something.

 In my own perspective, I prefer the town of Williamsburg rather than the city of Washington DC. In Williamsburg, I felt like time past slowly. It was very relaxing and comfortable. On the other hand, there are too many people in DC. Since I live in Tokyo, I am tired of many people walking so fast and taking trains. I want to go to the place where I can relax.

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Jpunal4

I think Washington D.C is a very interesting and nice city. This city has become my favorite place. In Washington D.C, I saw a lot of statues. In Japanese city, such as Tokyo, there are also some statues. However, in Japan, I rarely see as many statues as in Washington D.C. The height of buildings in Washington D.C is also an interesting point for me. I thought that Washington D.C had a lot of skyscrapers because it is the capital of America. In fact, the buildings of Washington D.C are beautiful and have historical atmosphere, rather than very high and urbanized. Washington Memorial is the only high building. In addition to that, I saw a lot of subway station in Washington D.C, while I saw no tram stations. In Tokyo, there are many tram stations and subway stations. I think the American government may make some efforts for protecting the unique atmosphere of Washington D.C, like regulation of constructing high buildings. I think it is very nice effort. I think the landscape or atmosphere of the city is very important factor of good living. The landscape or atmosphere can affect our emotions. The city in relaxing mood can make us relax, and the city in busy mood can make us stressful. In Japan, Kyoto emphasizes the landscape and atmosphere. Kyoto is a very old city in Japan, and once Japanese emperor lived there more than 1000 years. Constructing high buildings and using vivid paints is regulated in Kyoto in order to protect its historical atmosphere. However, Kyoto and Washington D.C are different. Washington D.C is the capital of America and the center of politics. On the other hand, Kyoto is just a city of sightseeing. So it is natural that the landscape or atmosphere are protected. I think emphasizing historical or cultural aspect in political city such as Washington D.C is difficult. I like American city structure.

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Entry4

I learned about Washington D.C. in the aspect of African American Self-Determination, Identity, and Education. Then I went to Library of congress and Supreme Court. These buildings are very beautiful and really good! Most exciting for me is the night walk. We departed for National Mall and night time tour of memorials. In tour of memorials, we saw Lincoln statue and Martin Luther King. Washington monument is very high! We took pictures. Next day, I went to Pentagon city and White House by subway. Pentagon is very beautiful but I could not enter the Pentagon because it needs reservation. I was disappointed. White House was also beautiful but it has strong security. So White House view is much far from me. Next day, I went to Smithonian museum and American Indian museum with members of discussion group. This is very fun. In the Smithonian museum, we saw a lot of planes such as a combat plane. I was so excited because I am interested in history of WW2. My discussion group member Humiya was also excited. He is mania of planes. I bought space blanket there. Probably I will give it to my friends. Then I went to American Indian museum which Barry strongly recommended. I saw a lot of exhibition of American Indian, and I learned how they lived. There I had Indian lunch. This was very delicious but Fumiya said “it is very raw!” So I ate his lunch. In Washington D.C., dinner was good. First day, I had oyster food and it was very delicious but a little bit expensive for me. Second day I had Ethiopian food which is also recommended by Barry. Very spicy! The last day in Washington, I was excited for farewell party. Talent show was very funny. Finally, I was sad because I must leave here and say “bye” I want to come to the US soon!

 

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Journal 4

Gen Minegishi

Even I have lived in the United States for almost five years, it was my first time to visit Washington DC, formally Washington District of Columbia. The city is known as capital city of the United States. The city does not own state, it is just an area so it does not have many populations. For major cities on recent days, it is pretty unique that it does not have a lot of population, although it has government of the United States which has tremendous effects internationally and also it is known as important financial center. The city also has a lot of museums and memorial statues.
Compare to the capital city of Japan, Tokyo. It was completely different. As I mentioned above ,Washington DC has a lot of historical places to visit and less population. However, in Tokyo, it is one the most urbanized city in the world. Even Japan has independent history and culture, Tokyo does not have many historical things. Unlike Washington DC, Tokyo is the highest population and population density in Japan.
In my opinion ,the capital city does not necessary to be the most urbanized or highest population in the country. In order to represent the country internationally, they need culture and history. Washington DC is the perfect city as capital city of the United States. The city is full of American culture and history and less population density, the city seems more cleaner than most of the cities in the United States. On the other hand in Tokyo, there are some historical places but not many as Washington DC, most of the places destroyed to be urbanized or developed. Tokyo has many crowds that the most of the foreigners would surprise, and those population density shows the city less cleaner and mess. With having Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo, they should be cultural and historical city instead of being urbanized more.

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