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Keizai Koho Center Teacher Fellowship 2004

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Travel Log
- Saturday, July 10, 2004 (Day10) -
  Home-stay in Tokyo  

(Comments by Anthony Cicco, 2004 Fellow, on July 11, 2004)


The morning began with a discussion with members of KKC's social survey network. We were put into small groups to discuss education in Japan today. The discussion proved most fruitful as we were able to look at the perspective of Japanese citizens and their concerns/view of educators today.

In the afternoon, we met our host families with whom we were to spend the weekend with. I stayed with Tamiko and Takeo who live in west Tokyo. The home-stay provided a fascinating insight into Japanese home life. There was time to talk about a range of aspects of Japanese life and this enabled one to gain some insight into the culture. Added to this was the addition of both delicious and traditional Japanese cuisine which was much appreciated.

During Saturday evening, there was a very minor "earthquake". I must say that I did not notice it as I was eating at the time. However, my hosts assured me that a minor earthquake of no consequence had just occurred!! (continued to July 11)

Home-stay in Tokyo
(Comments by Terry Hunt, 2004 Fellow on July 15, 2004)

Like many of the participants in the KKC fellowship program, I was filled with both excitement and apprehension over the home-stay part of the fellowship. I was grateful to have already have met Mrs. Fujimoto, my host, at the opening reception so I knew a little about her life and her family. She had a genuine warm that resonated from her and I was instantly put me at ease. We took the subway to her home from the KKC and met her husband at the subway station. He had borrowed a minivan for my visit. The drive to there home was an experience I will not soon forget. Mr. Fujimoto maneuvered that minivan with the determination of a race-car driver on a road I thought should be one-way traffic only. I later found out from Mrs. Fujimoto that he has an alter ego when he is behind the wheel.

The afternoon was spent sharing our lives through pictures and ceremonial tea. Mrs. Fujimoto collects traditional Japanese pottery, weaves baskets, and sews. She also teaches and studies English at night. While Mrs. Fujimoto prepared food for a dinner party she had organized in my honor, I took a much need rest.

I was delighted with the guests Mrs. Fujimoto had invited to meet me. Four were children ranging from ten to fourteen years of age. Masayuki, ten years old, was a born entertainer and demonstrated his martial arts ability while I videotaped him. His sister, Mikako, is twelve years old and will be leaving at the end of July for a home stay in Ohio. She, like myself, is filled with excitement and apprehension. These are the children of Mrs. Fujimoto's coworker who also attended the dinner party. The other two children were Rydo, fourteen, and his sister, Saya, who is ten years old. These are Mrs. Fujimoto's niece and nephew. Rydo came with a bouquet of flowers and a box of homemade cakes from his mother for me. He also brought me a bag full of Yu-gi-Oh cards. His sister gave me my first Hello Kitty. They taught me how to make origami objects.

During the visit I met Mrs. Fujimoto's children, her daughter, Yukari, 24, and So, her son who is 23. So has been attending a university in Knoxville, Tennessee so he was the official interpreter for the evening. After dinner I put on a kimono that Yukari made in high school. We had a camera shoot. I was touched when Mrs. Fujimoto gave me her daughter's kimono she had worn as a child. On this night I went to bed and had the best night sleep since arriving in Japan. (continued to July 11)


  Keizai Koho Center    
  The Keizai Koho Center (Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs) is a private, non-profit organization that works in cooperation with Nippon Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations) to foster better understanding of the goals and the role of business in a free society.    

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