School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation Kyushu University

Implemented the First “Fieldwork for ISI international students” Dec.25,2023

On Friday, December 15, 2023, ISI held our first "Fieldwork for ISI international students" at Shikanoshima Island (Syougonji and Kin-in Park) in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka City.

The objective of this fieldwork was to provide international students with cultural experiences unique to Japan and to foster collaborative learning between international students and international student supporters.

Approximately 20 participants, including regular international students, exchange students from partner universities, international student supporters, faculty member and administrative staff, took part in the fieldwork. During the bus journey, the international student supporters engaged in pre-learning activities, delivering lectures on Japanese culture and the Golden Seal, making the travel time enjoyable and educational.

Our first destination was the historic Zen temple, "Syougonji", the roots of which trace back to the Kamakura period. Here, we challenged various activities of Japanese culture such as Zen meditation, Dharma talk, Tea ceremony, Calligraphy, and Sutra copying. During the 30-minute Zen meditation, we quietly reflecting on our inner selves, while the sermon taught us the importance of expressing gratitude through the "Five things we should keep in our mind in daily life". In the Tea ceremony, we savored delicious Matcha and traditional sweets prepared in the Hakata-style "Nanbō-ryū," and in Calligraphy, even students holding a brush for the first time enjoyed writing Hiragana and their names. Furthermore, during Sutra copying, we inscribed our own prayers and dedicated it to the Buddhist alter. It appears that each of these experiences was deemed invaluable and exclusive to Japan, particularly for the international students.

After visiting Syougonji temple, we visited Kin-in Park. This location is known as the place where the "Golden Seal" (a national treasure), believed to have been granted by Emperor Guangwu of the Later Han dynasty to the " King of Na" in 57 AD (late Yayoi period), was discovered. The park situated on a small elevated area offering a distant view of the Ito campus of Kyushu University, the park also showcases a replica of the "Golden Seal." The international students were captivated as they gazed with keen interest at the intricately carved serpent motifs adorning the Golden Seal.

The admiration for Japanese culture and the deepening of bonds among peers led to voices among the students expressing, "We would be delighted to have such opportunities again."

Syougonji temple

Zazen meditation

Kin-in Park

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