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Campus Asia Winter Program

My “BeST” Memories

江島徳政(EJIMA NORIMASA)
教養学部文科3類2年
文学部歴史文化学科日本史学専修内定

I participated in a joint project "BeST Program" hosted by Beijing University, Seoul National University and The University of Tokyo during February. "BeST" comes from the initials of Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo. This conference lasted for 3 weeks. All the members who joined this project spent the first 2 weeks studying at SNU and then students of SNU and UT spent remaining 1 week in Tokyo. Students from UT were very impressed by the English conversation skills of students from SNU and BU. We UT students tried our best to communicate with SNU and BU students using our limited English skills. Some of the UT students were communicating with SNU students in Korean.

The days in South Korea were very exciting for me. I participated in the impeachment demonstration of President Park with some SNU students. I was very surprised by the passion of people who joined the protest. Since political movements are prohibited by the Communist government in China, I also found it interesting to see and learn how Chinese students reacted to the political protest. When I went to the DMZ (Demilitarized Neutral Zone) between South Korea and North Korea during the project, I felt sad about the tragedy of confrontation between the same “朝鮮民族”. I heard that there are lots of families that are still separated in north and south because of the Korean War. It was too painful for me to imagine a situation where people would kill their family and friends. I sincerely wish that the confrontation in the Korean Peninsula will be settled peacefully as soon as possible. I also had a look at the statue of comfort woman “従軍慰安婦像,” that has great influence on the relationship between Japan and Korea. Although I am not sure which argument is closer to the truth because I have little knowledge about it, I found it painful to realize that the victims of reckless wars are always innocent people. We talked about various topics concerning our three countries. We found many differences while we were talking about cultural aspects such as food, clothes, residences, music, and so on. We also discussed about the historical man"金九", the leader of the Korean independence movement who fought against the Great Empire of Japan during WWⅡ. In addition, we discussed the territorial issues among Japan, China, and Korea. It was very important for me to exchange opinions and ideas directly with the students of each country.

It was valuable for me to think about my own career and future during this project. I decided to major in Japanese history from this April. A lot of historical knowledge that I learned during my high school days contributed to making friends with each other. I enjoyed talking about “世宗” and “李舜臣” with Korean students, and also enjoyed talking about “三国志” and ”紅楼夢” with Chinese students. Discussing each other’s history is one of the ways to show each other courtesy. I learned that understanding each other's history can be perceived as a proof of the trust and respect we have for each other. I became very proud of my decision to major in Japanese historyduring my remaining time at UT. It was valuable for me to gain confidence in my past and the steps that I will take from here on out.

I really had fun time spending with SNU and BU students. Although I learned more things than I expected, the most important thing was very simple. The best thing I learned was that “liquor, art, and love overcome borders!”

We can easily become friends by eating delicious meals together, chatting about romantic love, and appreciating wonderful music and art!
There are two different meanings of the Japanese word “はし”. One is “bridge(橋)” and the other is “chopsticks(箸)”. Although various differences exist among Japan, China, and Korea, we “East Asians” share the same culture using chopsticks(箸) when we eat food. I think it is our mission to share wise wisdom like “はし(箸)” to overcome various conflicts and gaps, and become “はし(橋)”the bridge between our three countries.

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