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Alison Keiko Harsch
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Launched in summer 2022, Stanford e-Sendai Ikuei is a collaborative course between the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) and Sendai Ikuei Gakuen High School. The program offers Sendai Ikuei Gakuen High School students the opportunity to develop their English and critical thinking skills while examining their roles on a global scale. Stanford e-Sendai Ikuei is one of SPICE’s local student programs in Japan.

On October 28, I had the privilege of travelling to Sendai, Japan to attend the closing ceremony for the 2022 inaugural class of Stanford e-Sendai Ikuei. The trip was a precious opportunity to meet the students in-person for the first time, after five months of learning together over Zoom. While there, I considered the educational journey the students had taken that led up to this moment of accomplishment.

Stanford e-Sendai Ikuei was designed to challenge students to examine the world from new perspectives as they consider their own role on the global stage. To this end, the class was structured into three main topics: diversity, global citizenship, and entrepreneurship.

For the first topic, students examined diversity through the framework of the United States’ history of immigration and richly diverse population. Guided by guest speakers, the class engaged in thoughtful conversations on why stereotypes take root and how biases grow through systemic oppression. Students analyzed the work done by change makers and activists in the pursuit of inclusion and equity. Finally, students were able to reflect on the concept of identity and contemplate what their unique perspectives bring to the table.

In the second section of the program, students applied their self-reflections and understanding of diversity to discussions on what it means to be a global citizen. Lessons focused on establishing a general understanding of global issues and international collaboration and encouraged students to consider the global issues they hold important. Invited guest speakers generously shared their personal journeys of finding their passions to exemplify how the students might engage with global issues on a local and grassroots scale.

Hearing the inaugural class’s conviction and sense of growth, I am grateful to have been a part of their education as young leaders, and I look forward to seeing where their curiosity takes them next.

After feeling a bit overwhelmed by the weight of the world, students were eager to understand how to make these problems approachable. In our final unit on entrepreneurship, the class explored how Silicon Valley entrepreneurs applied a growth mindset—which normalizes and embraces failure to achieve success—to stay innovative and reach for new solutions. Students practiced their own innovation skills through Design Thinking and learned how to collaborate as a team to create stronger ideas. Lastly, the students considered how to take care of their mental health and well-being as they pursue their goals through practicing mindfulness and finding supports.

The program culminated in a final research project where students had the opportunity to take a turn in the instructor’s seat and teach the class about the issues that sparked their passion and curiosity. With a 3–5 minute presentation written and delivered in English, students challenged themselves to apply the communication skills, analysis, and self-reflection they had practiced throughout the course. They rose to the challenge with determination and compassion.

During the in-person closing ceremony, students came up one by one to share their reflections and lessons learned. Many of their statements echoed a similar tune—a confession of a nervous and intimidated mindset at the outset of the program, a desire to push themselves in order to broaden their skills and perspectives, and a goal to continue their learning journeys with empathy as their guide. Hearing the inaugural class’s conviction and sense of growth, I am grateful to have been a part of their education as young leaders, and I look forward to seeing where their curiosity takes them next.

I am enormously grateful to all of the Stanford e-Sendai Ikuei guest speakers for their shared knowledge, experience, and mentorship:

  • Esther Priscilla Ebuehi, Birth Equity Analyst, Cherished Futures for Black Moms & Babies
  • Kenji Harsch, Associate Clinical Social Worker, Fred Finch Youth & Family Services
  • Makiko Hirata, Professional Pianist and SPICE Instructor
  • Rebecca Jennison, Professor, Kyoto Seika University
  • Sukemasa Kabeyama, Co-Founder and CEO, Uplift Labs
  • Gary Mukai, Director, SPICE
  • Jennifer Teeter, Lecturer, Kyoto Seika University
  • Samanta Vásquez, Social Worker, Office of Refugee Resettlement
  • Sam Yee, Senior Program Coordinator, GPI US, and the GPI US Design Team
     

I would like to give a special thank you to Principal Takehiko Katoh, the Sendai Ikuei Gakuen High School staff, and my partner coordinator at Sendai Ikuei Gakuen Rina Imagawa for their endless support and assistance to make this course possible.

To stay informed of SPICE news, join our email list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Stanford e-Sendai Ikuei introduces students to the topics of diversity, global citizenship, and entrepreneurship.

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Gary Mukai
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This fall, Stanford’s Center for Latin American Studies and SPICE released a new video lecture by Professor Will Fowler, a renowned expert on Mexican history who teaches at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. In the lecture, Fowler presents Mexican perspectives on the Mexican–U.S. War of 1846–1848 and the resulting Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which most Mexicans regard as the most tragic chapter in their history. Professor Fowler also reflects on the consequences of the war for Mexico and how the country remembers the war.

In Mexico, this war is usually referred to as “la intervención estadounidense en México” or “la guerra mexicano-estadounidense,” which translates into English as the “U.S. Intervention in Mexico” or “the Mexican–U.S. War.”

The video is an excerpt from a longer lecture that Professor Fowler gave on the Mexican–U.S. War of 1846–1848 for the Center for Latin American Studies on July 27, 2021. A free classroom-friendly discussion guide for this video was developed by SPICE Curriculum Consultant Greg Francis and is available for download here. The objectives of the video lecture and curriculum guide are for students to:

  • gain an understanding of Mexico’s experience of the Mexican–U.S. War and the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo;
  • examine what led to Mexico’s defeat in the war;
  • discuss the consequences and legacy of the war from a Mexican perspective; and
  • learn the importance of thinking critically about perspectives in their textbooks and classes.


Among the topics of Fowler’s lecture is the legend of the six boy heroes, or the Niños Héroes, that has become the main symbol and memory of the war in Mexico. The two most well-known depictions of the event are a mural on the ceiling of Chapultepec Castle and the Altar a la Patria (Altar to the Homeland) monument, more commonly called the Monumento a los Niños Héroes, both in Mexico City. The guide presents an activity that engages students in an examination of the Niños Héroes.

In addition, the guide engages students in a review of how their history textbooks treat the U.S.–Mexico War. After reading the textbook excerpt, students respond to these questions.

  • According to the textbook passage, how did U.S. leaders and the general public react to the U.S. victory in the war?
  • What was most surprising or novel to you about the textbook passage?
  • Which actors does the U.S. textbook emphasize? How do these differ from the actors that Professor Fowler emphasized?
  • Which perspectives does the textbook cover that Professor Fowler did not, and vice versa?


The video lecture and guide were made possible through the support of U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center funding under the auspices of Title VI, Section 602(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

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Stanford’s Center for Latin American Studies and SPICE release new video lecture and teacher’s guide.

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Noah Kurima
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I feel it on my 3-minute walk to campus. At times, it is subtle; the quiet yet furious pace of students late for classes in Building 11. At times, it is pretentious; the Shinjuku laughter of the working men and women in their blue suits, escaping their offices for a night of ramen, beer, and karaoke. It is the pulse of the greatest city on Earth. It is the beat of life that I now see, feel, and hear every day in the heart of Tokyo as a freshman at Waseda University.

Where I grew up, there was a beach. My friends and I often spent time there, especially when the pandemic hit Southern California. It was our getaway from the outside world, a sanctuary of calm instilled by the rolling of waves and the bobbing of dolphins. But it was also a haven to find inspiration in the unrelenting freedom of the seabirds, simple creatures finding the courage to spread their wings and trust in the fortunes of the winds to soar above us all.

Driven by this inspiration, I applied to the Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP), knowing the improbability of being accepted into a competitive program at Stanford University. I did not have perfect grades nor the brand name of a famous high school. What I did have was the courage to spread my wings and trust in the fortunes of the winds. I had a story to tell, and unbelievably, RSP Instructor Naomi Funahashi chose to listen.

By far, RSP was my favorite class during high school. I cannot clearly articulate why—it was a confluence of fascinating content, thought-provoking classmates, captivating guest speakers, and our inspiring professor and guide.

The course was essentially a retelling of my family’s past, beginning with Amaterasu emerging from darkness to losses in battle during the Genpei War. More relevant and recent to the personal connections and experiences of my own parents, we studied about the Zainichi Koreans and incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. RSP was my history… as well as my future, as it turns out.

RSP ignited the realization of my deep, hidden connections to Japan. Six months after RSP concluded, I successfully applied to four Japanese universities and chose to study International Relations at Waseda University. I spread my wings as broadly as I could, and the winds took me from the quiet San Diego suburb of Carlsbad (think of Mitsuha’s Itomori) to the maze of skyscrapers and shrines that is downtown Tokyo.

It is funny how one seemingly insignificant decision—for me, having the courage to apply to RSP—can change the course of one’s life. It was in RSP that I began to hear the steady pulse of my homeland beckoning my return. It was RSP that gave me the courage to spread my wings. And it was because of RSP that I now find myself breathing in, savoring and experiencing the energy and adventure that is the lifeblood of my new home, the capital city of Japan: Tokyo.

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The following reflection is a guest post written by Noah Kurima, a 2021 alumnus of the Reischauer Scholars Program.

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Makiko Hirata
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Stanford e-Wakayama is a new distance-learning course sponsored by the Wakayama Prefectural Board of Education and the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) at Stanford University. For its inaugural year, 30 high school students were selected from throughout the prefecture to learn from experts in the United States about various academic fields through a global lens. Stanford e-Wakayama instructor Makiko Hirata recently wrote these reflections about her trip to Wakayama Prefecture to attend the opening ceremony, which was held on September 9, 2022.

Located on the southwestern part of Kii Peninsula, the largest peninsula in Japan, Wakayama Prefecture has been referred to lovingly as “Ki no Kuni” (the land of trees) since the 7th century for its vast forest that covers much of the region. In the self-introductory letters that I had requested, my new students had been telling me about their hometowns, the beauty of nature, the kindness of people, and the sweetness of fruits. So naturally, I was looking forward to meeting my students as much as getting to know their environment during my three-day visit. What I was not expecting, however, was how meaningful this visit would become to me through the exchanges I was to have with the educators.

The morning after my arrival, Mr. Masanori Toda, Teacher’s Consultant, Prefectural School Education Division, Wakayama Prefectural Board of Education—my counterpart for Stanford e-Wakayama—introduced me to many of the people responsible for launching this program. They all shared their perspectives on education, hopes for the future generations, and visions for Stanford e-Wakayama. Through these conversations, I learned about Wakayama’s rich history and felt Wakayama residents’ love and pride for their prefecture. There are many important historical figures who were from Wakayama Prefecture. When Mr. Izumi Miyazaki, Superintendent at the Board of Education, realized that I had not heard of one of these beloved figures, Kumakusu Minakata, he insisted that he gift one of the many books from his personal library about this polyglot Renaissance man to me.

I learned of many creative initiatives to ensure the continuation of Wakayama’s legacies and future prosperity through education, and the emphasis on global education was apparent.

Mr. Yasuhiro Fukano, Manager at the Board of Education, informed me that one of the priorities at the Wakayama Board of Education is to build competence and confidence in their students’ English—a key to helping students become global citizens.

At Wakayama Prefectural Toin High School, Mr. Fujimura, Vice Principal, and Mr. Fujioka, Instructor, accompanied Mr. Toda, Mr. Keiji Yoshida, also from the Board of Education, and me to different classrooms where various subjects were being taught. At the end of our visit, we spent an hour with Mr. Shingo Sasai, Principal, who explained that the school was established in 1879, and the aforementioned Kumakusu Minakata was one of its first graduates. I was especially moved by how frankly Mr. Sasai and his colleagues delved into some of our most challenging issues in education, from how to support diverse gender expressions at schools to establishing healthy boundaries with social media while incorporating IT in the curriculum to cultivate globalization.

At the opening ceremony, all 30 Stanford e-Wakayama students were present in their school uniforms. Ms. Keiko Okano from the Board of Education served as the emcee. Mr. Fukano and Mr. Toda encouraged the students to challenge themselves outside of their comfort zones, but also to trust their own abilities and knowledge. Dr. Gary Mukai, SPICE Director, gave a speech about the importance of critical thinking, diversity, and empathy, offering glimpses into his own Japanese American family’s history. In my own speech, I expressed my gratitude for the information technologies that allow us these virtual international exchanges, but at the same time cautioned how virtual communications are only supplements to the physical sharing of a space and time. I emphasized how I wanted them to get to know me in ways that were only possibly while we were physically together.

As the ceremony came to a close, each student gave a short speech from a lectern to introduce themselves, stating their future dreams and ambitions. I was impressed. After their speech, I gave each student a personalized handwritten card that I had prepared, and shook their hands.

I was quite moved when many students waited to greet me personally and to offer me a hug, after the ceremony. Hugging is not a part of the Japanese culture, so I felt that with those hugs, the students were expressing their willingness to go out of their comfort zones and embrace our journey together.

I already feel that this trip has had a significant impact on how we will relate to each other through the course of this Stanford e-Wakayama program, and possibly beyond. I am grateful.  

Stanford e-Wakayama is currently one of 11 local student programs in Japan offered by SPICE.

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Honorees of SPICE’s 2021–2022 regional programs in Japan
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Instructor Makiko Hirata reflects on the launch of Stanford e-Wakayama, SPICE’s newest regional program in Japan.

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Webinar recording: https://youtu.be/OuqgZCnXyo4 

When the U.S. government incarcerated over 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II (most of whom were U.S. citizens), Japanese Americans struggled to find a sense of normalcy behind the barbed wire. For some, this was achieved by playing baseball. 

Using baseball as a lens to explore the history of Japanese Americans and the U.S.–Japan relationship, this webinar offers K–12 educators a virtual tour of “Baseball’s Bridge to the Pacific,” a special exhibit currently on display at Dodger Stadium. The tour will be led by Kerry Yo Nakagawa, the founder and director of the Nisei Baseball Research Project (NBRP). The exhibit celebrates the 150th anniversary of U.S.–Japan diplomacy (1872–2022) and chronicles the introduction and development of baseball in Japan since the early 1870s. The exhibit’s photos, memorabilia, and artifacts offer a unique glimpse into key milestones of Japanese and Japanese Americans in baseball over the past 150 years. 

Join Nakagawa as he brings the legacy of Japanese Americans and baseball to life, live from Dodger Stadium! Attendees will receive a PDF of free curriculum materials on teaching about baseball and Japanese American incarceration, developed by SPICE and NBRP for high school and community college teachers.

This webinar is sponsored by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), the Nisei Baseball Research Project (NBRP), the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA), and the USC U.S.-China Institute.

Kerry Yo Nakagawa is the author of "Through a Diamond: 100 Years of Japanese American Baseball." He is the founder and director of the non-profit Nisei Baseball Research Project (NBRP) and curator of “Diamonds in the Rough: Japanese Americans in Baseball,” an exhibition that was displayed at the Japanese American National Museum in 2000. He is also a consultant to the prestigious Baseball Hall of Fame tour entitled “Baseball in America” and an independent producer/filmmaker, actor, researcher, and writer.
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Naomi Funahashi

Online via Zoom.

Kerry Yo Nakagawa Founder and Director Nisei Baseball Research Project
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Gary Mukai
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Joe Garcia Kapp was one of the first Chicano/Latino football players to become a national star. From the 1950s, he excelled in many areas—including academically, in business, and as a coach—and took pride in his identity as a Mexican American at a time when it was difficult and even risky to do so. Kapp never forgot his humble roots and gave back to his community throughout his life. He grew up in East Salinas, California, and was the first in his family to go to college. Kapp attended El Sausal Middle School, and the school’s athletic field will be named in his honor on September 29, 2022. He attended Salinas High School and Hart High School in Newhall, California before matriculating to the University of California, Berkeley. While Kapp got into Cal on a basketball scholarship, he starred as their quarterback from 1956 to 1958, leading them to the Rose Bowl game. He also played professionally in Canada and in the National Football League, bringing the Minnesota Vikings to their first Super Bowl in 1970.

As part of its DEI-related work, SPICE has developed a lesson (available below) that encourages students to analyze Joe Garcia Kapp’s life and legacy as an example of a Chicano/Latino leader who gave back to his community. In the lesson, students also investigate who their communities have commemorated through monuments and namings, and profile a local community leader.

Joe Garcia Kapp characterizes the hardworking values and history of Salinas. It was his Mexican mother’s work ethic, Salinas educators and the agricultural workforce that taught Joe about grit, perseverance, and ganas, a Spanish term for ‘effort.’

The lesson was developed by Greg Francis in consultation with Dr. Ignacio Ornelas, a historian and Salinas native who also attended El Sausal Middle School. Ornelas took the initiative to advocate for the Salinas Union High School District to name El Sausal’s athletic field after Kapp when he learned that Kapp was a fellow alumnus. Ornelas noted, “Joe Garcia Kapp characterizes the hardworking values and history of Salinas. It was his Mexican mother’s work ethic, Salinas educators and the agricultural workforce that taught Joe about grit, perseverance, and ganas, a Spanish term for ‘effort.’ Joe Kapp’s time in East Salinas is where he learned to prioritize his education, and where he developed his leadership skills. These core values ultimately propelled Joe to academic, entrepreneurial, and coaching success.”

With this in mind, Francis decided upon the following objectives for the lesson. He hopes that through the lesson, students will:

  • gain an understanding of the accomplishments of Joe Garcia Kapp and their importance for the Chicano/Latino community;
  • analyze Joe Garcia Kapp’s life and leadership philosophy and write about his achievements and legacy;
  • understand the role of monuments and names in reflecting a community’s values and history; and
  • identify and recognize people who lived in their local area who have contributed positively to the community.
     

J.J. Kapp, the son of Kapp, noted that his father “was nicknamed ‘The Toughest Chicano’ by Sports Illustrated magazine after he quarterbacked the Minnesota Vikings to their first Super Bowl in 1970. The nickname was given and has stuck because of his ferocious style of play, competitive spirit, unmatched leadership, and enthusiastic pride in his Latino heritage… Throughout his life Joe has always been devoted to community service and has never stopped giving and raising money for Latino causes. Most importantly, he is a lifelong family man and raised his kids with the core values he learned from his mother and unprivileged upbringing.”

Ornelas and Francis encourage teachers to use this lesson as a tool to address key themes like identity, history and movement, systems of power, and social movements and equity in the California Department of Education’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. Ornelas hopes that this lesson and Joe Kapp’s life will “inspire students to always think as leaders and to never give up on their academic pursuits and career aspirations. Moreover, it is a lesson that will teach each student to be proud of their community no matter how humble one’s origins.”

To access the lesson and its accompanying visuals, download the two PDFs below.

Lessons from the Life of Joe Garcia Kapp
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Images of Joe Garcia Kapp
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On August 9, 2022, a virtual award ceremony was held to recognize the 12 honorees of SPICE’s 2021–2022 regional programs in Japan. These students performed at the highest levels in their respective courses. Their names, high schools, and final research project titles appear below.

Stanford e-Fukuoka (Instructor Kasumi Yamashita)

  • Kasane Horiuchi (Tochiku High School), “Research on Plastic Bottle Recycling”
  • Mihiro Tomomatsu (Hakata Seisho High School), “Break Invisible Barriers. Create the World that Everyone Needs”
     

Stanford e-Hiroshima (Instructor Rylan Sekiguchi)

  • Minori Imai (Hiroshima Prefectural Kuremitsuta High School), “All Lives Are Important”
  • Yui Miyake, (Hiroshima Prefectural Hiroshima High School), “U.S. Prison System: How the Country’s History of Racial Inequality Drives the High Rate of Incarceration in America”
     

Stanford e-Kawasaki (Instructor Maiko Tamagawa Bacha)

  • Sayaka Kiyotomo (Kawasaki High School), “How Can We Improve Junior and Senior High School English Education in Japan?”
  • Anne Fukushima (Tachibana High School), “How Are Invisible Disorders Accepted in the United States and Japan?”


Stanford e-Kobe (Instructor Alison Harsch)

  • Nonoha Toji (Kobe University Secondary School), “How to Foster Entrepreneurship in School Days: Between U.S. and Japan”
  • Cullen Hiroki Morita (Kobe Municipal Fukiai High School), “The Different Work-Life Balance in Japan and America”
     

Stanford e-Oita (Instructor Kasumi Yamashita)

  • Rina Imai (Usa High School), “Learn About War and Peace Through the Naval Air Base Bunkers in Oita”
  • Yuki Nojiri (Hofu High School), “I Want to Live in the Second House of the Three Little Pigs”


Stanford e-Tottori (Instructor Jonas Edman)

  • Sakurako Kano (Tottori Keiai High School), “Being Proactive”
  • Yuki Yamane (Tottori Nishi High School), “The Effect of Collectivism and Individualism on Education”
     

Image
Hajime Kishimori SPICE 2022 regional programs awards ceremony

The event began with welcoming remarks by the Honorable Hajime Kishimori, Acting Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, who recognized the students for their impressive academic achievement. “You have demonstrated initiative and dedication to enhancing your understanding of Japan and the United States. I’d like to congratulate all of you.” He also expressed his hope for the students to play an active role in the future of U.S.–Japan relations. “I hope that your experiences have motivated you to consider an international career involving Japan and the United States. I believe the future of Japan–U.S. relations is in the hands of the next generation, and I hope young leaders like you will continue to strengthen our countries’ friendship as we move forward.”

Following Acting Consul General Kishimori’s remarks, each honoree delivered a formal research presentation in English and fielded questions from the audience. Each honoree also received a plaque to recognize their award.

For the instructors, it was a joy to watch the students present the research projects they worked for months to refine. “It’s so rewarding to see their hard work pay off,” commented Stanford e-Kobe Instructor Alison Harsch. “You can’t help but feel proud of them—for their academic accomplishments, but also for the ways they’ve grown as young adults over the course of the program.”

Stanford e-Fukuoka honoree Kasane Horiuchi is a case in point. Thinking back on her experience in the course, she reflected, “At first, I hesitated to speak up in class, but my instructor always encouraged us to be brave and told us that making mistakes was important. Thanks to her encouragement, I was able to talk with my classmates and enjoyed participating in every class. This experience was so important to me.”

SPICE would like to thank its collaborators at the Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Oita, and Tottori Prefectural Boards of Education, Kawasaki City, and Kobe City, who have helped make these regional programs a success. SPICE would also like to thank Fukuoka Governor Seitaro Hattori, Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki, Kawasaki Mayor Norihiko Fukuda, Kobe Mayor Kizo Hisamoto, Oita Governor Katsusada Hirose, and Tottori Governor Shinji Hirai for their continued support of these regional programs.

SPICE’s regional programs are a subset of our local student programs in Japan.

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Students with Mayor Fukuda; photo courtesy Kawasaki City
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Congratulations to the student honorees from Fukuoka Prefecture, Hiroshima Prefecture, Kawasaki City, Kobe City, Oita Prefecture, and Tottori Prefecture.

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Gary Mukai
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Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan is a partnership between SPICE and NPO e-Entrepreneurship, which is led by Yusuke “Ed” Matsuda and Junna Hagiwara. Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan enrolls exceptional high school students from Japan. Top Japanese and American scholars and entrepreneurs provide web-based lectures and engage students in live discussion sessions or “virtual classes” on topics like design thinking, health and welfare, agriculture, environment and energy, and education and technology. The course is offered in English and includes reading assignments, online lectures, discussion board posts, and research projects. Students who successfully complete the course receive a Certificate of Completion from SPICE, Stanford University.

On August 15, 2022, NPO e-Entrepreneurship’s Junna Hagiwara facilitated an online ceremony during which the top two students from the summer 2021 course and the top two students from the fall 2021 were honored. The honorees also gave presentations on their research papers. The honorees and the titles of their research paper topics are:

Summer 2021

  • Yamato Obinata, Shibuya Makuhari Senior High School, Chiba; School Truancy”
  • Scott Watanuki, Iolani High School, Honolulu; “A Cost-Effective Solution for Diagnosing Cataracts in Developing Countries”
     

Fall 2021

  • Mona Abe, Urawa Akenohoshi Girls’ Senior High School, Saitama Prefecture; “Eliminating Labor Exploitation: Taking an Individual Approach to Ethical Fashion”
  • Nahoko Okamoto, Kikuzato High School, Aichi Prefecture; “LGBTQ+ Inclusivity”


Following each presentation, each honoree fielded questions from an audience of teachers, fellow Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan students, and members of the SPICE/Stanford community. While listening to their presentations and the Q&A period, Hagiwara noted, “It became clear to me why these four students were chosen as the honorees by their instructors. Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan has the objective of empowering students with creative thinking and problem-solving skills with a focus on social innovation to solve global issues. This certainly came through each presentation during the ceremony.”

Instructor Maiko Tamagawa Bacha stated the following about the summer 2021 course. “Throughout the course, the students learned to work together to build a solution for a problem, and I hope that this experience helped them realize that the more different ideas and perspectives they bring in, the more innovative they can be in problem-solving. Both Yamato and Scott not only demonstrated innovation but also excellent leadership in fostering teamwork and collaboration.”

Reflecting on the fall 2021 course, Instructor Irene Bryant noted, “As we navigated another year of the pandemic, I was impressed with how students were able to empathize with their classmates and step up to help one another during challenging times. It was also great to see them apply new skills and improve how they approached each new topic as the course progressed. Mona and Nahoko, our fall honorees, showed exceptional leadership skills and their ability to grasp the importance of empathy really showed in their work.”

The fall 2021 course was generously supported by Noriko & Norman Chen and Andrew & Mako Ogawa. The spring 2022 course was generously supported by the Water Dragon Foundation. Bryant, Bacha, and Hagiwara are grateful to Mitsuhito Ikeda, a senior at International Christian University, who contributed his time to both the fall and spring courses.

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Congratulations to the summer 2021 and fall 2021 honorees.

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Stanford e-Japan is an online course that teaches Japanese high school students about U.S. society and culture and U.S.–Japan relations. The course introduces students to both U.S. and Japanese perspectives on many historical and contemporary issues. It is offered biannually by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE). Stanford e-Japan is supported by the Yanai Tadashi Foundation.

In August 2023, three of the top students of the Spring 2022 Stanford e-Japan distance-learning course will be honored at a Japan Day ceremony through Stanford University. The three Stanford e-Japan honorees—Hana Kameyama (Seikei High School, Tokyo), Miyu Kato (Hiroshima Prefectural Senior High School, Hiroshima), and Yuta Muraki (Matsumoto Shuho Secondary School, Nagano)—will be recognized for their coursework and exceptional research essays that focused respectively on “A Comparative Analysis between the United States of America and Japan: Women in STEM,” “U.S. Public Health Policy in Hospitals for People with Disabilities,” and “Legitimacy of the United States and Japan as Permanent Members of the Security Council from the Viewpoint of Regional Representation.”

Mona Abe (Urawa Akenohoshi Girls’ Senior High School, Saitama) received an Honorable Mention for her research paper on “Protecting Undocumented Children in the U.S. and Japan: Extending DACA.” Oki Sugiyama (Musashi High School, Tokyo) also received an Honorable Mention for his paper on “A Study on Machine Translation Application to Strengthen the U.S.–Japan Relationship.”

All 28 students successfully completed the Spring 2022 session of Stanford e-Japan. They represented the following schools: Ashiya International Secondary School (Hyogo); Columbia International School (Saitama); Hachinohe High School (Aomori); Hiroshima Prefectural Senior High School (Hiroshima); Hyogo Prefectural Ono High School (Hyogo); Kagoshima Prefectural Oshima High School (Kagoshima); Kaishi Kokusai High School (Niigata); Katoh Gakuen Gyoshu Senior High School (Shizuoka); Keio Girls Senior High School (Tokyo); Kumamoto High School (Kumamoto); Kyoto Prefectural Rakuhoku Senior High School (Kyoto); Lycée Français International de Kyoto (Kyoto); Matsumoto Shuho Secondary School (Nagano); Matsuyama Higashi High School (Ehime); Musashi High School (Tokyo); Okinawa Prefectural Yokatsu High School (Okinawa); Omiya High School (Saitama); Sapporo Minami High School (Hokkaido); Seikei High School (Tokyo); Seisen Junior and Senior High School (Kanagawa); Takada High School (Mie); Taki High School (Aichi); Tamagawa Academy (Tokyo); Tennoji High School attached to Osaka Kyoiku University (Osaka); Tokyo Gakugei University International Secondary School (Tokyo); Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School (Tokyo); Touoh Gakkan High School (Yamagata); and Urawa Akenohoshi Girls’ Senior High School (Saitama).

For more information about the Stanford e-Japan Program, please visit stanfordejapan.org. The application period for the spring 2023 session will begin November 15, 2022.

To stay informed of news about Stanford e-Japan and SPICE’s other programs, join our email list and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Congratulations to our newest student honorees.

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Applications opened today for the China Scholars Program (CSP), Sejong Korea Scholars Program (SKSP), and Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP) on Japan—three intensive online courses offered to high school students across the United States by SPICE, Stanford University. All three applications can now be viewed at https://spicestanford.smapply.io/. Interested students must submit their completed application (including an essay and letter of recommendation) by the October 31, 2022 deadline.

All three online courses are currently accepting applications for the Spring 2023 term, which will begin in February and run through June. Designed as college-level introductions to East Asia, these academically rigorous courses offer high school students the unique opportunity to engage in a guided study of China, Korea, or Japan directly with leading scholars, former diplomats, and other experts from Stanford and beyond.

Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the United States are eligible to apply to any of the three online courses. Students who are interested in more than one program can apply to two or three and rank their preferences on their applications; those who are accepted into multiple programs will be invited to enroll in their highest-preference course. High school students with a strong interest in East Asia and/or international relations are especially encouraged to apply.

“Some students who enroll in our online courses already have a solid foundation in East Asia, but many do not,” says Dr. Tanya Lee, instructor of the China Scholars Program. “What’s important is that they come with a curious mind and a willingness to work hard. We’re fortunate to be able to connect high school students with all kinds of scholars with expertise in China, Korea, and Japan, and we want our students to make the most of this opportunity.”

For more information on a specific online course, please refer to its individual webpage at chinascholars.org, sejongscholars.org, or reischauerscholars.org. The CSP, SKSP, and RSP are part of SPICE’s online student programs.


To be notified when the next application period opens, join our email list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Subtitle: Students with a strong interest in East Asia or international relations are encouraged to apply. Applications are due October 31.

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