First of all, we talked about the differences between Japan and the United States in preparation for the final presentation.
We wrote the differences on individual stickies, then collected these on big papers to visualize our observations. Although it was an only about a 30 minute discussion, we put out a lot of opinions, so it was very difficult to categorize.
Some things which I thought were interesting are about community in the neighborhood and how to listen to people’s stories.
It is natural for you to greet and talk to neighbors in America. However, today, we do not know even their face of the neighbors in Japan, especially in urban areas. Despite urbanization keeps going in the United States. I want to learn the spirit of how to get good relationship in the community.
Regarding how to listen to talks, I think that Japan and the United States have good points and bad points each. In Japan, basically we don’t eat anything (including gum) during listening to the story. Also, you must take off your hat and look into speaker’s eye with straight back. I don’t know this is good points or bad points, but in the US these are basically forgiven. And Japanese can basically question only question time. However, compared with Japanese, Americans can ask questions as soon as they are interested in. I think these differences are deeply related to language and culture.
Nowadays, I think we need to shift from doing operations to creating innovations.
Finally, we visited elementary schools and taught children about Japan. We divided us into three groups – taught how to dress Kimonos and use Furoshiki, try to speak some Japanese, and do Origami.
I taught students to speak some Japanese language, for example simple Japanese greetings and numbers from 1 to 10. It was difficult for me to teach children, but I felt comfortable because the children were very cute.
It was a very fulfilling day.