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IMG_6292This morning, I had a pleasure to have a talk with 9 high school students from the US visiting Japan under Tomodachi Japan Society Junior Fellows Leadership Program. This is the first time I had this type of session with US high school students, though I have had some with Japanese high school students before.

This was made possible as I visited the Japan Society in New York in March and met with several people in charge of a variety of programs.  I was fortunate to have had session with them before they left for Kyoto and Nara.  (I came back from British Columbia last night and this morning was the only time slot!)

It was quite interesting as we began with exchanging name cards.  (I have exchanged cards with some Japanese high school students, but it does not happen often!)  I believe they tried to follow the customs in Japan. I started off with my recent activities and my vision.

As I heard that did home stay with the Japanese families and went to school, I asked them what was different from their expectations before coming to Japan.  Interesting responses such as “not as shy” Japanese students, “tendency to get things done efficiently” “safe and clean streets.” etc. etc.  I shared my own impression of how things are done in Japan (not necessarily in line with their impressions,) whether safe and clean streets would bring many visitors to Japan. (I did not mean to be critical of their responses and I hope that I conveyed the message OK.)

They asked me some questions and we took a group photo at the end.  Though it was rather short and I am afraid that I talked too much instead of having more interactive session (it was getting to be that way, but we ran out of time),  I had fun.  I hope they will have a great time in Kyoto and Nara.

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