MIRAI 2017 has started. Participants have arrived in Tokyo after long travels. In the next days we will be sharing blog posts from different participants, getting to know what they see and experience. This blog post is written by Petter Svärd about the first day in Japan.
After a sturdy and delicious breakfast at the hotel we cruised in busses until we reached our destination at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It seems that wherever we go impressing architecture and stylish locals inhabit the city as far as the eye can see. Not any trash nor graffiti could be spotted; Tokyo is truly an efficient and well groomed city.
At the Ministry we enjoyed three lectures. The first lecture was a New Zealander’s inspirational self reflecting speech about the martial art of “Kendo” and his perpetually increasing love with the sword fighting art. We discovered that it is more than fighting – it involves an almost pseudo-religious insights into life, and how to best encounter it.
The second lecture was about Japan’s effort to develop the African continent – the TICAD program. It was concluded by a rigorous Q&A-section, where we student were able to ask any question we deemed fit.
The third lecture was about the increasingly escalating situation concerning North Korea and how it is facilitated by the Japanese authorities. It was a rewarding lecture since otherwise the discourse fed to Western news agencies predominantly revolves around other approaches.
Lunch was enjoyed high up in a tower with the most stunning sights of Tokyo’s urban landscape, with its crown jewel – the Tokyo tower – to rest our eyes on.
We were also informed of Japanese codes-of-conduct. Well-needed, given how little I myself know about informal Japanese etiquette. The day was rounded of at Sizzlers at the large baseball stadium. In summary, an informative day with good company and memories to cherish.