Discovery of Another World of Japanese Culture

“The 65th Tohoku University Festival”, held on October 28th-30th, 2016, has greatly ended. In this festival, Tohoku University students organized exhibition, performances and food stalls for their own clubs or circles. Thus, not only visitors can enjoy activities, shows and foods they served us, but also it was a great chance to survey which clubs or circles they are interested in, and, perhaps, decide to join in the next semester. I guess many of you have already experienced this fantastic event; by the way, I would like to gather information and re-display impressive moments in the 65th Tohoku University Festival which is one of the most unique festivals I’ve ever seen. Let’s explore  another world of Japanese culture together.

In this festival, students from a huge number of clubs and circles organized their own exhibition showing what they have done throughout a year. Also, relevant information and pieces of works were provided. Although you did not have any information which clubs were being exhibited and where it was, it was still fine since there existed brochures sticked on the wall everywhere. All of classrooms of A, B and C building at Kawauchi Campus were used for exhibition. Accordingly, if you go through a walkway in the building, it would seem like you have teleported to another world, the world of clubs’ exhibition as you can see them from both sides of your sightseeing. There were several clubs and circles I would like to introduce. The first one is Photography circle. Here, the exhibition of photos, gathered from members,  was organized. The interesting point was that some photos were taken by just only a mobile phone. Thus, for this circle, just good ideas, content, emotion and components can bring out a good photo without using expensive cameras. Next is Model club; Gundams, tanks and figures were formed and exhibited here. If you are a fan of figures, you would know that constructing a figure takes a very long time (sometimes more than 10 hours). And, you know, a number of figures was displayed; it showed how much effort that members  have paid for these things. The last club I would like to talk about is Train club. In this club, they research about Japanese trains: types, routes, environments and station construction etc. According to those information, they created a model of local train station as well as its route, and it can realistically move using battery—that was fantastic! Apart from these clubs and circles, there were still a lot of exhibition there, for example, Astronomy club, Card circle, Robot club, Social outreach club, Cartoon painting circle and Chess circle etc.

Another major group exhibited in this festival was music  and street dance circles. Actually, there are many ways to categorize these clubs. If the criteria is types of music, there were Jazz, Classic, Pop and Japanese folk song etc. Also, if the criteria is types of musical instrument, there were mandolin, brass instrument and woodwind instrument etc. You can see there was a large number of music circles here. Generally, many music circles here opened cafes and showed their performances inside. Visitors can pay money (just a little amount) for drinks, sitting and listening to music inside. Because types of music circles were very various, visitors can choose what kind of music they like or what type of   music instrument they prefer, and then relaxed there. There were some bands performing on the central stage, too. Apart from these music shows, there was a dance performance by street dance circle, which was one of highlights of this event. This circle is composed of many lines of dancing: jazz, house, hiphop, lock and pop. I had watched it on the first day which was held on a stage near the bicycle parking; it was so awesome actually.

University festival would not be complete if there is no food stalls. Food stalls here were also organized by students. Some club and circles that did not make exhibition would do food stalls as  another way of their clubs’ income. The food was various until you may not be able to try them all, for example, yakisoba (Japanese stir fried noodles), takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), sausages, crepes and grilled chicken etc. Moreover, the price was not expensive at all, just around 200-500 yen per serving which allowed you to try many kind of traditional Japanese street food. Because of this perfect food stalls, this event was able to attract visitors to stay for all day—when they felt tired from exhibition, they bought foods, recharged the energy, and  then continued to visit other clubs and circles more. It was such a perfect loop!

In conclusion, the 65th Tohoku University festival was very exciting and full of great components: attractive clubs’ exhibition, awesome performances and nice foods as everyone devoted themselves and heartily organized this event. In fact, I have never seen any university festivals that can showed students’ effort on what they are interested in as much as Japan’s. I bet this kind of culture is exotic and attractive for foreign students including me. Thus, anyone who have not join this event yet, please come again in the next year “the 66th Tohoku University Festival” and discover another world of Japanese culture together.

“…From my perspective, the festival is probably the best chance you could have to observe the talents and interests of Tohoku University students. All over Kawauchi campus, everyone can take part in enjoying the local food made by students, and watching shows and exhibitions that can only be seen in the festival. I personally enjoyed watching the WHO dancing circle’s street dance performance. If you happen to have a chance to join, please make sure to go to their shows…”

Ratthanan Ratthanasupapornsak

Faculty of Engineering (IMAC-U)

Visitor

“…I think the Tohoku University Festival is a very good opportunity to experience the interest and talent of Tohoku University Students through various performances. Furthermore, there are a lot of freshly made food and drinks for sale which you can enjoy in the festival. It also benefit those who intended to join a club or circle to be able to choose from their interest accordingly…”

Chayapol Beokhaimook

Faculty of Engineering (IMAC-U)

Visitor

“…In this university event, I had a chance to perform a jazz song at one of the classroom which my club occupy as a club room. I am a guitarist, and I start to practice a month before the event, but unfortunately, me and my band only had practice together one time because of our schedule were not match. I was a little bit nervous before the show, but it turned out really fun and my friends came to watch me on that day which made me really happy. This event gave me the chance to show my potential and also good memories, I really looking forward to next year gakusai…”

Pathomchat Piriyakulkij

Faculty of Engineering (IMAC-U)

Performer

“…I’ve had a chance to perform in the university festival with WHO street dance circle. We practiced for around 2 months before the event. I heard that the circle is not very serious but to be honest, this is not the case at all. Around 2 weeks before the event, we practiced 5 days a week 6-8 hours a day. However, no matter how hard the practice was, I still enjoyed it. In this event, I participate in 3 stage, including 1st year 1st stage, House stage and Hip hop stage. I was very nervous since this is my first time going on stage. Fortunately, I didn’t make mistake during the show so I was quite relieved. I really feel my hard work is paying off in term of my dancing skill and really looking forward to improve myself even more!…”

Kanbodin Kechacoop

Faculty of Engineering (IMAC-U)

Performer

 

Tanach Rojrungsasithorn

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