Takaban Elementary School of Meguro Ward

This was our 6th year running EGAKU for the 'Yume Plan Takaban' initiative at Takaban Elementary School in Tokyo. The 24 children who joined us enthusiastically painted pictures of their hearts and minds.
There were some children who seemed a little hesitant at first, but asking them to close their eyes and look into their hearts seemed to fire up their imaginations. What color is it? What is it like? Each of them peered into the invisible worlds of their hearts, and transformed these inner worlds into 24 beautiful creations.
Here are some of the thoughts the participants shared with us about the experience:
• Drawing my heart was hard but so much fun. Now I like drawing pictures even more.
• It's more fun when you paint with your heart.
• I think I managed to look into my heart and paint it. I don't get the chance to do this kind of thing very much. I really want to do it again.
• It was really nice to see everybody's hearts. I learnt that this is how people in the olden days painted pictures.
• Even if we all painted pictures of our hearts today, everyone had different feelings. Everyone's different thoughts and feelings were turned into different pictures. I was so surprised!

Theme: My heart
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 24 elementary school students
Host institution: Yume Plan Takaban
Venue: Takaban Elementary School of Meguro Ward
Instructor: Kunihiko Yazawa
Facilitator: Kimi Hasebe
Staff: Misako Fukuda, Hiroko Kawai, Ryoko Nakamura, Junko Sakamoto


Global Health Entrepreneurship Program 

We ran EGAKU on the first day of the Global Health Entrepreneurship Program 2016 organized by the Global Health Policy Department at the University of Tokyo.

Participants were graduate and undergraduate students from countries around the world, including Myanmar, Uzbekistan and India. The theme was “What I value the most.” The artworks that emerged from the session were powerful and unique. As participants of a health entrepreneurship program, perhaps it comes as no surprise that their sense of determination and openness to taking up new challenges came through, making for an incredibly dynamic session. 

Theme: What I value the most
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 23 university students, graduate students, program staff
Venue: Tokyo University Hongo Campus, Tokyo
Facilitator: Kimi Hasebe
Interpreter: Ryoko Nakamura
Staff: Nayu Hasebe, Hiromi Ito


Bridge for Fukushima 

We ran EGAKU for a group of high school students from Fukushima, as part of a retreat hosted by non-profit Bridge for Fukushima. This was part of a 3 day retreat for high school students to interact with adults and reflect on their future plans. On the 2nd day of the retreat, the students were asked to paint "What I want to value - now and in the future" engaging in a dialogue with themselves and with others, and imaging the future. The powerful creations that emerged were full of hope for the future - do take a look. 

Here are some of the thoughts and reflections the participants shared with us: 
"I feel like I came away with something precious - a sense of who I am. Something I'd been thinking was really hard completely changed in the space of 3 hours. Wow!" 
"I realized that the future really matters to me" 
"I discovered the joy of expressing myself, and through drawing a picture at that! I experienced the deep meaning behind the introspective process of drawing a picture. I can see why businesses are adopting this approach." 
"I learnt the importance of not only examining my own heart and mind, but also of engaging with the hearts and minds of others." 
"It was the first time I'd experienced anything like this. It was a good experience." 
"From now on I want to be true to my feelings, and act from this core." 
"I was surprised to discover that looking at my picture again objectively as a viewer, I discovered some things that I'd never thought about while I was painting. And these insights totally made sense. There are times when things aren't going well, and I get down or anxious - but I realized that it's important to acknowledge this part of myself, to accept that it's part of who I am."

Theme: What I want to value - now and in the future
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 22 senior high school students
Venue: Forest Park Adatachi, Fukushima Prefecture
Host institution: Bridge for Fukushima
Instructor: Kunihiko Yazawa
Facilitator: Kimi Hasebe