Tobitate! Study Abroad Initiative Alumni Association

We ran the EGAKU Program at an offsite for alumni of the Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad Initiative – a public-private effort led by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan.
48 student leaders spearheading Tobitate! alumni and PR activities nationwide gathered to look back on why and how they got involved through the EGAKU theme, ‘Origin.’ Participants reflected on their personal ‘Origin’ stories and the hopes, challenges, relationships, fears and struggles behind them. It was an incredibly powerful session, brimming with hope for the future.
Below are some of the participants’ comments:

  • “I discovered a new version of myself through EGAKU. Going forward as I change, I hope I’ll continue discovering new versions of myself.”
  • “It was an opportunity to compare the person I was before I studied abroad, and the person I am now. I felt the connections between the past, present and future.“
  • “I felt it’s important for me to be honest with myself about the things that make me uncomfortable, and act accordingly.”
  • “I believe the things I felt in this program are at the core of who I am. I want to remember and treasure these things, and let them guide how I act.”
  • “Usually when I paint a picture, I decide on a theme first and then paint that idea but this time I just went with the flow. I think the general sense that it was possible to redo it helped me approach it that way. I’m going to become a teacher next year and I hope to create that kind of environment for the children.” 

Theme: Origin
Program details: EGAKU Program
Participants: 48 undergraduate students
Venue: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan (MEXT)
Organizer: Tomarigi – alumni association for Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad Initiative, brand managers’ offsite event
Facilitators: Kimi Hasebe, Kunihiko Yazawa
Staff: Hiromi Ito, Ryoko Nakamura, Misako Fukuda, Maki Tanaka


Tokyo Institute of Technology, Academy for Global Leadership (AGL)

We ran the EGAKU Program for the Tokyo Institute of Technology Academy for Global Leadership (AGL). AGL is an institution with a mission to nurture truly global leaders and runs an international leadership training degree program.
In EGAKU participants dynamically experienced some of the key aspects of global leadership - deepening self knowledge, embracing diversity and reflecting on the relationship between their own goals and dreams and society.
Below are some of the participants’ comments:

  • “Instead of focussing on thinking I’m right, I realized that what a person sees is a product of the environment they were brought up in and their character. I felt art allowed me to be open and accepting of other people.”
  • “Usually I’m just thinking of ideas in my head and that’s where it ends.  But I realized that outputting these thoughts can actually lead to new discoveries.”
  • “With pictures you can draw what you want.  You might not always get the desired result, but you can do as you intended.  That made me feel positive.”
  • “Other people have their own ideas, and I have my own ideas too - I want to act in a way that’s respectful of both.”

Theme: Things that drive you
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 26 undergraduate and graduate students
Venue: White Ship -Office & 9201 Gallery-

Host Institution: Tokyo Institute of Technology, Academy for Global Leadership (AGL)
Instructor: Kunihiko Yazawa
Facilitator: Kimi Hasebe
Staff: Hiromi Ito, Ryoko Nakamura


Bridge for Fukushima

7 years since the Tohoku earthquake, we implemented EGAKU for a group of high school students in Fukushima as a part of a retreat conducted by non-profit Bridge for Fukushima

The aim of the retreat is to guide students to meet with various professionals and think about their future. Reflecting back on the earthquake, each participant reflected on “What I want to value” through EGAKU and dialogue with themselves and others. Each artwork that emerged was full of hope, and the students powerfully conveyed the meaning contained in their works.

Below are some of thoughts, feelings, and reflection the students experienced through the process:

  • "I feel things I hadn’t thought before came out through the creative process and was also able to see unexpected things about the other members."
  • "It was good to be able to express my thoughts as accurately as possible through shapes and colors."
  • "Each artwork was unique and the diversity was very nice. I was able to encounter a wonderful artwork that made me think there is such a way to think about what we value."
  • "Everyone expressed what they value and their circumstances in their own way, and their unique personalities were evident. It helped me to discover that “drawing a picture” is one of the simplest ways of expressing myself as I am."
  • "Even with the same theme, it is different from person to person, and the modes of expression are also diverse. It reminded me that what occurs between people and in our selves differ according to the individual."
  • "I felt that each person lives while carrying something they value, even if that is unspoken in daily life. It was interesting to see how similar thoughts and feelings were expressed in different ways from person to person."

Theme: What I want to value - now and in the future
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 18 High School Students
Forest Park Adatachi, Fukushima Prefecture
Host Institution: Bridge for Fukushima
 Kimi Hasebe

Staff: Ken Morimoto