Yasukuni vs. 9/11 Memorial?
"I never imagined for comparing Yuushukan Museum (Yasukuni Shrine) with the 9/11 Memorial," confessed Professor Nakatsuji who hosted the Ritsumeikan-Rutgers joint program at Ritsumeikan University. It was a Rutgers group presentation subject.
Ritsumeikan students shot back with their discussion of Obama’s visit to Hiroshima at the same joint presentation session on historical memories. Ritsumeikan received 10 Rutgers students and staff for two weeks starting June 19th to July 1st. With the guidance of our staff and students, the Rutgers groups enjoyed their visits to the US Embassy and Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo and the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. Ritsumeikan students provided tours of Kyoto and they have learned the history of Kyoto in English and tasted, for example, Matcha ice cream together. The entire two weeks were full of active as well as peer education opportunities for both groups, and included a lot of fun times also.
Friendship between Rutgers and Ritsumeikan
Ritsumeikan has been sending students to the Rutgers University study abroad program over a dozen years. Rutgers University is a well regarded state university in New Jersey, USA. Rutgers always provided one local buddy student for each Ritsumeikan student who stayed for a month. The buddies helped our students to settle down at the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. Through the period, they naturally nurtured friendship and some Rutgers buddy students have paid a friendly return visit to Kyoto which our students enjoyed reunion. Rutgers’ visit and our hosting started voluntarily. It then became annual event and both universities decided to make it an official academic course. An official Ritsumeikan course to host Rutgers University students started this year and it therefore completed the establishment of reciprocal study abroad programs between the two RUs. “What I did not think of ten years ago is the programs became not between Americans and Japanese, but are between students of various nationals of both Ritsumeikan and Rutgers Universities.” Nakatsuji admitted, an unexpectedly pleasant surprise.