Now we are accepting 17 students from Monash University, Australia on the Frontier Human Sciences Program. They visited Hiroshima and Miyajima in early December along with our professors and our students. Here is a trip report by Varun in our program
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Seventeen Australian students from Monash University on the Frontier Human Sciences Programme went to Hiroshima and Miyajima on a cultural exchange trip that provided these students insight into Japan. The exchange was organized by the Frontier programme’s coordinators Varun Khanna, Rob Kuipers and Dao Vu Hoang Anh along with the supervisors Christie Lam and Viktoriya Kim.
The group went to the island of Miyajima on the bullet train and a ferry and stayed at a traditional Japanese hotel (ryokan). Miyajima is famous for its giant torii gate, which at high tide seems to float on the water, offering beautiful views. They went on the ropeway to see the panoramic view of the sea and islands. The day ended with a traditional Japanese dinner.
Next day, the group went to Hiroshima’s Peace Park where they were able to meet and listen to Keiko Ogura herself, who is an eighty-year-old world-famous advocate of peace and a critical of the global nuclear race. Keiko was just eight when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, she survived and she has dedicated her life to tell the story of the aftermath of Hiroshima so that it does not happen again. She now serves as the Director of Human Interpreters for Peace.
They also contributed an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the atomic dome being named a world heritage site by participating in the formation of a symbolic “20” in a park. The photo was widely circulated on local news channels; Varun and Viktoriya from the group were interviewed by the media.
Of course, some of them didn’t miss the chance to eat Hiroshima okonomiyaki!