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First coauthored paper published!

We got a letter from Varun, an alumnus saying that the first co-authored paper from our international programme has been published in the Journal of the Association of Nepal and Himalayan Studies in the special issue on the Nepal earthquake. It has been co-authored by Christie-sensei, Rob and Varun.


Lam, Lai Ming; Khanna, Varun; and Kuipers, Rob (2017) “Disaster Governance and Challenges in a Rural Nepali Community: Notes from Future Village NGO,” HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies: Vol. 37 : No. 2 , Article 11. 


Buddhist Training Program


Maria kindly wrote a report about the Buddhist Training Program with Monash students. All photos taken by Tomoya.



This October, a few Monash students and 2nd-year HUS students were given the chance to participate in a Buddhist Training Program. We arrived on a Saturday at Gyokuzoin temple around midday. It was drizzling when we got off the bus, but that didn’t dampen our excitement. We stopped in front of otora, a tiger statue and we took a photo all together. We arrived at the temple’s entrance in a few minutes. The rooms were surprisingly spacious, and they came with 4 futons in each room. 
After leaving all our belongings there, we changed our clothes to the working clothes of Japanese Zen Buddhist monks. We then proceeded the day by taking part in  a buddhist training known as Hyakuhachirai, practiced a meditation called Asokukan, and talked and read the Heart Sutra. That afternoon, we all wrote our names, wishes and address on a wooden stick. These would be used in a religious ceremony the next day. Still with our buddhist clothing on, we had a delicious dinner. 


The next day, everyone woke up very early to witness the Goma-kito (praying with a sacred fire). We watched the event in silence as the ritual proceeded solemnly, the fire crackling in the background. This interesting event was then followed by a tour of the temple. Under the light rain, we witnessed the singing of the sutra to the deities around us. After breakfast, we all cleaned the tatami. The last even of our trip consisted in tracing an image of a Buddhist image. 

At the temple, we were given “omamoris”. 

The trip was a fantastic learning opportunity where we all got to have a close look at the a Buddhist monk’s activities and the atmosphere of a temple with a history of more than 1000 years.

Putting on a working clothes

Hyakuhachirai, a buddhist training

Shojinryori, Buddhist vegetarian cuisine

Goma-kito, praying with a sacred fire

Goma-kito, praying with a sacred fire

Temple tour


Tracing a Buddhist image

Tracing a Buddhist image

Tracing a Buddhist image


Autumn Nationals – Debate – 9/23-24


Here is an article by Josh. Thank you, Josh!



Autumn nationals was held at Ritsumeikan University for two days. After 5 grueling rounds and two break rounds, we managed to bring Handai to the finals (first time in a while lol)  where four teams competed to be this year’s champions.

Aside from Osaka University, it was two teams from University of Tokyo and the last team- Keio University. 
We tried our best in an interesting IR debate but we fell short of victory. Nevertheless, we gave it our all and absorbed a number of intriguing philosophies and perspectives.
The debates I remember most vividly were about free will, cultural appropriation, nuclear warfare, human agency, feminism/”middle-class successful feminists” 
What an awesome weekend we had!!  Thanks to everyone present who contributed to this experience in little and big ways. 


Minoh Waterfall Walk with Monash University Students

We are accepting 11 students from Monash University as the Frontier Human Sciences Program from October to February this year. Before the semester started, students in our program and Monash University students hiked to Minoh Waterfall where was not so far from Osaka University and was famous for monkeys.



Welcome Freshmen!

We welcomed our new freshmen on October 2nd to our programs (Human Sciences Undergraduate Degree Program and Chemistry-Biology Combined Major Program).




We had an orientation and a welcome party with current students and professors after the entrance ceremony. Welcome to Osaka University!