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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

"The Marine Outdoor Activity Apprenticeship" Magic in the Blue seas of Okinawa, Under the Sun

Ms. Moe Isozaki
4th year student at the School of Sports Sciences

"The marine activity apprenticeshiph by Professor Akira Ota, an associate professor in the School of Sports Sciences, started in 2005. It was held on Tokashiki Island, in Okinawa. The cobalt blue sea and the white sand beaches were pure "Chura-Umi," which means "very beautiful sea" in Okinawan dialect.

Twenty-two students of the School of Sports Sciences were the first students of the course. I was one of them. The ages of students varied from 19 to 26, but there were no differences in experiencing this wonderful course, regardless of our age differences. This is what we called "the Ota Magic."

I have been a captive of Ota Magic since his Outdoor Activity Course at the Open Education Center, which I took when I was in my first year at Waseda. In that course, we went far away from Tokyo and played Frisbee,and baseball, and did jump roping, with great earnestness. Professor Ota was good at making students "earnest" in any sport. I couldn't forget the exciting feelings I had on the course and decided to take the marine activity apprenticeship.

In this four-day course, we learned from local instructors about snorkeling, sea kayaking, dragon boat paddling, and how to camp on the seashore. In the sea, we saw a lot of fish with various colors, as well as starfish, coral, and sea turtles. No one could forget the moment they dived into the sea in Okinawa for first time. It was a feeling that we could never experience in Tokyo. We couldn't control the excitement we felt and kept on moving excitedly even at break time. The professor told us to have a rest, but we wanted to continue our activities and stay together. So we did beach volleyball, soccer, and swimming even in the breaks. At night, we talked about our feelings and dreams while sitting around a big camp fire burning in the center. There was no one who seemed bored. I had never had a chance to meet so many great people and share such a great time. Everyone just forgot that time was passing. Now I often recall the time I spent there and it seems as if it was part of a dream. The local instructors said to us, "You all are like tuna that won't rest. You would die if you stopped swimming!"

We are very proud to have been described like this, as we are studying sports at the university. Wouldn't you like to participate in Professor Ota's class, which turns students into "tuna"? The sea, the sun of Okinawa, and the excitement of our lessons with Professor Ota made life worth living! (The writer graduated in March, 2007)

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Associate Professor Ota, fourth from right in the front row, was a medalist in wrestling in the Olympics held in Los Angeles and Seoul. The writer is seen on the left of Professor Ota.