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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Open Course: Community Management Seminar
-Considering the Revitalization of Communities-

Mr.Satoshi Sakayori
March 2009 Graduate School of Political Science and Economics

In the shopping area of Sumida Ward, involving regional citizens in an effort to revive a rice-cake making festival which has been held less frequently in recent years. Energizing the younger generation by having university cooperative in the selling of rare traditional crafts which originated in Sumida Ward but which are not well known by citizens. This seminar is a course which actually plans and operates these kinds of projects through the efforts of students themselves. Students in this course conduct numerous interviews of community members and hold thorough debates regarding positive actions which can be taken by students, sometimes holding repeated discussions even with the Ward Mayor. Revitalization measures are created which can only be implemented through the capabilities of students themselves.

Within the course, the "internationalization of downtown neighborhoods" is given particular attention as a method of revitalizing the community. Many precious experiences were gained through activities of the "International Group", which was conducted together with foreign exchange students of the university. Due to a gathering of diverse members from different schools and different academic years, and due to the challenge undertaken by exchange students in a foreign country, passionate debate was always exchanged within the group. Even while confronting a variety of difficulties, Japanese students and foreign exchange students cooperated to consider what they are capable of doing for the internationalization of downtown neighborhoods. These efforts led to the implementation of plans such as a presentation being held at the Ryogoku Kokugikan regarding the internationalization of Sumida Ward and an exchange lesson with foreign students being held at elementary schools of Sumida Ward. These activities became the focus of interest from citizens of the ward and the International Group was interviewed by reporters.

The course is taught by Professor Shinichi Tomonari, who always uses the phrase "break through from a single point". In other words, it is vital to take action, no matter how small the issue. The change created by this effort may be very small, but the effort itself is most important for realizing overall change. What are we capable of doing for the good of the community? The greatest appeal of this seminar is found is students thinking together to develop and implement actions, no matter how small the actions may be. I recommend this seminar to students who, like myself, are interested in community development and want to take action for the good of the community.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)