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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

ISpecialized Seminar I (Population Research)

Social issues interpreted from “hidden population”

Bao Han
3rd-year student at the School of Human Sciences

Under the instruction of Professor Naoko Takeda, students in the Population Studies Seminar examine social problems shown by “hidden populations.” For example, during the spring semester, we learned about a food bank name 2HJ (2nd Harvest Japan). By studying activities at the food bank, we learned about the hidden “poverty population” of Japan. A food bank gathers excess food products and delivers them to facilities and people in need of food. When hearing the term “poverty,” most people imagine the homeless. However, there are many people who depend on food banks for support, including single mothers and foreigners. Many of these people have a neat appearance and would never appear to be destitute. In this way, the seminar explores problems which are hidden under the surface of society.

During the seminar’s overnight workshop, students visited Ogawa Village in Nagano Prefecture. Ogawa is said to be the most beautiful village in Japan. Students conducted a survey of the village’s structure and industry. In addition to examining the population issue of a declining birthrate and aging population, students also encountered traditional lifestyle and culture. It was a wonderful opportunity to deeply contemplate how agricultural society in Japan will change in the future. Currently, students are working to create a survey report.

Seminar students also conduct social activities such as advertising for a contest of bread made by disabled people. Professor Takeda uses her broad knowledge and outstanding ideas to guide students. The seminar is extremely fulfilling, especially the discussion which brings out the unique thoughts of each student.

Visiting 2HJ and listening to an explanation by staff

Student activities in Ogawa Village featured in the community newspaper