Washington Dc, Maryland (PressExposure) December 05, 2015 -- Three groups, each with around 25 United States college students and two chaperones participating, will embark on December 13, 2015, for a nine day trip to Japan. This year's Kakehashi Project, which is coordinated by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), and sponsored by funding from the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be a trip to remember and a trip of a lifetime for these college students who are mostly of at least part Japanese heritage.
Kekehashi is a Japanese word meaning "a bridge connecting two sides with differences" and indicates one purpose of the project, which is to provide a bridge to bring the groups from the United States and Japan together. It encompasses the goal of the project to build cooperation between Japanese Americans and Asian Americans with Japan. The project provides students with an understanding of Japan through a variety of areas, including politics, economics, and culture. Those who are selected for the trips to Japan are encouraged to become effective advocates in enhancing better U.S. - Japan relations.
Participants were chosen after making applications through the JACL. One requirement is to be currently enrolled in a college in the United States. They will visit a number of historical and educational sites, experience traditional and cultural activities, and participate in lectures and workshops. Each group will visit Tokyo and one other city in Japan. This year's program will also include a home stay so that students will be able to experience life in an actual Japanese home with a Japanese family.
The program was initiated in 2014 at which time students were able to learn about life in Japan. They were given the opportunity to become familiar with the country of their heritage. They learned about and experienced some aspects of Japanese life, which even citizens of Japan do not normally experience.
Immigrants from Japan first arrived in the United States over 100 years ago. Most young people who are at least part Japanese by ethnicity are members of families, which have lived in the United States of America for decades. Many are interested in learning about the culture and history of their heritage and that of their grandparents and great grandparents. The Kakehashi Project gives them that opportunity.
Additional trips to Japan under the Kakehashi project will take place in January and March of 2016. This is an excellent opportunity for college students.