Undergraduate business student Ruth Enriquez visits Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo, Japan.

The Kakehashi Project provided an amazing field study experience for 23 graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business. Within a month of being selected, students were quickly briefed on Japanese etiquette, culture and language before departing to Tokyo and Hokkaido, Japan, in October. The 10-day, fully funded trip to Japan was coordinated by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship and the Japan International Cooperation Center.

In Hokkaido, the students visited J-Farm Tomakomai, an agriculture facility using modern technology; Tanaka Shuzo Brewery, a high-quality sake brewery; Indigo Dye Factory, a traditional textile company; and Ainu Museum, a history of Japan’s indigenous people. The group also visited several cultural sites and companies in Tokyo including Senso-ji Temple, Yokosuka Research Park and Docomo R&D Center.

According to business undergraduate student Ruth Enriquez, the Kakehashi Project, which translates to “bridge,” lived up to its name in many ways. “This project has allowed me to experience the Japanese culture, its people and economy. We interacted with business professionals during a dinner reception, toured several Japanese companies and participated in cultural activities. The program also helped me improve my presentation skills.” In an assignment, students had to collaborate and deliver a 10-minute presentation about what they learned to Japanese government officials.

Go to the Shidler College of Business Flickr album to view photos from the 2016 Kakehashi Project.

About the Kakehashi Project

The Kakehashi Project is a large-scale student exchange program between Japan and the United States. Sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Kakehashi aims to heighten potential interest in Japan and increase the number of overseas visitors to the country, as well as enhance international understanding of Japan’s strengths, culture and values. The objective of this program is to promote deeper mutual understanding among the people of Japan and the United States; enable future leaders of Japan-U.S. exchanges to form networks; and encourage young people to develop a broader perspective and become active participants at the global level.

Read the Shidler College of Business news release for more.

—By Dolly Omiya