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Latest News

Get the latest news on NUFS Study Abroad Program and learn about our recent excursions and events!


Inuyama Castle and Karakuri Mechanical Dolls Museum (October 13, 2017)

Inuyama Castle is known as the oldest castle in Japan preserved largely in its original form. The castle is much smaller than those in Himeji, Osaka or Nagoya, but is a beautiful example of Japanese medieval architecture. It is also one of the best places in Aichi Prefecture to enjoy the hanami - cherry blossom viewing in Spring.

Karakuri mechanical dolls were first constructed in Japan in the Edo period. There were two types to the karakuri - the smaller zashiki-karakuri used indoors to entertain guests, and the matsuri-karakuri used on top of great floats during festivals (one can admire the ingenuity of their creators during the Inuyama Festival held every year in April). It is believed that the karakuri were predecessors of the modern-day robots, in whose production Japan is the world leader.
JSC Course List for Spring 2018 added! (October 12, 2017)

Dear Students,
We have added the JSC list for courses to be offered in Spring 2018. Please go to Course Offerings and scroll down to the bottom of the page to download the list. Please be advised that the course offerings may be subject to change.

Pottery Making Workshop (October 6, 2017)

This week we went to the town of Seto in our very own Aichi Prefecture, famed for its beautiful ceramic tradition. Sitting at the potter's wheel, we tried to find our inner pottery artist and made cups, plates, bowls or ashtrays. We can't wait to see what our pieces look like after the pottery master has finished them in the kiln!

This week's practicum was special for one more reason though. The pottery studio we were in was suddenly visited by a national TV celebrity, Mr. Tsurube famous for the "Tsurube no Kazoku ni Kampai" ("Tsurube's Cheers to Family"). After chatting with our pottery master, Mr. Tsurube talked to us for a few minutes and then disappeared with his TV crew! It's fair to say, though, that our road to fame has begun!
Furukawa Art Museum and Tamesaburo Memorial Museum (September 29, 2017)

Furukawa Art Museum founded by Tamesaburo Furukawa is a home to some fine pieces of Japanese and Western art. The exhibition we enjoyed during our visit presented contemporary oil paintings by Japanese artists with the origins in the Tokai region (prefectures of Aichi, Gifu, and Mie), created in the last decade or so.

During our trip, we also visited the home of the late Tamesaburo Furukawa (Tamesaburo Memorial Museum), which is a beautiful example of traditional Japanese architecture with its wonderful tatami-style rooms and an extraordinary garden. For some of us, this has been the very first visit to a traditional Japanese home, which made it even more memorable!

Tokoname Walking Tour (September 22, 2017)

For our first excursion this Semester, we went to a nearby town of Tokoname, famous for ceramics. Tokoname's famed Pottery Path is a popular place for walks and is also known as The Maneki-Neko Path as it hosts a wide variety of ceramic maneki-neko (“beckoning cats”) including the Giant Maneki-Neko “Tokonyan,” the 39 Devine Favour Ceramic Maneki-Neko, as well as the 11 Real Life-Looking Cats.

The Devine Favour Ceramic Makenki-Neko were manually made with affection by 39 Tokoname pottery artists. These 39 cats are amulets meant to bring prosperity.

The Real Life Looking Cats can be found near the Giant Maneki-Neko and look like living cats even when viewed from up close.

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