“Shodo Experience” Workshop with 100 % Participant Satisfaction Begins in June – Toyo Gakuen University
Following its success last year, students from Toyo Gakuen University are returning to Ryokan Sawanoya to offer free Shodo (Japanese calligraphy) lessons to foreign guests for six days between May and July. This program is called “Shodo Experience” with a Japanese subtitle Hiyaase Eigo Taiken Program (literally translated as a program where students learn English through situations that make them break out in a cold sweat). The aim of this program is to prepare students to contribute to the enhancement of inbound tourism, with an eye to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
A traveler to learn calligraphy from students
Overview: With full support from Ryokan Sawanoya, university students build their confidence in English by teaching Shodo to foreign tourists. All the students are business majors taking a newly opened course of “Project Management” taught by Prof. Honjo from the Faculty of Business Administration. Some of the students have qualifications in Japanese calligraphy, but most of them are beginners in speaking English. By offering a free calligraphy lesson, they are rewarded with hands-on training in using English in a real life situation, outside school. It is their determination to lead a successful project that helps them overcome some of the barriers of communication.
The focus is not on making them demonstrate what they have studied but on providing them with the joys and challenges of leading a project and using English – providing them with real motivation to continue studying both project management skills and English. After a past lesson, one of the students said he felt so excited that he wanted to make friends with all the foreign visitors he saw on his way home.
Survey Results: It is also a great opportunity for foreign customers to learn Shodo from Japanese university students. Very positive feedback was given to the first three lessons held on May 10, 17, and 24 this year. The participants were from countries like France, the U.S., the Netherlands, and Singapore, and 100 % of them said they were “very satisfied” with their experience. One of the participants said, “I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the students and their eagerness to interact with us.” They also remarked, “Students were very friendly and positive,” and “You made us really happy.”
“Shodo Experience” Workshop Schedule
Dates: June 14, July 5 & 12 Time: 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Place: The Dining Room at Ryokan Sawanoya (2-3-11 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo)