July 26(Mon)-August 6(Fri)2010, Akihabara, Japan
Japanese POP Culture is enjoyed by many oversea countries. It is called "Cool Japan" and is a big fad among young people outside of Japan.
People around the world go wild about Japanese Manga, Anime and games. Digital Hollywood University (DHU) is located between Ochanomizu and Akihabara, a sacred place for Japanese POP culture and admits a lot of foreign students every year who are interested in Japanese POP culture and want to work in the contents industry.
Based on these circumstances, Digital Hollywood University opened a short "Summer Program" for people outside Japan to experience and learn academically Japanese POP culture and traditional Japanese culture. From July 26th to August 6th, participants do such things as stroll through Asakusa, went to Anime studios, listened to live music, visited Akihabara and experienced the Japanese tea ceremony. They learned a great deal of Japanese culture in many different ways.
First, the President explained about the Summer Program.
After the orientation, they toured around Akihabara where the Digital Hollywood University is located and all the POP culture is gathered. They were in expectation of the upcoming Summer Program and had really great time shopping at figure shops, mass home electronics retailers or taking Purikuras(Print Club) at game centers.
Mr. Danny Choo, a popular person who runs a portal site to introduce Japanese POP culture to overseas. He talked about how he thinks of Japanese culture as a foreigner and how he takes Animes and games as business. It was very interesting and the participants thought of Japanese culture in a different way.
They experienced Japanese conventional way of visiting shrine, as writing a wish in Ema and cleaning their hands and mouths at the entrance of the shrine. Outside of Meiji Jinguu, they went shopping at Harajyuku and had fun time. One of them already wore the pair of shoes in the next day.
He gave a lecture about how Animes evolved and will develop in details, and worth listening for those who is interested in Animes.
After learning about Animes, they went to CG animation studio called Polygon Pictures. Their famous works are creating graphical movies of "Oblivion Island 〜HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR〜" and "Street Figher 4" and more. The president personally explained making of 3DCG in English.
It was one of the most popular class, as the lecturer talked about traditional way of Japanese art. Especially participants were interested in a picture scroll made by Washi, traditional Japanese papers.
At New Otani Seijyakuan, had a Japanese tea ceremony. It was a whole new experience and taught how to walk with gliding steps and manners. Japanese-style confectioneries were popular among ladies as they are delicate and beautiful.
In Japan, from children to adults read Mangas. They learned the history of Mangas and how they are diversified, and also Animations, as the two are inseparable.
They went to see a live concert of Visual band at Shibuya O-EAST. All male band, members wear make-ups and flashily dressed and play peculiar music. The hall was filled with enthusiasm and overwhelmed by the power.
The lecture of Japanese traditional culture continued after "Influence".
They enjoyed the time at Nakano Broadway, as there are many subcultural shops for music, Mangas, Animes and toys. The place is filled with visitors from all over the world and the goods or works already famous in foreign countries are easily found.
A music producer Mr. Daichi Hayakawa talked about the history of Japanese popular music and how they were influenced from oversea music or their own development.
They were taken pictures at photo studio, wearing costumes of famous Anime characters or Japanese uniforms.
It was a great fun for them wearing costumes they never wore before, such as Dragon Ball characters, a maiden in the service of a shrine, maids or Kimonos.
Our own school lecturer, Mr. Kazutoshi Iida taught them how to create games, introducing his own work. For those who like Japanese games were happy to listen to his lecture.
Japanese Animations are unique and original and its called "Japanimation". This studio creates many such famous "Japanimations". Some said they want to make a use of the information they learned here when establishing their own Animation Company in the future.
They learned a history of Japanese fashion, a peculiar fashion, such as goth and Lolita, amongst young people recently. Also Tokyo Girls Collection, becoming famous in the world, opposed to Paris Collection.
One of the most famous tourist spot in Japan, Asakusa. The participants went under Kaminarimon, bought souvenir at Sensouji (temple) and took water-bus to tour Sumidagawa (river) from Hinodesanbashi (pier). They heard the announcement introducing famous bridges, places and historical sites.
On the final day, they had to do the presentation introducing what they have learned through the whole program.
It seems they had a great experience by visiting authorized-only companies and studios and lectures from the recognized authority on various industries. Many had said they wish to make the use of the knowledge and experiences gained through the program into their original works or wish to stay longer or even to live here in Japan. The president gave each of them a certificate of the completion of the program at the end and completed the 2 weeks program. They attended the Farewell Party and expressed their reluctance of leaving with the volunteer staffs of the students at Digital Hollywood University who worked as an interpreter or helped taking photographs.