Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nihon University Visit

On Wednesday I spent the morning with a group of International Relations students from Nihon University, the largest University in Japan. They were on Saipan to study, well, Saipan.

Their tour guides were Aya and Willie Matsumoto. Aya asked me to help them participate in a Beautify CNMI cleanup. They were staying at the Aquarius hotel in Chalan Kanoa, so we cleaned up the beach fronting there hotel from 7 AM - 8 AM.

Cinta Kaipat and Nihon University StudentAfter the cleanup, Aya presented their teacher with a MINA t-shirt and Cinta, Marites, and I presented each student with an RC&D turtle bag and Restoration t-shirt.

Beautify CNMI Cleanup with Nihon UniversityThen we took a million pictures!

After the cleanup, we took the students to NMC to join in on one of Sam McPhetres CNMI History classes. We watched a video form Boston PBS called, "The Columbian Exchange," and then had a discussion on how Columbus' "discovery" of America affected the Marianas and Japan.

Then you know what we did afterwards?

Northern Marianas College and Nihon University StudentsWe took a million pictures!

After the class we were given a tour of NMC by Dean Danny Wyatt. He showed us all of the classrooms and buildings, including the gymnasium, where the students played an impromptu game of barefoot basketball.

After the tour we had lunch at a restaurant in Oleai called Mitsue. It was my first time eating there; the food was pretty good. I tried sitting with Aya, Willie, and the teacher, but they made me go and sit with the girls in the group.

No comment.

After lunch we drove up to Hachiman Jinja, the shinto shrine that I've been wanting to visit ever since I came to Saipan. The owner, Mr. Guerrero, invited several lawmakers and aspiring lawmakers to meet the students. Ray Yumul, Justo Quitugua, Clyde Norita, and Cinta Kaipat were all there to greet the students.

Governor Fitial was there, too.

Governor Fitial with Japanese studentsIt was overcast and raining, so my pictures of Hachiman Jinja didn't come out very well. I'll have to go back and take some more when it gets sunny again. In the meantime, this is what you see as you walk from the outer, to the inner shrine. Notice the broken concrete torii lying on the ground right after you go up the stairs:

Hachiman Jinja StairsHachinman Jinja broken toriiHachiman Jinja Inner ToriiThe shrine is a very special place. When I post the pictures that I will eventually go back and take, I'll explain. If you can't wait for me, Aya and Cinta already posted some pictures.

The students went back to Japan today. I gave some of them this website url, so I hope they leave me comments!


saipanboonieman said...

dude, this place looks way cool.... can u do one of your "field-trips" to this place? i'd really like to go see this too........

the p.i.c. said...

CJ, are you on the Beautify CNMI list? Send me your email if you're not.

gretel said...

damn, I wish we had found that while we were there! Ina~!

Jess said...

Hi Angelo,
I wish I could have been there to see the shrine! I have read all about the Hachiman-jinja and heard about it from elders who told me stories of walking up there from Chacha village as children with Japanese school visits...Sister Ada mentioned that they used to carry candles on new year's day and stand in rows for the shinto ceremonies at dusk. I am astonished to see (on Cinta's blog) that the Japanese characters are still intact in the signage! Anyway, I wanted to let you know now that I linked your blogsite to my blog this morning, and I would appreciate it if you could add my blog to your "Master List" when you get a chance.
Any comments you have about how to make my blog better are most welcome... I just posted today copies of an album I created for Sister Ada with a story about Okinawan-Saipan friendships dating back to pre-war....
much love from so-cal,
Jessica Jordan