Scholarship Recipient Research Report for Fiscal Year 2011

March 3, 2012 (Saturday), a clear and refreshing morning! It was the "Doll Festival Day", "Peace Day", "Betrothal Day", and Atsumi Foundation’s Day for the Research Reports of Fiscal Year 2011. About 50 people gathered in the Atsumi Foundation Hall in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, including 32 members of the Atsumi Foundation Scholars and Raccoon Kai, guests from Japan Association for International Students Education, the Kajima Foundation for the Arts, Tsuji Asia Scholarship Foundation, and Officers and Staff of the Foundation.

As is the annual tradition, a fabulous 7-Step array of Hina Dolls decorated the entrance to the venue, giving a warm welcome to everyone. From the Taisho to the Heisei Era, having survived the fires of war during Tokyo’s aerial bombing and carefully stored, the dolls remained timelessly beautifully. This year’s research report started with the greetings from Chief Directress Itsuko Atsumi. She looked back at the Great East Japan Disaster, and encouraged the scholarship recipients to be brave as Japan walks towards recovery.

The research reports followed. While a bit tense, the scholarship recipients one by one gave explanations of their field of specialization and reports on their research and accomplishments in the past year. Using PowerPoint, the presenters carefully gave explanations about their research results in a wide range of fields covering Urban Architecture, Regional Research, History, Politics, Comparative Culture Research, Literature, Urban Sociology, Neural Disease Science, and Social Welfare Studies. Above all, their passion for research seems to have been conveyed to the audience, who gave them a big applause.

After the research reports, Dr. Tatsuji Kataoka (Doctorate in Pharmacology, Member of the Japan Society of Clinical Oncology) gave his comments. Kataoka-sensei, who is also a member of the screening committee of Atsumi Foundation, shared his own experience about the necessary "characteristics" for carrying out an effective presentation, while airing his high hopes for the future undertakings of the scholarship recipients. Invited guest Mr. Sadao Hirota gave the 2011 Fiscal Year scholarship recipients a present of a quaint little flower, grown in his garden, in a hand-made vase.

After the presentations, a social gathering was held in the same hall. A bouquet of flowers was presented to Ms. Tanihara, who was retiring, as a token of respect and gratitude by all of the 2011 Fiscal Year Scholarship Recipients. There were amiable conversations, looking back at the research activities of the past year, with the fresh batch of scholarship recipients of Fiscal Year 2012 joining in. We deeply felt a bond of fellowship at hearing Managing Directress Junko Imanishi’s words to "please keep in touch no matter where we are in this globe". The past year of fulfilling research work will bear fruit and become the nourishment as we fly into the future.

(Written by Nahiya, translated by Max Maquito)

Photos by Hayato
Photos by Tanihara