2018 Atsumi Scholars Research Presentation

Starting with the greetings from the Executive Director Mrs. Atsumi, the 2018 research presentation session was an event that reflected the aims and aspirations of the foundation. With 13 scholars from 8 countries presenting in 13 different fields, the session was in itself a space to meet people of different nationalities and from different fields, and to communicate with people with specialties other than one's own. From literature to history, sociology, engineering and so on, this event provided a rare and valuable opportunity to learn about doctoral research from a variety of fields in one place.

Every year, presenters are asked to prepare a fifteen minute presentation for this event that introduces their doctoral research in a manner that even a child would understand. Last year, I was able to grasp the difficulty of this task when I attended the 2017 research presentation meeting as a future Atsumi scholar. Nevertheless, it was only in preparing my own presentation materials that I fully realized the difficulty of preparing easy to understand content in a set amount of time.

Summarizing research background, methodology, results and discussion in a short amount of time equated to understanding the core of one's research and explaining it in simple terminology, and at first glance this seemed a simple task. However, keeping this in mind while preparing the materials for the presentation led to unexpected difficulties. For example, the realization that the terminology one used was actually not everyday terminology, or the fact that what one thought was basic knowledge was actually specialist knowledge. Before presenting, I asked people from other fields for their opinions, and through a continuous process of revising eventually managed to prepare my materials. However, I still regret not being to explain my research using a more general vocabulary. In preparing for this presentation session I was able to sort through my research, an experience that was personally beneficial.

At this year's presentation session there was a diversity of presentations from different fields. Chiang-san's presentation on the history of Taiwan under Japanese rule, Cho-san's introduction of the Jeju uprising and the start of Kim Sok-pom's literary career, Amelie-san's discussion of international marriage in Japan from the perspective of political science, Lalita-san on the influence of exterior stimulation on creativity, my work on science for the production of low cost, efficient solar energy, Liang-san's presentation on Han literature in the early Nara and Heian periods, Min-san's introduction of historical understandings of the Korean liberation and the intellectual Park Chi-woo, Dariyagul's thoughts on Japanese language education in Kazakhstan, Wu-san's discussion of the process of acceptance of the "Eight Views of Xiaoxiang" in Japanese art, Wuerrer-san on understandings of gender underlying the literature of Shono Yoriko, Xie-san on the social and political pressure on literature as seen in the works of Abe Kobo, Yang-san on the influence of artistic expression on foreigners living in Japan, and Love-san's work on popularism and performance based on fieldwork at actual demonstrations. You wouldn't be able to hear about all of these topics in one place otherwise, and I felt this to be an incredibly valuable experience.

After the 13 presentations, we received comments from our Raccoon seniors and other guests and were able to interact more afterwards. As time was limited for the 13 of us to present our research, there was no time for questions from the audience. However, during the time afterwards it was possible to ask questions and share comments about the presentations and have more academic dialogue. It was not only the Raccoon seniors who participated in this session, but the 2019 scholars as well, and we were able to meet and chat with our seniors and juniors. While an academic forum, I felt that this was also a space to meet people, and one where one could feel the warmth of a family in Japan.

My time as a 2018 Atsumi scholar ended with this session, but I hope to continue my relationship with everyone as a member of the Atsumi Foundation family for a long time to come.

(written by Kim Boram , translated by Dale, Sonja)

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