Talk by the Executive Director and BBQ (August meet-up)

On the afternoon of July 15, 2023 (Saturday), the Atsumi fellows gathered in the Atsumi Hall for a talk by the Executive Director and a barbecue. The highlight of this gathering was learning about the history of the Kajima Corporation from Executive Director Atsumi Naoki's talk. It was a fascinating topic, and the Executive Director enthusiastically shared with us how the Kajima Corporation has grown and developed with the times, and how it has contributed to our everyday lives and society.
The Executive Director was especially passionate when discussing the consistent growth and technological developments of the Kajima Corporation. The Kajima Corporation was initially known for building western-style buildings, and developed specialist knowledge about western-style architecture for which it received praise for spreading throughout Japan. Next, making use of that experience and knowledge, the corporation turned to railroad construction, and became a known name in the field. It then started exploring dam construction and became well known for dam technology. After that, the corporation moved to seaside and nuclear power projects, and became actively involved in construction projects involving ports and nuclear power facilities. After building Kasumigaseki Building, Japan's first skyscraper, the Kajima Corporation then moved on to becoming known for its skyscraper projects.
Throughout this process of development, the Kajima Corporation has kept with it the technology and knowledge of the past and continues to grow. The Kajima Corporation apparently calls this the "spirit of enterprise." The strength of the corporation lies in how each phase lends itself to the next step, which leads to constant development. The fact that the Kajima Corporation has now entered the next phase of space is evidence of how they are constantly challenging themselves, and through making use of the technology and knowledge of the past continue to make great contributions to society through their technological advancements.
These results are reflected in the buildings and infrastructure that we see in our everyday life. These are all proof of the technological prowess of the Kajima Corporation, and tangibly demonstrates how their knowledge and experience has been used in each of their projects to contribute to society. The Executive Director also touched on contributions that the Kajima Corporation has made to my homeland of Taiwan. Projects such as the Sun Moon Lake dam and Taiwan's railroad lines are examples of the Kajima Corporation's significant role in the development of Taiwan's infrastructure, and how it has enriched our lives.
After the talk, a Mongolian barbecue prepared by Atsumi fellow Enkh-Amgalan Onon awaited us. The rich and varied flavours of the dishes were praised by all, and also became an important experience in intercultural exchange. Many of our senpai (seniors) from the Atsumi Foundation also participated in the event, and they shared their rich experiences and knowledge with us. It felt almost like an extension of the continuing history and technology of the Kajima Corporation. The process of learning from and making use of the experiences of our senpai and sharing those experiences in turn with our kouhai (juniors) resembles the pattern of sustained growth and development undertaken by the Kajima Corporation.
At the end of the gathering, I got to learn about the custom of "san-bon jime" from Harada-san of the Atsumi Foundation. While clapping our hands three times, we chanted "pa-pa-pan pa-pa-pan pa-pa-pan pan" together in time, and shared in its social significance. According to what Harada-san told us, "san-bon jime" refers to repeating the same rhythm three times, and represents gratitude to the person closing the meeting, the participants, and god.
From these experiences, we didn't just learn about Japanese traditions and culture, but also gained a deeper understanding of the background and how these things should be utilized. I would like for us to keep these teachings with us and make use of them in our future endeavors. This gathering was an important learning experience for us fellows, and will doubtless have an impact on our future studies and relationships.

Photos of the day

Text: Huang Jo Hsiang(2023)
Translation: Sonja Dale