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Japan’s schools open up to increasing globalization

For many decades, Japan has proved a pioneer on many fronts, be it in science, technology, design and the arts. Because of a unique national culture, the country’s educational institutions attract thousands of foreign students wanting a different global outlook and pathway to excellence.

Established by husband and wife Hideki and Humiko Sato in 1966, Bunri Sato Gakuen is Japan’s first hospitality university. After more than 50 years, the school remains faithful to its mission to impart the true spirit of omotenashi. That distinctive Japanese concept of hospitality is also being applied to its nursing students.

With Bunri Sato Gakuen Associate Professor Pedro Marques and Founder and Chairman Hideki Sato

The school has adjusted its curriculum to appeal more to international students, especially those from Asia. While Japanese students have begun to appreciate the influx of international students, the non-Japanese undergraduates have exhibited an openness to absorb different traits and values.

“They [international students] want to learn the Japanese way of service, thinking and loyalty. And they want to go back to their countries and apply it there. Students come with that in mind and it opens doors for them,” Head of General Affairs Gen Miyashita said.

The university’s expansion into nursing appears to be a natural progression.

“Treating a guest is not that different from treating a sick person. Giving options, treating people and trying to make you comfortable work in a hotel as much as it does in a hospital,” Sato said.

Although it caters only to Japanese students, the nursing college developed a rigorous curriculum that aims to get all its graduates obtain a national license and practice nursing anywhere in Japan. Japan’s fast-growing gray population has also made nursing an appealing field for many young Japanese.

With Toyo Eiwa Jogakuin Director of the Secretariat Tetsuya Nishida and President Akifumi Ikeda

Established in 1884 by female Methodist missionaries, Toyo Eiwa Jogakuin has held firm to its two founding pillars: being a Christian school and a women’s education. Although more than 130 years after, the school has expanded continuously and now offers all levels of education, from preschool to university. 

“We believe that our main task is to preserve the essence of the Christian faith and put that into the core spiritual value in our education. With regards to the women education, the young population may be less. But attendance in universities is increasing for young women,” University President Akifumi Ikeda said.

With its motto “Reverence and Service,” the school aims to form its students into responsible and mature members of society. Amid the unfettered globalization that is affecting every country and field, Toyo Eiwa Jogakuin has incorporated diversity and open-mindedness into its core values.

Also, the school is developing a full English-only curriculum to cater to international students and international partner universities, as well as sends some of its Japanese students abroad.

“We send students abroad to see different cultures. At the same time, they learn more about their own culture as they explain or share it with other while overseas,” Ikeda explained.

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Japan 2018 was prepared for and originally printed in Foreign Affairs magazine.

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