Princeton Club of Japan Joins 34 Regional Clubs in 2014 Global Netnight

For the first time ever, the Princeton Club of Japan joined 34 other regional clubs and associations for the 2014 Global NetNight, which took place last Tuesday.

Tigers discuss.

Tigers discuss.

Princeton University alumni NetNights are in-person networking events for Tigers who are looking to build their professional networks. Every year, Princeton University also sponsors a day — Global NetNight — for regional associations to coordinate these events in countries and cities all over the world.

The Princeton Club of Japan took part in Global NetNight for the first time this year.

The Princeton Club of Japan took part in Global NetNight for the first time this year.

The theme of this year’s event was was Mentoring and Beyond: Developing Long-term Professional Relationships. The Princeton Club of Japan used this topic as a springboard to discuss a number of issues related to networking, particularly within companies or organizations in which Tigers are already working.

Looking forward to 2015.

Looking forward to 2015.

Looking forward to 2015.

Kaisei Fair Attracts over 700

We wanted to give a big shout out to those who participated in the Kaisei Academy College Fair on Saturday July 6, 2013. The fair was a huge success and was attended by over 700 people from Kaisei, including students and parents. The fair showcased 8 global universities: Princeton, Harvard, Cal Tech, Amherst, the French Government (representing French Universities), Hong Kong University, NYU Abu Dhabi, and Wesleyan. It was a great opportunity to introduce Kaisei to the benefits of going to college abroad and to tell students about how Princeton combines the best offerings of a research university with a college that puts a strong focus on undergraduate education. Kaisei Academy is viewed by many as one of the leading high schools in Japan, with 200 of its 400 graduates going on to Tokyo University, which is widely recognized as the leading university in Japan. Tokyo University graduates have consistently gone on to become political, business and social leaders in Japan.

The fair was broken into two parts. The first part was held in an auditorium seating over 700 including Kaisei students, parents, teachers and members of the media. Yanagisawa-san, the head of Kaisei, gave an introductory speech while Masahiro Fukuhara of IGS talked about the merits of studying abroad. A representative from each college then gave a short talk about their university and what made them unique. Toshi Baily spoke on behalf of Princeton emphasizing how Princeton is not only a top research institution, but also a school which teaches undergraduates the ability to ask important questions through original independent research. Toshi emphasized how education up until high school can often be more about answering questions posed by others, but how at Princeton, students are encouraged to build their ability to ask the important questions through close work with their advisors and other professors.

In the second part, each school was assigned a classroom to introduce their school in more depth. Each school did three 30-minute sessions so that students and parents could attend more than one school’s presentation. We passed out materials kindly provided to us from the Princeton Admissions Office and played videos from the Admissions’ website, and each of the four Princeton Alumni — Hidekazu Oki, Peyton Bowman, Ahn Nguyen and Toshi Baily, gave a brief talk about their experience at Princeton. Each Alum talked about what made Princeton a special experience for them — whether it was interaction with classmates or Professors. Princeton’s sessions were packed each time with some parents standing outside the room listening in. One of the teachers afterwards jokingly said that he “could not get into the Princeton classroom without a crowbar.” Students and parents asked many questions such as how to pay for Princeton or would their children come back to Japan after Princeton. Kaisei teachers held a thank you session for the college alums afterwards and we talked about many issues including how Japan can send more students abroad.

Ed Rogers, Chair of the Japan Alumni Schools Committee, and Toshi Baily first met with Yanagisawa-san, the head of Kaisei, in December 2012 and suggested introducing Kaisei students to Princeton. Yanagisawa-san, a former professor at Harvard and Tokyo University, is regarded by many as a thought leader in Japanese education. Yanagisawa-san liked our idea, but also suggested inviting more colleges and making it into a broader college fair. Our idea then progressed to become one of the biggest events held by Kaisei. Yanagisawa-san was excited by this first step and said that he was grateful that Princeton approached him with this idea.

Again, special thanks to the following alums for their great help at the Fair!

Hidekazu Oki
Peyton Bowman
Ahn Nguyen
Toshi Baily

Also a huge thank you to Ed Rogers for helping initiate this whole discussion, talking with Yanagisawa-san and coordinating with the Admissions office.

All in all, a fantastic outcome and a great thank you to all involved. It was a lot of fun and served a noble cause. We look forward to working with you more in the future.

Please note that if Princeton Alumni would like to help get great students from Japan to attend Old Nassau, Ed Rogers always welcomes volunteers to help with interviews in Japan!

Tidbits on Tigers & Japan

This post lists miscellaneous fun facts on Tigers & Japan. Interesting story of your own? Send in your fun fact(s) to the Webmaster Princeton Club of Japan! (TigetNetID: mei)

Tidbit 1: Tobu Animal Park

Tidbit 2: Tigers in some famous Japanese paintings

Tidbit 3: Toraya

Tidbit 4: Toranomon District in Tokyo

Tidbit 5: The top-ranking result for the query “Tiger, Japan”

Tidbit 1: Tobu Dobutsu Koen (or Tobu Animal Park) in Saitama Prefecture (next to Tokyo) features three elegant white tigers.

The trio – Ryo, Rocky and Maple – live in a glass “water palace” with a small swimming pool built exclusively to showcase these beautiful animals in the zoo’s Cat World section. White tigers are not a special breed; they are orange Bengal Tigers with pink noses and paw pads, pale blue, green or amber eyes, and white/cream colored fur with black, brown or gray stripes. There are only an estimated 200 white tigers in the world of which Japan is said to be home to 23.

For more information on these white tigers and the Tobu animal park, go to: http://www.tobuzoo.com/(Japanse Website)

 

Tiger: kanto.stripes.com

Tiger: kanto.stripes.com

Tidbit 2: Tigers in some famous Japanese paintings appear in unnatural poses which are more typical of cats. Why? (See, e.g., works by artists from the Kano school commissioned by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.)

Tigers are not native to Japan, however, artists from the Kano school were commissioned by the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu to depict these magnificent creatures (along with leopards) to adorn the walls in Nijo Castle in Kyoto (the location of Japan’s Capital at the time). These artist had to rely on on the lore of adventurers who had traveled to China and animal hides brought back by traders. Since Tigers were described as gigantic cat-like creatures, the artists painted what looked like over-sized cats with stripes. This is the explanation given for depictions of tigers in some unnaturally cute and cuddly poses typical of domesticated cats.

More information on Nijo Castle (Nijojo) is available from the JNTOjapan-guide.comKyoto University or other travel sites.


Large reception room of Nijo Castle features pine trees and storks (symbols of longevity

Large reception room of Nijo Castle features pine trees and storks (symbols of longevity

Tidbit 3: Toraya

One of the oldest makers of traditional Japanese confectionery is Toraya, whose name literally means “Tiger Store”. The precise date of its establishment is unknown. However, the earliest records of its existence date back to the 1600′s when Enchu Kurokawa is believed to have founded a famous confectionery business in Kyoto. Toraya has been supplying delicacies to the Imperial family as far back as this period.

Note: Since my sister and I both attended Princeton, my mother always saves the beautiful black boxes and gift bags with gold tigers from Toraya.


Tidbit 4: The Toranomon district in Tokyo is named after the southernmost gate of Edo Castle – known as the “Tiger’s Gate”; Edo is the former name of Tokyo.

Edo Castle (Edo-jo) was built in 1457 by Ota Dokan. It served as the residence for Tokugawa Ieyasu as well as the military capital for the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo period (1457-1868). Only some portions of the original castle remain to this day. Since the Meiji restoration it is serving as the residence of the Imperial Palace, but its scope and scale have been reduced significantly. During its heyday, the castle grounds included areas surrounding Tokyo Station, the Marunouchi area, Kitanomaru Park and Nippon Budokan Hall.

Tidbit 5: The top-ranking result using the query “Tiger, Japan” in major search engines is the Hanshin Tigers baseball team.

Founded in December of 1935, the Osaka Tigers is among the oldest professional clubs in Japan. They changed their name to Hanshin Tigers in 1940 due to anti-foreign sentiment, but changed back to Osaka Tigers in 1947. In 1961, the team (once again) assumed their current name Hanshin Tigers. This highly intelligent team definitely knows how to keep an important noun in their name. In another stroke of genius, they chose to have as their sister team in the US, none other than the Detroit Tigers. For further info visit their homepage (in Japanese): http://hanshintigers.jp/

Disclaimer: The information on this page is contributed as an informal guide. It may not be entirely accurate or may be out-of-date and is neither endorsed by the Princeton Club of Japan nor the University (and Alumni Association).