Category Archive: KCP Program
One of the most popular dishes in Japan is hambagu (ハンバーグ), or Japanese hamburger steak. It’s a quick, delicious, and easy meal to prepare at home and is even readily available at many Yoshoku (Western Japanese) restaurants. It is similar to a Western burger, although it is most often served with rice. Ingredients are also different, making the hambagu unique with its own Asian twist. The usual ingredients include a mixture of ground pork and beef which adds flavor, richness, and soft texture. Typical sauce for hambagu is tonkatsu sauce which makes it a Japanese staple. You can be creative and top it with your favorite cheese and serve it with all the sidings imaginable like steamed vegetable, french fries, mashed potatoes, rice, and whatever your heart desires.
Check out our KCP Fall 2016 students as they try their hand at cooking hambagu!
All photos, KCP Fall 2016 cooking class.| KCP Flickr.
What exactly is Gakko Hojin?
Put simply, Gakko Hojin is a rigorous educational evaluation and accreditation process overseen by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government ministry.
Japan has the third-largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP), and it is the world’s second largest developed economy. It can be said that the learning market in the country is set to global standards: it has the second-largest higher education system in the world, with more than 1,200 universities and colleges.
Japan’s education system is one of the world’s most internationalized, with thousands of international students included in the total enrollment of the country. In the postwar era, the Ministry of Education has been the central authority. It oversees the establishment and recognition of tertiary (higher-ed) institutions. The status of Gakko Hojin (educational corporation) can be granted only by the government to entities who are under strict compliance. To obtain this status, educational institutions are required to meet stringent measures in curriculum, administration, governance, accounting and finances, physical facilities, and land holdings. The status of Gakko Hojin entitles the institution and its students to government grants, deferred loans, tuition subsidies, scholarships, preferential treatment on tax law and social insurance fees, and even discounted rail passes on some instances.
KCP campus. | KCP Flickr
Founded in 1983, KCP International is recognized as a leader in Japanese language education. It is well known for its Japanese language and cultural immersion in Tokyo. KCP is a not-for-profit educational foundation. In April 2007, KCP International Japanese Language School, one of the largest and most highly recognized language institutes in Japan, was granted Gakko Hojin status.
KCP students and faculty. | KCP Flickr
Every term, KCP students whip up yummy Japanese meals to be consumed with gusto after all the chopping, slicing, and boiling. Spring 2016 class is no exception. Check out our photos!
For more photos of the cooking session, visit our KCP Flickr set.
Matcha, a finely ground powder of specially processed and grown green tea, is a popular flavoring in Japan for many types of food. Matcha is also used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony that centers on the preparing, serving, and drinking of green tea.
Chanoyu (“hot water for tea”) is the Japanese term for the traditional tea ceremony. It is essentially an elaborate ritual of serving green tea, along with some sweets. The chanoyu is a way to relieve the stress of everyday life, even for just a short while, by immersing in the Zen aesthetics of serenity and peace. Each gesture and act in the tea ceremony is deliberate. The process is simply about drinking or making tea, but about serving the best bowl of tea.
At KCP International, every student is introduced to the ancient tradition of chanoyu, a result of centuries of meditative, ritualized interaction among host and guests. For the Way of Tea, the year is divided into two main seasons: the sunken hearth (ro) season (the colder months, November to April), and the brazier (furo) season (the warmer months, May to October). It is a wonderful way to get to know the Japanese culture and way of life.
For more photos of the KCP Spring 2016 tea ceremony, visit KCP Flickr.
Steven Trapani, an upcoming KCP Fall 2014 student, has some fantastic ideas when it comes to applying for scholarships. Thanks, Steven!
I will be attending KCP International this coming Fall term. Below are some ideas for those of you who are interested in applying for scholarships. I personally applied for all that I found.
- If you know you are studying abroad, apply first and get accepted to a program. My choice was KCP. Many scholarship apps require that you have an acceptance letter.
- Make an appointment with your study abroad center. They can help you in many ways depending on what you are looking for in a program. I needed a program that would accept my financial aid and loans. CCIS has different study abroad options and as you know I chose Japan. When I looked to see the cost and reviews, I decided KCP was the one for me.
- I applied early to KCP. I knew I wanted to apply for a scholarship and all scholarship apps have due dates. Do your homework and look online to find scholarships, or go to your University Study Abroad Office. You can also look online at other universities’ scholarship choices. They may have something different than your own university’s offerings.
- Boren Scholarship is very competitive. I decided I was applying for all scholarship. https://www.borenawards.org/boren_scholarship
- The bridging Scholarship http://www.aatj.org/studyabroad/scholarships.html
- PSECU International Education Scholarship http://www.thepafoundation.org/scholarships/s-PSECU.asp
- Gilman Scholarship http://www.iie.org/programs/gilman-scholarship-program
- CCIS Scholarship http://www.ccisabroad.org/scholarship_info.htm
- Chancellor John C. Cavanaugh International Education Award http://www.thepafoundation.org/scholarships/s-Cavanaugh.asp
The above options are just a few of the scholarships that I personally applied for. (btw, I live in Pennsylvania.) Once you do some looking around you may find many that I have not listed. You really need to click on the links and read the entire site content to see if you meet the criteria for the scholarship.
Many of the scholarships require:
- References ( 2)
- Purpose of study
- Due dates (believe me they are strict with due dates.)
- Some scholarships require a certain GPA, and that you are receiving a state grant. This is why it is very important to click on the links and read everything.
I am still waiting to hear from the many scholarships that I applied for. Whatever the outcome is, I know that I tried!
Please don’t hesitate to ask your Study Abroad Office or KCP. I’m sure that any question you have can be answered. Remember, starting early is the key. Not only are you doing your college work, but applying for scholarships is almost as time-consuming as your college work. Divide and organize your time and everything can be done.
I can’t express enough about searching on your computer for international or study abroad scholarships. I searched for at least 4 months. Keep in mind a scholarship offered in the past may not always be offered every year. It all depends on the funding.
If you become a scholarship recipient, you may need to do some type of a service after your study abroad experience. This should all be explained in the web sites of the individual scholarships.
During the group sessions, students from the Short Summer and the Summer Anime and Manga programs had a half-day Tokyo tour. They went to Harajuku, the Meiji Shrine, Tsukuji, Ginza, and Asakusa.
After the tour, the students presented their impressions(see photos below) on what they did and what they observed. Considering some of these students could hardly even talk in Japanese before coming to Japan, being able to give presentations in Japanese after 10 days at KCP is a remarkable achievement!
Check out more of our photos at KCP Flickr.
KCP International is offering a summer course on Intensive Japanese Language and Anime and Manga. A highlight of the course is a tour of Toei Animation Studios!
Toei Animation Co., Ltd. (東映アニメーション株式会社 / Tōei Animēshon Kabushiki-gaisha), in operation since 1956, is one of the oldest and largest animation studios in Japan. It is responsible for the creation of numerous television series and movies adapted from various Japanese comic books from well-known manga artists such as Masami Kurumada, Akira Toriyama, Go Nagai, Shotaro Ishinomori, and Naoko Takeuchi.
Toei Animation building | t-miki
Some of the popular TV series Toei Animation has produced are Go Nagai’s Mazinger Z, Mahoutsukai Sally (the animated manga adaptation of Mitsyteru Yokoyama’s creation, and the first magical-girl anime series), Dragon Ball Z, and Sailor Moon. The contributions of Toei Animation are widely recognized worldwide. Its works have been recipients of the Animage Anime Grand Prix award for Galaxy Express 999 in 1981, Saint Seiya in 1987, and Sailor Moon in 1992.The many anime series created in Toie Animation Studios have set the standards for Super Robot anime for many years.
The Panda and the Magic Serpent, Toei vintage video (1958) | Z-Grade
Toei Animation Studios is situated in Higashi-Oizumi while the company’s headquarters is in Shinjuku, right in the center of Tokyo (and handy to KCP). The production process of Toei Animation takes pride in practices from its mother company’s traditional beliefswhere the director is responsible for the whole episode, from drawing the story boardsto overseeing the sound effects and voice-over.
The studio boasts of having state-of-the-art digitized technology that you have to see to fully appreciate. The tour will give you valuable insights in the world of anime, where the characters of a story are given just as much emphasis as the storyline. It’s a great way to learn more about the inner workings of Japanese anime!
Sailor Moon Trading Cards | Chris Fritz
Application for the KCP summer language and anime/manga course closes March 27. So don’t delay—apply now.
It’s been a week or so since the start of the term. As you can see in the photos below, the teachers are already in full-throttle! The photos were taken at 6 pm; even at that time there were still teachers and some students at school.
Deep in concentration, checking a student’s papers. | KCP Flickr
Students typically hang out in the student lounge to study and chat with friends. Meanwhile, teachers discuss schoolwork with their colleagues or correct students’ homework, compositions, quizzes, etc. Correcting the assignments of students is an important learning process for teachers. Whenever they see answers written by students that are different from what they expected to see, teachers try to analyze the thought patterns of students in those answers to figure out why or how they came to their answer. This analysis helps teachers refine their teaching skills so they can lead students to better understand their assignments.
KCP teachers discuss students’ assignments. | KCP Flickr
It’s common knowledge that teachers at KCP are highly committed to their students’ success. This is one of the characteristics of the KCP school culture—the very devoted teaching staff. They are all highly serious about getting students to gain proficiency in the Japanese language . . . . and highly playful occasionally, since playing is a great way to learn.
Looks like she’s finished her grading! | KCP Flickr
For any business to be a success, one of the key tactics is the free exchange of ideas that can provide improvement. Nemawashi (根回し) is a Japanese process being implemented by numerous companies to arrive at a consensus. It is a subtle alternative approach to the Western-style business meeting which can publicly display a clash of opinions.
In English, the term “nemawashi” means “going around the roots.” It comes from the word “ne (根)”, which means “root” and “mawasu (回す)” which means “ to go around (something)”. The term originally and literally meant the act of digging around the roots of a tree so that it could be transplanted.
Business meeting | Robert Salzalone
Nemawashi consists of a conversation, either in small key groups, or one-on-one, to minimize the show of public conflicts. It can begin with someone who has a proposal he wants to share, and who will then seek out the decision-makers in the company to get their opinion. This could be tricky since in a Japanese company, there are several people that take into account the decision-making process that will impact a business. There could be no specific person whose voice weighs more than the others. For the nemawashi strategy to work, there must be a number of nemawashi meetings with small groups of people until all concerns have been covered, and core aspects have been established.
Nemawashi meetings can either be formal or informal. One can either bring up a conversation in an elevator, or during lunch, or in a social gathering. It can also have been planned beforehand to discuss a certain agenda.
The main goal of nemawashi is to give one’s point of view regarding a proposal or idea, and to get feedback and suggestions from people that you are doing the nemawashi with. Based on the feedback gathered, you can then further refine your proposal or no longer pursue it based on the gathered consensus.
You can learn more about the practice of nemawashi by attending KCP International’s 4-week Summer course on Business. It aims to help students who are interested in developing Japanese business acumen to further their careers. To learn more this new course, visit our KCP website.
We are very proud to announce two new affiliate university members of the KCP International Japanese Language School. They are New Mexico State University and Cleveland State University.
New Mexico State is a land-grant university in Las Cruces, with extensions and research centers statewide. More than 23,000 students attend. NMSU is a NASA Space Grant College, a Hispanic-serving institution, and the home of the only Honors College in New Mexico.
Selected as one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, Cleveland State features renowned professors, more than 200 academic programs, exciting downtown internships, NCAA Division I sports, and one of Ohio’s lowest tuitions. Sixteen thousand students attend.
KCP is in the midst of a massive web upgrade; when it is complete, we will announce links to the KCP program websites at all of our schools, including the two newest ones. NMSU and CSU: welcome!