(For the Japanese version of this article)

The 39th IEJ (International Educators to Japan) Program (FY2014) [June 22-July 3, 2014]

The 39th IEJ (International Educators to Japan) Program (FY2014)


IIST implements the IEJ Program, which involves inviting educators engaged in the education of Japanese children in Europe and North America to Japan. The Program offers foreign educators the opportunity to experience the educational environment in Japan through school visits, home stay, and other activities, as well as to come into contact with Japanese history and culture through visits to historical facilities. It is hoped that these experiences will be a good basis for the participants in teaching Japanese students in their classroom.

Date: June 22 (Sun) - July 3 (Thu), 2014, 12days, 11 nights
Places: Tokyo, Nara, Aichi, Hiroshima, Kyoto
Organized by: Institute for International Studies and Training
Co-sponsors: Seiko Kimono Cultural Foundation, Calbee, Inc.
Cooperating organizations: Ikaruga Homestay Society, Nara International Exchange Volunteers Association (NIEVA), Toyota International Association (TIA)
Dispatching organizations: EU-Japan Center for Industrial Cooperation, Japan Business Association of Southern California (JBA), San Antonio Japanese Companies Association, Dallas Japanese Association, Shokokai of Portland, Japanese Business Society of Detroit (JBSD), The Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, Toronto Japanese Association of Commerce and Industry
(in alphabetical order)


24 educators from three countries
Participating countries: United States (19 persons), Canada (2 persons), Belgium (3 persons)

Activities, Visited Places

6/22 (Sun)
Arrival in Japan

6/23 (Mon)
Orientation, tour of Tokyo

6/24 (Tue)
Visits to Tachiai Elementary School in Shinagawa Ward and Kudan Secondary School in Chiyoda Ward

6/25 (Wed)
Kimono wearing experience (Seiko Kimono Cultural Foundation)

6/26 (Thu)
(1) (19 persons) Transfer to Nara; visit to Todaiji temple; home stays in Nara and Ikaruga
(2) (5 persons) Transfer to Toyota City; visit to Toyota Tsutsumi Plant and Toyota Kaikan Museum; home stay

6/27 (Fri)
(1) Visits to Elementary School Attached to Nara Women's University and Ikaruga Nishi Elementary School; home stay
(2) Visits to Isato Jr. High School and Aizuma Jr. High School; home stay

6/28 (Sat)
Transfer to Hiroshima

6/29 (Sun)
Visits to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum and Miyajima

6/30 (Mon)
Visit to Motomachi Elementary School; transfer to Kyoto

7/1 (Tue)
Tour of Kyoto

7/2 (Wed)
Wrap-up meeting

7/3 (Thu)
Departure from Japan


In Tokyo the participants visited a public elementary school and an integrated secondary school. At Tachiai Elementary School in Shinagawa Ward, 10 participants gave a demonstration lesson. In addition, with the cooperation of the Seiko Kimono Cultural Foundation (Suzunoya), they experienced kimono wearing. Outside Tokyo, the participants were divided into three groups for home stays in Toyota, Nara, and Ikaruga. With the assistance of boards of education, cooperating organizations, and volunteers in those regions, they visited elementary and junior high schools there. They also engaged in exchange with host families and local children, thereby coming into contact with everyday Japanese life and customs.
In Hiroshima, with the cooperation of Calbee, Inc., there was an opportunity to visit Peace Memorial Park and Museum and to have a lecture by A-bomb survivor, Mr. Shinji Mikamo and his daughter Dr. Akiko Mikamo, who resides in San Diego and is president of a NPO "San Diego-WISH" (Worldwide Initiative to Safeguard Humanity) on their atom-bomb experience. In addition, the participants visited such sites as Todaiji, Itsukushima Shrine, Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, and Kiyomizu temple. Through these visits and activities, the participants were able to deepen their understanding of Japan's traditional culture and history and the Japanese people's unique religious views blending Shinto, Buddhism, and other faiths. It is hoped that this experience in Japan will help the participating educators from three Western countries to achieve greater success in the education of Japanese students in their respective regions.

Orientation (June 23)

Orientation (June 23)

Calligraphy experience at Ikaruga Nishi Elementary School (June 25)

Calligraphy experience at Ikaruga Nishi Elementary School (June 25)

Yuzenzome textile dyeing experience in Kyoto (July 1)

Yuzenzome textile dyeing experience in Kyoto (July 1)

With Mr. Shinji Mikamo and Dr. Akiko Mikamo in Hiroshima (June 29)

With Mr. Shinji Mikamo and Dr. Akiko Mikamo in Hiroshima (June 29)

Related Article
International Educators to Japan (IEJ) Program
“My Worldview Expands as My World Shrinks”- Reflections on the 2014 IEJ Program

International Exchange Dept.

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