Greeting from the head of the Center

“Uniting people the world over”
The Future of JLC

留学生日本語教育センター長 藤村知子

One year has passed since I became the director of Japanese Language Center for International Students TUFS, in April 2017. I would like to make my best possible effort for JLC to maintain the quality of education for international students here, during my remaining one year as the director.
In January 2018, our promotion video was completed by the public relations section, which was in charge of planning, shooting, and editing of the video for two years. The 30-minute video introduces not only our beautiful campus from season to season, but also JLC’s education and missions. The video is used on the occasion of orientations for new students, or welcoming other guests. Professors from overseas universities who visited JLC the other day enjoyed watching the combination of the cherry blossoms in full bloom and the entrance ceremony.
The entrance ceremony of JLC has has been conducted at Prometheus Hall located inside Agora Global, an on-campus facility for multicultural exchange, together with the School of Language and Culture Studies since 2012. At the ceremony, Choeur Soleil, the TUFS mixed chorus, sings the TUFS Anthem. TUFS’s website explains that this anthem was composed as part of the commemorative events celebrating the 60th anniversary of the university’s founding in 1957. The students were invited to submit lyrics for the anthem.

1. Like the vivid flame of Prometheus
Glowing at dawn,
Fan our blazing ambition
For the bright future that awaits.
Oh, our dearest Tokyo-Gaigodai,
Stay radiant forever on!

2. Rooting our youthful spirits
In the garden of language,
Let us seek and revere the perennial flower of truth
Uniting people the world over.
Oh, our dearest Tokyo-Gaigodai,
Strive for peace forever on!

3. Founded on the cornerstone of history,
Going from strength to strength,
Let our pantheon of cultures live eternally,
Passing down the wisdom of our culture.
Oh, our dearest Tokyo-Gaigodai,
Act with pride forever on!

While I was listening to the words of the anthem written in literary style, I noticed international students who had studied Japanese at JLC were singing the anthem with other Japanese students. That was the moment I thought JLC had achieved “Uniting people the world over” and “Strive for peace forever on!” Unfortunately, the second verse was omitted at the entrance ceremony because of the time restriction. Mr. Shibahara Norimitsu, who majored in Russian and wrote the lyrics, anticipated our future to travel around the world to seek the truth as learners of foreign languages, but probably he had no idea that the anthem would be sung by an international student. The latter part of the anthem truly expresses JLC in the 21st century.
As for the situation of international students at TUFS in 1957 when the anthem was composed, according to The History of TUFS, 1954 saw the establishment of the system of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture scholarships for international students, and the founding of special programs to teach them Japanese at TUFS as well as Osaka University of Foreign Studies, but there were no full-time faculty members whose task was specifically to teach them Japanese. There were only teachers who belonged to another section of TUFS and part-time lecturers, and the total number of international students at TUFS in 1957 was 24—18 on the Ministry of Education scholarships (including 3 from the previous year), 3 at their own expense, and 3 from the Indian Government.
A half century later, in 2018, we have 28 full-time teachers for education of international students, 317 JLPTUFS students from 59 countries, and 55 students from 30 countries on the MEXT scholarships. JLPTUFS offers courses focused on communication so that Japanese students and international students can communicate with each other. For example, we encourage Japanese students to join classes conducted at JLC, and international students on the MEXT scholarships to take part in the TUFS Regatta which all the Japanese freshmen join.
In 2019, the School of Japan Studies will be established. Actually we also discussed the establishment of a new department when JLC was still located in Sumiyoshi-cho, Fuchu city, so it seems that our idea will be realized next year in an unexpected way. Although the School of Japan Studies is a bit different from what we discussed, the new department is already publicized with the slogan, “Expand Your Horizon”. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.


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