In August of 2023 the Dutch students of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen flew to Osaka, Japan!

The theme of this years conference was centered around some of the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDG’s for short).
Both sides prepared presentations about:
– Work-life balance;
– Food loss;
– Japan EXPO 2025.

After the days with presentations we had a 2-day fieldtrip to Tsuyama. Here we learned a lot about the influence Dutch sailors had on the educational uprising of Japan by bringing them books about western medicine.
We visited important places that had to do with important Japanese persons who made this ‘western learning’ accesible to other Japanese people.

In Tsuyama we had lots of cultural exchanges. We visited a local High School where we gave them a Dutch lesson and where they taught us how to do Shodo (calligraphy). Afterwards we had a meeting with the Mayor of Tsuyama, which was een honor. To end the evening we were treated to a dragon dance, peformed by the locals of Nakayama shrine.

Of course there was also time to do more informal things together. In the evening we went to a karaoke bar to sing to our heart’s content!

The next day we started with a tour through the Tsuyama Archives of Western Learning. Here we got an overview of the historical significance between the West and Japan. Afterwards we split into groups to visit some special spots through the city. At last Tsuyama castle was visited where we had a guided tour. Our guide told us a lot about the history of Tsuyama and the castle grounds.

Of course we had to show each other what we had learned from the trip. The days after we got back was all about creating our own presentations about the things we’ve seen and learned about during our trip.