2012 Fall Opening Ceremony

The fall semester at Kansai Gaidai didn’t start with a boom, but rather with the sublime beauty of Koto music.

In the surprisingly hot summer morning the students were eager to get out of the sun and into the pleasant multimedia hall where the stage was already decorated by a beautiful flower arrangement and with the flags of all the 35 countries and regions that were represented by the students.

The Asian Studies Program’s President, Yoshitaka Tanimoto, opened his speech by apologizing for wishing everyone a warm welcome to an already very hot Kansai and the audience greeted him with more laughter than the joke may have deserved.

Something that definitely deserved applause was the Koto performance by local Kansai Gaidai students. The enthralling music made it much clearer than any speech ever could that the semester ahead of the international students is a unique experience.

Finally the newly arrived students were shown a video message from some of their Japanese schoolmates and some of their senpai from last year’s Asian Studies Program.
The advice, from students who had once been in the same position, and the welcoming words, from their new Japanese friends, concluded the ceremony and gave the newly arrived students a taste of what the semester may bring.

With the promise of a feast being served it was an easy task to make everyone brave the sun once again and head to the student cafeteria, where cold drinks, ice cream and several tables full of freshly prepared sandwiches, sashimi and charcuteries made the walk well worth the effort.