Student Reflections – June 24

26 06 2010

Group picture in front of Nagoya Castle. Try to find our King in the middle of the picture!

The Nagoya Experience

by Amanda Peralta and Carlos E. Hernandez, photos and captions by Roland Wiryawan

Today, we really got a chance to explore the city as a true Nagoyan citizen. We started off our day by visiting City Hall and getting a brief presentation on the city’s wonderful history. Afterwards, we visited Nagoya Castle, where we had the chance to explore the origins of Nagoya that go back to the 1600s. Once we finished our tour, we visited the Shippo Pavillon. Here, we learned about the Shippo craftsman tradition and witnessed some traditional Japanese art. The best part about this was having the chance to make our own works of art! Even though some of us had a hard time making our art pieces, we still had a blast doing it! Some of us made key chains, some backpack/cell phone straps, and others made their own pendants. It was truly an enjoyable experience.

Prof. Sanchez gives a token of appreciation to the representative from civic reception house of Nagoya. See how he bows to show his appreciation to her in Japanese tradition.

Meeting and discussion between Japan and USA will improve the understanding between both countries.

In Nagoya Castle, we get a warm welcome by a group of samurai. Here is one of them who dresses up like a farmer.

For some of us, eating with chopsticks is not an easy task to do, but as time goes by, we survive and become (almost) expert with chopsticks.

Felipe Martinez, our assistant director for Norman Topping Student Aid Fund, poses in front of the sign. In Japan, there are a lot of signs in animation style.

Each of us gets the chance to make our own model of Shippo arts.

Made in Japan, by USC students.

We have been using different transportation systems in Japan. From train, boat, taxi, bullet train, and bus, we try it all.

Before our exciting baseball game experience, we got to go to one of Nagoya’s famed shopping areas, the Osu district. Here we found charming second-hand stores, a temple, and various ethnic eateries, including a delicious Brazilian and Mexican café.

Going to the famous Nagoya Dome to watch the Nagoya Dragons versus the Yokohama BayStars was quite exhilarating. The first thing that really struck me was how similar the Dragons’ logo and uniforms were similar to those of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Like the Dodgers, they had the same shade of blue, had the same signature insignia, and even their baseball cap logo was the same!

Carlos Hernandez, a music industry student watches the game between Dragons and BayStar. It was an unique experience to watch indoor baseball in Japan and compare it to Los Angeles.

This is a fan group of Dragons, a baseball team from Nagoya. Watching baseball is part of the entertainment for all ages in Japan.

Japanese people use different ways to support their team. They use flags and trumpets to cheer their favorite team.

While inside the dome, we witnessed first-hand how organized the Japanese are while cheering. As we sat towards center field, left field was packed with rowdy visiting fans. Meanwhile, right field was filled with cheering Dragon fans. It was interesting to see how each side only cheered when their teams were at bat. Even though they acted rowdy, tooted their horns, and used their plastic bats to make noise, neither side would cheer when the opposing team was at bat. They would sit down quietly, and let the other side have their chance. The only exception to this rule was when the Dragon pitcher struck someone out or forced a ground out, that they would taunt the opposing team for their mistake. All in all, that taunting wasn’t enough because the Dragons took a beating, losing to the BayStars 5-0.

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