On August 8, USJC and the Japan Society of Boston hosted a reception and lunch welcoming the students participating in the BEYOND Tomorrow program in Boston and New York. Special thanks to member of the USJC Board of Directors Atsuko Fish for organizing the event! See below for a recap by Ms. Jun-Ang Ni, Intern at the Fish Family Foundation.
USJC Board Member Atsuko Fish speaking to BEYOND Tomorrow program participants
On Friday August 1st, nine students of BEYOND Tomorrow embarked on a week-long journey from Tohoku to New York and Boston. During that week, these individuals experienced, absorbed, and discovered the magic of innovation, what it has done for the American people, and what it could possibly do for the future of Tohoku.
Thus, on August 8th, at a reception co-hosted by the Japan Society of Boston and the U.S.-Japan Council within the house of renowned U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Edwin O. Reischauer, the students presented to the crowd what they had learned in the short but profound trip. New Consul General of Japan in Boston Tsutomu Himeno and U.S.-Japan Council Board Member Atsuko Fish welcomed the students and applauded them for their bravery and ability to continue marching forward away from their pasts.
With their clear words, pure and raw emotions, and blossoming minds, Masahide Chiba, Minori Endo, Hazuki Kamada, Takuya Kimura, Ryo Ninakawa, Yoshifumi Ono, Nanami Takahashi, Shuyu Takahashi and Noriko Yusa captured the hearts of their audience. They introduced their past, present, and future, sharing the hidden pain and burdens the tsunami washed upon their backs, while describing their dreams and aspirations for the future. Using Hazuki’s heartbreaking tale of losing loved ones as a transition, the audience observed their faces harden with the shadow of perseverance in the presence of great loss. As a team, the students utilized their natural charm and humor in order to describe the social climate in Japan and compared it to America’s, explaining that in their country, there is a dearth of “innovation.”
The students agreed that their trip to America has opened their eyes to the significance of forging a new route rather than defaulting to the beaten path. They have made it their own personal goals to become responsible citizens of not only Tohoku and Japan, but of the globe. Each and every one of these young adults has their eyes set on creating a world where new ideas and change are welcomed with open arms. Like the phoenix, these students and countless members of their community have made a vow to turn the disaster into the ashes from which a new generation of leaders will rise. On their wings, they will bear the entire world aloft and bring it BEYOND Tomorrow.