2023 KAKEHASHI Project Welcome Address
March, 3, 2023.
President of Keiwa College
Good morning, everyone. Dr. Muakai, Prof. Yamakita and Howard students, welcome to Keiwa College and Shibata City, Niigata Prefecture.
First of all, I would like to say thank you very much for your choosing Keiwa College as your partner college for KAKEHASHI Project, commemorating Daniel K.Inoue, US Senator from Hawaii, and thank you again, because Keiwa students enjoyed fellowship with you at Howard University in Washington D.C. four weeks before.
Niigata Pref. is known as a “Snow Country” throughout Japan by Japanese Novel Prize author, Yasunari Kawabata’s novel.. There is no snow around here, the sea coast areas, at the beginning of March, but lots of snow in the mountainous areas near Yuzawa and Naeba. And many people from Tokyo areas are coming to Yuzawa and Naebe to enjoy skiing and snowboarding every weekend until the beginning of May.
Snow melting water makes tasteful brand rice. Niigata Pref. is very famous for her brand rice, Koshi Hikari (the light of Niigata). Snow melting water also makes good rice wine, Sake. There are one hundred rice wine breweries, and another one hundred hot springs in Niigata Pref. There are four rice wine breweries in this Shibata City, the population of this city is 93.000. You will visit Kikusui brewery, one of the best rice wine breweries in Japan, tomorrow.
Niigata is a very interesting place in terms of international affairs because it is only one hours’ flight from here to Russia, North Korea and South Korea across the Japan Sea. Niigata is also a Mecca for manga and anime creators.
Keiwa College is a four-year Christian liberal arts college. We have one faculty, the Faculty of Humanities, with 3 departments: the Department of English and Communication, the Department of Intercultural Studies, and the Department of Community and Social Welfare. The number of students is about 700 and the number of foreign students is 32 this year in spite of the Covid 19. They are from China, Vietnam and Australia.
Keiwa College is a tiny-little college among 790 Japanese universities and colleges. Have you ever heard of a Japanese proverb? “Sansho wa kotsubu demo piririto karai,” in Japanese? In English it means “a Japanese pepper is tiny-little, but hot.” Keiwa College is like a Japanese pepper, it is tiny-little, but hot!! Please enjoy your stay here and enjoy fellowship with us here. Thank you.