News — July 26, 2002

The JCI Academy in Japan?A Unique Experience!

Part I In Shonan Fujisawa, a town of shining beaches, the 15th Academy was launched on July 21 under the theme ?Universal Harmony with Dynamic Diversity.? Arriving from various locations, 52 Japanese delegates joined 69 international delegates at the Opening Ceremony. Shusaku Matsumoto, Japan Junior Chamber President, encouraged participants to take full advantage of this Academy, to build a global network, and to become real leaders in their respective countries. ?Despite our differences, we, the young generation, need to act promptly by having a common vision to implement solutions to the many problems we face throughout the world,? he said.
Orientation The Orientation Session served as an icebreaker. While explaining details of the program, Course Leader Albert Hiribarrondo, 1992 JCI President, emphasized that the objective of the Academy was to train participants and that everything possible would be done to achieve that objective. Welcome Party The Welcome Party was held at the Enoshima Yacht Harbor, a landmark in Fujisawa City as a venue of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. This memorable party was made possible thanks to the efforts of Fujisawa Junior Chamber and Fujisawa Junior Chamber Senior Club members. Enjoying a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, participants savored various Japanese drinks and delicacies. A beautiful sunset served as the background for this gathering. A most suitable way to start the Academy! Friendship Saloon Following the Welcome Party, Academy participants headed to Iwamotoro, a traditional Japanese hotel in Enoshima, where they lodged after experiencing a traditional Japanese bath. Sponsored by Fujisawa Junior Chamber, the Friendship Saloon had been set up at the Iwamotoro. Wearing the traditional ?yukata,? participants gathered in the Friendship Saloon. Spirits were high as Fujisawa Junior chamber Senior Executive Director Hayama toasted attendees. Activities included arm wrestling, karate and Chinese martial arts by Fujisawa Junior Chamber members Miyato and Nozaki. Breaking tiles and wood boards by hand was part of their presentation. Fujisawa Junior Chamber welcomed all participants, wishing them a pleasant stay. Visit to the Great Buddha Although the friendship saloon was open until midnight, everybody was ready for another day of the Academy at 6:00 a.m. Participants went to Enoden and paid a visit to the Great Buddha of Kamakura. At a tea ceremony presided by Kamakura Junior Chamber President, 20 members had the opportunity to be served honoring the traditional ritual, while the others learned about the history of the Great Buddha and its samurai?s roots. The next stop was Kencho-ji, where participants experienced Zen Buddhism meditation, followed by a traditional shoujin-style lunch, where no meat or fish was served. The chief priest stressed his appreciation for the courtesy shown by all participants. The Essence of the 15th JCI Academy Course Leader Hiribarrondo explained the objective of the Academy and the role of each participant in his or her country. He stressed the need for universal harmony with dynamic diversity to achieve a sustainable and harmonious world. When Course Leader Hiribarrondo asked participants to identify the major problems in their countries, problems listed included terrorism, war, environmental destruction, corruption, unbalanced economics, market instability, and people?s isolation. After discussing the Kamakua program, he introduced the legend of Daruma, the god of good luck, and asked the audience to make a wish?to contribute to a sustainable, harmonious world. ?The Essence of the Academy is Entrepreneurs in Action,? explained Course Leader Hiribarrondo, adding that every Jaycee needs to be an entrepreneur, taking advantage of opportunities and initiatives. He also pointed out that every action has an impact on the world community. As Course Leader Albert Hiribarrondo had predicted, the 15th JCI Academy in Japan turned out to be ?unique as once only in an individual life; unique as once only with those 15th JCI Academy participants; unique as once only with a fully new program for a completely new special event.? To view photos of the JCI Academy, please click here.
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