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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Josai University in Kojimachi Tokyo

城西大学 麹町

Josai University, Kojimachi under construction.
Josai University is a relatively new university based in Saitama prefecture just to the north of Tokyo. Founded in 1965 by a top politician--indeed one of Japan's Ministers of Finance--Mikio Mizuta (1905-1976), it began with its academic focus on economics and science, gradually expanding its curriculum throughout the 1970s and 1980s to include the humanities. In 1990, Josai University launched a Japanese studies program, teaching Japanese language and culture.


Photo of Josai University in Kojimachi under construction.Construction of Josai University in Kojimachi.
For the past few months, work has been progressing in Tokyo's Kojimachi district on a new Josai University building, and is nearing completion. One notable feature of this smart, new building is how it incorporates a tree, which grows up through a hole made for it from ground level to the second floor.



Tree incorporated into new Josai University, Kojimachi.

As I was taking the photo of the tree, I commented in Japanese, of course, to a construction worker standing beside me how novel it was. He replied in English, saying he didn't really understand Japanese because he was from Cambodia. I asked if there were any more Cambodians on the site, but he said no, he was the only one. He said he found it somewhat difficult to follow things, not knowing Japanese. With the growing number of Chinese and Korean workers in convenience stores, it seems that there are more foreigners being employed in construction, perhaps, as the fewer and fewer Japanese youth there are in aging Japan are increasingly eschewing "three-K" (kitsui, or "tough," kitanai, or "dirty," and kiken, or "dangerous") work.

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