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Ten Students from Chitkara University in India Visit TUS to Participate in an Exchange Program as Part of the JST-led Sakura Exchange Program in Science

2018.11.08 Thursday


For ten days from September 20 to 29, 2018, the Iwaoka Lab of the Department of Architecture in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Tokyo University of Science (TUS), with the assistance of the JST-led Sakura Exchange Program in Science, hosted ten third-year students from Chitkara University in the Indian state of Punjab. The students were accompanied by Chitkara University Professor Takashi Ono (a TUS graduate), who led them on an observational tour of water resource heritage-focused architectural landscapes in Japan. In addition, the Chitkara University students undertook a joint design workshop together with TUS students to discuss new ways in which the stepwells of Narnaul, India can be utilized, based on the measurement surveys which the Chitkara University students had already performed of the stepwells. For all ten of the Chitkara University students, this was their first overseas experience.

For the first three days of their visit, the students walked along the Tone Canal on the outskirts of the TUS Noda Campus and took a tour of the Noda (now Kikkoman) soy sauce factory, which grew and developed as a result of water transport via the river, as well as a tour of Kikkoman founder Saheiji Mogi's Japanese-style residence, garden and tea house, to familiarize themselves with traditional Japanese architectural design and the flavor of traditional Japanese food culture.

Over the next three days, the students traveled by bus to Mishima City in Shizuoka Prefecture to experience the city's waterside promenade built on and around spring water from Mt. Fuji and included on the registry of World Water System Heritage in 2018. The students had a valuable opportunity to learn first-hand from Dr. Toyohiro "Jumbo" Watanabe, Director of the Groundwork Mishima NPO, about how the once polluted and trash-filled waterway was resurrected as a clean, clear river thanks to the efforts spearheaded by his organization.

During the final three days of their visit, the students returned to the Noda Campus where they separated into three teams made up of both Chitkara and TUS students; each team chose one of three differently configured stepwells currently located in the city of Narnaul and built 1/100th scale models of each, together with drawings and pictures, to use in making an English presentation of how they think these stepwells can be reutilized. All of the teams' proposals were excellent, with the suggestion to turn the stairstep portion of the well into seating while the well as a whole is used as an underground theater, and the suggestion to repurpose the stepwell as a mechanism for purifying dirty water, being particularly memorable. Following the presentations, the visiting students were given a (beef-free) BBQ farewell party in the yard of the Seminar House where they stayed, and they were joined by all of the TUS staff and students who had helped with their visit.

TUS is grateful to the JST Sakura Exchange Program in Science for making exchange opportunities such as these possible.

Visiting the Kikkoman Monoshiri Shoyukan (soy sauce museum)
in Noda City, where the students experienced
the 'flavor' of traditional Japanese food culture.

Professor Yoshiyuki Yamana guides the students through a visit
to the World Heritage National Museum of Western Art.

Composite teams of Indian and TUS students use scale-size
models to present their research results
from the nine day workshop.