“Washoi washoi, washoi washoi! This year’s theme for HEC Japan Week was “Matsuri”, or “Festival” in Japanese. While much of our culture is already well disseminated outside of Japan through the likes of sushi, manga, kimono, and judo, my Japanese classmates (Keiichiro, Atsuki, Mitsuya, Mitsuhiro, Yugo, Akiko, Kaeko, Nozomi and Misako) and I wanted to present a true representation of Japan as we perceive through our local eyes.
This year’s Japan Week also took place nearly eight months after the devastating triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation. While our families and friends back home are still working to restore our country, we had chosen “Matsuri” as a theme to bring their positive forward-looking spirit of festivity and energy on campus.
MBA Students trying out Japanese Styles
In order to achieve such ambitious goals, we prepared a mélange of events. On the business front, we invited Fast Retailing, the largest and the fastest growing public company in Japan and a brand-holder of UNIQLO, Comptoirs des Cotonniers and Princess Tam-Tam. The company is not only symbolic for its bottom-up success that originated from a small men’s shop in the rural province of Yamaguchi, but also for its ability to incorporate the best practice of Japanese manufacturing – the attention to both quality and accessibility. We believed that there is no other Japanese company than Fast Retailing who is more appropriate to discuss the business future of our country today. We were tremendously lucky to have them on campus and sponsor part of the Japan Week.
We also prepared series of cultural workshops from Japanese calligraphy to yukata-photo shooting, costume shows and traditional games. We had the pleasure of inviting professional Wadaiko drummers from the Tsunagi Taiko Center, the “Silence Profond” photo exhibition by Chill Okubo, and a tea ceremony demonstration. Through these arts, we hoped to convey our virtues of subtlety, refinement, and dignity for others, which are so often undermined in our modern society today.
Since the first kick-off meeting in late-September to the finale that ended yesterday, each one of us had put in tremendous amount of work and dedication under the surface. We especially want to thank our sponsors, the Grands Ecole students, the 2010 MBA intakes, the MBA faculties, and last but not least, our beloved classmates, who had allowed us to bring the best Japan Week in HEC MBA history!”
Elli Suzuki, Class of 2013