Transcending national boundaries,
the Japan Foundation Asia Center carries out
cultural exchange programs to build up heart-to-heart
relationships between people and enrich the future of Asia.


Internship Report: Hina Taniguchi (Waseda University, School of International Liberal Studies)

Hi. I am Hina Taniguchi at SILS of Waseda University and took part in a two weeks internship at the Japan Foundation. The reason that I have chosen to participate is that I would like to see how Japan Foundation builds a bridge between Japanese and foreign people through the soft power, which is the field I plan to engage in the future. The department I became a part of was Asia Center which holds a mission of "Strengthening the bond among Asian countries" and during the first week, I was mostly engaging in "A Working Title". Basically, this is the project which the young movie producers promote their screening skills and expand the film network around them. This year, 6 talented young from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan had been chosen and tackled several missions including discussions, lectures from the film authorities, and participation in the symposium.

I helped this project going smoothly by for example, setting the rooms used for the discussions, picking them up from the hotels and taking them to the office, sending them to the bus terminal on the last day and whatever I could do. I was a bit nervous before this project got started because the tasks that I got were all quite responsible so I was using so much time reading and reading the schedule to put them completely in my mind. Everything went well actually however because all the staff of the Japan Foundation encouraged me to take it easy by talking to me a lot and constantly reminded me what came next. The participants were also so cooperative that they listened to me carefully and asked me some questions whenever they had some unclear points. During the break, I had a time to chat with them about our domains of interest, which enabled me to relax as well. I also recorded their activities by taking photos. The most difficult part for this project was I sometimes got unexpected reactions from the participants. It was a rainy day and they were supposed to walk for an hour to the destination. We Japan Foundation should recommend them using umbrellas without question so that they would not catch a cold and actually we asked them to do that, but they completely rejected our recommendation since according to them, they did not care such a level of rain. It was the the time that the cultural, way of thinking and the lifestyle differences appeared, but we were worrying about them so much.

After finishing this project, I was concentrating on a desk work, such as posting the articles on Facebook, tallying the date from the questionnaires of their events, listening to the recorded interview of the movie authorities and writing every single word down on the paper and so forth. The most interesting task for me was researching the South East Asian movies on the screen in Japan from 2007 to 2017 and grasping how it has changed in regard to the number itself, the genre, the variation of the country so that we could see how Asia Center contributed to screening since it was founded in 2014. Through this task, I could be closer to the South Asian movies which I was totally foreign to before and learn what a steady and laborious task was required to actually get started a new project.

Overall, I could get what kind of projects they have to promote the bond between Japanese and foreign people, which I would like to know from the beginning and in addition, I could interact with various people of various professions, which made me broaden my views and interests. I really appreciate all the staff who supported me by guiding me through the way I should have followed, setting lunch for me, and giving me some advice for my future.