Another Achievement by the Dragon Cherry Blossoms


Dragon Cherry Blossoms  (Ref.1, 2, 3) (Ref.2 is in Japanese) is a project in Bangladesh that helps youth in poor villages pursue great dreams. Their goal is high, and thought to have been impossible to achieve.  Mr. Saisyo of Waseda University, who is currently taking a leave of absence from school, is leading this project.

His activities were reported in the November 30th issue of Nikkei newspaper as the special feature titled: ‘Challenge’.

I was in Dubai when the article appeared, but I had already been familiar with the story since Mr. Saisyo informed me.  People may congratulate Waseda University as having done a good job again.  But this is not the University’s work. This is the result of hard work by Mr. Saisyo and his friends.  It would seem that taking a leave of absence from school  (Ref.1) for and going through many struggles might have worked positively toward this achievement.

As you see, encouraging students to not be afraid to challenge is one of the great missions of the universities in this global age. Indeed, these are the future leaders of the world. Such individuals are those who possess the potential to become human capital. They will have great impacts on society and the world.
Upon my return to Japan, I received good news from Mr. Saisyo:

“Dear Dr. Kurokawa,

This is Dragon Cherry Blossoms.  I am pleased to report to you that Jellen Acter, an 18 years old female student was accepted to the second best national university in Bandladesh, Jagannath University!!  This is the first case where a female student has passed the exam! 

She scored 2,038th among 70,000 students who sat for the exam!! 

A female student in this village who studied on e-Education qualified for a distinguished university equivalent to Hitotsubashi University in Japan!

This is the 2nd miracle after Heral!!  Wow, 2,038nd of 70,000!

Again, local people are in great excitement. “Unbelievable!” is their common reaction.

Today, a new role model is born in our Islam village, a new hope for the majority of female students whose options are very limited in planning their life.

After Heral, Jellen is the second case in this nation to pass the university entrance exam through study on the e-learning program. 

Jellen Acter, thank you for the revolution!

This is Saisyo reporting from Bangladesh.”

I sense great enthusiasm in his report…..  For more information, please look at his new web site. (in Japanese)

This is one of the great examples of how adults may support youth who are generally regarded as being inwardly focused.  The idea is to help youth see the desires hidden deep in their hearts (Ref.1),  and give encouragement and warm support as they pursue their dreams.

This is the essence of education.

Since When Did Japanese Become Insular, Closed Minded People?


Recently, I notice many comments being rapidly issued by media on the insular closed mindset of Japanese people. This surprises me.

Isn’t this strange?  What could it be a sign of?  The reason I feel this way is because a certain number of people including myself have been pointing this out from long time ago, with key words such as ‘Intellectually Isolated Country’ or ‘Cartels of the Mind’ (Ref.1 in Japanese) (Ref.2,3,4 in English)

Despite their serious thinking, didn’t people of distinguished positions sense this issue? Or perhaps they did not wish to admit that the problem existed?

I hear that the November 28th morning issue of Nikkei included a 1 page special report titled ‘Fading Existence (1)’ (by Mr. Yuzo Waki, Deputy Chief Editorial Writer) as part 3 of special feature ‘Japan in These 20 Years: Lessons to be Learned from Long Stagnation’.  Its sub-title was ‘Global Human Assets are Diminishing:  Silent Executives, Youths With Closed Minds'  (in Japanese).  A boxed article of an interview with Toyoo Gyohten, Tadashi Yamamoto, and Lee Howell, Managing Director of World Economic Forum is also on the same issue.  I was told that the Nikkei On-line show similar articles but access to them is not free of charge.  (By the way, I hear that this On-line edition was awarded some prize recently.  I wonder what is so new and wonderful about the Nikkei On-line?  I would like to know the reason why they received this award.)

However, the points they are making in these articles are correct.  I just posted the same discussion and recommendations on November 27th….

I can’t help feeling some sadness and disappointment in this phenomenon. Why is this happening so late and so suddenly?