National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia) GJO Activity Report / 活動日誌

2019年8月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator

Hello, mina-san!

As you may know in Russia a new academical year starts at September 1st . Summer is usually a good time not only to go to vacations but also to participate in summer schools, internship programs and many other educational projects.
This year SAS students could participate in several programs provided by TUFS.

1. Nelli Abubakirova, 3rd year, TUFS student exchange program

Exchange Studies in Japan: Sakura, Aikido, Fuji
In the summer 2018, thanks to School of Asian Studies, I was among the first students to go to the summer Russian-Japanese school at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Having got acquainted with the campus, local students and Tokyo, I decided to go there for one semester to the student exchange program.

The best time to study in Japan is spring
The school year in Japan begins on April 1. So, if you go to Japan on the spring semester, you start from the first semester chronologically. This is great in terms of courses: for example, if a course is logically divided into two parts, you can start from the first step.

And, of course, it is warm in spring. This is not a minor detail, since in Japan there is no central heating, and the room temperature in cold seasons drops to 8-10 degrees Celsius. Even in April, when it was quite warm and sunny outside, it was necessary to heat up oneself using all possible means. But in late March and early April is the best time of the year, the time of sakura blossom. This year, sakura started to blossom later than the forecast, just at the beginning of the semester. No photos can show the true beauty of the beautiful trees! It is worth going to Japan in spring just because of this only.

In addition, it is in the spring semester that there are many days off: in early May there is a whole vacation week, the so-called “Golden Week”, in June and July there are also several days off. So, there are plenty of opportunities to travel and get to know the country.

What about classes?
Upon arrival, I was expected to take a placement test in the Japanese language. In total, I could choose up to 7 credits in the Japanese language (1 credit equals to 1 class per week) and I decided to take a course of 5 credits – a class per day. It was great to learn the language taught by Japanese teachers, at the same time communicate only in Japanese even with foreign classmates. Classes consisted mainly of discussions on various topics from cultural differences to euthanasia, and homework was easy and rare. All in all, the emphasis was on communication and language practice in during classes.


I also took several courses in English: Modern Japanese Literature, The Study of Tokyo and Kyoto, Japanese Management and Business. The format of the courses was the following: one seminar per week, small assignments from time to time, and at least two large essays during the course. There were no exams, although, for example, in literature, we had a final presentation. In general, the learning process took much less time (both classes and homework) than at HSE, and therefore was more pleasant.

After classes
An unforgettable part of studying at a Japanese university is participating in clubs! From the very beginning, I wanted to do Japanese traditional arts, but the tea ceremony seemed too boring for me, so I chose aikido, Japanese martial arts. Thanks to the club, I learned how to explain various poses and exercises in Japanese, and also appreciated the benefits of the vertical social hierarchy and the help from older guys.


Ascending Fuji
During the May holidays, I did not have a chance to travel, but at the end of the semester, in July I started the most fun days in Japan.


Even before the internship, I decided that I would definitely climb Fuji. As it turned out later, at Moscow State University, for example, they believe that a true Japanese studies student should definitely climb it once. The season for climbing Fuji is short (from July 10 to September 10). It was decided to climb at the beginning of the season, July 14. Thanks to the Japanese second-hand stores (highly recommended), I quickly found warm clothes, hiking boots and sticks, a thermos and other trifles. For the two of us (me and my friend) there was a backpack of energy bars, three liters of water, rain coats and my camera.

The climb began at 7 pm from the altitude of 2700 meters, and at 9 am, taking into account the sleep break, we were at the peak of 3776 meters. Though tired, cold, were we happy to be there, because it meant conquering the highest mountain in Japan. The descent took another 7 hours, and in the evening we were at home and could not believe what had happened.

Of course, it was the best experience of my life. It helped me understand that there is nothing that is impossible, only poorly planned.

I am grateful to the university for the opportunity not only to experience this semester abroad in my favorite country but also to live there on my own and make many important decisions in life.

2. TUFS Summer School program


The program of the Summer School at TUFS was divided into two parts: at the first week there was a tandem learning, in the second – lectures about relations between Russia and Japan, and Japanese companies.
I really liked this internship! During the school, I could know more about “SONY” and “NHK” companies, listen very informative lectures and also visit Tokyo for the first time.


I am very glad that I was able to meet Japanese students and meet with my Russian friends living in Japan. Practicing language was a great pleasure: speaking Japanese 24/7 helped to significantly improve communication skills.
Moreover, knowledge and impressions gained at the Summer School helped to improve understanding Japanese and Russian culture. I would like to visit TUFS again!


We have completed the two-week “Japan-Russia Business Summer School” at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. We worked in pairs and attended lectures as part of our classes. Additionally, we took tours to various museums and visited several Japanese companies.

I found the Summer School fascinating and I believe this experience might be useful for my future studies. I’d like to especially point out team workshops where our task was to discuss a given topic for 20 minutes using only Russian or Japanese. However, it was somewhat challenging for me at first as I felt nervous to speak the foreign language to its native speakers. Happily, these difficulties quickly disappeared as we got to know each other closer.

The lecture week was interesting as well. I was only a bit confused when I was sitting the lectures in Japanese as my language skills are not that proficient to be able to comfortably understand the business Japanese. At the same time, these lectures were extremely useful for my future career, especially those on Japan-Russia relationship.

I was on an internship at a summer school in Tokyo university of foreign studies this summer. The curriculum was divided into two parts: a week of tandem language learning and a week of lectures. We were practicing Japanese language with students who are studying Russian at the university. It was an interesting experience that made it possible to communicate closely with native speakers and make Japanese friends, communication with whom has not disappeared to this day. I appreciate this approach to learning because it was in a free way.

Students have the opportunity to learn a lot of useful practical information from professionals during the week of lectures. We were told not only the theory but also allowed to show how well this information had been understood.

Thus, two weeks at the summer school helped to overcome the language barrier and begin to communicate with native speakers without any obstacles. Although, it was my first visit to Japan, learning at TUFS contributed to the fact that I quickly got used to everything unusual.

2019年7月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator



日本の和太鼓グループ「あすか組」のショーがフェスティバルの大トリとなりました。 また今年はコスプレパレードも初めて行われ、200名のコスプレイヤーたちが参加しました。
日本は驚くべき国で、この国の一般の人が日本文化に感動しているところを観察することは、未来の日本専門家としての私にとって大きな幸せです。 私がこの文化を学べる素晴らしい機会と、他の人がこの文化を楽しんでくれていることに感謝しています。

Photo by Alexander Dvoryankin
More photo


2019年6月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator

Hello, mina-san!

The June report will be in English. In June, in HSE the classes have ended, the students have passed their final exams and went for the summer holidays. But important and interesting events in School of Asian Studies HSE don’t end there.

  1. Deloitte Summer Business School

It is no secret that if you have mastered new skills and learned new information, it is very important to put it into practice. In June students of School of Asian Studies HSE and a TUFS exchange student got an opportunity to participate in a 3-day Summer Business School at Moscow office of “Deloitte”, a world-renowned company, providing audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, tax and related services. This internship was organized with the support of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. The students told us how their practice went and what they could learn.

Milena Adilbaeva, student of School of Asian Studies HSE, 2nd year
I am very happy that I could participate in the Summer Business School at “Deloitte”. I gained invaluable experience: discovered a new company and also made acquaintances with exciting people. I am very attracted by recruitment policy of “Deloitte” because this company is ready to hire new graduates and train them. Moreover, I was pleasantly surprised by the attitude of the staff towards us – it felt that they were really interested in their work, and this is wonderful.
During these three days I learned a lot: I listened to a lecture in Japanese for the first time and also improved my public speaking skills. Recently, I became interested in business, and during this internship understood that I should deepen knowledge in this sphere. Also it was a golden opportunity to get acquainted with so many talented and interesting students from Russia and Japan.
Speakers actively communicated with us and sincerely wanted to teach us something new. I am grateful to the company “Deloitte” for the hospitality and the intense program of the school and also to Tokyo University of Foreign Studies for the opportunity to participate in it!


Maria Kiyaeva, student of School of Asian Studies HSE, 2nd year
We were given an opportunity to participate in Deloitte summer business school. Deloitte made a lasting impression on me. Before summer school I had some information about working in a large consulting and auditing corporation. Deloitte’s employees answered questions I was interested in regarding work as a whole and slightly dispelled the myths about work schedules and the atmosphere between employees in the company. It turned out that Deloitte is a company with a soul. They do not attempt to earn all the money in the world, but to grow with their employees and customers. Therefore, the company has a special department that specializes in trainings and workshops. Deloitte is a company that for many years has been training highly qualified employees to provide its customers with the best possible expertise.
Most of all in the company I liked its team. I am not really into audit and financial services, but it was the people at Deloitte who created the friendliest atmosphere during these three days. Employees from various departments worked with us, but they were all united by love for their work and a desire to share it with us.


Natalia Bakusheva, graduate of School of Asian Studies HSE
The most amusing and pleasant part of the program was the friendly atmosphere between the participants and the organizers. The lecturers paid attention to the audience and communicated with the students a lot, and the staff were very supportive and always willing to answer our questions. The only thing I feel sad about is that the program seems to be rather short. In 3 days we were given 4 important and informative lections and a lot of material for further studies on a variety of topics – for instance, about economic relations between Russia and Japan. I cannot even imagine how much the other students that come after us will be able to learn if the program is extended for 5 working days at least.

Abe Taishi, exchange student of TUFS


(Photo provided by Keiko Kobayashi)

  1. Graduation ceremony

On June 28, the annual graduation ceremony took place at School of Asian Studies HSE. 25 graduates of the Section of Japanese studies received their long-awaited diplomas. This means that new young specialists have entered into the sphere of Japanese research.


Newly graduated students have different life plans. Some will continue to study in master’s degree programmes. Some will now look for work and enter into the adult life. Others want to go to Japan and continue their studies there. Professor Alexey Maslov, head of School of Asian Studies, teachers and administrative staff congratulated the graduates and wished them good luck in achieving their high goals.



We hope that graduates of the School of Asian Studies will not only be able to apply their knowledge in their professional activities, but also serve the cause of strengthening Russian-Japanese relations.


2019年5月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator

東洋学デーOriental Crazy Day 2019 報告

東洋学部(School of Asian Studies, SAS)もこの「教科」で優秀な成績を修めていることを発信し続けていますが、5月19日にすでに6回目となった東洋学デーであるOriental Crazy Dayを開催しました。これは、東洋学部の学生と教員が力を合わせて、またHSE Lyceumリセの生徒も参加して行われるイベントです。

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実際Oriental Crazy Dayに来た人は自分の興味のあるものを見つけることができました。

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Oriental Crazy Dayはまた、東洋学部やHSE Lyceumリセを受験しようと考えている人にとってのオープンキャンパスでもあります。






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K-popのヒット曲Gangnam Styleにのせたホットなダンスフラッシュモブはみんな踊り出さずにはいられませんでした。

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Oriental Crazy Day-2019は終わってしまいましたが、思い出は長くみんなの心に残るでしょう。




2019年4月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator

私はユーリア・コロヴィナ、GJO の新しいコーディネーターです。これから毎月その月の最も面白い出来事をお話ししていきたいと思います。

HSEでは東洋学部(School of Asian Studies, SAS)の日本クラブ「結び」が日本語を勉強している学生によって2年目の活動を行っています。クラブは東洋学部の教師であるロリ・ジャインとユーリア・コロヴィナが、学生たちが日本語の授業以外でも日本の文化を知ってもらえるように手助けし、面白いイベントを行っています。

身近な人を失うことは誰にとっても常に辛いことです。そういう時に人は何を感じるでしょうか? 私たちはその喪失感を同じように感じるのか、違った風に感じるのでしょうか? その質問に答えてみるために、私たちはHSEの教師で、日本映画の専門家であるアナスタシア・フョードロワを招きました。



4月19日にはイワン・チュレーネフの講義(「刀の権力と法の力。中世日本を治めていたのか?」)が行われました。イワンはHSE Lyceum (経済高等学院の高等学校)で学んでいて、日本の歴史に大変興味を持っています。聴衆の中には学生だけでなくHSE Lyceumの学生もいて、鎌倉幕府のことを知ることができました。



2018年8月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator
パシフキナ・ソフィア / Sofiia Pasivkina

This month HSE has finished admission to different study programs and started preparations for the new semester. Students are still having summer vacation, yet I have decided to interview HSE student Ms. Liza Golovastova, who participated in ‘TUFS Short Stay Summer Program 2018’ and ask about her experience.
The following is the interview with Liza.

Sofia: What is your major at HSE?
Liza: My major is International Relations. I’m a student of the HSE and the University of London dual degree program.

How long have you been studying Japanese?
I’ve been studying Japanese for about a year by now.


Ms. Liza (upper right corner) together with other participants

How did you become interested in Japanese language and culture?
When I was 5 or 6 years old, I watched “Spirited Away”, one of the masterpieces of the great Hayao Miyazaki. I was very impressed by the movie then.
Also I really love reading since my childhood. One of my first books was a book with the Tales of Different Peoples of the World, and I remember, that I preferred Eastern tales – Japanese among them.
Later, when I became older, I found other Miyazaki’s movies and opened a huge world of Japanese Anime for myself. So, yes, as many teens, I continued to get my knowledge about Japan from anime, but I have never been obsessed with it (except my favorite Hayao Miyazaki’s movies).
Actually I received information from everywhere: from teachers at school, from music, from my family, from the Internet and TV etc. Now I think, I’m not able to say, when exactly I became interested in Japanese language and culture. Probably it happened with my first try of Sushi. But I can say for sure, that I felt something different and very special reading those tales and watching the “Spirited Away” for the first time. I still feel very special about it even today.
Truth to be told, that was my farther, who first talked seriously about learning Japanese. He just said that I should go and try, because I love it and I’m able to learn such language. That’s a true fact, that obsession with Anime is not enough to keep learning this very difficult language. People mostly quit learning it at the elementary level. 5 out of 11 students left my language group during the first semester. But I think it’s already not my story. Japanese language was just a dream for me, and I never believed that I would learn it. But I tried! And I keep trying now! Thanks to my family! Dreams come true! I feel like I found something very important in Tokyo this summer.

How did you get information about the TUFS summer school?
My Japanese professor suggested it to me. She found the announcement on the HSE web site and sent me a link.


Ms. Liza together with her professor

What did you do to apply?
I followed the link my professor sent and saw there some basic information about the program – deadlines for application and e-mails to get in contact. And the link of TUFS university, of course. So I just used the e-mail and sent the first mail. As far as it was my first study trip, my friends and professors helped with registration, but mostly, TUFS provided everything to do registration yourself. The site of TUFS gives all the information in a very comprehensive, clear way, and even if you want to know something else or don’t understand anything, you can always ask by e-mail and wait for a short period of time – they will answer for sure.

How long were you in the school? When did you get to Japan?
My trip took 19 days in full. The departure from Moscow was on 23 of July, and the date of arrival back to Moscow was 10 of August.

Where did you stay?
At dorm located on the territory of the University campus. My international dorm №3 was new and very pleasant inside. So I was lucky! And it took only 4-5 minutes on foot to get to the classroom, which was located in the next building.

What was the place like? What was the weather?
The place was very beautiful. The university is located in a very nice green area, a very quiet district. People were very friendly there. There were some shops near there, and Tama station was very close to the campus.
The weather was extremely hot. On our third day the temperature reached +40*(degrees) – historical record! But there still were cloudy days sometimes, and we faced a storm twice and felt an earthquake ones.

Tell about your classes. How were they organized?
In a quite common way. Some new grammar and vocabulary were explained very coherently at first, and then we had some writing, reading, speaking tasks. The classes were conducted in Japanese mostly, but in some relatively law-level groups, teachers could speak English and were ready to help and give answers to the questions in English. They really care about you and your understanding of the material, and they are trying to do everything to explain new things and teach you something!


Ms. Liza’s ikebana

Did you work alone or in groups?
Both alone and in groups. There were only 4 Russian students there – me and my friends, and 3 of them are my HSE groupmates. So groups were international. There were students from Egypt, America, Canada. But the majority came from the neighboring countries of the region – from Laos, Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong. Mostly, we made speaking tasks in groups. And there was at least one Japanese student called “supporter” in the classroom. So, I made a lot of friends there, in such conditions!

How big was your group?
I think there were around 10 students.

What activities did you like the most?
Honestly, I liked everything. The program provides not only Haiku lesson, Japanese classes, Yukata try-on, Study trips to the National Museum and Safety Learning Center, Ikebana lesson and Home Visit, but also it provides very nice Japanese students with their own interesting ideas. They have a lot of places to arrange different events and activities, so we went to Kamakura, to the Japanese holiday and had a lot of fun together.


Ms. Liza with her groupmate from Hong Kong during Home Visit

What was the atmosphere like?
It was very friendly. I even don’t know what to say more. The most friendly atmosphere I’ve ever been in.

What is your overall impression of TUFS summer school?
Very good one. I liked everything there and didn’t want to leave, of course! It was very hard to do.

What did you like and dislike?
It’s true – I liked everything. Even the weather!

Did you get inspired to continue your studies?
Yes, of course! I was very much inspired by this trip! I have a very strong desire to come back to Japan next summer, probably even for a longer period of time. It seems to me now, that I really want to develop in this Japanese direction.

Do you have any suggestions to organizers and advice to future participants?
It would be great if one day the organizers opened a program for a month, two months, or even more. Also that could be even better than now, if they could invite more Japanese students to participate in classes. As for the future participants, I would recommend just to have a good time and to make new friends. And don’t forget to do your homework!

2018年7月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator
パシフキナ・ソフィア / Sofiia Pasivkina

July is the first month of summer break at HSE. It is the time to participate in different summer schools, special seminars, lectures, camps, etc. Every summer students majoring in Japanese studies and International relations go to Japan. This year for the first time five students from HSE attended the “TUFS Japan-Russia Business Summer School” held by TUFS in conjunction with the Inter-University Exchange Project undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. One of the participants, first year student Mr. Andrey Okhrimenko, shared his experience and impression both in English and Japanese languages.
“Hello! My name is Andrew and I am an international relations student of the National Research University Higher School of Economics. I will tell you about my first experience of being an international student in Japan.
I have been keen on Japan from long ago. During my childhood I often played computer games and read literature about Japan which inspired me to choose Japanese language in the university. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the academic year I was not at all expecting to get to Japan as an international student.
After Christmas holidays my Japanese language professor informed me that I could compete for JASSO scholarship and win a 12 day trip to summer business school in Tokyo. Of course I decided not to miss the opportunity. Fortunately, my application was approved, and after getting a visa I headed for Tokyo University of Foreign Studies to explore the wonders of Japan.
The summer school took place between 16 and 28 of July. On arrival we were met by university staff and transferred to a small hotel, and after a few days we moved to students’ dormitory. Both hotel and dormitory were equipped with all the necessary facilities and impressed me by their tidiness and comfort. Generally speaking, this is what the whole Japan is about – unbelievably clean streets and flawless roads both in the city center and the suburbs. The communication between the area where TUFS is located and Tokyo is done by the network of suburban trains and subway lines which are notorious for their sophistication of usage. However, a couple of days of practice and Google Maps app easily compensate for this inconvenience.
The weather in Tokyo happened to be, so to say, extraordinary. During my stay a historical temperature record of 40 degrees was set up in the city of Tokyo. On the other hand this meant the complete absence of rain (though a typhoon started right after my departure back to Moscow) which allowed to walk around the beautiful city of Tokyo with easy soul after lunchtime, when the heat used to retreat.
The actual learning process was divided into two parts – the first week was devoted to tandem work and the second to lectures on culture, politics and economics of the Land of the Rising Sun. Moreover, two days were reserved for excursions and 1 day – for visiting Japanese firms, while Sunday remained free of any activity. The tandem work appeared to be the most challenging but also the most productive part of the course. During the studies the students were divided into “Russian-Japanese” pairs and discussed various topics in both Russian and Japanese languages. As I study Japanese for only one year, my command of the language was often limited, but the Japanese students were very helpful and always ready to clarify any details in Russian or English when necessary. After several days of studies my confidence increased dramatically and, what I think is even more important, I was able to make good acquaintances with my tandem partners.
The excursions were also a part of the tandem work. This means that sightseeing was organized in such a way that the Japanese could become the guides while the Russians could share their impressions from the new experiences. This brought such an important element of diversity into a usually monotonous process of sightseeing. The sights themselves, however, were also incredible. The pagodas of Sensou-ji temple, Edo-Tokyo museum and other major tourist attractions in Tokyo do not need additional advertisements.
When it comes to lectures, they covered the very basics of almost everything. This gave me an opportunity not to get stuck into the quagmire of theory, but, at the same time, learn a lot about those aspects of Japanese life which were not previously my point of interest. For instance, I really enjoyed a lecture on traditional Japanese music.
On free time after studies I used to go shopping and try the specialties of Japanese cuisine with my new friends. Tokyo allows for all kinds of shopping imaginable. Just think of anime and techno heaven Akihabara, or the Mecca of fashion-lovers Harajuku, or Shinjuku, which tries to suit each taste. This is especially relevant also because many famous clothes and electronics brands are much cheaper in Tokyo than, say, in Moscow.
On the only free Sunday I got on a super fast Shinkansen and went to Kyoto, a city of shrines and the former imperial residence. It takes only 2h. 17m. to get to Kyoto by Shinkansen, which is rather impressive when taking the distance into account. After a brief shopping on a station I made my way through ancient streets straight to Fushimi Inari Shrine, where I spent the rest of my day. After 15 minutes of climbing the Inariyama maintain the crowds of tourists and visual-key concerts on the entrance were replaced by harmony and sounds of nature while the chain of red gates to the world of spirits, torī, seemed to have no end and led to the peak itself, which was to be reached by only the most persistent. Luckily, resting points with souvenirs and water were placed along the whole length of the path, which made the task a bit easier. Being constrained by time, I was not able to reach the top, but, nevertheless, the visit to this magnificent shrine and the city of Kyoto will always remain as one of my best memories about Japan.
The typhoon was slowly approaching. Recently bright blue sky were covered by heavy rain clouds, and the shore wind was getting stronger. The youngsters were joking nervously, while the professors anxiously warned about possible flight cancellations. With the accompaniment of the deafening noise of the raindrops hitting the glass, the bus was rushing through the wall of rainstorm to Narita airport. As appeared, the whims of whether were not an obstacle for brave Arab pilots from Etihad Airways to do their job. An enormous Airbus got off and left the infuriated Raijin behind its wings. Goodbye, Japan! Can’t wait to see you again!”

Andrey has just finished the first year of undergraduate studies, yet he also expressed his impression of attending “TUFS Japan-Russia Business Summer School” in Japanese language.

東京外国語大学の「日露ビジネスサマースクール」は7月16日から28日までありました。成田空港に着いた時、大学の教員に会ってホテルまで送ってもらいました。4日後、学生のアパートに移動しました。空港やホテルやアパートや東京市は全部すごく綺麗で、便利でした。東京の地下鉄は少し複雑でしたが、Google Mapsを使ったら大丈夫でしょう。天気が非常に暑くて、雨が最後の日だけに降りました。毎晩授業の後で少し涼しくなってから、東京を散歩できました。

We hope that the success of the first “TUFS Japan-Russia Business Summer School” will become a great start for new projects between TUFS and HSE in the future.

2018年6月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator
パシフキナ・ソフィア / Sofiia Pasivkina

This month at HSE, it was dedicated to final exams for 2017/18 academic year. As one of the instructors in Basic Japanese courses, I had a chance to assign first-year students takes for their Japanese language knowledge and ability to react to different language situations.
Some of the students performed extremely well. They not only tried to speak fluently, but they also chose pretty difficult topics for their speeches. For instance, one of the students presented Tadao Ando’s Garden of Fine Art in Kyoto (京都府立陶板名画の庭).
Gladly from now on such students can participate in different TUFS’ study and exchange programs. Next month the first group of HSE students will go to Summer Business School. Shortly after that, Short Stay Summer Program will also welcome some of the HSE students. As a GJO’s coordinator, next month I am going to meet the first participants of the both programs to talk about their experience and impression.

2018年5月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator
パシフキナ・ソフィア / Sofiia Pasivkina

This month the main cultural event was Oriental Crazy Day organized on May 20 by HSE’s Professor Yulia Korovina and volunteer students of School of Asian Studies. This annual event is dedicated to cultural exchange of traditions and knowledge of different Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, China, and the Arabic region. This year the meeting was held for the fifth time. As 2018 is proclaimed to be the year of mutual cultural exchange between Japan and Russia, a lot of activities were related to Japanese culture. TUFS’s Global Japan Office Moscow also took part as one of the partners of the Oriental Crazy Day.
The program of the Day started with presentations. At special booth GJO Moscow coordinator presented the Office itself together several programs possible for admission since TUFS and HSE signed the Academic Exchange Agreement in May 2017. First year students (4) were interested in short programs. Second and third year students (5) asked mostly about exchange study programs. Some students participated in a quiz about Japanese culture and got prizes from TUFS’s GJO. The booth was also visited by high school students who are going to apply for admission to HSE this or next year.


The sign of GJO Moscow


The booth of GJO Moscow


Yulia Korovina (R) and GJO coordinator (L)


Students who participated in quiz

After that guest, professors and students participated in different activities like calligraphy (Japanese, Chinese, Arabic), sumi-e (墨絵)painting, tea and coffee ceremony, origami, uta-garuta, (歌かるた)etc. Volunteer students wore traditional costumes.


Origami (折り紙)


Shodō (書道)


Tea ceremony(茶道)

The main part of the Oriental Crazy Day was the concert organized by students. They sang songs and recited poems in Asian languages, danced and made presentation about distinguishing features of the cultures and language they are majoring at. A group of students staged Japanese play “Shibiri” 痿痢 (in English “Cramps” or “Pins and Needles”). The original text of this kyōgen play is anonymous. Students’ performance was based on the YouTube video (URL:, accessed 05.06.2018).


Korean dance


“Shibiri”  痿痢(しびり)


“Shibiri” 痿痢(しびり)

TUFS’s student Mr. Anzai Yoshihide, who is currently taking course at Moscow State University, also participated in the event. The following is his impression stated in Japanese.
「Oriental Crazy DayはHSEが主催する催しでアジア圏の言語を学んでいる学生がその国の文化等に関して紹介する場でした。アジア圏の文字の紹介や文化の紹介をするブースト学生達による舞台での催しがあり、舞台では各国の詩や歌、劇やダンスが行われました。
私はOriental Crazy DayについてはHSEの友人から日本の出し物について協力してくれないかという事で参加しました。私は会場で日本のブースの手伝いをし、その後は劇を見ていました。」

2018年4月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator
パシフキナ・ソフィア / Sofiia Pasivkina

April marks the beginning of the 4th, and so the last, semester of the academic year 2017/2018 at Higher School of Economics. We did not have any cultural events this month, so it was mostly dedicated to studies and research.

However, our office started to make preparations to participate in one of the biggest events of HSE’s School of Asian Studies ― Oriental Crazy Day that will be held in May. This event is aimed at the cultural exchange through the presentation of original traditions and customs among students, who are majoring in different Asian languages: Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and also Arabic. As far as the year of 2018 was proclaimed to be a year of cultural exchange between Japan and Russia, the introduction of Japanese culture will become the main theme of the event. Global Japan Office Moscow will participate as one of the partners of the Oriental Crazy Day for the first time.

2018年3月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator
パシフキナ・ソフィア / Sofiia Pasivkina

On March, 2, School of Asian Studies, HSE hosted a lecture-interview by contemporary Japanese author Kaori Ekuni (江國香織). The meeting was organized by Japan Foundation. During the lecture Atsushi Kiba, an interviewer and Ekuni’s editor, asked many questions about the way of writing, creativity, style and the message that Ekuni states in her stories. Russian readers warmly welcomed the author. In Russia Ekuni is mostly famous through two translations, “Twinkle Twinkle” and “God’s boat”.


江國香織の講演会: 江國氏(中)、キバ氏(左)、通訳者(右)

On March, 3, HSE’s Japanese Culture Club organized another interesting event, presenting Japanese culture. This month the members and guests celebrated Hina-matsuri (雛祭り). Once again I received an invitation to participate, as a representative of GJO Moscow. The student from TUFS Mr. Anzai Yoshihide also took part in the meeting.

Some students from the permanent members of the Club began with educational presentation about Hina-matsuri (Momo no Sekku). They also touched upon other children’ festivals of Japan: Children’s Day (Tango no Sekku) and Shichi-Go-San.

This time the organizers suggested to make origami Hina doll sets (ひな壇, Hina dan).

On March, 15, I met TUFS’s postgraduate student Ms. Rina Ajima, who came to Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH, Moscow). It was her third visit to Moscow as a researcher. The following is our small talk about her studies, experience and Moscow life in Japanese.
インタビュー / Interview
安島里奈さん / Rina Ajima
東京外国語大学 博士前期課程 世界言語社会専攻 / Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Master’s Program, Global Studies
ショートビジット モスクワ ロシア国立人文大学 / Currently on a ‘Short Visit’ exchange at Russian State University for the Humanities

1. 「世界言語社会専攻」という教育プログラムは興味深そうですが、具体的に何を研究していますか。/ 1. The ‘Global Studies’ program seems very interesting but, specifically-speaking, what exactly are you researching?
そのプログラムでは様々なテーマが研究できます。カザフスタンのシャーマンや、沖縄の原住民の伝統、言語、ロシアの絵画などのテーマについての研究が行われています。私としては19世紀のロシア文学を分析していて、特に、様々な作品に表れる人魚の表象を研究の中心としています。その人魚はロシア語で、「ルサールカ」と呼ばれています。/ In this program you can research many topics. Research is being done on many topics such as Kazakh shamanism, traditions of Okinawa’s indigenous people, language, Russian paintings, etc. My research is on 19th century Russian literature, with a particular focus on mermaid symbolism, which appears in many texts. These mermaids are called ‘rusalka’ in Russian.

2. ロシア語を勉強してもう何年になりますか。/ 2. How many years have you studied Russian?
もう五年間です。大学の四年間と大学院の一年間です。/ Five years. Four years as an undergraduate, and one year as a master’s student.

3. 大学に入る時、どうしてロシア語を勉強することにしましたか。/ 3. Why did you decide to study Russian when you entered university?
それは面白い話です。最初は、大学にぜんぜん入学したくなかったです。江戸切子や箱根奇木細工といった伝統的な技術を習いたかったです。でも、東京外国語大学のプログラムを紹介するイベントに参加してみました。その時にキリル文字を見て、それがわかるようになりたいと思って、入学しました。それ以来、ロシア語を頑張っています。/ It’s quite a funny story actually. At first, I really didn’t want to go to university. I wanted to learn a traditional craft such as Edo kiriko (Edo-style glass art) or Hakone yosegizaiku (Hakone-style marquetry). However, I participated in an event that introduced the programs of TUFS. There, I saw Cyrillic letters and thought to myself ‘I want to learn how to read that’, and so I entered the university. Since then I’ve been studying Russian to the best of my abilities.

4. モスクワははじめてですか。/ 4. Is this your first time in Moscow?
もう三回目です。その前、寮で生活をしましたが、今回はホームステイになりました。/ It’s my third time here. Before, I stayed in a dormitory, but this time I’m staying with a host family.

5. モスクワの生活はどう思いますか。/ 5. What do you think of the Moscow lifestyle?
もう慣れました。最初は大変でしたが、生活するにつれて、慣れてきました。しかし、毎回びっくりさせられることがいくつもあります。たとえば、今回は、突然道で知らない男性に花をもらいました。すぐに、その日は国際女性デーだと思い出しましたが、たいへん驚きました。また、買い物した時、お釣りの代わりにマグネットをもらいました。/ I’m used to it. It was hard at first, but I got used to it over time. However, there are a few things that surprise me every time. For example, one day I got given flowers by a strange man in the street. I quickly remembered it was International Women’s Day, but I was still very surprised. Another time, when I was shopping, I got given a magnet instead of change.

6. 日本の生活や伝統的なものの中では、ロシアに何が紹介されたらいいと思いますか。/ 6. What aspects of Japanese lifestyle or tradition do you think should be introduced to Russia?
たいてい、ロシアでの日本のイメージは江戸時代っぽいと思います。たとえば、芸者や武士、浮世絵などがよく知られています。が、様々な伝統工芸品も人気になったらうれしく思います。江戸切子や箱根奇木細工もその中に含まれます。それから、便利なものも紹介されたらいいと思います。百円ショップとか。/ Generally, I think the Russian image of Japan is a bit like the Edo period of Japan. Geisha, samurai, ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), etc. Edo kiriko and Hakone yosegizaiku is included in this. I also think it’d be nice to introduce a few convenient things, like 100 yen shops and such.

7. 今回はモスクワで研究を進めることができましたか。/ 7. Did you manage to move forward in your research during your time in Moscow?
はい、資料をたくさん集めて、いろいろなことについてご指導や相談をしていただけました。日本に帰って、資料を整理して論文を書く予定です。/ Yes, I gathered a lot of data, and received a lot of advice and guidance. I intend to return to Japan, organize my data, and write my thesis.

2018年2月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator
パシフキナ・ソフィア / Sofiia Pasivkina

The beginning of February 2018 was marked by celebrating setsubun. The event was organized by Japanese Culture Club, opened in September, 2017, at the School of Asian Studies (SAS, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE). The founders of the Club, Professor Yulia Korovina, Professor Roli Dzhayn and Professor Maria Kireeva, together with their student assistants prepared special program to entertain students and other guests. The special guests, HSE’s Professor Abe Hiroshi and Professor Kurita Satoshi, took parts in different activities. I was also invited to attend this event, as a representative of GJO Moscow.
To make the party more educational, students began with the presentation about the origins and customs of setsubun. They also held a quiz and games with small prizes.


Pic. 1. Students making presentation


Pic. 2. Quiz


Pic. 3. Games

The main activity was to make a group mask of demon oni. When all masks were completed, the demons were banished by throwing beans and shouting「鬼は外! 福は内!」 (“Demons out! Luck in!”)


Pic. 4. Students making group masks


Pic. 5. Volunteers before mamemaki

February was also the month to present to the HSE students two summer programs that Tokyo University of Foreign Studies offered for the academic year 2018-2019. TUFS Short Stay Summer Program 2018 for individual regisration and TUFS Business Summer School as a part of the special TUFS project “Inter-University Exchange Project (Russia) 2017”. The project aims to strengthen and maintain ties between TUFS and six Russian universities, one of which is HSE (Moscow). TUFS is going to welcome five HSE students at the summer school 2018. Professor Fesyun, Professor Strizhak and other teaching members of SAS have already made primary selection of the participants based on academic grade and social activities of applicants and have notified HSE’s coordinators, Alexei Kotlov and Ekaterina Bolshova, who are in charge of international affairs and students’ support. The process of screening has almost completed.
We believe this summer programs, and especially TUFS Business Summer School as a part of important exchange project, to be the next step for cooperation between our universities.

2017年11月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター / GJO Coordinator
パシフキナ・ソフィア / Sofiia Pasivkina

On November 22, 2017 TUFS has established the 15th Global Japan Office and the first office in Moscow, Russia at the National Research University ‘Higher School of Economics’ (HSE). The opening ceremony was attended by TUFS Vice President Kayoko HAYASI, Professor Kyoko NUMANO, Professor Yoshikazu SUZUKI, Professor Shigeru ARAI, administrative staff Mai NAKAGAWA, and Russia’s branch coordinator Keiko KOBAYASHI. From the side of HSE there were Ms. Marina BATALINA, Head, Office for International Cooperation, Mr. Andrey FESYUN, Associate Professor, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Ms. Uliana STRIZHAK, Associate Professor, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Ms. Sofiia PASIVKINA, Coordinator, Global Japan Office Higher School of Economics, and Ms. Maria PONOMARYOVA, undergraduate student, Japan Studies at Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs. During the ceremony both parties exchanged warm greetings and strong willingness to collaborate cross-cultural education and research through student exchange and activities introducing Japanese culture in Russia. The main goal of the newly opened HSE Global Japan Office is to provide students with information and support to conduct research on Japan studies.