Arts, japan studies, Students, Workshop

Judo (柔道) at iCLA

In iCLA, not only academics are important to students. Experiencing Japanese culture is also an indispensable component of their education. iCLA offers a variety of hands-on workshops, including one in the modern martial art Judo (柔道). In 1882, Judo was created as a form of physical, mental, and moral pedagogy in Japan.

The coach (先生) and the seniors (先輩) are patient teachers, even to students who knew nothing about Judo before the workshop. Thanks to their earnest instruction and attentive observation, we learn from our mistakes and have improved our skills. Our coach and seniors are top athletes in Japan. It is such a precious opportunity to learn from them.
Calvin Chan, exchange student from Lingnan University (Hong Kong)


This class is special! We can wear judo-gi and our sensei is funny!
                   Moe, second year student at iCLA

P.S.: Our coach, Mr. Takahiro Nishida, is the head coach at Yamanashi Gakuin University and father of Yuka Nishida, World Champion in Tokyo in 2010.

Arts, japan studies, Students

Donna: The Art of a Cineaste

by Chloe Ramirez



Semesters later, students and professors alike still bring to light the amazing work done by Donna Rey, a Visual Communication student from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. On her semester abroad at iCLA, she was able to come up with a beautiful collection of videos and photos for the world to see, and they do not disappoint.

Donna took the time to meet with the students of iCLA in order to take their photos and videos. She admits that she started the whole project in order to pass the time.

I was always in my room for the first few weeks. But since I already love taking photos and videos, I said, why not start with my classmates? But the ultimate goal of my project was to get to know more people. I wanted to reach out to others. I am an only child, I keep to a close set of friends, and it was my first time in a foreign country. Meeting people through my passion was amazing.”

It was all very natural, the whole process. Donna wanted to exhibit authenticity and truth, and she in turn admits that much was learned from the whole project. The experiences were so unique because they were all such different people. Different personalities and attitudes sprout from each photoshoot, proving the diversity in and liberal air of iCLA.

Of course, just as in many projects, hardships occur.

There was a time in November when I’d conduct three photoshoots in a day, before, in between, and after class. It was difficult to shoot, but these were all minor setbacks. The feeling is really different when you know you can make someone happy with what you can do, and so I don’t mind the setbacks at all. It’s very fulfilling as a photographer, if I can call myself that.”

All in all, she admits that her little stint in iCLA was life-changing in a way, because she grew not just as a person, but also as an artist.

I used to be so dependent on friends, but here in iCLA, and after conducting the shoot, I was able to become more independent, mature, and responsible. Plus, I gained so many friends in the process.”

You can check out her videos here:

To see more of Donna’s work, check out her Facebook page:


Arts, interview

Kei Takei in the New York Times!

24KEITAKEI-3-master675iCLA’s very own dance professor Kei Takei was recently profiled and interviewed in the New York Times. She will be appearing with her Moving Earth Orient Sphere company on the Lumberyard in the City Winter Festival in New York on January 25th.

The NYT article can be read below and here: kei_takei_nyt_article_24jan2018 (pdf)

Arts, japan studies, Workshop

Introduction to the world of Noh theater (能)

Noh (能) has been performed since the 14th century, it is a ancient form of classical Japanese drama and the demonstration of ultimate refinement of beauty, expression and dramatic speech on stage.

Noh actor and iCLA lecturer Hiroyasu Sato has been engaging in the promotion of understanding and appreciation of the Noh drama throughout Japan. In order to protect the tradition, Mr Sato introduces it to the people in the present, also the non-Japanese people.


Arts, japan studies, TV, Will Reed

Professor William Reed on TeteteTV


iCLA Japan Studies Professor William Reed has been a regular commentator on TeteteTV since April 2016, a television program of the Yamanashi Broadcasting System (YBS),  every Thursday afternoon. He has appeared over 88 times on this show.


In January, 2018, Professor Reed was invited to a Shogi (将棋) class and met the professional shogi player Karolina Styczyńska, who is the first non-Japanese to be awarded professional status by the Japan Shogi Association. She is a graduate student from Yamanashi Gakuin University.

Yamanshi Shogi class (山梨将棋所・将棋教室)