News & Event

President’s comments on the reasons the 2020 Practical Wisdom for Freedom award winners were selected and on all of the entered initiatives

News & Event


The 2020 Practical Wisdom for Freedom Awards Ceremony was held on Saturday, December 19 in Satta Hall on the 6th floor of the Sotobori Building (Ichigaya Campus). Please see below for details.

Link: 2020 Practical Wisdom for Freedom Awards Ceremony held

President Tanaka offered comments on both the reasons for the selection of the awardee initiatives and on all the entered initiatives, and these are presented below.

There were numerous other brilliant initiatives creating “practical wisdom” besides those that received awards, and we invite you to take a look at all of them.

◆ Content to be posted

Name of implementing party(parties)/initiative
Comments from President Tanaka

President’s comments on selection reasons

◆ Overviews of the initiatives prepared by the nominated groups are available here.

Grand Prize

32 volunteers from the “Multicultural Education” course (student volunteer activity) / Online learning support for international students isolated by the coronavirus pandemic
This initiative entailed support for international students provided by volunteers taking the “Multicultural Education” course. In the course of helping 32 international students from 17 countries improve their Japanese-language proficiency, the students providing the support learned a great number of things themselves. All students were facing difficulties coping with the sudden switch to online classes, and the empathetic assistance offered by these volunteers to international students confronting even greater troubles and isolation in their day-to-day lives was very much in line with the concept of “sound critical thinking based on sympathy for all people, both locally and internationally” contained in the University’s charter. Achieving all of this in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic was a demonstration of cooperating with others to “contribute to the resolution of issues facing the global community”, and I believe the participants gained new practical wisdom through this activity. An initiative that turned an isolating pandemic into an opportunity to create bonds through practical wisdom is certainly deserving of the grand prize.

Learning Problem Solver Award

Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences / Various efforts emphasizing real-time two-way communication by leveraging the advantages of online access
Students felt that the most challenging aspect of participating in classes during the coronavirus pandemic would be the difficulty of communicating with their instructors. The concerted efforts of undergraduate faculties to ensure real-time two-way communication will serve as a valuable model for ensuring the quality of university education in future. This will no doubt become a goal for all universities.

The role played by staff members in maintaining two-way communication was particularly large. Interviewing all students, providing guidance to parents/guardians, holding open campus events online and carefully addressing other issues that may have seemed unworkable would have been impossible without the determination of staff members. The coronavirus pandemic has made me keenly realize the full extent of the capabilities and mental strength of our university’s staff members.

Such efforts were not only made by the Faculty of Computer and Information Services. Many of the entries that we were unable to nominate this time illustrated the true capabilities and vigor of our staff members in an emergency. These included “What if there were no Hoppii (Hosei portal to pick up information)?” by the Academic Affairs Division’s Educational Support Section and Academic Affairs Section, the “job hunting support sustained even during the coronavirus pandemic” by the Career Center, “maintaining the same level of student services despite the coronavirus pandemic” by the Academic Affairs Division’s Academic Affairs Section, the “fallback plan for the 2020 Parents’ Roundtable” involving staff members from many departments and divisions, the “peer support activities needed while the university is inaccessible” by the Learning Station, the “renovation of peer learning spaces” by young staff members in the Educational Support Section, the “pre-assignment training for new staff members during teleworking” by the Human Resources Division, and the liaison services provided via LINE that were undertaken but not submitted for entry this year. We are presenting the award to this initiative as representative of the hard work, devotion and creativity of all these staff members that everyone should appreciate.

This award went to CIS RAT student volunteers from the Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences in 2018 and to the Faculty’s Glass Box Office Hour Center in 2019. This year’s award recognized the hard work of the Faculty’s staff members. I hope you will see this as an expression of our wish to present an award to all staff members.

Independent Citizen Award

Alumni Association / Hosei Orange Community (HOC)
Alumni organizations were faced with the issue of young alumni in their busy years being unable to participate in alumni activities. However, some young graduates were recently prompted by the coronavirus pandemic to arrange and hold online networking events and online seminars and thereby create opportunities for busy graduates and graduates living far from Tokyo to come together. These organizers also formulated a long-term vision for the Graduates’ Association, visualized a number of programs for the future, and created a mechanism for collecting a broad range of ideas. This should lead to significant growth for alumni organizations. The University’s charter contains the phrase “in cooperation with its many graduates”. These graduates have indeed entered the workforce as the “independent citizens” mentioned in the charter and taken on active roles. We hope to imbue this Independent Citizen Award with this spirit. This year’s award is meant also to recognize the dedication of staff members seconded to the Graduates’ Association as well as the young staff members and graduates who cooperated as volunteers.

Free Academic Culture Award

Library / Library services accessible at home, etc.
This is a successful initiative arising from the coronavirus pandemic. This initiative informed library users through interesting and appealing guidance videos that they could read books without physically entering the library, and they created hangouts for students in “Togetherness through Reading” sessions. Libraries had already been transforming into places for active learning and not just for borrowing books, and making it possible to participate in such active learning online from anywhere was of great significance. This should be thought of not as a stop-gap measure but instead as the ideal approach for libraries in future, and progress along these lines should be pursued. Making such a place of learning accessible to everyone advances Hosei University’s “free academic culture”, and this initiative was thus selected for the “Free Academic Culture Award”. It should be understood that this “Free Academic Culture Award” also covers the “efforts by library supporters during the coronavirus” entered into the running by student library supporters from all three campuses. As we could not give the award to both initiatives, we decided to have “library services accessible at home” stand in as a representative, but the “Ichigaya Library News”, “Online Book Selection Tour”, “Online Bibliobattle”, and the “Online Reading Sessions” implemented by the library supporters have constituted part of our libraries’ vitality during this time. Such cooperation between university and student staff members has produced wonderful initiatives.

Practical Wisdom Pursuit Award

Faculty of Business Administration / “Practical Wisdom” forums linked up by a lecture series
This lecture series commemorating the Faculty of Business Administration’s 60th anniversary is an innovative initiative in which faculty and university staff joined with students to plan lectures based on the University’s charter. A total of 11 lectures were presented by a wide range of invited speakers, and all of these lectures were timely and intriguing. This initiative will serve as an important model in future for extending education on practical wisdom, and we certainly wanted to honor it with an award. When I learned of this endeavor last year, I very much wanted other faculties to use this as a guide for creating classes covering topics from the University’s charter. This lecture series was conducted between May and December 2019 and so was unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic. One of the lectures from this series had already been given the Practical Wisdom President’s Grand Prize on December 6, 2019. However, 2020 offered the only opportunity for bestowing an award on the lecture series as a whole. We therefore decided to present it with the “Practical Wisdom Pursuit Award” to have it serve as a model for classes that can even be conducted online in future.

President’s comments on nominated initiatives

Kojima Seminar (Koji LABO), Faculty of Sustainability Studies / “Iiyama Learning Community Summer College” – Weaving Ties Connecting to the Future
I first want to express my respect for the deep engagement with communities carried out over the past 15 years. Participants have undoubtedly learned quite a lot. The continuation of this effort online highlighted just how important regular engagement is.
Volunteer Support Project (VSP) / Online Hangout
At a very challenging time for students themselves, this initiative providing a hangout for children even during the coronavirus pandemic will become a catalyst for changing society by involving many more people.
Hosei University Junior and Senior High School / Childrearing kaffeeklatsch
The school arranged amazing get-togethers where attendees could take part in in-depth discussions. With the adoption of online meetings, I expect that more and more people will join in to exchange a diversity of opinions.
Headquarters of Sports Club / Come together! Hosei University sports clubs
Heretofore there have been few opportunities for sports clubs to take part in each other’s activities, but this initiative was able to turn the tables on the coronavirus pandemic and establish ties between them. Please continue with this effort.
Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering and Design + Graduate Program in Architecture, Graduate School of Engineering and Design / Vertical Reviews

This online competition festival truly looks fun. Let’s use this as a springboard for creating connections allowing people to evaluate each other’s designs no matter where they are.

President’s comments on entered initiatives

◆ Overviews of the initiatives prepared by the other groups who entered are available here.

Research Center for Micro-Nano Technology, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering / Emissive liquid materials paving the way for revolutionary electronic/health & medical diagnostic technologies
Research must not be halted under any circumstances. Given that new device development is a race against time, I would like to applaud the efforts made to make key technologies rock-solid.
Jun Sakamoto Seminar, Faculty of Lifelong Learning and Career Studies / “Doing What We Can during the Coronavirus Pandemic” MILID teach-in planned by students
It’s fantastic that presentations were given on cross-organizational efforts at the university during the coronavirus pandemic! This illustrates the power of collaboration and cooperation among students. Learning from each other about what independence means for students will inevitably generate new ideas.
#O-uchi Sensei (Home Teachers) online education support group / #O-uchi Sensei – Creating a new hangout for children
Even more important than the teacher-student relationship is the presence of “big brothers” and “big sisters” who understand children’s feelings. Foreign children as well as children who refuse to go to school or who are ill tend in particular to feel isolated. A willingness to understand their feelings and support them is precisely the posture demanded by the University’s charter.
Faculty of Economics / Practical wisdom for freedom learned from alumni/alumna
There are other lecture series, but it is wonderful that this one was conducted together with alumni and alumna of the Faculty of Economics. This endeavor should definitely be continued, and it will likely have a significant influence on other faculties as well.
Student Committee, Hosei University Cooperative Association / Activities for the new Academic Year 2020 by Hosei University Cooperative Student Committee utilizing online means
What impressed me most was the creation of connections between new students. This is something quite difficult to do within university organizations, and perhaps only possible for a cooperative. This reaffirmed for me the value of what a cooperative is.
New student supporters and seminar team (student staff) from the Faculty of Business Administration / Faculty of Business Administration New Student Plaza

Everyone had been worried about the well-being of new students, and I am sincerely grateful that the Faculty built a “plaza” to provide the means by which new students could make friends even while unable to attend school in person. How marvelous!

Sano Seminar, Faculty of Social Policy and Administration / COVID-19: Establishing hope and bonds for creating songs and futures together – Japan-Vietnam exchange
Why, of course, songs! Music transcends national borders and connects people beyond words. This looks like a very enjoyable exchange with Vietnam created by members studying abroad. I hope such connections using music will spread to many other places from here on.
Academic Affairs Section, Koganei Administration Division / Koganei Web Online Campus

The open campus is an extremely important event both for high school students looking to enter Hosei and for current students. I feel quite thankful that this event was continued online.

A student from Hosei University Kokusai High School / Personal growth during the coronavirus pandemic and the pandemic’s impact on high school students nationwide
I was not aware of this initiative. So many online events and seminars were planned and so many people enjoyed them. I was quite surprised that nearly 900 junior high school, high school and university students had interacted! If many more students become familiar with such initiatives, exchange could widen across Japan and even across the world.
A student from the Faculty of Sports and Health Studies / Efforts during the coronavirus pandemic

It is very important to be aware that racial issues exist in every country. The division between whites and blacks is a problem in the West, but there is ethnic discrimination and hate speech in Japan as well. Paying constant attention to this issue plaguing the world and informing more people about it is essential. This is a magnificent initiative.

Career Center / Career Center job hunting support sustained even during the coronavirus pandemic

It is amazing that the Career Center handles about 22,000 cases a year; this shows just how much people rely on the Career Center. As one might expect, the Center not only conducted consultations online, by telephone or by e-mail but also held events. Its success is starting to become apparent in the numbers. Students now interact with companies via the Internet, and the ingenuity and dedication of the Center’s staff have likely boosted students’ skills in this regard.

Academic Affairs Section, Academic Affairs Division/ Maintaining the same level of student services despite the coronavirus pandemic
I was quite concerned about what would happen with guidance, if consultations would be provided, and how the challenges facing new students would be handled, but the staff admirably provided services from the students’ standpoint. Having such trustworthy staff is a great source of pride for the university.
Julia Yongue Seminar, Hosei University Faculty of Economics / Virtual fieldwork as a new seminar format during the coronavirus pandemic
With seminar activities also hampered, the fact that the Seminar’s vitality was channeled into carrying out fieldwork virtually and undertaking other efforts will have an influence on many seminars at all faculties. Great job!
Educational Support Section, Academic Affairs Division (Learning Station) / Don’t let the coronavirus win! Peer support activities needed while the university is inaccessible (Learning Station)

One distinctive characteristic of Hosei University is the vitality of its peer support activities. There had been concerns that this might decline, but it most certainly has not. Robust support was provided to new students as well. A lecture presentation by Ogimama (Naoki Ogi) was even organized. Thank you! Pre-arranged programs were conducted both face-to-face and online, and I myself participated. That’s the level of peer support you can expect at Hosei University.

Ichigaya Library supporters, Tama Library supporters, Koganei Library supporters / Efforts by library supporters during the coronavirus pandemic
The “Free Academic Atmosphere Award” presented to the Library for its “library services accessible at home” initiative encompassed the efforts of these supporters as well. They did a wonderful job in running “Togetherness through Reading” sessions that kept reading from being a solitary activity. This will itself serve to make students stronger.
Faculty of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies (GIS) / GIS Summer Talk Program

Hosei University has tried out numerous approaches to enable students to apply their hard-won English-language proficiency, and there were serious worries about what would happen under these circumstances. Enjoying a pleasant chat in English is one of the best ways of acquiring linguistic ability.

Cheerleading Club / A first-ever challenge! Gold medal in an online competition!
What a tremendous accomplishment it is to win both a gold medal and a silver medal in an unprecedented challenge! This accomplishment came out of people offering each other advice via “online practice”. Not only the solidarity and capabilities of the cheerleading club but also their mental fortitude and determination to work together without quitting in these trying circumstances reflect the very essence of the ability to “exercise freedom”.

Hosei University Daini Junior and Senior High School; Hosei University student dormitory management company (Kyoritsu Maintenance Co., Ltd.) / Practical Wisdom for Freedom – The Collaboration: H2 BLSE in Hosei University Student Dormitory
Dormitories can become cluster sites but they are also very useful bastions for getting through the pandemic. How dormitories can protect students’ health is a critical issue for the University, so please continue to think of how dormitory life can be best managed.

Sustainable for TAMA / Holding SDGs events to resolve social issues
Drawing people’s attention to the dire straits currently faced by foreign workers during the coronavirus pandemic not by employing methods designed to evoke sympathy but rather by holding an online cooking class to get people to take an interest in Nepal was a fantastic approach that will tie into foreigners living in Japan. Please carry on with this effort.
Nobutaka Ishiyama Laboratory, Graduate School of Regional Policy Design / Fieldwork/research in locales providing recurrent education to working adults and graduate students, and publication of fieldwork/research findings

Graduate schools have a very significant part to play in an era of lifelong education. Graduate students are able to engage in a variety of activities even if they are unable to attend classes in person. Publishing a book is a major event. Please do keep this going.

Health and Physical Education Center / Development of career-building support system for physical education students led by university sports administrators (Japan Sports Agency University Sports Promotion project)
The time has come for us to give particular thought to the significance of physical education students for society as a whole. Analyzing data on the kinds of issues faced by physical education students who undoubtedly have all endured rigorous training and employed their creativity and on the strong points of such students is of great social significance. I certainly hope this endeavor will continue.
Tama Open Campus Leaders / Efforts for the Tama Web online campus
The Tama Campus is able to garner an abundance of participants even when it runs its open campus online. Once real open campus events are resumed, the appeal of the Tama Campus can still be conveyed to many more people by simultaneously boosting the quality of the online open campus to make it all the more enjoyable. What a great discovery!
“Team Orange” student staff from Volunteer Center / Videos on crafting handmade masks

Team Orange is constantly supporting numerous people through familiar activities. Handmade masks have now become popular, and Team Orange being a university team enabled me to find out how quickly they had responded to this. Good work!

Human Resources Division / Pre-assignment training for new staff members during teleworking
Teleworking is a very important work style with regard to gender equality. I am thankful that the Division conducted training for new staff members. Teleworking will become even more important from here on.
Japanese Language Program (JLP) student staff members / Volunteer activities by the Japanese Language Program (JLP) student staff
It would come as a major blow to the University if the Japanese Language Program could no longer be offered. Nothing makes me happier than to see students unable to enter Japan still have some contact with the Japanese language and to appreciate how interesting it is. The ideas and efforts of these volunteers will help many international students.
Younger staff members of the Educational Support Section, Academic Affairs Division / Renovation of peer learning spaces

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to reconsider what constitutes an effective learning space. Some think it may no longer be necessary to have large classroom spaces packed with students listening passively to a teacher lecturing them. Key to learning are “free spaces” and “free attitudes”. Sitting under a horigotatsu (sunken-floor heater) or sprawling out on the floor might even become important in creating spaces in which people can think flexibly and speak about anything. I hope to see this come about soon.

Faculty of Lifelong Learning and Career Studies / Fukushima ESD Consortium
Exchange between students and children around the world as well as local exchange via videos has been especially vibrant during the coronavirus pandemic. I believe that efforts made to ensure that interaction continues uninterrupted regardless of the circumstances have borne fruit. Please keep pursuing this approach.
Hosei University Supporters Association, Alumni and Parent Relations Division, Career Center, Academic Affairs Division, Koganei Administration Division, Tama Administration Division / Fallback plan for 2020 Parents’ Roundtable

The Supporters Association this year was not able to hold its yearly exchanges, meetings and other events. Nevertheless, it was tremendous to see them putting their accumulated know-how to good use in holding these events one after the other online to ensure the Supporters Association continues to operate.

Faculty of Letters / Department of Philosophy Elective Compulsory Course “Special Course on International Philosophy”

First, the efforts made thus far have allowed students to experience learning unavailable elsewhere, and I want to take this opportunity to express my great appreciation. Interacting via online means has yet to be pursued but, given the success achieved heretofore, the results will necessarily be positive. Please continue traveling when it is possible and utilizing online means when it is not.

Volunteers from students in NPO Theory course / Online dialogues linking learning with on-the-ground efforts
There are many aspects of modern society that cannot be understood without study. Such understanding cannot be obtained simply by looking something up, but instead it requires interacting with others to gain a deeper comprehension. It is marvelous that volunteers recognized the crisis that would result from being unable to pursue this approach, sought out ways of interacting, and then did so.
Hosei University Kokusai High School / Maintaining learning through innovations and remote classes

Remote classes were a first-time experience for almost all instructors, and the advantages and disadvantages become clearly evident for the students who bore the brunt of the problems. This initiative was designed to get a better understanding of these issues so that instructors could ensure quality education, and it has helped out students remarkably. I hope to see this approach extended across the university as a whole.

Educational Support Section and Academic Affairs Section, Academic Affairs Division / What if there were no Hoppii (Hosei portal to pick up information)? Improving convenience and effectiveness by digitalizing various services
“What if there were no Hoppii (Hosei portal to pick up information)?” is a truly scary prospect. Hoppii proved a savior during the coronavirus pandemic and it provided a foundation for everything we did. I am sincerely grateful for the dedication of everyone who helped keep Hoppii going.