At UWC ISAK Japan, we understand the immense value of incorporating Japanese culture into our educational approach. In this diverse and globalized world, we believe that understanding and appreciating different cultures is essential for nurturing compassionate and well-rounded individuals. Discover how we integrate Japanese culture into our curriculum through traditions, philosophy, cultural excursions, traditional handicrafts, and putting culture into practice.
Traditions & Philosophy
At UWC ISAK Japan, we introduce our students to the rich traditions and philosophy of Japan, emphasizing values such as harmony, respect, and mindfulness. By exploring concepts like wabi-sabi (the appreciation of imperfection) and omotenashi (wholehearted hospitality), students learn how these principles profoundly influence Japanese society. Through activities such as tea ceremonies and other cultural workshops that vary each year, students gain hands-on experience and develop an understanding of the subtleties of Japanese aesthetics, ultimately inspiring them to incorporate these values into their daily lives.
Our programs take advantage of our unique location, offering students numerous opportunities to engage in outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and skiing. These experiences help develop vital life skills, such as teamwork, leadership, and resilience, while fostering a sense of respect for the natural world.
Nagano and Karuizawa are home to an abundance of artisans and craftspeople who preserve Japan’s rich heritage of world-class craftsmanship. Our students may have the unique opportunity to learn from these masters, gaining insight into traditional techniques such as pottery, woodworking, and textile arts. Through hands-on workshops that vary each year, students discover the dedication to excellence that characterizes Japanese artisanship, allowing them to develop a newfound respect for the creative process and the importance of preserving cultural heritage.
Japanese Culture in Practice
At UWC ISAK Japan, we instill the importance of Japanese cultural values such as respect, punctuality, and pride in work. Students participate in activities like calligraphy, martial arts, and “Stop & Clean,” a school-wide practice where everyone (students, staff, and faculty) stops what they are doing each day to work together to clean the school. This activity exemplifies servant leadership in practice. By embracing these principles, our students cultivate a strong work ethic, resilience, and a deep understanding of the role of culture in shaping individuals and communities. Through their experiences at UWC ISAK Japan, students emerge as empathetic global citizens with a lasting connection to Japanese culture.