When the world whispers, “Impossible,” the musasabi—Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel—replies, “Watch me!” and soars. This small, woodland creature, known for its remarkable gliding ability, isn’t just a resident of the lush, green forests of Karuizawa—it is also the symbolic heart of UWC ISAK Japan.
A Powerful Metaphor: Sabi-chan’s Lesson
A squirrel that flies? The musasabi or Sabi-chan, as we affectionately refer to it, counters nature’s expectation with a resounding, “Yes, I can!” This audacious defiance forms a powerful metaphor for what we aim to instill in our students: the conviction to challenge the status quo and make their unique mark on the world.
At UWC ISAK Japan, we value students who possess the same spirit of determination and courage as the musasabi. When society attempts to constrain them within prescribed paths, they resolutely believe in their potential to achieve the extraordinary— not out of blind faith, but because they know what they are truly capable of.
A Symbol of Courage and Determination
The musasabi’s most striking attribute is its capacity for flight. It’s a creature that leaps fearlessly into the unknown, using its patagium—a furry membrane that stretches between its limbs—to glide gracefully through the air. Similarly, our students confront challenges with the audacity to take risks and the confidence to embrace uncertainty. Just like musasabi soaring through the night sky, our students prove to the world that they can defy expectations.
Sabi-chan’s Quiet Resilience
Despite its dramatic flight, the musasabi often performs its most impressive feats when no one is watching, showcasing a quiet resilience and purpose-driven dedication. This characteristic echoes in our students who, instead of seeking mere attention, use their unique abilities for a purposeful cause. They demonstrate that their skills and knowledge are not just for show, but for meaningful contribution to the world.
Embodying the Spirit of Musasabi in UWC ISAK Japan
Karuizawa, with its tranquil woods and beautiful landscapes, is not just a picturesque backdrop for our campus—it’s also home to Sabi-chan, our endearing mascot. Sabi-chan serves as a constant reminder to our students of the powerful qualities they embody: courage, determination, quiet resilience, and the audacity to defy expectations.
The musasabi, despite its modest size, commands the skies with grace and fearlessness. Similarly, our students, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances, are empowered to make a significant impact. UWC ISAK Japan fosters an environment where students can embrace their ‘Sabi-chan spirit’, allowing them to transcend limitations, confront challenges, and prove that they too, can ‘fly’.
Sabi-chan, Our Guiding Symbol
At UWC ISAK Japan, the story of the musasabi is woven into our identity. This humble creature symbolizes the transformative power of belief and determination—qualities that we seek and nurture within our students. The musasabi tells us that no challenge is too great, no leap too daring, if we carry with us the courage to try.
In many ways, we are all Sabi-chan, capable of breaking through our limitations and soaring towards our dreams. Our students are testament to this, embodying the spirit of the musasabi in their journey of learning, growth, and impact. Just like Sabi-chan, they strive to show the world their unique ability to fly.