Community Archives - UWC ISAK Japan


Interfaith Festival: Silence (静けさ)

“Silence is the necessary soil for any thought to flourish” – Stephen Hough

This Spring, UWC ISAK Japan’s Interfaith Dialogue Group held its annual festival. By employing the theme of Silence (静けさ), which the Group identified as a gateway to the innermost part of self, Nature and the Divine, it sought to foster an opportunity to discover and explore silence as one of the foundations of meaningful relationships.

The weekend festival was open to all members of the UWC ISAK Japan community to join any of the various sessions, which ranged from sitting, moving and sharing

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A Project Comes to Fruition: The Story Behind Our New Forest

Written by Yutaro (Class of 2019, Japan)

On 6th of March during the community assembly, we welcomed government officials from Forestry Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery to sign a contract for the lease of forest nearby. For the next five years, the 30 hectares of forest next to our campus will be part of UWC ISAK Japan.

As I lived in Tokyo prior to coming to UWC ISAK Japan, I was excited to be at a high school surrounded by nature. At the end of grade 10, when I was thinking about my leadership project, I was

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Transformational Leadership Comes in Many Sizes

Written by Abdullah (Class of 2019, Oman)

The idea of student leadership is emphasized in UWC ISAK Japan, and so we, students, get to lead in the exploration of our interests, while also receiving support and advice/expertise from the faculty and staff. The UWC ISAK Merch (merchandise) Club was the brainchild of my classmate Ben. It has provided the venue for us to exercise and display our entrepreneurial spirit while at UWC ISAK Japan.

To start our journey with Merch Club, we obviously needed some capital to buy inventory. We were keen on producing many school-logo products, however we

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The Right Stuff

UWC ISAK Japan is blessed with the most eclectic and inspiring collection of students in the world (in our humble opinion). Recently, one of our G11 students, Alexandria (Class of 2020, Australia), received a special honor when she was named to the Australian national junior canoe slalom team.

If you have ever been to Karuizawa, you may know that it isn’t exactly Waterworld. Karuizawa is known more for winter sports like curling and skiing or as an escape from the oppressive Japanese summer heat. But despite the lack of obvious training spots, Alex did manage to Identify one small

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New leaders poised to keep SNOW rolling

Written by Denzel (Class of 2019, Zimbabwe)

As outlined in a previous blog post, SNOW is UWC ISAK Japan’s reformed Student Union. It stands for Seito NO Wa and the mission of SNOW is “to provide structure and resources for students to take initiatives for the better of the community.”

Over the course of the past year, Ayana (Class of 2019, Japan) and myself took a back-seat approach and became facilitators of SNOW who would be there to assist the current members when needed. We did this to allow the Grade 11 and Grade 10 students to have

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Learning Leadership Through Writing

Miori loves writing. But while writing for an audience may seem like the obvious motivation for a writer, Miori (Class of 2020, Japan) has always seen it as a tool for thinking. Like transmission fluid lubricates the gears of motor, so too does writing for Miori’s brain as she shifts from one perspective to another in her pursuit of truth before forming her own opinions.

But despite her clear talent for writing, as evidenced by her recent 2nd place award in a national essay contest, Miori admits that it is a discipline that she has had to work

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A Grateful Community

School assemblies are a great opportunity for us all to spend some time together as a full school community to discuss important events and initiatives, to entertain, and to reconnect with each other.

At one recent assembly, we took a moment to reflect on what we are grateful for and we’d like to share with you 100 items that came out of this exercise. The actually list was well beyond only 100 items, but we think this selection will provide a poignant reminder to everyone within this community of how blessed we are. We also think it provides insight

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Winter Work Program

During winter break, many of our students use the time to travel or return home. This year a number of students made a different choice—stay in Japan and join the winter work program.

Beginning in December 2018 and running through the first week of January, UWC ISAK Japan ran a program aimed at providing employment opportunities for students who remained in Japan. This year 51 students joined the program and were sent to various locations, ranging from right here in Karuizawa to the foot of Mt.Gassan in (very) wintery Yamagata, about 500 kms from campus.

“We wanted to find a

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Interfaith Trip: Footprints of Infinite in Tokyo (Part 2)

Before we jump in, note that this is a two-part story so be sure to check out Part 1 here.

Previously, we looked at some of the highlights of the trip. In Part 2, we are going to delve a little deeper and look at what our student learned or where otherwise challenged, stretched or inspired by.

Kristine (Class of 2020, Latvia) Being able to meet and speak to people from many other religions and also non-religious was very beneficial, interesting and moving. After having dinner (the best pizza in Tokyo), father Andrea encouraged us to start a discussion,

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Interfaith Trip: Footprints of Infinite in Tokyo (Part 1)

In late 2018, the Interfaith Programme embarked on a trip of discovery to Tokyo. It was the first such trip for the Programme, which was initiated in 2017 with the purpose to grow as individuals and as a community in making diversity a strength by learning about a precious and deep aspect of our identities: our beliefs.

This trip was attended by 13 students and 2 faculty with the theme “Footprints of Infinite in Tokyo –  A Journey Through the Architectures, the History and the People of the Major Religions in Japan.” The group set out with several goals in

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Karuizawa, Kitasaku-gun,
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