Lives of the Nikkei scholarship 'Dream Come True Project' students ～ Toyohiko Oyama
Why did you decide to study in Japan?
I wanted to gain various knowledge and skills in Japan which has a good education environment so that I can contribute to the development of my country in the future. For myself, I have been studying in Japan since junior high school and when I thought of studying at a Japanese university, I felt that this scholarship can provide an opportunity for my future step.
How is your life in Japan?
I find my life in Japan is incomparably fulfilling than in Paraguay. Each day is a learning experience as well as fun. There are four training courses per year at the NFSA. I find it comfortable to join the trainings which are participated by international students with the same aspiration. There is also a sense of supporting each other among the group. When I have any worries or in desperation, meeting with the NFSA members keeps me going and gives me encouragement.
I have lived in Japan for about eight years already and got used to the lifestyle of Japan. I may have difficulties adjusting to the life of Paraguay when I go back home.
I therefore try to go back home every year or two years so that I will not forget about the life in Paraguay. Myself and Paraguay have changed before and after coming to study in Japan, so I feel it is important to collect the latest information about the country.
Tell us about your present study or research.
Currently I am studying about environment and tourism at my University. I am also involved in community revitalization activities and spend much time in doing fieldwork outside the University. For example, I have participated in a workshop to build a tent using bamboos, a tour to savor local traditional food and held student summits by calling students interested in community revitalization activities to find out and implement a concrete solution to the problems which a community may have. I also participate in activities to pass on the local traditional arts to the next generation and trying to find a grant to carry on such activities. I find that what the teachers teach you in classes is not the only learning opportunity. I am spending my four years to the full extent by also learning a lot from the community people.
Did your consciousness as a Nikkei change in any way through studying in Japan?
Since I am a second-generation Nikkei, I feel almost the same as any Japanese. However, having lived in Japan, I feel that we Nikkei can understand and capture the cultures of both Japan and our home country. Nikkei can also act as a go between for both countries and I have reconfirmed its importance during my time spent in Japan.
What is your dream for the future?
I want to start a business which can contribute to the development of the Nikkei society in Latin America as well as a tourism business involving tree-planting program. At the same time, I want to tackle a community revitalization activity involving the Nikkei youth.
Please give a message to students who are considering studying in Japan.
You can absorb various knowledge and skills in a new study environment. During my four years at a university, I was involved in so many different activities as if I was playing. However, out of the four years, the half of the two years will be spent in class studying. What is important is how you make use of the remaining two years effectively. I hope the future scholars will spend fulfilling two years. Of course, you need to study hard to complete your university course.