Lives of the Nikkei scholarship 'Dream Come True Project' students ～ Ritsuko Sato
Why did you decide to study in Japan?
I came to japan in 2012 for the first time. I got the chance to get in touch with my Okinawan roots, learn from the culture and grow as a professional too. That experience changed my life, and I sought since then to come back to Japan somehow and thanks to Nippon Zaidan I was able to come back in 2016. I wanted to conduct research in a highly esteemed Food Science Graduate program within Japan, in order to further develop my abilities within this industry and grow as a professional.
How is your life in Japan?
Although we work hard in the laboratory, as we all do our best for our own research topics (that includes staying late every day or going in the weekends or holidays as well) all members, specially Matsui sensei and all the staff of the laboratory, have been very kind and always supported me whenever I needed for which I will always be very thankful. I’ve learned a lot and still learning every day, not only about my own research, but from Japan’s traditions and culture as well thanks to them. We also have time to enjoy and share in the laboratory, to sort of make a balance between hard work and relax time.
One of the best things of coming to Japan, is being part of the NFSA and receiving the Nikkei scholarship granted by Nippon Foundation. They work hard to help us and allow us to focus in our studies, without having to worry about the income. That is a great relief. Personally, I know is that I wouldn’t’t have been able to achieve my soon-to-get, master degree without the warm support of NZ and Kaigai Nikkeijin Kyokai. I will always be grateful for this life-changing opportunity.
Being part of the NFSA、where the students are not just sharing the same scholarship, we are like a family. And it`s great to feel the home warmness specially when we are so far away from our family and friends in our country. Thank you to tall my NFSA brothers and sisters for being there for me when I needed you the most.
Tell us about your present study or research.
I am conducting my research on bioactive food components that might show a potential positive effect to maintain glucose homeostasis in rat L6 skeletal muscle cells, especially in patients that suffer from type 2 diabetes in the food analysis laboratory of Kyushu university in Fukuoka city.
Did your consciousness as a Nikkei change in any way through studying in Japan?
I want to keep cultivating the relationship between Japan and my country, not only from there, but from any part of the world. I don’t consider myself only as a peruvian- japanese, but a global nikkei.
What is your dream for the future?
I don’t have a plan yet and although I am a little scare about the future, I know I’ll do great and will be able to aspire to greater things after studying here. But for the moment , my future plan is to be happy enjoying what I do by the side of the people I love.
Please give a message to students who are considering studying in Japan.
Learn Japanese. It will definitely make your life easier and will allow you to bond with Japanese people and improve any kind of relationship with them.
Be respectful and aware of other people
s feelings, but dont lose your uniqueness and never feel ashamed of your roots, be proud of having two, or more cultures legacies.
Take time to enjoy Japan and try any new experience you can. You never know if you`ll be able to return again!