The Study Abroad Newsletter

Realization of Moving Forward

Michael Mishina

University of the Ryukyus, Japan

River in Japan

My first memorable experience here was my very first campus tour. The campus was filled with rich history and information. A trip inside the library revealed not only that they had the latest books, but the were keeping some books that were up to 100 years old (image 1). The spines and pages of the book felt heavy and worn, it was impressive. Outside it was revealed that what I originally believed to be all of the campus was only a small part, it covered a HUGE amount of territory. There was a wonderful bridge that the sun shone down on at midday, where people walked back and forth from two halves of campus. The bridge itself overlooked a small rain forest, where you could see birds and fish in the water below.

I also learned that the school is heavy in historical value. It was originally the place of the very first Shuri Castle hundreds of years ago, before it was destroyed in the Okinawan War. The castle itself was moved to a new location, but in the ruins of the old one a school was built, and eventually that school became the University that stands here today. This level of significance, the sheer weight of how important this location is was awe-inspiring, and I found it profound that every day, going from class to class, I was walking in what used to be one of the most important places in all of Okinawa.

Books on shelves in library