Talk on climate change activism

Hinako Arao will speak about the role that activism can play in one’s life, by connecting her background as an actress and director in the United States and the UK to her environmental activism. She will speak about how her activism was born, her recent participation in Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps training, and her work as a field organizer for an environmental NGO Japan, founded by Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist, author, and journalist. Ms. Arao will emphasize how important it is for young people from all over the world to participate in environmental activism because they are the ones who will experience the consequences of the climate crisis the most.

TITLE OF TALK: From Acting to Activism: Performing Social and Environmental Justice
WHEN: December 24, 2019 (Tuesday), 3rd Period (13:20~14:50)
WHERE: Aoyama Campus, Building 17, Room 17-604
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and anyone interested in saving the world

Read the transcript of Greta Thunberg’s moving speech at the UN COP24 climate conference in Poland last year and see the video of it below:

Biography of Hinako Arao:

Hinako Arao is a field organizer for an environmental NGO, Japan. She was born and raised in Japan, did her undergraduate studies and also spent her 20s working as an actress and a director in the United States and England. After returning to Japan, she has worked as a freelance film and TV producer. She enjoys working together with great groups of people to tackle the climate crisis.

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Successful performance of “Macbeth”

Members of Black Stripe Theater company performed a spirited and riveting adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ on December 5th. The audience stayed on the edge of their seats from beginning to end and not a single student was dozing. After the play, the actors graciously remained for a lively Q & A.

Remarkably, the Black Stripe Theater company is simultaneously performing “A Christmas Carol,” “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” and “Macbeth” at venues around Tokyo.

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Hey! The IE Program is on Instagram now!

Find out the latest about IE Program activities and special events by following us on Instagram.

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Lecture & Concert by Bluesman Steve Gardner


Born in Mississippi in 1956, Steve Gardner is an accomplished blues musician and photographer, having studied photojournalism at the University of Southern Mississippi and blues from the “School of Hard Knocks.” After working as a photojournalist in the States, he came to Japan, where he has freelanced for Japanese magazines as well as for Time and Newsweek. The interest in the blues that he found in Japan led him to create a picture book on Mississippi and the blues, Rambling Mind (1994). His first CD, “Rambling With The Blues” (2002) is this book’s musical counterpart. He recorded another CD in New Orleans, Louisiana, “Walkin’ the dog” (2008), and his newest release is a album named “Miz Sally’s Yellow Cat Song Book” (2015), which was about his mom, Miz Sally.

Through his music and stories, Steve Gardner will take us on a journey from the world at large to Mississippi and show us where the blues came from — both geographically and spiritually.

EVENT: Open Lecture/ Concert
WHEN: December 20, 2019 (Friday), 3rd Period (13:20~14:50)
WHERE: Aoyama Campus, Honda Auditorium 本多記念館 (17-610)
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and any other interested parties who love music

Friday IE Core and IE Seminar teachers and their classes–as well as any other teachers and students who can make it–should feel free to participate in this special event.

Here is an article about Steve Gardner that was written by a professor in our department, Wayne Pounds, for the Metropolis magazine. It shows some of Mr. Gardner’s excellent photography and puts his music into historical context.

Click on the graphic (below) to access some fine blues songs about southern cooking, especially the art of barbecue.


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Performance of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’

Members of Black Stripe Theater will perform an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Macbeth’, a story of ambition, murder, madness, and the supernatural. The play is set in 11th-Century Scotland. After some successes in battle, the great warrior ‘Macbeth,’ is given a prophecy by three witches that he will someday become king. His ambitious wife urges him to speed up the process by killing King Duncan and seizing the crown for himself. Events do not transpire as smoothly and happily as the couple imagines as Macbeth is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself. He soon becomes a dictator and forces Scotland into civil war. He and Lady Macbeth are then plunged into madness and untimely death.

EVENT: Dramatization of the play “Macbeth”
WHEN: December 5th (Thursday); 3rd period 13:20~14:50 AND an additional performance at 4th period 15:05~16:35
WHERE: Room 17309 — Building 17 on the 3rd Floor at 3rd period and Honda Auditorium 本多記念館 (17-610) at 4th period
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and any other interested parties who love live theater

Read the entire play online in the English of Shakespeare’s day at:

Or, read the play in modern translation at “No Sweat Shakespeare”:

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Talk by Japanese Canadian Filmmaker Linda Ohama

Speaker: Ms. Linda Ohama

Topic: A new play “From the Inland Sea”

Location: Aoyama Campus, Room 17-610 (Honda Auditorium)

Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Time: 1:20 PM to 2:50 PM (3rd period)

Ms. Linda Ohama is an award-winning Japanese Canadian filmmaker who produced and directed the film Obachan’s Garden ( and the documentary film “Tohoku no Shingetsu” (“New Moon Over Tohoku”), which concerns the experiences of people in Tohoku who were affected by the earthquake/ tsunami/ nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011 and its aftermath.

The speaker will talk about her recently performed play “From the Inland Sea,” and students will be asked to perform scenes from it that they practiced in class. She will put the play–which involved experiences of her Japanese Canadian grandfather during WWII–into context by giving some background history of the internment of North Americans of Japanese descent during the war.

To be even better prepared for the lecture, read the attached interview and review the script (Act 4 of the play) that teachers will use in class to prepare students for the lecture. Read up on the background of the play here, as well.

It would also be useful for students and teachers who plan to attend the lecture to do some background reading on the internment of Japanese by the Canadian government during the war. Read this concise and well-written entry “Japanese Canadian Internment: Prisoners in their own Country” at .

August Bulletin 2019 Ohama

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Autumn Festival at Meiji Jingu

On three consecutive days, at the beginning of November each year, Meiji Jingu holds its “Autumn Grand Festival”–AKI NO SAI.” This event is held in celebration of Emperor Meiji’s birthday and in honor of various deities. You can see traditional dances given as offerings for gods, Noh performances, and an amazing variety of martial art demonstrations. You can even see Yabusame (archery on horseback).

EVENT: Meiji Jingu Autumn Grand Festival/ AKI NO SAI
WHERE: Near JR Harajuku Station

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Youth Climate Activist Symposium: IE Plenary Lecture Series

Unlike our usual plenary talks for IE Program students and outside guests, this one will feature three speakers who represent organizations and causes connected with climate change. The main speaker is a 22-year-old climate change activist from the Philippines, Marinel Ubaldo, who is a survivor of Super-typhoon Haiyan. This typhoon struck the Visayas group of islands, home to 17 million people, in 2013 (when Marinel was still a teenager). It was the most powerful storm in 2013 and one of the most devastating typhoons of all time.

As we all know, climate change (particularly global warming) plays a huge role in the frequency and potency of extreme weather events such as Category 5 typhoons and hurricanes. This fact led Marinel Ubaldo to take action and become a climate change warrior. She will speak about what motivated her activism, what actions she has taken, and what you can do to help save the world.

The other speakers will represent “350 Japan,” an international grassroots movement working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy, and “Vegan Tokyo,” a group whose mission it is to support the Japan vegan community to grow and, connect to the worldwide vegan movement, and help make people aware of the connection between dietary choices and the environment.

EVENT: Climate Action Now: Symposium about what we can do to save the world
WHEN: October 10, 2019 (Thursday), 13:20 PM ~ 14:50 (3rd period)
WHERE: Aoyama Gakuin University; Aoyama Campus; Room 940 (4th floor of Building 9) Click here.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in climate justice and wishing to make a positive impact on the world.

Planned Itinerary of symposium:

Biography of Marinel Ubaldo:

Marinel Ubaldo, from the Philippines, was one of five young activists who attended COP21, the UN climate change conference in Paris, when she was just 18 years old. She campaigns on the issue of climate change and has been raising awareness across her community and around the world since she was a teenager, like Greta Thunberg. She testified at an investigation in New York about corporate responsibility for climate change and human rights abuses, and she conducts seminars for communities and students on environmental issues, climate change and climate justice.

Marinel is currently in Tokyo for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training offered by former Vice President Al Gore, who is now in Japan as well conducting this training event. It equips people of all ages and livelihoods with the knowledge and ability to become more effective climate change activists. She helped to organize the Global Climate Strike on 20 September 2019.

Biography of Hinako Arao:

Hinako Arao is a field organizer for an environmental NGO, Japan. She was born and raised in Japan, did her undergraduate studies and also spent her 20s working as an actress and a director in the United States and England. After returning to Japan, she has worked as a freelance film and TV producer. She enjoys working together with great groups of people to tackle the climate crisis.

Climate Change is the biggest threat that humanity has ever faced. And those who are leading the movements to solve the crisis are the young people from all over the world. Why? Because they are smart and strong, but also, they are the ones who will experience the consequences of this crisis the most. In her talk, Hinako will use Greta’s speech to learn about what is happening in the environment and the politics surrounding this issue.

Biography of Alex Derycz:

Alex Derycz is a 23-year-old model and talent who hosts youth events for the Tokyo Vegan Meetup. He has also spoken as an ambassador for “Vegan Tokyo” ( at Earth Day Tokyo.
Website –
Instagram –
Twitter –
Ameba Blog –

If climate change was not on your radar before this year, the 16-year old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, may have put it there. She has galvanized the young and old alike to wake up and smell the oil (and the forest) burning. She spearheaded weekly climate strikes and started using the hashtag #FridaysForFuture, which have inspired many young people to strike in cities and towns around the world. On September 20, three days before the UN Climate Summit in New York, people—including thousands in Tokyo—marched, demanding that action be taken by governments, corporations, and citizens to drastically reduce the amount of green house gases being spewed into the atmosphere.

Access an excellent article written by Marinel Ubaldo which was published in the December issue of TeenVogue at

Read the transcript of Greta Thunberg’s moving speech at the UN COP24 climate conference in Poland last year and see the video of it below:

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Global Festa 2019 — Learning about the World

Something called “Global Festa Japan 2019” will be held on September 28th and 29th at the Odaiba Center Promenade in Tokyo. There will be films from the UNHCR WILL2LIVE 2019 / 映画祭2019, a charity run, “talk shows” concerning various environmental issues, photo exhibits, musical performances, among many interesting and enjoyable events. NGOs representing numerous causes and issues will gather there, so it is an excellent chance for students who wish to take part in internships with domestic or international NGOs to see what’s available. Who knows…you might become inspired to change the world!

EVENT: Global Festa 2019/ グローバルフェスタJAPAN2019
WHEN: September 28th & 29th 2019 CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE
WHERE: At Odaiba Center Promenade in Tokyo.

This YouTube video will give you an idea of what a previous year’s Global Festa looked like:

Here are just a few of the NGOs that will have participated in the event in the past:

Oxfam Japan
特定非営利活動法人 オックスファム・ジャパン

Action against Child Exploitation

Amnesty International Japan

TABLE FOR TWO International
テーブル フォー ツー インターナショナル

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WHEN & WHERE: Sept. 21 ~ 23 2019 イタリア文化会館 / Italian Culture Center;
Sept 28, 2019 グローバルフェスタ / Global Festa JAPAN2019 at Odaiba;
Oct. 4 & 5 2019文京シビックホール 小ホール / Bunkyo Civic Hall

COST: FREE (donations gratefully accepted)

* 参加無料
* 事前申し込みなし
* 各回上映45分前より整理券を会場にて、先着順で配布します(お一人につき1枚の配布、グローバルフェスタ2019の上映は入退場自由)
* 各回20分前の開場となり、整理券番号順にご案内します(自由席)
* 各回完全入替制

The UNHCR Refugee Film Festival has been rebranded this year as UNHCR WILL2LIVE Cinema 2019. Presently, 70.8 million people worldwide have been forced from their homes. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides necessary assistance to these displaced people and tries to insure that no one is left without a safe haven.

The films shown this year will focus on the will of refugees to survive and overcome obstacles. It is important to realize that anyone may be faced with such difficulties without warning due to climate change disruptions, war, natural disasters, or civil unrest. Films featuring the unbroken spirit of refugees have been intentionally chosen for this year’s lineup. The festival will take place this year from September 21 to October 14, 2019 at venues in both Tokyo and Nagoya.

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