International Students : CHEN YANG

Putting all acquired knowledge back into my hometown


陳 洋(Chin Yo)

Born in Harbin-city, People's Republic of China.

Graduated from Heilongjiang University in 2011, and then came to Japan.

In 2012, enrolled in the Master's program in the Graduate School of Sociology at Toyo University, majoring in Sociology.

Currently, studying at the PhD program of Sociology in the Graduate school of Sociology at Toyo University.


Q.Please tell us about your home country.

I studied the Japanese language at Japanese faculty of Heilongjiang University from 2007 to 2011. 

During my study at university, I've read the nobels of
Soseki NATSUME, Yasunari KAWABATA and Ryunosuke AKUTAGAWA".

The most impressive movie was called "IZU no Odoriko (A dancer in Izu)".
Izu was a very beautiful place and Momoe YAMAGUCHI (a main actress of the movie) was also impressively pretty. 

My Japanese teacher told us Japanese climate, culture and festivals and I deeply learnt about Japan. 

She loved Kenji MIYAZAWA and often introduced his nobels to us.

The famous poem of his was.."Don't get defeated even (strong) rains or winds...Always smiling in peace".
I still remember this poem clearly and can recite his poem from my memory.


Q.What prompted your decision to study in Japan?

My first interest in Japan was from Japanese animations.

When I was a child, I used to watch Japanese animations on TV every certain time.
"Astro Boy", "Doraemon Robot" etc.. I've never been bored of watching them.

I definitely became a"TV Boy",  was eager to know more about Japan and
started having a dream to see actual Japan by my own eyes. 

So I chose the Japanese language for my university major and started to prepare to go and study in Japan.
Just before my graduation when I asked my parents for advice on studying in Japan,
they immediately agreed with my dream.  They might have an idea of "Let your dearly child out for a travel".

Q.Why did you select Toyo University out of all the many schools in Japan?

During my study at university, I've started to have an interest in a relationship with social problems and mass media
while I was studying the Japanese language and literatures.

If I'm going to study in Japan, I would love to study in Tokyo.
Tokyo is a big city, a lot of information and people should be gathered therefore I would be able to do a good research.

When I checked them on the Internet, Toyo University has more than 120 years of history.
I also found that the university had been promoting globalizations from many angles.
There were a lot of international students and lecturers in the university.

I thought Toyo University had managed in good condition on study environment, class arrangements and student housing
for international students.

Especially when I looked up on the website of Graduate School of Sociology, every teacher had many achievements
and each of them had unique research. From those reasons, I decided to come and study at Toyo University. 

Q.What appeals to you about the Graduate School?

Providing a good study environment where students can study more smoothly.

For example, PCs and printers are set in the Graduate common room and the
books and dictionaries on sociology are provided for graduate school students to use.
I can feel the manager's thoughts for the students, so we can focus on study and research without any difficulties.

No matter senior or junior students and Japanese or international students, we all get together like brothers or sisters.
When someone comes back from their holidays, they always leave suveniors or snacks for us at the Graduate common room.
It may sound a little thing, but my friends always support me throughout my school life.


Q.Please describe your current research topics and the contents of lectures.

Based on my previous research and collected data, my research topic was decided as "Sending international information out on Chinese twitter from the Japanese mass media." 

I think recognition of Japan from China largely depends on a relationship between the Chinese and the Japanese governments.
Because China has a censorship system on papers that is different from Japan, what the Chinese mass media reports on Japan will change depending on how the political or diplomatic policy goes between both countries. 

On the other hand, recognition of Japan from Chinese people may be influenced by the information sent out from the Japanese mass media on the internet.

In these days, Weibo (Chinese social media) has a bigger effect on recognition of Japan.
The Japanese mass media, such as Kyodo News and one after another companies have registered their accounts on Weibo,
and then start sending out real life information on Japanese politics, economy, culture and society in Chinese.

Thus I've researched on the information sent out from the Kyodo News account of Sina Weibo, which is a representative mass media of Japan and features of Japanese reports about China on SNS.
I also tried to find out how the information sent out from the Japanese mass media influences on the recognition of Japan for Chinese internet users as well as what kind of role they play.

Classes are consisted of graduate school lectures and discussions.  More precisely, I took "Research guidance for Master's thesis in socio-informatics and communication studies (Journalism)" by Prof. Mizuno, "Seminar on socio-informatics and communication studies of Journalism" by Prof. Mizuno, "Research on socio-informatics and communication studies" by Prof. Nakamura", "Lecture on socio-informatics and communication studies of socio-information" by Prof. Nakamura, and "Lecture on sociology of social survey" by Prof. Shimazaki so far.

Since I entered Japanese graduate school, I've noticed that instructional approaches are different from Chinese ones.
Chinese class style is mainly that teachers give lectures and students take notes while listening to the lectures.
Many discussions and presentations are required in Japanese classes and their forms are various.
At first, I wasn't familiar with Japanese style, but I gradually started to understand that benefits of this way of classes.

After checking on materials in advance and summarizing your thoughts, we give a presentation in a class. 
Your professors, senior and junior students will ask you questions and you will answer them.
After that an atmosphere of the class becomes active.

I felt that students' thoughts, their decision making and expressions are cared in Japanese university education.  


At Kanto Sociology Academic Conference held last year

Q.What kinds of scholarships did you receive?

Received Toyo University Graduate Scholarship (Category 1) while studying at master course of Sociology.

I have been given as the Japanese Government Schlarship for International Student since last autumn.

It is very important for international students to receive scholarships and they are very useful to do my research.
The scholarship funds allow me to purchase very expensive books or software which are necessary for my research.
I also feel that the quality of my research has been changed because of the scholarship.

Q.How do you make ends meet?

A part of my tuition fees and living expenses are counted on my parents for a long time.
I am paying by myself for the rest which is not covered by my parents' support.
To do that, I had a part time job, the same as other international students.
I worked as SA (Student Assistant) and TA (Teacher's Assistant) at Toyo University.

After I was selected as the scholarship student of Ministry of Education in Japan, I quit the other part-time job.
In stead, I have been spent those times on research or reading books. 
I am deeply grateful for the scholarship.

Q.What do you plan to do after you complete your degree?

My hometown "Harbin-city" is located on the Northeast region of  People's Republic of China.

It is nestled inland. Therefore development of the area is behind in comparison with Shanghai or Guangzhou
which are located along the coast area of China.

As it's been said that "there is no better place than hometown", I love my hometown.

I think I would like to go home after my graduation in order to develop my hometown.

My dream is to be a university teacher and give all my knowledge learnt in Japan and at Toyo University back to Chinese students. 

Q.What message do you have for students who are aiming to study at Toyo University? 

There is a proverb saying "there is no limit in learning" in the Chinese language.

Please come and study at Toyo University Graduate School if you would like to pursue your study.