Five undergraduate students from the Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science (KRS) and assistant professor Yukiya Oba visited Sendai University in Funaoka City, Miyagi, Japan to conduct an 8-day field study around the greater Sendai area from June 5 to 12, 2016, as part of the KRS 208 Recreation Services in Contemporary Society course. This visit marks the first time for KRS to visit Sendai University in 13 years since the two institutions started cultivating their collaboration and partnership particularly in the field of athletic training.

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KRS faculty and students at the welcome reception hosted by the CEO and President of Sendai University

The field study program started with a warm welcome by the Sendai University CEO Taiji Hozawa and President Yoshikichi Abe, as well as related faculty and staff, including program coordinator Kyoko Shirahata and a number of Sendai University students.  The primary purpose of this field trip program was to deepen understanding of Japanese culture for our students through observation and participation in a variety of sports-related activities in various educational and athletic levels.  The program features included physical education facility site visits, athletic training and game observations, nutrition/cooking class participation at Sendai University, including a Japanese language orientation session for our students.

Highlights also include a visit to Onagawa City, an area heavily devastated by a tsunami after the Tohoku earthquake in 2011. During this visit, our students participated in an exercise session for elderly citizens who live in temporary residences as a result of the disaster. The group also visited Shibata High School and Higashi Funaoka Elementary School where our students were invited as guest speakers in their English classes.

KRS Chair, Nathan Murata also visited during the program.  He presented a plaque to CEO Hozawa and President Abe to commemorate the growing partnership and as a token of appreciation of their hospitality to the KRS delegation. The College and Sendai University recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding on September 3, 2014, to further our partnership through exchange opportunities in education, research and scholarly material.

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KRS and Sendai University students excited to spend a week together

Instructor Yukiya Oba noted: “On behalf of KRS, I sincerely appreciate everything Sendai University provided and facilitated in this field trip.  My students truly enjoyed all aspects of the program experience filled with their utmost hospitality.  It was also great to see our students cultivate friendships with the Sendai University students throughout the program.  We hope this two-way multicultural exchange program continues to grow in our long partnership.”

Sendai University will be sending their bi-annual short-term study group of faculty and students to KRS this fall semester in early September 2016.  The program will feature athletic training related activities and observations at UH Athletics and McKinley High School.

This field trip was a requirement of KRS 208 Recreational Services in Contemporary Society, a 3-credit course offered in Summer Session I.  For more information on this course, please contact Dr. Yukiya Oba at

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