Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

December 1, 2020 Rat Dissection

Hello everyone! Today, I would like to write about an interesting experiment that second grade students have done in biology class here at ICT. Ever since the beginning of this school offering biology classes at Hakusanroku campus, I have been ordering the necessary equipment to eventually be able to do a rat dissection. After some time, we could finally realize this on November 19th 2020! This marked the first time in this school’s history to do such an experiment.

The objectives of the experiment were twofold. First, to get students to familiarize themselves with the different dissection instruments and second, to observe the different mammal organs and organ systems that the students have studied in biology class with their own eyes.

The class began with an explanation of the objectives, the safety measures, the description of the dissection instruments and the description of the procedure. A lot of emphasis was put on the safety measures since students would be working with sharp instruments and live tissues and organs. After the explanations, I proceeded to do a demo dissection so that the students could see the flow of the dissection. Following that, the students carried out the dissection. I offered them to be in pairs if some were not comfortable doing the dissection alone, but most of them surprisingly wanted to do it alone and have one rat each.

It was nice to hear the positive comments and the positive reactions that students had during the experiment when they could see with their own eyes the theory that they have learned in class. After students had finished the main part of the dissection, they were required to call a teacher and identify specific organs from a list that was provided to them. Once they had successfully completed that task, they were free to explore more of the rat or they could finish up and clean up their space.

Overall, I was very pleased with how the class went and how the students approached the experiment with a sense of maturity and interest. We will be sure to repeat this experiment next year as well!

Jason de Tilly

*The pictures have been cropped.








November 30, 2020 愛・AIいもプロジェクト







Hi, its Jonathan the cameraman. Today, I will give a report on what some of the second year students have been doing in "Engineering Design" class.

ICT's "Engineering Design" is a course in which students find problems in their community or society by interviewing people and creating prototypes that solve them. Seven of this year's second year students decided to focus on the unused fields across the street from the Hakusanroku Campus and start the "Ai Ai Imo Project", which consists of two groups: "Agri-tech" and "Agri-business".

Last year, some students planted sweet potatoes in the same field as part of their club activity. Despite their hard efforts, most of the potatoes were dug up and eaten by monkeys. They partnered with Kanazawa Institute of Technology to test a wild animal defense robot. However, it proved unable to detect animals when set in a wild environment due to wind moving the plants in the background. Learning this, the "Agri-tech" group decided to create a system that detects monkeys in the wild using AI. The actual construction of the system started this semester. In November, they traveled to the national park in Tsubata-machi and took over 7,000 pictures of the monkeys there to increase the accuracy of the AI. These activities were even featured on national television "Kaga-noto Evening" on November 13. Damage to crops by wild animals is a serious problem in Japan and the group hopes to develop a system that can detect monkeys entering a field and notify the owner via their smartphone.

The "Agri-business" group started the "Ai Ai Imo Project" in April. Their goal was to utilize the unused field to grow and sell sweet potatoes. To not repeat the same mistake as last year, this year's second year students built an electric fence around the patch to shut out the monkeys. Thanks to this and some quick decisions, they were able to harvest over 90% of the sweet potatoes. Students measured the sugar content of the potatoes, which turned out to be a remarkably high 44 degrees. After roasting and eating the sweet potatoes, we confirmed that they were rich, sweet and delicious. The students rinsed and separated the sweet potatoes by size, which they then packaged and labeled. These sweet potatoes were branded "Kanjuku (sweet and ripe) beni-haruka" and were sold at the michi-no-eki "Sena" souvenir shop and local super market "Yorankaine". They were extremely popular and sold out in a couple of days.

Next year, we hope to improve the system created by the "Agri-tech" group and work with the local community to further promote the sweet potatoes to draw people to Hakusanroku.  

November 24, 2020 伝統芸能に触れる






One group of second year students have started a project targeting the local "important intangible cultural property", traditional performing art here in Hakusanroku, the puppet theatre "Deku-mawashi". In the first semester, they gathered information from the local community and evaluated its unique importance. Currently in the second semester, they are working on a project to improve its situation.

On November 15, we were able to listen to a lecture by chairman of Ningyo-joruri (traditional puppet theatre) in Tokushima prefecture, Martin Holman at the folk museum in Higashi-futakuchi, Hakusan city (the event was organized by Hakusan International Asosiation). You may have read the previous journal entry and know that it is the students second time to visit here. Our goal this time was to deepen our knowledge of Ningyo-joruri and ask the performers for feedback on the students' proposal.  

Listening to the lecture by Mr. Holman, we learned how he got involved with Ningyo-joruri, how to operate the puppets, and what his opinion is about the art. It was moving to listen to a foreigner speak so passionately about Japanese traditional art. After the lecture, we watched a part of the play "Taishokukan" and students were able to touch some of the puppets from Tokushima. It was informative and interesting to compare the differences between Ishikawa and Tokushima.

After the event, students continued to gather information from Mr. Holman and the Higashi-futakuchi members. The knowledge and feedback they gathered will improve their project even further.

Arihiro Kodaka

October 20, 2020 Mt.Hakusan Climb





Hello! It's Jonathan, the camera man. On October 18, 2020, the Nature & Adventure Club held their annual Mt. Hakusan climb. Mt. Hakusan means "white mountain" in Japanese and is located across Ishikawa prefecture and Gifu prefecture. It is 2702m high and is one of Japan's three sacred mountains along with Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama. The Nature & Adventure Club was scheduled to climb Hakusan in September but this was canceled because of a typhoon. October 18 was our last chance and we were rewarded for our patience with perfect skies. We gathered at front entrance of the Hakusanroku Campus at 5 am and drove to Betto-deai, the starting point on the Ishikawa prefecture side. It just snowed for the first time this year on the day before, and the parking lot was full of climbers, possibly prompted by the news.

We began our assent around 6:30 am. It was chilly at first but warmed up as the sun came up. The leaves were beautifully colored with many reds, oranges, and yellows. After Jinnosuke Cabin, the scenery opened up and we could see the panorama of mountains surrounding Hakusan. Students enjoyed this view, some with cameras and binoculars. For most of the students, this was their first time climbing Mt. Hakusan and the going was not always easy. However, students pushed on at their own pace. After Kuroboko-iwa, we could see the white peak across from Mida-ga-hara, with a blue sky background. The temperature began to decline as we approached Murodo. There, we geared up and made the final climb to the peak, Gozen-ga-mine.

The temperature dropped below 0 degrees celsius past Murodo and wind felt like a blizzard in mid winter. When we finally reached the top around 11 am, we were greeted by a freshly coated Gozen-ga-mine and blue skies so clear that you could see Noto peninsula in the distance. We enjoyed the awesome view as long as we could bear. Some students even began shouting for the fun of it. After returning to Murodo, we all ate lunch and began our decent. Temperatures finally rose again after Kugoboko-iwa and we could appreciate to cool breeze. We arrived at Betto-deai around 3:30 pm, concluding our trip with a group photo. The students' reactions to the experience differed. Some enjoyed it, some found it easier than they expected, and some vowed to never do it again. In any case, it was an unique opportunity to see new sites and try something new.


October 7, 2020 Music Club






Students at ICT are required to join a club when they enter the school: Design & Fabrication, Language & Culture, or Nature & Adventure. I’m sure you’ve read about those clubs’ activities in previous journal entries. This academic year, however, we have a new club: Music Club.

Music Club was started on the initiative of one of our second-year students, Taketora Inoue. He gained permission to start the club, found two other students who wanted to join, and we were able to procure some instruments from Kanazawa Campus thanks to the Dean of Students, Takimoto-sensei.

At the start of July, we were finally able to have our first Music Club get-together. Taketora taught Yuudai Matsuura how to put a clarinet together and how to blow into it. It looked like hard work! Meanwhile, Anna Tanaka began teaching herself the trumpet.

It’s not just the students in Music Club who have musical ability though. We have students who can play the piano, guitar, ukulele – and those are just the ones I’ve seen! As someone with no discernible musical talent, I’m always interested to watch people play instruments, and I think it’s great that we have students at ICT with different interests and talents. Of course, STEM education is very important here at ICT, but it’s also important to nurture our students’ artistic abilities too.

James Taylor (English Department)

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