Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

April 8, 2019 Special STEM Week!

Hello, it's Jonathan the camera man. Last month before spring break, ICT held it's special extracurricular activity week in the Innovation Hub. The Innovation Hub is the building next to ICT that contains the Institute for Regional Revitalization and Innovation (IRRA) of Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) and is the site for innovation targeting the local community and rural areas in collaboration with various corporations and KIT students.

During March 4 to 13, ICT invited professors from KIT and forerunners in various professional fields to conduct special classes on themes such as art, science, engineering, and design. I was able to visit some of these special classes and see all the interesting and cool things students were doing before the end of the school year. Here's my report.


On March 4, the course "Learning how to create a sustainable society from evolution" was held by honorary professor Ryoji Suzuki and professor Ryuichi Sato. In this course, students learned about current robot technology with ideas inspired from animals and wildlife. The students already experienced making robots with LEGO EV3 using biomimicry in Engineering Design this semester, and this class took that experience one step further by introducing various examples of robots actually used in our society to create a sustainable world.


The class on Match 5 was titled "A fun way to utilize AI" and was held by Takayuki Fukuda (KIT) and Takuya Umeki (KRI). In this class, students learned about artificial intelligence that can learn text and images. In the second half, students and teachers were divided into two teams for an ideathon in which they used the AI to actually design and create a program. Team A created a AI that can determine the mood of someone from their facial expression. Students took pictures of themselves with various faces, which they fed to the AI to be studied and learned. Team B created a system that recognized the weather outside and projected a different atmosphere on the classroom wall for a more attractive study environment. Similarly, they gave the AI various images of sunny and rainy weather. Both systems worked surprisingly well considering the limited time each team had.

Photography and Art

The course "Art and self expression using photography" was held for two days, March 7-8, by Yuichiro Ito of CIVILTOKYO. Mr. Ito is a designer based in Tokyo and is was one of the forerunning professionals ICT invited as instructors for this special week. After a unique introduction using photographs to set the stage, the class went right to work. Students were divided into pairs to create a photo art book. There were no restrictions and students were free to express themselves anyway they chose. Students were excited with the interesting assignment and went about designing their ultimate art book. Some students took and edited photos in Photoshop, while others created works of art using post-its, or a blackboard and chalk. On the afternoon of the second day, students gave presentations of their photo art books, which you can view in the videos below.

Design and Storytelling

On March 11, we were joined by Takayuki Ishii and Keita Furusawa of Shitateya-to-Shokunin. This class was titled "The Force of Storytelling." It began with an introduction of what a story is and how to tell one. Then, students were divided into two teams, to create their own story. Each team was given a persona from the Japanese anime "Doraemon", and were given the task to dig into their personalities to find a conflict or problem worthy of story development. Students brainstormed and narrowed down ideas for their characters, and created a story with an original "futuristic Doraemon item." You can watch their final presentations in the video below.


The final special course was conducted by associate professor Junichi Sagara of KIT. This course was titled "Let's experience DIY bio research. Genetic analysis using BentoLab." Students learned how to examine the DNA of various plants using BentoLab and Mr. Sagara gave lectures on the history of genetic modification and its ethical problems and restrictions. Also, university students joined each group and Hakusanroku students had a chance to interact with their older and more advanced seniors in the biology field.


Altogether, I believe the special classes were an enormous success. They were short bursts of in-depth learning experiences in a wide range of design and engineering fields. They were interesting, new, and taught by forerunners or specialists of that field. It was a fresh and stimulating experience for the students, which I would not be surprised to see having an impact on what path they decide to follow in the future. Also, I was happy to see many signs of growth from the students. Many of the Photoshop skills students used to create the photo books were learned in Computer Skills class. Each team used the design thinking methods in their groups, which they used countless times over the year. They were quick and organized when creating a presentation, dividing the team members up depending on their skills. It was like seeing a team of superheros who fought threw many battles together and understand each other's strength and weaknesses. I don't believe the students really realize this growth themselves, but these are important skills for innovators of the future. Go go superheros of ICT!



2019年4月8日 3月の特別課外週間




34日に行われた「生物の進化に学ぶ持続可能社会」は金沢工業大学の鈴木良次名誉教授と佐藤隆一教授が登場し、自然界や生物の仕組みや応用した最新のロボティクス研究についての講義が行われました。白山麓キャンパスの学生はすでにエンジニアリングデザインでバイオミミクリーを使ったロボットをLEGO EV3で作る活動をしており、その経験を踏まえて、持続可能社会のために実際に使用されているロボットの例を取り上げながら知識をさらに深める内容となっていました。








最後の特別授業は金沢工業大学の相良純一准教授による「DIYバイオを体験してみよう!BentoLabによる遺伝子解析実験 ~植物DNAの抽出と制限酵素処理、電気泳動実験~」と題され、学生はBentoLabを使った遺伝子解析実験や、相良准教授による遺伝子組み換えの歴史やその規制についての学習をしました。各グループに大学生も参加し、生物学の先輩と交流する機会にもなりました。




March 29, 2019 Reflection on the first year at Hakusanroku campus

Final exams finished on February 28th, followed by the special courses by invited instructors from March 4th to the 13th. The closing ceremony was on the 14th and graduation on the 15th. Now, all students have returned to their families and Hakusanroku campus is unusually quiet.

It has been a dense experience this year with many ups and downs ever since the first-year students first arrived on March 30th last year.

On March 11th, we celebrated this academic year's final birthday with sushi. Starting with our first birthday party in May, we have celebrated every student's birthday with ice cream or pizza depending on their request. I am looking forward to how the students will celebrate the new students' birthdays from 2019.

As we quietly await the arrival of our new students, I also look forward to seeing the students interact in various activities including the three new club activities starting in April:

  1. Nature & Adventure
  2. Design & Fabrication
  3. Language & Culture

Shinobu Ohara


2019年3月29日 白山麓キャンパス初年度を終えて





1) Nature & Adventure 

2) Design & Fabrication 

3) Language & Culture




March 28, 2019 Snowman Festival

On February 8, several ICT students and I participated in the Snowman Festival at Shiramine district. This year's snow is minimal especially compared to last year's record-breaking snowfall, and even Shiramine, which is regularly known for its heavy snow only had partial snow left on the roadside. However, the ICT students and the volunteers from Kanazawa Institute of Technology joined forces to make many snowmen for the enjoyment of the local and visiting people. As I was walking around and admiring the snowmen, I met the head priest of Rinsaiji temple, who invited me to see the Gezanbutsu (Budda's decent from the mountains) statues. Gratefully accepting this offer, I followed him to the main hall of the temple to view the many Buddhist statues once located at Gozengamine (the top of Mt. Hakusan). These Buddhist statues, including the Dozo-kanze-onbosatsu-ryuzo, were placed in Rinsaiji temple after the Buddhist monks were forced to dissent the mountain due to the Ordinance Distinguishing Shinto and Buddhism in the Meiji period. If you visit the temple, the head priest will tell you the details in depth. Thanks to his wisdom, I was able to deepen my knowledge on Hakusanroku history. The sun had set by the time I left the temple, and the streets were beautifully lit with illumination that, when combined with the lamps from the shops, added a wonderful atmosphere to the area. We enjoyed walking and trying food from some of the shops before heading home.

ICT Shuntaro Yamazaki



国際高専 山崎俊太郎

March 27, 2019 Smash Brothers Nostalgia

When I was in college my close friends and I had a routine we followed every week. We would finish school or work and then meet at my friend’s house. My friend, Ryan, had gym equipment in his basement. We would go to his house to workout about three times a week. More importantly, Ryan had a T.V. and a gamecube. So, after working out we would often gather around the T.V. and play “Super Smash Brothers Melee.” It was a fun way to end our day of hard work.

This happened over twelve years ago! However, recently I have been joining the learning mentors and the students after learning session. About once a week, we gather and play the newest Smash Brothers game. It is really great to see everyone laughing and having fun, just like when I was in college. I really find it interesting that even though the technology and my life has changed a lot the atmosphere still feels the same. I think video games are usually seen as a waste of time or something negative that students do. However, this time has reminded me that all tools can be used for good or bad purposes. In this case, I can really see how video games bring people together.

Edward Basquill Jr.

2019年3月27日 スマッシュブラザーズノスタルジア




March 12, 2019

Hello everyone. I’m James Taylor, one of the English teachers at ICT.

We’re just a few days away from the end of the academic year – our first as ICT and our first at Hakusanroku Campus. I’m sure all the students, staff and faculty are eager for the spring vacation to start, but the end of the year is the perfect time to look back on what we have done and achieved over the past 12 months, as well as to consider how we can improve in our future efforts.

Personally, I have experienced many new things during the past year. I have taught a writing course; shared a class with three other teachers; helped facilitate an international conference; participated in a Design Thinking workshop for visiting students; been a guest on a live radio show; started recording my own radio show; seen monkeys, snakes and birds of prey from my living room window – all for the first time. I’ve also had the chance to work closely with colleagues from other disciplines, with whom I don’t think I would’ve had much interaction with on any other campus.

I’m looking forward to the holiday, but I’m also looking forward to meeting our new first year students at the end of March and seeing how our second year students get on as they prepare to go to New Zealand. It’ll be interesting to see how they, and ICT in general, develop over the next year.








HOMECampus LifeHakusanroku Journal