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Konnichiwa!

Faculty and students from Japan visit NCC

Two professors and four architecture students from the National Institute of Technology, Akashi College, Japan, visited Northampton Community College (NCC) September 9 -11 as part of a month-long exchange program in Pennsylvania.

During their weekend visit, Japanese students Miki Nakamura, Motohiro Mukai, Ryotaro Kinoshita, and Haruka Kinoshita met NCC students in the new Residence Halls. They also had the opportunity to tour Bethlehem with members of Bethlehem's Sister City Commission, which sends students to Japan every other year.

Students stayed with host families, including Dustin and Alex Briggs, communication faculty. The Briggs took Motohiro Mukai and Ryotaro Kinoshita hiking at the Trexler Nature Preserve where they explored the sustainably-built observation structure and got a glimpse of American bison grazing.

Akashi Professors Kuzai Kudoh and Toshihiro Hiraishi met with numerous NCC faculty and staff, including Professor of Architecture Ken Trionfo. He gave the visitors a tour of the college's architecture studios. The Japanese students sat in on one of Professor Trionfo's classes and observed student presentations of their first-semester architecture projects.

Kudoh and Hiraisha both teach sustainable design and construction, with Kudoh having particular expertise in shou sugi ban, or burnt wood siding. Before leaving, the professors toured the East 40 Community Garden and had the opportunity to see the charred wood tiny house project that student Evi Kim created as a capstone project for Kelly Allen's Nature of the Environment class.

In October, Professor of Art Tom Shillea and Mark Koberlein, art instructor, will travel to Akashi to prepare NCC's first study abroad program to Japan. The trip, with a focus on communication and Japanese art, will take place over spring break 2018.