We started the EGAKU Program for three high schools at Kaetsu Ariake Junior & Senior High School in July. This is a 5 part workshop program to develop the creative expression and self-awareness of a group of voluntary participants from three private high schools - each with their own distinctive character. The second session took place at Fujimigaoka Educational Institute in a terrace room with a phenomenal view.

The theme was “Origin.” This being the second session, we presented them with a somewhat abstract theme. Despite everyone’s initial reaction that that this was a tough theme, once they got going it was like a switch went off and they appeared to be utterly absorbed, each of them bringing to life their microcosm of “Origin”.

For one student the creative process started with the question: “Why were we born as human beings in the first place?” Another student approached painting the theme by contemplating “Shifting emotions – the many mixed emotions humans we have inside, how we find ourselves hating something we loved, and at other times coming to love what we hate.” Another created their work from the perspective “origin = the person I want to be.”

The theme “origin” was a spring board for each to create their own work based on their own unique thought process, through this display of creative expression the second session was again a powerful experience. We’re looking forward to the next session.

We'd like to share some reflections on the session from the participants:

"It made me think that no matter how old you are, the way you feel (some things) are alike - no matter how many years you've lived perhaps what lies at the core of every human being is the same."
"There are so many different ways of thinking so I want to be open to everything and absorb everything I can, without rejecting any kind of opinion."
"The first thing that popped into my head when I thought of "origin" was my mother - which surprised me. She's not someone I usually think about but I guess when it comes to the theme of "origin" she comes to mind."
"I hope to communicate my opinions in my school life just like I do in my pictures."
"By painting my ‘Origin’ I think I managed to clarify my thoughts on what I want to be. Going forward I want to live without compromising my values."
"It made me think that perhaps I should change the way I see things. When I go to university I want to connect with all kinds of people and participate in this kind of workshop."

Theme: Origin
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 15 participants, 11 junior and senior high school students and teaching staff
from Fujimigaoka High School for Girls, Kaetsu Ariake Junior & Senior High School, Seigakuin
Junior & Senior High School 

Venue: Fujimigaoka High School for Girls
Facilitator: Kimi Hasebe
Staff: Ryoko Nakamura
※ This program was run by White Ship’s non-profit arm, ELAB.