For this month’s ILC Relay, we’ve showcased three foreign residents who live in Iwate, all of whom came to teach at the ILC English Camp held in August 2018. One has only been here about a year, one has lived in Iwate for a few years, and one has been here for a long time! All of them have different experiences in Iwate, but they all share an interest in the ILC as well as a passion for cultivating young minds with an international outlook.

The August 2018 camp was held over a three day period for 38 middle school and high school students… only in English.The topic? The International Linear Collider. Students learned about particle physics and the mysteries of the origins of the universe, which can be pretty challenging topics. But that was okay. There were about 10 English teachers living in Iwate there to help, and they didn’t have to understand every little detail. The goal of the camp was for each team to come up with a presentation, in English, on what they would do to make Iwate a more international place, and they succeeded with flying colors.

Jason, Darren, and Charlotte are here to tell us more!


Jason Hill
Currently lives in Hachimantai City
Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Charlotte Wright
Currently lives in Morioka City (but previously lived in Kamaishi)
Originally from Dallas, Texas, USA

Darren Thai
Currently lives in Morioka City
Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand

What was your impression of the ILC English camp? How about of the ILC in general?

Jason: I really enjoyed the ILC English Camp. It was well organized and gave the participating students an amazing opportunity to use their English skills to engage with others and learn about the ILC. Having them do a final promotional presentation on the ILC was great to see. Some day they will be leaders in the community, and I have a feeling the ILC will be a big part of their lives. Actually, my major in university was in biological sciences and my minor was in physics. When I heard about the ILC coming to Iwate, I was instantly excited because I knew they’d be continuing research on the Higgs boson and the origin of our universe, and I thought it would be an amazing place to build a collider.

Students working on their presentations

Charlotte: The ILC English Camp was one of the events I helped coordinate and facilitate. I was extremely excited to learn that the English Camp’s theme would be the ILC as, prior to the Camp, I didn’t know a lot about it, and was really curious to learn more about what it will do. I was very impressed by Iwate’s students, as they continually pushed themselves to use as much English as they could, and was also impressed by the facilitators and guest lecturers who did an excellent job at instilling a sense of the importance of the ILC. The Camp was a great way for the students to learn what the ILC can accomplish for world science, and for them to prepare to welcome the ILC and its researchers to Iwate with open arms.

Darren: My highlights were the visit to the ILC Open Labo, and the presentations made by each homeroom group. During the site visit I was able to learn about various things Iwate people had invented / developed. Moreover, seeing students express themselves in ways they wouldn’t usually in a classroom setting was a breath of fresh air! I thought the ILC was a challenging (especially for the non-science-y students and ALTs) topic to tackle and have as an English camp theme. In saying that, it’s a very relevant topic to the potential future of Iwate, so getting the students to be aware of it now was a really good idea. For me though, it’s not about the science. Instead it’s the all about the impact it’ll have to this area and the prospect of revitalizing an underpopulated area of Japan.

The ILC Open Labo

How do you see the ILC changing Iwate?

Darren: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) brought together thousands of researchers (and their families) from numerous countries. I believe the ILC will have a similar if not exact same impact. The main outcome being that Iwate will become a more global prefecture; dare I say the most global prefecture in Japan? There will be a need and demand for services to not just be English speaking friendly but also friendly to other languages. In terms of language education in Iwate, this may warrant a need for more schools to offer language courses on top of the mandatory English ones. Iwate will surely change for the better.

Jason: I feel having the ILC will really energize Iwate. There will be a lot of changes to grapple with, especially in local areas. With an influx of workers, engineers and support staff, there is a lot local people will need to adjust to. However, I see an explosion of infrastructure that will bring many benefits to people. I also foresee chances for businesses to come into the area and create new jobs that previously did not exist in the prefecture, as well as a chance for local people to interact and form new friendships with people coming from abroad. 

Charlotte: I see the ILC as helping to promote a stronger interest in science in Iwate’s communities, as well as bringing more internationalization and cross-cultural exchange to the areas surrounding the ILC. This could change Iwate in regards to its schools, universities, and towns and communities in general, with more schools and universities putting focus on sciences. I’m excited to see how research technology would also develop in Iwate, and can see more research facilities opening up, as well as community centers for culture exchange between Iwate locals and foreigners working on the ILC.

Students giving a presentation in English

If the ILC is realized in Iwate, many researchers will come from around the world to live here. What areas/culture/things of Iwate would you like foreign researchers to know about?

Charlotte: I want foreign researchers to know about Iwate’s beautiful coastline! Of course all of Iwate is beautiful, but I know that many people haven’t visited Iwate’s coast because of how far it is from the Shinkansen line. All the towns on the Sanriku coast are blessed with absolutely gorgeous natural scenery and nature. I especially recommend the Kamaishi Daikannon, the Rikuzentakata Miracle Pine, Otsuchi’s Hourai Jima and Miyako’s Jodogahama beach. The coast is also guaranteed to have some of the freshest and best seafood and sushi. Everyone should try uni, hoya, and sashimi!

Darren: Iwate’s the second biggest prefecture in Japan and that means there’s a whole lot of nature to see. The areas just outside of Morioka such as Mt. Hachimantai and Koiwai Farm in Shizukuishi are highlights for me; their views are just too good to pass up. I’ve also got a soft spot for the coast due to living far away from it, so I always relish my time while I’m there. In terms of culture, nothing beats Sansa Odori in my books (note: Sansa Odori is the world’s largest taiko drum parade, and it takes place every August in Morioka). It was the first thing I experienced when I arrived and it will surely be the last thing I see should I decide to leave one day. 

Jason: I feel people that come and work in Iwate should be aware of the amazing history and traditions that people have here. There are daily customs and routines that are not seen anywhere else in Japan. Artisan crafts like Nanbu Tekki ironware and urushi lacquerware, and well as local foods such as Morioka Reimen and Jajamen are traditions that new residents should become acquainted with. Not to mention local manners and language. It took me a little while to adjust Iwate, but now there is no other place I’d rather call home.

Mountains in Iwate (courtesy of Jason Hill)
Follow his photography page for more beautiful photos of Iwate


ILCリレー ⑬





Jason Hillさん(ジェイソン・ヒルさん)
出身 エドモントン、アルバータ州、カナダ

Charlotte Wrightさん(シャーロット・ライトさん)
出身 ダラス市、テキサス州、アメリカ

Darren Thaiさん(ダレン・タイさん)
出身 クライストチャーチ、ニュージーランド


Q) ILCイングリッシュキャンプの感想は?ILCについてはどのように感じましたか?

Jasonさん) ILCイングリッシュキャンプが非常に楽しかったです。運営体制もよかったし、参加者にとって英語力を最大に活用しながらILCを学習する有意義な経験でした。最後にILCをテーマにしたプレゼンテーションの場もあってとてもよかったと思います。きっと彼らは地域のリーダーになっていき、ILCにおいて大きな役割を果たしていくと期待しています。実は、私は大学で生物学を専攻したのですが、副専攻は物理学でした。ILCが岩手で実現されるかもしれない、と聞いたとたんにワクワクしました。なぜなら、ヒッグス粒子や宇宙誕生の研究が継続されるだけでなく、加速器を設置するのに岩手が最適な場所だと聞いたからです。


Charlotteさん) 私はILCイングリッシュキャンプのコーディネートや運営の協力をしました。キャンプのテーマはILCであると聞いたときに、ワクワクしました。キャンプの前は、あまりILCのことが分からなかったが、興味があったのでキャンプで理解が深まると信じたからです。また、できるだけたくさんの英語を活用しようとする学生にとても感動しましたし、ファシリテーターや講師がILCの意義を強調することができましたので、見事に成功したと思います。ILCはいずれ世界の科学に貢献していくため、学生がどのようにすればILCと研究者を歓迎するか、考える機会となったと思います。

Darrenさん) 私にとって一番よかったのが、ILCオープンラボへの見学と、各グループのプレゼンテーションでした。見学した施設では、岩手県民が開発したものについてたくさん学ぶことができました。その上、普段の教室環境でなかなか表に出ない学生たちだが積極的にコミュニケーションをとっているシーンを見て、感動しました。ILC自体は、キャンプのテーマとして文系の学生や私たち英語教師にとってかなり難しいトピックでしたが、岩手の未来を大きく変える可能性があるため、今から学生に勉強させたほうがいいと思うので、とてもよかったと思います。私的に、科学の発展はもちろんのこと、ILCが過疎地域の活性化につながると思いますので、やりがいのある計画だと思います。


Q) ILCがどのように岩手県を変えますか?


Jasonさん) ILCが岩手を元気にするのではないかと思います。ILC関係者、技術者、サポートスタッフ等がこの地域に来ることによって、地元の人が様々な変化に対応する必要があり、最初に慣れない部分もあるかと思います。しかし、ILCを受け入れるためのインフラが圧倒的に増加し、より多くの人に利益をもたらすと思います。企業も新しく立地され、県民が今までに携わったことのない仕事に就ける可能性もあります。さらに、地元の人が外国人と触れ合い、友情関係をつくる機会にもなります。

Charlotteさん) ILCが県民の科学への関心を高め、候補地周辺の国際化や異文化交流を増やす機会となると思います。これによって、岩手の学校、大学、街などが変わり、多くの学校と大学が科学分野をより充実させるきっかけとなると思います。研究技術も岩手で開発されることに期待しています。地元の人とILCに関わっている外国人の交流を促す公民館などの施設もきっと増えると思います。


Q) ILCが実現されれば、世界中から研究者が岩手に来ます。海外研究者に岩手の「この場所・文化・モノ」を知ってほしい!というようなおススメがありますか。


Darrenさん) 岩手は北海道に次いで2番目に広い都道府県であるため、自然がたくさんあります。私は、八幡平や雫石町の小岩井農場など盛岡周辺から見える景色が好きです。また、沿岸部は、遠く離れているからこそ、行くたびに、その珍しい風景をすごく楽しんでいます。文化でいうと、さんさ踊りに勝るものはありません。盛岡に来て、最初に見たイベントがさんさ踊りで、もし盛岡を離れるときが来たら、最後に見るイベントがさんさ踊りでしょう。

Jasonさん) 岩手で暮らすなら、岩手の素晴らしい歴史や習慣を学ぶべきだと思います。南部鉄器や漆などの伝統工芸や、盛岡冷麺やじゃじゃ麺などの郷土料理がありますので、ぜひ色々調べてください。地元の独特なマナーや方言もあります。私は、岩手に慣れるために時間がかかりましたが、今は、他に暮らしたいと思う場所はありません。

岩手の山々(写真提供:Jason Hillさん)
他にJasonさんが撮った写真を見たい方は、ホームページ をクリック。