【Setting Sail XI】Read Ten Thousand Books, Travel Ten Thousand Miles

By Tue, 14 Mar 2017 GMT

Beijing, 13th March, 2017 (BISTU)--- I was honored to have the opportunity of learning with University of Fukui together with other three BISTU schoolmates. In the first place I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the State and BISTU for such an invaluable chance and financial support. Learning in Japan adds to my personal life experiences and colors to my youth.  

When firstly arriving in Japan, everything was fresh and interesting. Quietness and tidiness is the first impression that I had when I stepped out of the airport. From Haneda to Narita and then to Komatsu airports, there was no noise or trash on the ground. My destination is University of Fukui located in the county of Fukui, close to Japanese Sea in Honshu Island. It is a key portal on Japanese coastal areas and a vital transportation hub from northeast and north to Tokyo of Japan. Fukui Ken is also the place whose average life span tops all other prefectures of Japan.  

Each Friday is the long-awaited, interesting learning on culture industry in Fukui. This course is aimed at offering more opportunities for international students to touch Japanese culture and society. The areas we visited are almost all famous for their feature industries. Echizen cutlery shows development of Japanese iron production in forge-welding steel tools. Of course, these were originally from China. Echizen Washi paper, the paper invented by Chinese and then learnt by Korea and Japan, is the unique Washi paper made with special Japanese materials and techniques. After 1,200 years, Washi Paper has been generalized in Japanese everyday life and listed as World Intangible Heritage. Echizen bamboo doll is the dolls of human or various animals made with Echizen bamboos. We have also explored Japanese tea ceremony and buckwheat production. All raw materials are from Japan and we were taught by experienced local teachers.  



  Echizen cutlery 


  Learning Echizen cutlery  


  Echizen Washi paper  


  Echizen bamboo dolls  

The Institute where I studied is Surface Design Engineering Institute, i.e., an institute focusing on tribology--- the study of science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion. It includes the study and application of the principles of friction, lubrication and wear. Tribology is a branch of mechanical engineering and materials science. My research is on the effect of surface texture on surface friction wearing-in and friction. From the perspective of my course at BISTU--- Vehicle Engineering, it is a new pathway. However, my research interest is auto parts or mechanical parts and thus I am pretty interested in this subject. In the institute, we start from basic ideas and read academic journals in Japanese or English. Half a year later, we begin to study specialty content of the institute.     


Friction testing machine  

I am the first exchange student of my supervisor in the Institute. With our any Chinese predecessors and enough proficiency in Japanese language, I was pretty worried at the beginning. The support and help of my supervisor and other seniors is very much appreciated and I gradually could follow. Research meeting is hosted on weekly basis, attended by three to four students, including 4th grade of undergraduate, postgraduates, and doctoral students. It is a very important meeting. Institute members, based on their own projects, generalize publications and speeches of international level conferences which involve the projects. Questions are asked and answered. Therefore every member has to be very familiar with their own projects. In addition, supervisor would offer further questions and generalization. Such meetings for everyone are challenge. But in the challenge we are happy.  

Learning in Japan, supervisors will never tell you what you shall, or shall not, do. Rather, they give you a director and you just follow the direction. You choose your own methods, research, advance, and then experiment to complete data analysis and draw conclusions. Japan adopts supervisor-based system. Supervisors will give each student a research pathway to follow. You could follow this pathway from undergraduate to doctoral studies. It is true that there is no end to learning. In my research Institute, there are some Japanese doctoral students who specialize in research on  lubricating oil from undergraduate studies.   

April is the graduation season. All graduating students will have parties to share their experiences in research, life and learning with the Institute.  


  Graduating seniors of the Institute  


New Year’s Party  

Lectures are delivered on small class basis, with tens or just several students in one class. All of my lectures at Fukui University are delivered in English. I chose a course Materials Design. Learning language is also a fun. I learn Japanese with students from different Chinese universities.  


Read ten thousand book and travel ten thousand miles. This trip has made me think differently about my life, offered new understanding of learning, and built up new expectations on my future.