An exchange event was held for students from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and Hitotsubashi students


On Monday 20 May, a total of 30 students, mainly third- and fourth-year undergraduates from the Carlson School of Management (CSOM) at the University of Minnesota (UMN) visited our Kunitachi Campus and met with Hitotsubashi University (HU) students through various programs. UMN is one of the universities with which HU has signed international and departmental exchange agreements. Their visit was an integral component of CSOM's IBUS 3033W coursework, encompassing a two-week immersion in Japan and South Korea, aimed at gaining firsthand knowledge and understanding of cross-cultural communication within a global business context.

(For the full program of the day, see the website of the Centre for International Education and Exchange)

Lecture on the Japanese tea by Prof. Yamashita

As part of the day's program, a workshop, entitled 'Japanese Green Tea Workshop; How can we turn knowledge about traditional cultural products into cross-cultural value?', was presented by Professor Yuko Yamashita (Faculty of Commerce and Management). In the workshop, focus group interviews were conducted to discuss the adaptation of products with traditional and cultural backgrounds in cross-cultural markets, using Japanese green tea as an example. First, Prof Yamashita explained the roots of Japanese tea, its production process and how it is brewed, followed by a demonstration of how to make matcha and sencha tea.

Heated group discussions

The participants were then divided into groups, and students from the Faculty of Commerce and Management and the Management Analysis Program (MBA), who are studying marketing in the seminar and workshop led by Prof Yamashita, joined the discussions. Prior to the day's workshop, members of Prof Yamashita's seminar prepared the central and supplementary questions. After tasting sencha and matcha, participants discussed the value of the cultural background of Japanese tea, its health benefits and the tea-making manner. The CSOM students initially enjoyed the hospitality of Japanese tea, but were gradually drawn into the marketing discussions and eventually enjoyed the serious debates between the management students from the two universities. The day's discussion will be analyzed using qualitative text analysis by students from the Faculty of Commerce and Management.

Hitotsubashi University has international exchange agreements with more than 160 universities around the world, and its global exchanges will continue to expand in the future.

Feedback from CSOM students (① Learning from the workshop, ② Impression of the day)

Tsundrul Palmo:

① "I learned there is a big difference between how we as Americans view tea compared to people in Japan. I realized all tea here is good enough to be ceremonial grade tea."

② "I regretted not having chosen to do a full semester at Hitotsubashi. I saw myself being happy here."

Roscoe Torbenson:

① "Although I saw that authenticity has many different dimensions, if one of the pillars is knocked away, authenticity collapses. I saw that when we talked about tea we communicated best through analogy."

② "I did not know about the level of connection Hitotsubashi has with Minnesota. I think the students were more aware of Minnesota than most Americans are, and I was very impressed with the questions they asked."

Group photo after the workshop