No.24: Never Give In and Keep Going!

3rd Year, School of Law

Munenobu Chosa
<Graduated from Kagoshima Prefectural Tsurumaru High School>

“HU Student Voices” gives our prospective students an insight into the perspectives of HU students. As the 24th interview in this series, we talked to Munenobu Chosa, 3rd year student in the School of Law.

Mr. Chosa looks great in his uniform. He started learning “Iaido” (A type of swordplay) after entering university. During the interview, he talked a lot to us about the unique pleasures of Hiroshima University, the interesting factors of studying law, and things you need to know before starting preparation for exams. It’s a must see for people joining the School of Law, and even for people not joining the School of law!

Why did you decide to apply for Hiroshima University?

To be honest, I actually wanted to go to Japan Coast Guard Academy. Since I was in elementary school, I had a high respect for coast guards who protect our sea. After seeing my selection results from the Japan Coast Guard Academy, I decided to take entrance exam for Hiroshima University. Going to a university in my hometown was also one of my choices, but I had stronger feelings to “learn more about the outside world” and “open up my mind to new ideas”. That’s why I decided to leave my hometown.

So, you switched your feelings and started to aim for Hiroshima University. Didn’t you have any anxiety towards changing your university choice all of a sudden?

Honestly, I still had a bit of shock to know that I didn’t get into the university of my first choice. However, I had stronger feelings that I must keep trying for my next choice, and carry out what I had studied so far. At cram school I belonged to a class that aims to enter National Universities, so I had been preparing for not only for the Coast Guard Academy, but also for Hiroshima University’s secondary examination. For the School of law, we were examined the knowledge of Japanese and English. Because I did pretty well in Japanese, I was able to stay surprisingly calm throughout the actual test.

Why did you choose the School of Law?

If I was unable to become a coast guard, my second choice was to become a public official or work in the field of law enforcement. In university, I wanted to learn further about law, and build skills for my future job. So I chose the School of Law.

After entering university, how was it learning about the world of law?

My whole image of “law” has completely changed. I used to think law was “not flexible” “stubborn”, and “cold”. However, now I have learned that law is actually quite full of human traits. I found that there are many previous judgements that have different ways of interpretation, supported by different research theories. Why does this happen? It is because each individual researcher has different values, and that affects the way of how they use law. For lawyers, I started to realize that the most important aspect is to be “humanistic”.

“Law is full of human traits”, says Mr. Chosa.

I see, that must be something you can only realize after actually studying. What was the most interesting class you have taken so far?

What is most interesting so far is seminar style (group discussion) class. Students bring in what they learned and do a presentation: Students debate, teachers give advices or questions. There are not many lectures centered around discussions in high school years right? Of course, it is not easy to prepare for the class, but it is interesting to learn about other people’s ideas.

For 3rd year students of the School of Law, you are allocated to a research seminar, right?

Yes, I am supervised by Professor Nobuto Yoshinaka in the “Criminal Law” research seminar. Right after entering university, I was more interested in the “Constitutional Law”. I was interested in knowing about how people should protect the ideas for liberalism and democracy, and how to protect the constitutional policies that were created upon many different ideas and points of view. I chose Professor Yoshinaka’s research seminar for the purpose of approaching these problems from a point of view of criminal law. I would like to gather what I am learning currently and put it in as part of my Bachelor’s thesis.

Apparently there is not much reference material on his current research topic.
“That is why it’s rewarding”, says Mr. Chosa.

You are already preparing for your Bachelor’s thesis! Are you thinking about going on to Graduate School?

Yes, I think so. The more I research, the more I feel like studying in Bachelor’s Program is not enough for me. I am thinking that continuing to study in the Graduate School of Social Science and becoming a researcher in the future could be a path for me. However, I also have a desire to become a public official and contribute to the nation and community. I think I would like to calmly, slowly decide my answer with the rest of my university life.

By the way, is the thing right next to you a bamboo sword? I was curious about it from the beginning of the interview.

No, this is a practice sword. I am in an Iaido circle, and after this interview, I have to go to practice. I started Iaido after joining university.

The members of Iaido circle

Iaido! What triggered you to begin?

When looking back at my family tree, it so happened that my ancestors were warriors.  Since I am holding the bloodline to a warrior, I wanted to challenge myself to the ways of a Japanese warrior. Iaido is a type of martial arts where you memorize a certain “form”, and perform it. It is not like Kendo where you fight with an opponent that you can see with your own eyes, but because you are fighting with an imagined “self”, making one “form” could drain a lot of energy.

His performance of an Iaido form. His voice shouted when the sword is flung was very powerful.

You seem to be having a very fulfilling lifestyle with circle activities and studying for research! Did you find any other good things about joining Hiroshima University?

Many Hiroshima University students live on their own in a city called “Saijyo” where the Higashi-Hiroshima branch campus locates, so we live in a very close distance. It is fairly easy for us to go out to eat after circle practice, or study in a group at somebody’s house late at night. I think this sense of distance is unique to Hiroshima University, and it’s extremely comfortable. It’s also fun because you are able to create more friends outside of your school, and it’s amusing to teach each other about our specialties. Although I can’t understand over half of what the science course students are saying. (Hahaha) However, I think I was able to grasp a broader view of the world because I stopped fixing on my own ideas and perspectives.

Lastly, please give us an enthusiastic message to your underclassmen who are thinking about entering Hiroshima University!

Not only for preparation of exams, but I want you to “never give up”. There is many times when you might want to “give up”, such as when your practice test’s results seemed to never improve, or when your center examination’s results were devastating. Nonetheless, time will continue to tick, and new practice tests and examinations will continue to come by. What’s important is never to think that “I can’t do it anymore”, and just continue to try your best for the next chance.

But this isn’t always easy right? When you feel like nothing is going right, I suggest imagining campus life. There are many photographs in pamphlets introducing the university, so looking at those could help you imagine your campus life. By thinking what you could do at the university, instead of thinking about the entrance exam as a goal, your feelings will naturally become more excited. Furthermore, even after joining university, I think you would be able to have a very fulfilling campus life.

June 16, 2016
Reports and Photograph: i, G (PR Group)
Location: Meeting room, Administration Bureau Building