had always seen this statue round my way but never paid it much attention. one day the kid i have a weird bromance with said the statue represented a man who was poor but always studying.
could relate to the poor part but felt crappy about not studying. hitting the books not necessarily in the classroom but at the office and in the boardroom—study harder to learn about international marketing and sales cuz waiting around for a tutor hasn’t been working. but there are other things i study and am more passionate about than my bread and butter–or, should i say my nato and onigiri job.
the statue of ninomiya is my latest obsession. it can be found in front of most elementary schools. ninomiya was born into poverty and was an orphan in his teens but homeboy hit the books hardcore. his scholastic inclinations combined with diligence and moral compass led him to be a pioneer in feudal japan in regards to agricultural development as well as implementing a system of economic empowerment not dissimilar to micro-finance. ninomiya was a self-made legend loved by locals, respected by daimyos and honored by the emperor.
over the next 20 years, MEXT will recruit 300,000 international students on the "G 30" project to prepare future leaders to tackle global issues relating to IT, agriculture, etc. the english-language curriculum at japan’s top 13 universities is off the charts. a lot of these students will come from developing countries. and many may relate to ninomiya if they ever come across his story.