JCMU was back on the con trail last weekend as they attended Lansing’s own anime convention, Shuto Con! Shuto Con is an annual Japanese media convention held in the Lansing Center and the Radisson Hotel in downtown Lansing, Michigan. From March 17th through the 19th, we hosted a booth at Shuto Con to highlight our study abroad opportunities in Japan for convention participants.
Anime, manga, and other popular forms of Japanese pop culture are what initially introduced many of our students to Japan. However, few people at these cons are aware of the study abroad opportunities available that would allow them to actually go to Japan – and that’s where we come in!
Attendees of all ages stopped by the JCMU booth to discover our study abroad options in Hikone. Many were excited to learn about the various collegiate programs we offer, and some younger students were surprised to discover that we administer the Michigan – Shiga High School Exchange. Students from nearby schools, including Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, and the University of Michigan, were excited to find out that they receive automatic scholarships for all JCMU programs just for being members of the JCMU Consortium. Many JCMU alumni stopped by our booth as well, reconnecting with JCMU and learning more about our upcoming alumni events and initiatives. There were even a few students that will be going to JCMU this summer at the convention, many excited to be going to Japan for the first time!
As was the case with JAFAX and Youmacon last year, Hikonyan was ready to help future students learn about JCMU!
We were particularly excited to attend Shuto Con, as their message of inclusivity and diversity closely aligned with JCMU’s own commitment to supporting all of our students and whatever identities they associate with. Shuto Con aims to be a safe space for all, something that JCMU also strives to be. The con chair was supportive of our initiatives, and was happy to help us reach out to more Japanese media fans. Additionally, we had the chance to meet up with other anime conventions in attendance, including members of the JAFAX team – the first anime convention we ever attended last year.
After our booth closed every day, we were invited to participate in the nightly activities Shuto Con had to offer, and some of what was available reminded our volunteers of their time in Japan! The convention hosted a large game room complete with Japanese arcade games, including a UFO catcher, Pop’n Music, Dance Dance Revolution, and more. They also had virtual reality demos using PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive – how cool is that? Furthermore, there were concerts, panels, and photo shoots at all times of the day, which made the convention an extraordinary place to be.
JCMU would like to thank Shuto Con for meeting with and helping us introduce more con-goers to the world of study abroad in Japan. We hope this helps more students become aware of the study abroad possibilities available to them and encourages them to go on a program in Hikone themselves. If you were a Shuto Con attendee that visited our booth and would like to learn more about the wide array of programs that we offer, please visit the JCMU website.