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I sat fiddling with an English brochure behind a desk in the assembly hall at Shiraishi Island Junior High School. Today, students would present research projects they had been working on since spring. Each project required the students to interview relevant elders on the island for their opinions and put them together in a PowerPoint presentation. Those pursuing local arts and crafts or cooking were to have these elders teach them the traditional ways.

One student chose to talk about how to cook using local foods. Another opted for the Shiraishi Bon Dance, a national intangible cultural asset. Another decided to show how to make crafts from shells found on the beach. One student even researched the state of fish stocks in the Seto Inland Sea.

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