What is “Sylvan of Tama”?

Interview with Seiichiro Sugano, 3rd grader of Law Faculty’s Political Science Dept.



―法学部政治学科3年 菅野誠一郎さんに聞く―

Sugano talking with reporter
Sugano talking with reporter

It is 38 years since the core faculties of Chuo University were relocated from the metropolitan center of Surugadai in Kanda to the utterly different hilly district of Tama in Tokyo’s western suburbs. Chuo is now widely known for its “hilly location” as well as for its “Law Faculty” as it used to be. There in the Tama campus is a student who calls himself “Sylvan of Tama”. He is Seiichiro Sugano, a third grader of the Faculty of Law’s Department of Political Science. Why does he identify himself by such a unique name? What he talked during an interview with Hakumon Herald came as quite a surprise.



-What does your name “Sylvan of Tama” mean?



Sugano: That means a student who stays and studies at nature-rich Tama. When I was a first grader, I applied for my faculty’s YARUKI scholarship program and studied at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) for three weeks during my summer holiday. I came in contact there with many other students who had their various aims. That made me understand for the first time in my own way how significant it is to study at a university. Inspired by the students I met at SOAS, I have been making it a rule since coming back to Japan to stay locked up in the library of “Tama University” every day.


菅野 中央大学のあるこの自然豊かな多摩に身をおいて勉強をしている学生という意味です。1年の夏に法学部が提供する「やる気応援奨学金」で、ロンドン大学東洋アフリカ研究学院(SOAS)に3週間、短期留学しました。そこで様々な目標を持った他の参加者と接することで、大学で学ぶ意義を初めて自分なりに理解しました。現地で触れ合った学生に感化され、帰国してからは毎日、ここ「多摩大学」の図書館に籠っています。(笑い)

Studying regional revitalization at Tama



Sugano (left) speaks during his interview with Uchino at the cafeteria
Sugano (left) speaks during his interview with Uchino at the cafeteria

-What do you study at your department?



Sugano: Right now, I study revitalization of regional economies and human resource development. I think that an ideal local administration is for each local government to realize the region’s economic and cultural development by making full use of its own individuality. To make that possible, I think the local governments need to change their work environment. They will inevitably need to have persons who will actively work for the development of their town rather than those who want to be primarily engaged in stability-oriented paper work. I study how to train human resources who can assume the role of promoting regional revitalization without being bound by the demarcation between public and private.


菅野 「地方創生と人材育成について今は学んでいます。私は、地方自治体がそれぞれの個性を活かしながら、経済的、文化的発展を実現できることが、理想的な地方行政だと考えています。そのためには自治体の職務環境の変化が必要になると思います。安定志向でデスクワークが主な仕事という考え方から、どうすれば町が発展していくのか、能動的に活動する人材が必要になるはずです。官民といった括りにとらわれない、未来の地方創生を担う人材の教育手法について研究しています。

-What has made you interested in human resource development?



Sugano: Well, it all started when I participated in an event in my high-school days. I made a presentation about an ideal child rearing in that event. I interviewed some married couples who have children and noticed that many of them had a perception gap about childcare. For example, to the questionnaire I sent them, many wives replied, “My husband isn’t cooperative in child rearing.” On the other hand, many husbands said, “I’d like to get involved in child rearing, but I don’t know what to do.” In short, I concluded that this mismatch of understanding between the couple poses a barrier to any improvement of their present situation. And I have come to think that social problems arise similarly when the persons in charge cannot understand the relevant facts in an objective manner. I thought many social problems will be resolved if we have more persons who can objectively consider and analyze them on the basis of relevant data and facts. That was why I have begun to take an interested in educating people, that is, human resource development.


菅野 きっかけは、高校時代に、あるイベントに参加したことです。そのイベントで私は理想的な育児について発表しました。子育て中の人々にインタビューするなどして気付いたことは、夫婦間で子育てに認識の齟齬(そご)があることでした。例えば、アンケートで女性の多くは「夫が子育てに非協力的」と回答していた一方、男性の多くは「子育てに携わりたいが、方法が分からない」としていたことです。つまり、育児に関してこの理解の不一致が現状改善の障壁となっていると結論付けました。そして、私は社会問題も同じように、当事者が客観的に事実を理解できていないことから引き起こされているのではないか、と考えるようになりました。客観的に物事を考え、データや事実を元に問題を分析する力をもった人が増えれば、多くの社会問題が解決に近づくと思い、彼らを教育すること、つまり人材教育に興味を持ち始めました。

From Tama to forefront field



Sugano (left) speaks during his interview with Uchino (center) and Yawata.
Sugano (left) speaks during his interview with Uchino (center) and Yawata.

 -What kind of activity would you like to do from now on?



Sugano: I study regional revitalization and human resource development, but I’m not yet active in the front line. However, I want to be active in the field eventually by making good use of what I learned at Tama. So, I will give up calling myself “Sylvan of Tama” sooner or later. Studies and theoretical talks are important, but I think they will produce results only when you actually take actions. In this respect, I am sure that the ability I have acquired through the art of tea ceremony will prove helpful.

菅野 私は地方創生と人材育成について研究していますが、実際にまだ第一線で活動していません。しかし、多摩で学んだことを生かして、最終的にはフィールドに入って活動したいと考えています。したがって「多摩の森人」という名前もいずれ捨てることになります。研究や理論的な話は重要ですが、それは現実に行動することで成果を発揮すると考えています。また、その際、私が茶道を通して得た力は確実に役に立つと考えています。


-Did you say tea ceremony?



Sugano: Yes, I have been practicing the art of tea ceremony for 10 years. I began it in my club activity when I was an elementary school fifth grader. At the suggestion of my teacher, I began learning it in real earnest toward the end of my sixth grade. Very important in tea ceremony is to guess what exactly your guests want. For example, you need to be considerate to them in such a way as to add more water to tea in the summer so that it will be easier to drink. Through the tea ceremony, I could grow up greatly in terms of acquiring an ability to care for others. I think this ability will prove quite useful in the forefront field where I will get actually associated with other people.

菅野 はい、茶道を10年続けています。始めたのは小学校5年のクラブ活動で、6年生の終わりに先生に誘われて本格的に習い始めました。茶道では、相手の求めていることをいかに推し量れるかが重要になってきます。たとえば、夏には水分量を多くして飲みやすくするというように、相手のことを考えて工夫する必要があります。茶道をするなかで、私は相手を思いやることかできるようになったことで大きく成長できました。茶道で身につけた、相手を思いやる心は、実際に人とかかわる第一線のフィールドで最も役立つと考えています。


-Thank you.


ありがとうございました。Interviewed by: Yuta Uchino(聞き手/内野裕大)