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Internship Report Abstracts

6/10/95
I discover that I must relearn Japanese language and culture. We arrive at the airport with no clue where to go next, but eventually make it to our apartment. After a company orientation, I am immediately put to work on a project called kabeshinbun. Linda and I are worried about our finances.
6/24/95
My continued work on kabeshinbun isolates me from others in the department, who work frantically to meet deadlines in their jizake project. Employees work overtime without pay to compensate for their inefficiency. After hours, overtimers kill many of the rules and enjoy a relaxed work environment. To many, the kaisha is their family, and overtime is bonding time.
7/8/95
I complete a software proposal for kabe shinbun, which will be reviewed at an educational conference. SIS plans to establish an Internet connection. My new job is to design the company's bilingual World Wide Web pages, or kaisha annai. This project will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about SIS, but it will also require a lot of research and translation.
7/15/95
Every week the members of Maruchimedia-Bu, including myself, gather for a planning and progress evaluation meeting. The often technical discussions challenge my Japanese language abilities. I am drafted to teach free eikaiwa classes. Seino hosts an intern seminar.
7/22/95
Though other interns in the area have been given a lot of busywork, my work has actually benefited my company. The Gifu interns have a seminar and kengaku at Gifu Shatai, an automobile manufacturing company. The company's production site is safe and efficient, but not especially superior. Business is slow, and many production line posts are filled by South American laborers. We have another seminar and kengaku at Daifuku, a logistics hardware manufacturer. Japanese companies, in order to survive, must seek overseas business expansion more aggressively than American companies.
7/29/95
I learn a lot about SIS through my continued work on the kaisha annai. Linda and I attend an internship conference in Shin-Yokohama, all expenses paid. There, it is revealed to us that I am part of a government project to raise an army of future diplomats who are fluent in Japanese language and culture.
8/5/95
A temporary computer shortage at SIS curtails production. The interns have a seminar and kengaku at San'yo Denki, a company specializing in various electronic gadgets. San'yo claims that their two main business objectives are clean energy and multimedia communication, but in reality these two catchwords are used only to sell stock. To San'yo, "clean energy" means cutting expenses as much as possible. "Multimedia" is a catch-all, stock-selling buzzword that Japanese companies use to mean everything from telephones and computers to microwave ovens with LCD displays.
8/12/95
I begin building a World Wide Web 3D "virtual tour" of the company's facilities. The Gifu interns have a kengaku at Softopia and tour the partially constructed building. Japanese are more enthusiastic about multimedia than Americans are.
8/26/95
Developing WWW pages that cannot be displayed on the Internet is unfulfilling. Developing SIS's kaisha annai requires a lot of research and Japanese fluency. Knowing that any Japanese employee can gather and compile company information just as well or better than I, I begin placing more emphasis on page design rather content. Tori-jichou agrees with this priority shift and grants me freedom to temporarily suspend kaisha annai development so that I can pursue new ideas and teach them to other employees.
9/2/95
Software demos are an important part of SIS's marketing technique. Company members of various ranks join us on a trip to Mt. Fuji. Company rank is important even during play time. When company members are present, the kaisha is the world.
9/16/95
My kaisha annai continues its dramatic evolution. Middle management struggles to spark upper management's interest in the Internet. Potential business partners to the company view my kaisha annai.
9/30/95
The kabe shinbun project is permanently suspended. Because resources required to continue the kaisha annai project are limited, I spend my time instead researching the Internet, using special equipment that I requested. As token gaijins, Linda and I attend the reception of Miss Gifu. Peace overtures exchanged between Americans and Japanese may not always be heartfelt.
10/14/95
The department teams up to learn Visual Basic while building a software demo. I finish early and use the extra time to program applications needed for the company's WWW demo. A recruiting company in Gifu, whose representatives had viewed my kaisha annai, publicly announces its intention to offer Internet services through SIS.
10/28/95
Yoshida-joumu passes away. Ogura-san challenges me to build software to test MCI's on various computer architectures. Prof. Farnsworth meets with my superiors to discuss Seino's and my participation in the internship program.
11/18/95
Linda and I become busy with last-second playing. Lack of sleep causes me to get sick. Linda and I visit Takayama, Anjo-shi, and Tanigumi. We plan also to visit Yourou no Taki and a nearby onsen. I labor to wrap up my affairs at work. Torii-jichou tells me the company has benefited from my presence. Linda and I are treated with going away parties everywhere.