Rena Yoshino

Rena Yoshino

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Ms. Yoshino graduated with honors from Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) in the spring of 2011 with a degree in art. We talked to her about her plans to continue her education in a research institution or graduate school, studying the theme of "art and psychology."

Tell us a little about your academic background before entering TUJ.

I had always gone to school in Japan, but in my third year of junior high school I spent one week doing a home-stay in Australia. This was a really stimulating experience for me and it sparked my interest in other countries. I entered my local public high school, but realized that I really wanted a more international education and so I re-entered high school, joining the Columbia International School (CIS) in Saitama. CIS is approved by the Ministry of Education of the Province of Ontario, Canada; so I gained the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) upon graduation. Subsequently I traveled to Canada to study at the College of the Rockies.

I spent three years there, starting with the English language program. Already at that time it was my wish to go on to graduate school, and that required that I transfer to a four-year university. I considered remaining in Canada, but I decided that the combined burden of diligent study, living alone and relocating would be too much and resolved to go home to Japan, where my family lives. I had heard about TUJ while at CIS and it was a natural choice for me as I was able to transfer the credits I had gained at the community college. I entered TUJ in the summer semester of 2007.

Why did you choose to major in art?

Initially I wanted to study psychology in Canada and I took some psychology-related courses. However, when I joined TUJ there was an art major and, although I do not have a talent for painting, I decided to give that a try. There are aspects of psychology and art that are linked and one of the reasons I chose to take the art classes was because I wanted to learn about art therapy. I had studied psychology so that I could understand myself better at times when I was filled with worry or concern, but I finally chose to concentrate on art because I thought that it is better to be expressive than introspective. Art provides means of self-expression. While studying art my confused feelings truly vanished. Moving forward I would like to engage in further research into the links between psychology and art.

At This Moment

A work by Ms. Yoshino, entitled "At This Moment," which was featured in the 2011 TUJ calendar. She says, "I had painted many photo-realistic flower compositions, but in my final project I decided to take up the challenge of composing an abstract painting based on a flower motif."

You mentioned in your graduation speech that study at TUJ was very tough.

In the initial general education courses I studied many things that seemed at first to be totally unrelated to art and I think that was probably the toughest time. Of course, once the specialist courses began the classes were not all about creating artworks, I had to study many other things including the history of art. Through research, writing papers and making presentations I feel that I really learned a lot. My commute to university took two hours each way and I tried to use those four hours of travelling as effectively as possible. With my mind set on getting closer to my goal of graduate school, I feel that I worked to clear each semester, one at a time.

Now that you have gained a degree from a U.S. university, how do you intend to utilize that qualification in your future career?

As we are now in a time when it is becoming natural, even in Japan, to communicate in English, I think it is a tremendous advantage to have learned real English that I can use. Also, if I can earn a post-graduate degree from a Japanese institution in the future, I will have the advantage of having degrees from two countries, the U.S. and Japan.

Now that I have been fortunate enough to graduate, I am trying to decide in what form I can continue my studies. I have been asked whether I want to find a job, but I do not intend on becoming a standard company employee. Once I have gained a further degree, I hope to find a teaching job or research position that would enable me to remain in graduate school where I could engage in work that involves interaction with other people. I am also, of course, thinking about going overseas again.






ずっと日本の学校に通っていましたが、中学3年生のとき1週間オーストラリアにホームステイしてかなり刺激を受け、海外に興味を持ち始めました。高校は一度地元の公立校に入ったのですが、やはり外国に行きたくて、コロンビア・インターナショナル・スクール(CIS)に再入学。CISはカナダ・オンタリオ州教育省から認可を受けていて、同州の中等教育卒業証書を授与されるので、卒業後はカナダのコミュニティカレッジ、College of the Rockiesに留学しました。




At This Moment
2011年のカレンダーに掲載された吉野さんの作品At This Moment。「それまで写実的な花を描くことが多かったのですが、ファイナルプロジェクトでは花をモチーフに抽象画に挑戦しました」(吉野さん)