Shunya Fukuda
Photo by Ant Smith

Shunya Fukuda

Bachelor of Science in International Business Studies, and Minor in Computer Science


Class of 2023, congratulations on your graduation. I am delighted to celebrate this milestone with you today.

I would like to thank Dean Wilson, faculty, and staff members from my heart for the warm encouragement and unstinting support you have rendered us. Above all, I would like to express my greatest gratitude to our families who have believed in us and supported us to this point in the midst of various hardships.

Standing here now, I can say that my time as a student at TUJ is one of the best memories of my life. Many people may envision a sparkling student life when I say so. However, my college life was a series of challenges.

I was born in Osaka in 1998. I was a boy with a dream to communicate with people worldwide in English. A few years later, I came across TUJ before graduating from high school. Actually, I joined TUJ with zero English because I had studied in Japanese public schools from elementary to high school. However, on the first day of classes, I remember being thrilled to see students from various backgrounds, and from all over the world, earnestly discussing ideas with one another.

Those hopeful days were soon shattered. I received an "F" grade on my first essay. “F" means the lowest grade. It means failure. Despite my ideals, I was faced with a harsh reality. It was a very shocking experience for me at the time.

However, I did not give up. I studied until midnight every day, read other people's papers to learn how they expressed themselves in writing and went to school early in the morning to seek guidance from my professors. However, it was not easy for me to receive a passing grade, but I drew strength from encouraging words that a neighbor in Osaka taught me as a child, “Never give up, again, again” she always said. “Never give up”

People will often quickly blame others and the environment when they do not get the desired results. However, the most important thing is to keep trying until you get the results you seek. Never be bowed by the harsh realities before you. Instead, hold your head up high and keep your gaze set ahead with this intrepid resolve. This is what I will achieve. This is the future I will shape. That is the spirit of youth, I think.

Thomas Edison, known as an outstanding inventor, also noted “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time”. The key is perseverance. To persist despite the difficulty, despite the delay in success, despite the odds. Perseverance means that you never give up. We must not forget that the final victory shines upon those who never surrender to doubt, and who never give up.

An equally valuable lesson I learned at TUJ is the capacity for dialogue to inspire change and creativity. In many of our classes, professors required us to discuss things in depth with one another. Although many institutions of higher education value classroom discussion, at TUJ, the students come from more than 60 different countries. That means finding common ground to collaborate despite different cultures, beliefs, and religions.

Sometimes, we have had heated discussions because classmates have different opinions or backgrounds. However, each of us discovered at TUJ that serious discussion among people with different viewpoints and from different backgrounds can yield exciting new ideas, creativity, and collaboration.

And through many discussions, we learned that it is important to always be open and to respect others. This may seem obvious to those of us who have studied in the truly global environment of TUJ, but this is not easy.

I believe that in this day and age of rapidly changing international relations, the ability to engage in dialogue is what is truly needed. Actually, Mahatma Gandhi also chose dialogue as his weapon to oppose violence.

Dialogue is steady and must be patient and ongoing but all of us have forged our capacity for dialogue here at our highly diverse TUJ campus. I therefore call on each of you expand your network for change and creativity from wherever you may stand.

We will soon be scattered around the world and will grow to be active leaders in our respective countries. In that process, we will face many challenges and difficulties and may find that we need to cut open a path where one does not exist. No matter what happens to us, we must win in everything with the "Never Give Up Spirits" and believe in the "Power of Dialogue" that we have learned at TUJ. 

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, said the following. "Young people would do best just being what young people are: bold, audacious and gutsy―and throwing themselves entirely into whatever the task at hand. To lose heart just because of one or two failures is shortsighted indeed. Life is a long journey. Youth should go forward with courage, realizing that the more often you fail, the firmer the foundation you are building for your future life and happiness. And the greatest winners in life are those who ultimately triumph as human beings, irrespective of worldly position, wealth, and honor. "

Let's determine to boldly advance together as TUJ alumni and become a sun that brightens up all over the world.

Thank you.

福田 駿也さん


Shunya Fukuda
写真撮影:Ant Smith






でも、私はあきらめませんでした。毎日夜中まで勉強し、他の人論文を読んで自分の考えを文章で表現する方法を学び、朝早く登校しては先生に指導を仰ぎました。それでも合格点をとるのは容易ではありませんでした。そんな私に力をくれたのは、大阪の近所の人が教えてくれた言葉です。「Never give up, again, again」。「絶対にあきらめたらダメだ」と。