Japan Story #2: Kyoto University Student Protest

One day on our trip we were wandering around aimlessly in the rain when we ran into Kyoto University . There was a huge four way intersection and on the corner across from us was this:

kyotouniversityprotest

We went over and tried to figure out what was going on. We examined all of the signs on the wall in the hopes of finding some english. There were copies of newspaper articles that had photos like mine in them. Eventually after studying “Do you speak English?” in the phrase book I worked up the courage to go ask them what was going on. So I climbed up the ladder (you can see it in the picture), took off my shoes, climbed up another little ladder, stuck my head in the flap and asked the three men sitting there if they spoke english. Of course, being University students, all three of them were practically fluent.

They explained to me that the wall the cafe was built on was the place where the University students posted their protest signs. The University was trying to tear down the wall (something about making the school clean, which I think didn’t translate quite right). They had built this structure to keep them from tearing down the wall. They had been there for two months. They offered me a cup of coffee and I signed their guest book and wished them luck. Then I climbed back down and rejoined my traveling companions (one of whom was getting a little nervous). We headed back into the rain.

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