Life is a series of decisions You set your own limits

Kengo Takeuchi
Instructor (Social Studies) and baseball coach, Meisei High School
Ryoma Ogawa Graduated 2014, Faculty of Law, Department of Political Science

I was not an ideal student. I didn’t have any particular goals, so I spent my first six months just passing time.

Wanting to change something, I asked an acquaintance to introduce me to a high school in Kanagawa prefecture, where I started studying as a baseball coach. I think making the decision by myself to take this step had great significance.

The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred while I was a university student, so I participated as a disaster volunteer. I strongly felt that just watching the coverage on television wasn’t enough, that there were things I couldn’t understand without going there.

I wanted to see a world I couldn’t imagine myself, so after graduating university I worked for two years promoting baseball in Senegal as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer. Children there had never even heard of baseball, so just explaining the rules took a year. Today, I fondly recall those days of repeatedly asking myself if I was doing a good enough job.

Now I’m working as a high-school instructor. Thanks to my experience in Senegal, I’m able to engage with my students based on an understanding that we take different things for granted. I spend my days at school being a teacher who doesn’t seem like a teacher, and as a baseball coach who tries to bring something new to high-school baseball.

My message to students

I hope you’ll spend your time as a university student gaining many new experiences with a broad perspective. Learn a lot, play all you can, visit new places, and while doing so, find the path you’re meant to follow. I believe we set our own limits in all things. Don’t make excuses about what others will think or the environment you’re in, just take on any challenge you find.

Participated in the Japanese High School Baseball Championship while at Yokohama High School, along with classmate Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who is now a professional baseball player. Today Ogawa is striving to find a new kind of baseball.