Great Scot!

The Japan Scotland Association Comes to Chubu

Great Scot

This month sees the opening of the Chubu branch of the Japan Scotland Association (JSA). With branches already operating in Tokyo, Kansai, Chugoku and Kyushu, the association is now expanding to this area. Gerry McLellan, head of the Chubu branch, is excited about the prospect of continuing to build bridges and cement already strong ties between Japan and Scotland. He explained that the aim of the association is to help fund scholarships for Japanese students wishing to study in Scotland. Gerry hopes to introduce Scottish culture to the region and, among other activities, he plans to offer Scottish whisky tastings, cooking and dance classes as well as presentations on renowned Scots and, in particular, those with a direct bearing on Japan. Other events include Highland Games, St. Andrew’s Day Festivals, Burn’s Night Suppers and Ceilidhs (Scottish dance parties). Individual membership fees are¥3000 per annum,¥4,500 for family memberships and only¥1500 for students. Members receive a regular newsletter and discounted tickets for all events.

There are strong ties between Waseda University and a number of universities in Scotland, and Waseda Professor of Economics and Nagoya native Taeko Seki was instrumental in establishing the association. She is also thrilled at having a branch open in her hometown. Over the years Waseda has sent and welcomed a number of students to and from Scotland and the Nagoya branch hopes to help fund scholarships for many more. JSA is a NPO and funds from membership sales go directly to the student fund.

Gerry is an associate teaching fellow in Teaching English for Academic Purposes (TEAP) and has worked at the University of Glasgow on the international student pre sessional program for a number of years. He is delighted to be head of the Chubu branch of JSA and to be working with and learning from professor Seki. He also recently established a company that focuses on sending students to Scotland and Australia, and he hopes to eventually start offering study tours to the US. However, at the moment he feels best positioned to help students find places in Scotland as he knows the country and the educational system first-hand.

Gerry explained:
‘Some people are under the impression that Scotland is a cold country with somewhat cold people when actually the opposite is true. In fact, Glasgow was named by the National Geographic magazine as one of the top twenty “must see” cities of 2016. The people of Glasgow are also noted for their friendliness. What’s more, we only plan to offer tours during the summer months when the Edinburgh Festival is in full swing. Few people realise that the festival is the third largest international event in the world, after the World Cup football finals and Olympic games. Scotland also has a rich culture and an abundance of nature. Japan and Scotland both share a distinct and instantly recognisable national dress and national dish. I hope to introduce Scotland to Japan and help encourage an interest among Japanese for all things Scottish. I am particularly enthusiastic about recruiting more young people. They are the future and I feel it is important that they become more interested in their own culture as well able as the cultures of others. I have taught cross-cultural communication and international understanding and I know that there is a yearning among a sizeable number of younger Japanese people to learn as much as they can about other countries and to showcase Japan to the world.

Gerry’s company, McLellan International, is also working with another Nagoya local, Steve Brown of Zergsoft to develop software for the education sector. They are presently holding talks with universities in Japan and overseas and hope to demonstrate their product at the international JALT conference in Nagoya in the fall of this year. For those interested in JSA or the study abroad program Gerry can be contacted at:

Queries concerning the software can be addressed to the above email address or to

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