Japan's Hosei University Dedicates Turf


In 2004, when Boise State’s Tetsuya Ehara and Hosei University’s Hajime Kiyohara first talked of an exchange between their universities, they never imagined it would extend beyond students and academic programs.

However a ceremony on Sunday, June 10, took it much further, marking the dedication of a new blue football field at Hosei University in Kawasaki, Japan, near Tokyo – the first international licensing of the playing surface as a Boise State trademark.

“The exchange with Hosei University is emblematic of our expanding global outreach as a university and city,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra. “The relationship continues to blossom in several ways as the two universities have developed an international friendship and gained so much academically, athletically and culturally.”

The universities have exchanged 65 students on a semester or year-long basis since an agreement was signed between Boise State and Hosei in 2006. Boise State’s Center for School Improvement in the College of Education has sent about 35 local educators to visit schools in Tokyo. The Intensive English Program hosted a group of 21 Japanese sports medicine and health studies majors and three faculty members from Hosei last fall.

“The partnership between Boise State and Hosei has been a very good match,” said Ehara, who lives in Nampa and is a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. “The two universities have shared students and faculty, and Hosei’s coaches have participated in the Broncos’ spring football camp for the past five years. Now both schools proudly have the famous blue.”

Although there will be no exchanges on the football field of play, the two universities will be trading knowledge on business and athletics this fall. Takashi Yaekura, who is the faculty adviser for Hosei’s football program, will be a Faculty in Residence in Boise State’s College of Business and Economics. A second group of health and sport students and faculty from Hosei will be on campus for the first two weeks of the semester for the Intensive English Program where they will learn English and participate in sports medicine/health studies workshops.

“This is one of our most successful exchanges in the numbers of student participants,” said Corrine Henke, associate director of International Learning Opportunities. “It has developed into a model program for study abroad, opening doors for students and faculty to learn more about Japan. The blue fields symbolize that enduring relationship.”

The school colors of Hosei University are blue and orange like Boise State. However, its nickname is the Tomahawks. Hosei has a licensing agreement with Boise State to install the blue field and orange end zones. Ehara, who attended the blue field unveiling in Japan, delivered a Bronco flag with signatures from the coaching staff for the dedication event.

Hosei is a comprehensive university with 41,420 students on three campuses around Toyko, offering 16 undergraduate colleges and 14 graduate schools. Hosei was established in 1880, as Tokyo Hogakusha, giving it one of the longest histories and traditions of any university in Japan. Its football team has won the national collegiate championship in Japan on multiple occasions.

Boise State’s iconic blue turf, originally introduced in 1986, is a registered trademark of the university. While other schools have special color projects for the end zone area, Boise State was the first to have the entire field produced in a special color. It is still the only non-green football field among NCAA Division I FBS schools. Boise State had new FieldTurf installed at Bronco Stadium prior to the 2010 football season.

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