Our debate against Tokai University was very good, and it was one of the few in a pure parliamentary style. The motion was to ban the ownership of cellphones by minors in Japan. The debaters were very skilled, one being from Taiwan and able to speak several languages, and the other a very brilliant law student who had quite a nice WUDC style to his speech. The speech times were shortened, so there was not a lot of time for vigorous POIs, but that was ok as the arguments were of high quality. It was a very good debate and I think thee students who were watching learned a good deal about the format and the issue.
Parliamentary debate, it was explained to me, is growing in popularity, but it is not a part of JDA (The Japanese Debate Association). Since it is purely up to students to arrange practice, team logistics, and tournaments, the growth of parliamentary debate in Japan does not match its popularity. I was happy to see points of information and more typical parliamentary structure in the debate.
Tokai University debate is under the direction of one of the most dedicated, organized and on-top-of-it guys I know - Isao Ayabe. He is amazing. Not only does he happily teach more classes than anyone I know, he also works long hours trying to promote debate in Japan. He hosts club meetings, and other events (tonight we are going to his Toastmaster's event to help teach debate there) and travels quite a bit doing the hard work of debate promotion. He is always happy, never tired, and is always genuinely glad to discuss debate with anyone. He's pictured above on the right, two down from where I am (I'm the blonde in case you don't know).
Tokai took us out to a fantastic Japanese dinner with wonderful drinks. One or two of the students chatted with me about the U.S., including one student who wanted to know all about jazz bars, what they are like, who goes to them, and how many they are. He thought they sounded "romantic" and wanted to go.
It was a great night, followed by a too early flight to Fukoka. So yes, I'm posting out of order. Oops!