In Japanese universities there is a whole culture associated with the so-called "kenkyushitsu" (best translation I can come up with is "research lab") where students gather to study and do "research". Each lab has a teacher and a number of students associated with that teacher. As in many other parts of Japanese society there is a strong emphasis of being part of the group, and each research lab is like a small community with their own little customs and events. Some students more or less live in these rooms that often have microwave-ovens, coffee machines and whatever the average Japanese student might need. Anywhere, here are some pictures from my research lab, that is actually pretty much empty most of the time, since the teacher is new and only a few students have been assigned so far.
Overview of the lab
Shhh....The computers are sleeping...
This is my seat when at the lab, where I am considered a "sempai", meaning "senior". Since I'm in the master course I have higher "rank" than for example 4th year students, and this brings certain privileges such as getting the good chair and the window spot. :P My monitor seems to have run off somewhere though.
She's a little quiet but I'm sure she's doing some groundbreaking research in the corner of the room.
Some of the 4th year students felt it would be a good idea to have a Japanese style tatami section for recreation and relaxation.
...it even comes with...
Wide-screen surround sound DVD system
Is it a good idea to place a microwave oven next to a sub-woofer?
Notice the amount of English on it and you can probably guess who's been using it most recently.
This is where my teacher, Taizo Miyachi, can usually be found.