This page was last updated on 20 March 2002
In April 1975, Seow Yew was awarded the PSC Overseas/Mombusho scholarship and headed to Japan for his university studies in Mechanical Engineering.
Students going on scholarships to non-speaking countries usually had to learn that foreign language during their first year of study. Japan is no exception. Seow Yew and many others had to labour to study Japanese which were to become their language of instruction.
Apart from his academic pursuit, Seow Yew continued with his judo career. During his stay in Japan, he managed to attain the rank of black belt.
Through his letters, he talked about his travels to places such as Meiji Shrine, Miyajima and Okinawa to learn and experience Japanese culture first hand.
In 1980, he returned to unite with his family and friends in Singapore. I visited him soon after that and remembered him showing off his newfound treasures that he brought back from Japan: a Nakamichi hi-fi stereo set and scores of Japanese songs.