After a great night with their home stay families, everyone met Monday morning for an easy start to the Japan Experience activities.
We began with a Welcome Ceremony, during which the Principal Mr. Kohei Fukuda, Vice-Principal Mr. Kurihara, and Director Mr. Yohei Fukuda each gave a short opening speech. This was followed by the students going through an Orientation about the program and school. After that, everyone had a Japanese class (there is a Japanese class every day in the morning), followed by lunch and then a shodo (Japanese calligraphy) lesson.
Everyone had a great time and the best way to show just how much fun everyone had is through pictures!
Opening Ceremony picture: In the front row, from L to R is Richard Sensei (JE08 Manager), Mr. Fukuda (Seiritsu Director), Mr. Fukuda (Seiritsu Principal), Mr. Kurihara (Seiritsu Vice-Principal), Yano Sensei (Japanese teacher), and Lawrence Sensei (JE08 staff).
Yano Sensei leading the students (Claudia and Shirlene, in this picture) through their first Japanese class of the trip.
After the lesson, they all had lunch which was graciously prepared by the school's chef, Akakura-san.
Itadakimasu! (Let's eat!)
From 1:30-3pm, there was a shodo (Japanese calligraphy) class taught by Maruo Sensei and his two assistants, Ohno Sensei and Makise Sensei. Maruo Sensei is a famous shodo artist and he often publishes his artwork in national newspapers.
After a short intro, everyone was eager to get to task, slowly discovering for themselves the intricacies of shodo.
Despite the picture, this really is Nicholas, holding up one of his kanji, "ove" (ai).
Everyone got to do a special piece on a wall display card at the end of the lesson, so Xenia was hard at work perfecting her skill. Her practice piece says ''bi' or "beautiful" in the middle, and her name down the sides.
Everyone soon graduated to writing on the scroll-length paper so they could write phrases. This is France just finishing her "love song", (ai no uta).
Not to be out-done, Victor made two prints of "summer sun" (natsu no taiyo).
All the kanji in orange are samples written by Maruo Sensei as templates and the students aim to match the samples. Bryce's "love" (ai) gets pretty close to the sample, doesn't it?
Then Maruo Sensei showed us his specialty, which is "giant shodo" with a "big brush". "No problem!", says Karen after a great piece.
One of the things everyone agreed on was that shodo is a lot more difficult than it first looks. This is Claudia hard at work on "summer" (natsu).
But by the end of the day, all of them were making excellent prints, like Shirlene's "summer sun"(natsu no taiyo).
Or Jocelyn's "Glass Rain".
At the end of the day, everyone got to take home all their prints, plus their favourite phrase written on a special wall display board (Victor, Bryce, and Nicholas are holding up theirs).