September 9, 2008

Jason's Summer '08

The fireworks from Jason's eyes.

Hi everyone, it’s my first day back at school and it feels a little weird to tell you the truth.I have been on summer holidays for almost two months and what a great time I have had. I have experienced two summers already in Japan and this year’s summer vacation would be the most enjoyable, eye opening and enjoyable out of the three.

This year’s summer vacation would be by far the most enjoyable, because this year I am a 2nd year student which means that I have much more time than last year when I was a 1st year student. This year I think the biggest difference was that I was having more fun than my previous two years because I went with my friends to the local park and lit fireworks for the first time in my life. In Australia I had never experienced the joy of fireworks because they are illegal whereas in Japan fireworks are legal.

This summer is my third one in Japan. It has been very different in many ways to my previous summers. I think because my Japanese has improved I have been able to communicate with Japanese people better which has led me to going out more and experience Japan life differently.

After seeing some of the most beautiful things in Japan during my summer holidays, I can really say that summer has really opened my eyes to how beautiful Japan really is. The most amazing thing I saw would have had to been Mt Fuji when I went to a soccer game in Shizouka, where Mt Fuji is located. I can still remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the first time I had seen it on a clear blue sky and it didn’t disappoint. Most of my time in Japan has really just been around Tokyo, so it was really good to witness some of Japan’s beauties.

All in all I had a great summer not just on the field playing soccer but off the field with my friends. This summer I even got a nice tan even though the weather during training was stinking hot, I can’t complain. We Australians love getting a nice dark tan during summer, so I was glad that I could keep that tradition going this summer in Japan.


September 9, 2008

Dylan's summer

Hard training and good sleep go hand in hand.

Today is my first day back at school after the summer break. In my summer vacation I experienced a mixture of fun, physically hard work and a few weird experiences. The summer break gave me time to appreciate the time that I had off and to deal with whatever the coaches throw at me when I didn’t.

The time that I had off during the summer break was great. I appreciate the time I have off in Japan much more as there is not much of it. In my spare time I either went into Tokyo with some friends or relaxed and got some rest from the previous day of training and in preparation for the next.

The 6 day period of summer vacation when I had double training was a time I will never forget. It was the hardest, physically and mentally, that I have ever worked in my life. In the morning training started at 9 o’clock and this training was usually only running. We would usually do one or two 3-kilometer races and then either four 750m sprints or sometimes ten 300m sprints. After this the next training started at 1 o’clock and this was a normal training which is also quite tough.

I experienced a couple of odd times as well during the time when we traveled away for trips twice for four days each. It was very different to the camps I went on New Zealand as you sleep on mattresses on the floor; you are forced to eat all of the food on the plates given and 3 bowls of rice or you are not allowed to play in the game and you also shower naked with the whole team. This is something I have experienced a little on the WYNRS NZ Japan tours but not to this extent.

Overall, my summer vacation was enjoyable but at the same time I would not want to do it again. I experienced some strange things that would be crazy in any other country but Japan. But overall I think the summer break has strengthened me as a person and I will never forget the Japanese summer of 2008.

By Dylan Windust

September 8, 2008

My summer holiday.

Ryosuke in his soccer jersey.

Hi everyone. It’s my first day back at school since the summer holidays and what a blast it was. It felt like there was more free time these holidays too and it was great. During the holidays I had a lot of experiences, mainly of excitement, depression, and hard work.

A lot of things this summer were exciting. A great feeling is when you have just finished a hard training and are getting changed ready to go out afterward. The feeling that you have done everything that you could do for that day, and that you have accomplished something cannot be beat by any other emotion. Another exciting thing for me was going to my soccer games. It was great thinking about what sort of goal I would score that day,, or how many people I would be able to dribble before I lose the ball.

However, if the game didn’t go very well, then I would be taken over by depression which would usually ruin the rest of my day. When we played against Keisei high school, the first half went really well and we were winning 1-0. In the second half everyone became tired and nobody could move anymore. We ended up losing 1-7 and the coach got really angry. I don’t think I have ever seen him that angry before! After two halves of forty minutes my team had to do fifty 100-meter sprints. When I got home that night I fell asleep right away and didn’t wake up till 10 in the next morning.

Most of the things during summer was hard work and although I was expecting things to be difficult, I wasn’t expecting things to be that hard. Running around for three hours under the hot scorching 38 degree sun was very tiring especially since I did it almost every day.

In the end everything turned out great and was worth the hard work, and although there were many ups and downs, I enjoyed these holidays more than any before. I can't wait until the next holidays!


September 4, 2008

2008 Wadokai World Karate Championships

It's Lawrence again and I just thought I would explain what Richard and I did this past summer.

August 21-23 was the 2008 Wadokai World Karate Championships in Vancouver, Canada. The Wadokai is one of the four main karate style associations under the Japan Karatedo Federation (JKF) teaching the popular Wado-ryu style.

Both Richard and I competed as members of Team Canada in these World Championships which saw competitors from over 13 countries shoot for top spots in many different divisions.

Richard competed in Men's Individual Kata, Men's Over 35 Individual Kata, and Team Kata.
I competed in Men's Individual Kata, and Team Kata (with Richard and one other friend, we represented Team Canada).

And I'm very happy to say that we came home with some medals.

Richard got a bronze in Men's Individual Kata, 4th place in the Over 35 division, and gold in Team Kata.
As for myself, I got a silver in Men's Individual Kata and, like Richard, the gold medal in Team Kata as part of Team Canada.

The tournament was a really great experience for both of us and because it was in Vancouver, it was a chance for us to be back in our hometown and see all our friends and family at the same time.


September 3, 2008

Wessel in Japan.

Konnichiwa and hey! My name is Wessel, I’m 17 years old and come from Holland and this is my first blog post. I will stay here in Japan for 11 months and will be living at several home stays. This is the second time I have visited Japan. Last year I won a scholarship to go to Japan for five weeks and I really enjoyed those weeks so that’s one of the main reason I wanted to go back. During this year I hope I will read many great manga, learn more about the Japanese history and arts and I really want to improve my Japanese as well.

There are a lot of manga that I like. At the moment my favorites are: One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Slam Dunk, Death Note, Gantz, Akira, Berserk and many more. I also like to draw manga myself, although I still need some more practice.

Beyond that, when I was 14 years old I wanted to learn more about the history of Japan. I really liked samurai and budo (martial arts). Two years ago I wrote a really big essay about the Meiji period though at first I didn’t really knew much about it, I learned a lot while writing it.

At the moment my Japanese is not really good. I can’t read hiragana or katakana and I only know a few words, but I’m very sure I will learn a lot while I’m studying here at Seiritsu and living here in Japan.

I’m sure I will have the best time of my life during the next couple of months. I hope I will make lots of friends and learn a lot about the Japanese language and culture. I know that it will be difficult at some points, but I’m sure it will work out well.

- Wessel Jansen

September 3, 2008

Welcome Tanakorn!

Hello my name is Tanakorn. I am from Thailand, I am 17 years old. I will spent my time here for 10 months. I live in Tokyo, near Asakusa.. The reasons that i came here is because I want to improve my Japanese skill, here is a nice city and the last is I love Japanese food.

First is Japanese is a nice language is not too difficult to understand and many manga came from Japan so I hope I can use Japanese fluently.

The second is, Tokyo is one of the biggest cities. It very convenience to go around by train after the train it is in walking distance. Tokyo is safe city so it very nice to spend time study here.

The last reason is that I think Japanese food is very good. Japanese food is healthy and also tastes very good. Everything is delicious.

So I really hope that my Japanese will improve as fast as possible so I can be able to do thing easier. I really enjoy spending my time here.

-Tanakorn "Poom" Noynart

September 3, 2008

Hello, this is David!

Hey, my name is David Alexander. I’m 17, from Montreal, Quebec. I’m staying in Japan for 10 months and I’m attending a special program in Seiritsu Gakuen for foreigners. This is my first day in a Japanese school and I have to say it’s pretty strange for me. I’m so used to Canada where everything and everyplace is multicultural, but here, I’m a bit more of an outsider. The Japanese students here at Seiritsu are extremely friendly. My first impression of the school is that it’s huge and complicated, more so than my school back in Quebec. Overall though, I’m very excited about my exploits and adventures in Japan. The reasons I came to Japan are for it’s culture, the history, and the change of scenery.

The culture in Japan is much more civil and requires more studying and patience than most other cultures. For example, the language in Japan makes the people seem much nicer and much more willing to offer help and welcoming, whereas in Montreal, we have a language barrier between French and English and people are generally busy, rushed and unfriendly. Of course, there is a thicker language barrier for me here in Japan, but the people have been kind and generous and have showed me how to get from A to B to the best of their capability. It really does show the compassion and friendliness Japanese people have.

The history of Japan is quite unknown to me. I only know about what has happened in Japan in the past century or so but besides that and Russo-Japanese conflicts: I haven’t quite gotten the big picture yet. I would really like to learn about its origins, cultural changes and connections with other places, like Brazil, China, and other nearby countries. I’d also like to learn a bit more in depth about the Edo period, the hierarchy of society, the economy, the exchange system, the royal and peasant life and everything else there is to know.

Japan is extremely different than where I come from. Everyday there’s a new surprise just around the bend. So far, I’ve seen Japanese housing, stores, transport, and some of the people. In Canada, the housing is very much the same everywhere; a rather large house or an apartment in a series of apartment buildings, but in Japan it is spread out and different everywhere you go. The stores in Japan are pretty much the same, but the major convenient stores and chains haven’t made their way yet to Japan and so the contents are different as well. As for transport, I’m very used to taking the bus everywhere I go. And in Montreal we get long winters, using bikes to go far distances is completely unheard of to me.

At the end of my 10 months stay, I hope to be able to speak Japanese and be able to bring back all I have learned in Japan back to Canada and have that extra point of knowledge over my classmates.

-David Alexander

September 3, 2008

Welcome to Seiritsu!

Welcome to term 3 at Seiritsu! In addition to being back in school, Seiritsu students also get a chance to interact with three new international students. We have, from left to right in the above picture, David Alexander (Canada), Tanakorn "Poom" Noynart (Thailand), and Wessel Jansen (Holland).

Part of the Education First (EF) exchange program, these three will spend the next ten months at Seiritsu learning, amongst other things, Japanese and Japanese culture. And in the Seiritsu International Dept, they also get a chance to do other academic studies in English.

In a few days all three of them will put up a short post about their reasons for coming to Japan along with posts from the regular three International Dept students about how their summers went.



about Seiritsu

Seiritsu Gakuen is a private co-educational high school created in 1925 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.

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