September 30, 2010

Richie at bunkasai!


For this year's bunkasai, we worked very hard and it was worth it. My classmates turned our homeroom into a candy shop and we were selling handmade candies all day. I helped by designing the T-Shirt for my class with other girls. Luckily it ended up looking great. Everyone was happy about it. All of the exchange students also helped prepare International room and take part with the English conversation club as well.

The first day of bunkasai, everyone in my class was excited. But it was raining really hard, so not many people came to visit our school. Our English conversation club made a fortune telling station and the exchange students put up a poster gallery. We took turns doing the fortune telling. Most of the fortunes are good but some are also bad or funny. We used a bingo wheel and depending on the number the costumer gets we draw a fortune from a box. I did it from 10 am to 11 am on both days of bunkasai. Since I had nothing to do on the first day, I helped out the English conversation club for the whole day, and we also did an interview on the stage.

The second day was a surprise, since it was sunny, dry, and all around great weather. We didn’t get a chance to do the speech on the stage because there wasn’t enough time. But the second day I helped my class sell candies. Then at 1:20 all the international students went to help carry the Omikoshi, a portable shrine, around the school. It was a super busy weekend but great fun!


September 30, 2010

Angel at bunkasai!


Before I came to Japan, I thought that a Bunkasai would just be lots of playing and messing around.

However, what I didn't realize is that putting on a Bunkasai is incredibly busy and requires a huge amount of preperation. On the first day of bunkasai in the morning it was raining so hard that not many people were able to make it out. The morning was very slow.

The last day of bunkasai however, we were super busy all day. The weather was beautiful and a huge crowd of people came to the festival. We also had a big stage in the middle of the school's courtyard. I saw everyone trying their best to put on a good show for the crowds that had gathered. I think this is one of my best experiences in Japan so far.

September 30, 2010

Matti at bunkasai!


Well the Seiritsu school festival has just ended and it was indeed busy. My class had decided to make a cafe and helping them was fun yet at the same time challenging. Quite a few Japanese people came to talk to me out of curiosity but very few spoke English. It was quite an exercise in the Japanese language!

The same thing happened when I was helping the English Conversation Club by doing some fortune telling. I was often stumped by the question of how to translate the fortunes from English to Japanese. But in the end everyone had a good laugh so it was worth it.

The part I enjoyed the most was carrying the portable shrine or mikoshi through the school. I had carried a mikoshi two times before and it was always fun, if a bit painful on the shoulders. Along with Richie, Eskild, Angel and large amount of the Seiritsu girls, we managed to successfully carry the shrine and have a good amount of fun with it too. The bunkasai was a very positive experience. I'm sad I won't be here for it next year.

September 30, 2010

Eskild at Bunkasai!


So, the culture festival has now ended, and we have gotten a great experience. The festival lasted for two days, Saturday the 25th of September, and Sunday the 26th of September.

My class, 1C, had an udon (noodle) stall, where we sold yakiudon. The preparations took a lot of time, but that is mostly because everyone was just fooling around. We made posters, decorations, and set up our classroom in a special way. All the desks (except a few used for the room's design) were carried out the window, and placed there for the time being.

The exchange students also made posters, presenting their country for the festival. I made one of Norway, presenting fish, oil, and heavy metal (the music style).

We, the international education department, shared a room with the English conversation club, and the event was English fortune telling. Since it was the English conversation club, everything was supposed to be in English, but we had to make an effort translating the fortunes, and I don't know how many times we had to call on Nick or Richard for help.

On Saturday, the English conversation club's members interviewed the international students on a stage, and on Sunday, the international students helped carry the mikoshi, a portable shinto shrine. The mikoshi was a small one, but still very heavy, and it really hurts when we bounce it on our shoulders yelling YASSHAI!!!

After 3pm on Sunday, we used about an hour to clean up. It was a smashing success, and I can't wait for next year's event!


September 8, 2010

New Student: Angel


Who are you?
Hey, my name is Angel and, I will turn 17 years old in November

Where are you from?
I’m from Hong Kong, the same places that my hero Jackie Chan comes from.

What is famous about your place?
The Peak is the most famous place in Hong Kong, because you see a lot of buildings from there and the Hong Kong skyline is really pretty.

What is the interesting about your school?
The interesting thing is I always eat during lessons with my friends.

Do you have any hobbies?
Hot Yoga , making desserts and shopping.

How did you become interested in Japan?
I started to watch Japanese dramas from when I was 11 years old and I love Japanese movies so much.

Why did you decide to come to Japan?
Because I wanted to learn Japanese and I wanted to know what are the differences between Hong Kong and Japan.

What was your image of Japan before you come?
I thought my classmates would have a fairly low level of English.

Now that you are here, does it match your image of Japan?
I actually found that my classmates are very good in English.

What is surprising about Japan for you now? What did you not expect?
I did not expect to find so many people who are so skilled in speaking Chinese. Tokyo is far more international than I had envisioned.

What has been your best experience so far?
Well I just got here 8 days ago, so I don’t have that many experiences yet, but I am looking forward to many interested experiences during this year.

How is Seiritsu different or the same from your school?
The same thing is that at both we need to wear school uniforms. One big thing I noticed is that we are not allowed to wear any accessories at Seiritsu.

Do you want to join any clubs?
I am unbelievably excited to join the cooking club. Just thinking about it makes my heart flutter. I love cooking!

What do you want to accomplish & see in Japan?
I want to see every funny thing that only one can find in Japan!

What will you do when you go home?
I will spend time with my friends and my family because I think I’m going to America next year and I think I will miss the friends I make in Japan.

What is your future dream?
I hope I can earn a lot of money so that I can come to Japan every year!

September 8, 2010

New Student: Camila



My name is Camilla Jacobsen and my friends call me Cammy or Milla. The full nickname for Cammy is “Cammy the cat” because my friends often say that I act like a cat. I come from Denmark. At the moment I’m only 15, but I will turn 16 in December.

Where are you from?
Back in Denmark I live in a little town called Randers. It is really small compared to Tokyo! My old schools name was “Randers Kristne friskole”

What is famous about your country or town?
My country is very famous for H.C. Andersen, who is a famous 19th century writer. He wrote stories like “The Little Mermaid” and “The Ugly Duckling." We are also very famous for the statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. Right now it is in China. My town is famous for a tropical zoo called “Randers rainforest”, which is a big rainforest inside 3 large geodesic domes.

What is interesting about your school?
My old school is very small!We have from kindergarten until 10th grade, but still we only manage to get up to 200 students a year total. In 9th grade, there is a class trip to USA for 9 days.

Do you have any hobbies?
Yes of course I have many. I love art and I draw so much in my free time! I have done martial arts since I was 9, but I’ve had a break for 4 months. I like to read manga and watch anime. I also like to play games, such as final fantasy, kingdom hearts, persona and many others.

How did you decide to come to Japan?
Because it’s so different from Denmark and because I like the culture very much.
At first I was only supposed to take a short trip to Japan, but later it got turned into a high school year.

What was your image of Japan?
A very traditional place, but also very modern. I expected everyone to be very formal! Also that many places would be very crowded.

Now that you are here, does it match your image of Japan?
It’s not as formal as I expected and there are fewer people, than I thought there would be.

What is surprising about Japan? What did you not expect?
I did not expect the heat! I knew it was hot in Japan, but not this hot! Normally I’m used to 16 degrees to 23 degrees but recently we have been experience 35+ degrees!

What has been your best experience so far?
So far I think that the cruise in Tokyo I went on was one of the best times! But going to Akihabara, the electronics district, was also very fun.

How is Seiritsu different or the same as your school?
It is very different from my school in Denmark. This school is a lot bigger and there are so many different classes! It also has school clubs, which is something we don’t have in Denmark at all.

Do you want to join any clubs?
Yes, I plan on joining the art club and maybe the karate or kendo club.

What do you want to accomplish and see in Japan?
I want to see as many things as possible in Japan and I really want to become skilled at speaking Japanese.

What will you do when you go home?
I think I will go to university or something like that. Or maybe later take a year off and travel all over the world with my best friend.

What is your future dream?
To work with languages in an international setting. Working as a translator is something I am currently considering.

September 8, 2010

Summer break 2010


Well, the summer vacation is over and school has started again. It was hard to get up early again since the hot weather caused me to get sleepy and unlike in Finland it is still very much summer here. Therefore at the end of the day I tend to be exhausted. But then again, it’s nice to get back into a familiar routine.

My summer vacation was a healthy mix eventfulness and free time. Most of the interesting things seemed to happen in the middle. During the beginning of July I still had school and during which I studied some Japanese and worked together with Richie on our music video project, which we were able to finish in the nick of time.

After school was completely over, I had a bit of a slow start in terms of activity, in which I found myself using the computer a bit too much. This phase didn’t last for long however, since I quickly joined a karate dojo and went as often as I could. The dojo has a really nice atmosphere and I enjoy training there and I believe to have made some progress.

Of course the vacation had its downs too. The worst part was getting a horrible sunburn on my shoulders and back, while at the pool with my host family. This became extremely painful when I had to carry a portable shrine on my shoulders during a summer festival. That experience taught me to always apply sunscreen on a sunny day. I do not want to go through that ever again.

All in all it was a pretty good summer but I am definitely ready to start school again and get back into the swing of things.


September 8, 2010

New Student: Eskild



My name is Eskild a new Seiritsu international student. The name comes from Northern European mythology, and means golden helmet. I’m from Norway, and I’m 17 years old.

Where am I from?
I come from a small town in the countryside, with only 5000 inhabitants.
I walk for 20 minutes to get to school, and I study music. I'm still pretty bad at it though, since I’ve only been studying for one year.

What’s famous about my town and country?
My town isn't really famous for anything, but the area I live in is one of Norway’s biggest agricultural areas, which produces 1/5 of Norway’s wheat supplies. Norway is known for the Norwegian salmon, fjords, skiing, knitted clothes and a fairly good cheese.

What’s interesting about my school at home?
It’s a school where you can choose between 4 courses; Music, academic, sports or carpentry.

My hobbies:
My hobbies are music, and a bit of computer games. Otherwise I'm hoping to find something interesting while here in Japan.

How did I become interested in Japan?
I became interested in Japan about 4 years ago, when a friend of mine showed me some anime, in Japanese. I was so fascinated by the language that I started to watch anime almost every day just to hear the language, so instead of actually studying Japanese, I watched anime. So before I came to Japan I could not write or read anything(It's getting better though), but I understand some of what people say.

Why did I come to Japan?
I decided to come to Japan because I've been fascinated by Japanese music(Shamisen is so cool), anime, and of course the Japanese language. My image of Japan before I left is actually quite close to my first impression. Lot of people riding trains, a lot of people in a hurry, and a lot of vending machines.

How is Seiritsu different from my school in Norway?
Seiritsu is BIG. My school in Norway only has around 400-500 students, while Seiritsu has over 1200 students.

I would like to join a sports club, like baketball, volleyball, or some kind of martial arts club. I'm new to everything, so we’ll see what I’ll do.

What do I wish to accomplish or see while here in Japan?
I wish to learn Japanese as much as I can, then continue studies back home, in Norway, so that I can come back to Japan without being totally lost. And I want to see everything!

What will I do when I go home?
I am going to finish high school, and go to a university to study Japanese. I am also going to study for a teacher’s license.

What is my future dream?
My future dream is to become a teacher (to teach music, social studies and English). And I hope that I will be able to be a teacher in Japan.

September 8, 2010

Fraser MacColl September post

Myself (left) with Seiritsu graduates during the summer.

Hey! Fraser here, back from summer break and blogging in for this month and letting you all know what I did this summer. As you may assume I had a very enjoyable summer break. I visited many areas of the Kanto, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Shizuoka areas. I also climbed to the peak of Mt. Fuji which was a very difficult, enduring experience. Lastly my mom came to visit me in Japan which was a very nice surprise.

I learned lots about Japan while going to the surrounding prefectures around the Kanto area and had so much fun doing so. I visited more places then I have ever before and learned more about the train system in the different prefectures. While checking out new places I went to many festivals going on throughout the summer holidays which was a great cultural experience.

Now climbing Mt. Fuji was a great experience and I was so lucky to have been there on great weather. Though I did get burnt very badly but besides that the climb was great. However I have no intention of climbing it again. Its one of those things you do once for the experience but otherwise it is not something you would want to do more then once. The view on Mt.Fuji had a very extensive view of all the surrounding prefectures which was very nice to look at. Though the best part was half way up the mountain just at the break of dawn we saw the shadow the mountain gleaming against the sky as the sun rose.

Then my mom visiting me was absolutely awesome since I didn't go home for Summer holidays. It was a great opportunity to catch up on lost time. We had a ceremony for my Grand-father who had passed away which was a great chance to see most of my family in Japan. We also went to a lot of incredible places in Tokyo I didn't think existed so even so I had more of a cultural experience in the Tokyo area.

This Summer was very well the best summer I have ever had, and I intend to make next year a more extensive summer break!


September 8, 2010

Sweet 16


Well first off, the start of Semester 3 happened to coincide with my 16th birthday. My Japanese friends had still remembered my birth date from when I told them long ago. I was shocked when they sang Happy Birthday to me. A few gave me birthday presents, but the fact that they remembered my birthday is a very good present for me. Everything is going like it should, so I think it is going to be a great last 6 months here as an exchange student.

I had a great summer holiday this year. I always had things to do so I didn’t get bored, and I actually quite enjoyed my summer. I was amazed how Japanese students keep going to school during summer holidays! It’s kind of interesting how one of the girls said “I wanted to meet my friends so I came to school, and I like to wear the school uniform too, because it’s cute.” Although it was the summer holiday we still had to come to school almost everyday for the first month for at least 2 periods. This was fine with me, because we improved our Japanese language so we can talk to the Japanese more fluently.

I also attended badminton camp for 4 days at Minakami city in Gunma prefecture, a few hours north of Tokyo. It’s a very beautiful city, but the training was very tiring, we went to bed at 10pm and we woke up at 6am. After we all woke up, the teacher came to our room and said “hey lets go jog on the mountain” It’s very amazing how the Japanese are devoted to their club activities. We trained all day and all night, only having several 10 minute water breaks, and a lunch break. But luckily our lodgings had a natural hot spring! The last day of the camp we all went rafting on a river, which was very exciting although the water was cold.

I also went out with my host family, the Tamura’s. We went to the Nasu highland, to a house they own there, for 5 days. Once a year they go there for a vacation, the house is made out of wood, so it’s a real nice house for living in. Since they own a construction and interior design company the house was located near the house of a famous rock band vocalist from X-Japan! I also discovered that the Tamura’s used to be a samurai clan! They still have the clan’s crest since the Meiji period and the head leader’s katana. I guess I was lucky to have stayed with them for the whole summer. Overall I’ve enjoyed being in Japan so far, and I want to learn more about Japanese culture.




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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