November 24, 2015

Meg's potato picking experience!

Meg here!

On November 12 we went to do Imohori, potato picking in English .

First I waited for Emilie and Melissa at Akabane station and then we went together to Higashi Washinomiya.

When we got there we met with our classmates and changed our clothes. Then we went to the hatake (field) to get imo (poatatoes). We dug for sweet potatoes and then normal potatoes first.
I did Imohori with my friend Julia.


While we we were digging there were worms and a lot of other insects.The boys were playing with the insects by throwing them at the girls.


Then I counted the potatoes and separated them up with Julia. We got so many potatoes, we used 6 plastic bags to take them all home!
After digging we had Curry. In the curry there were potatoes, and the rice for the curry is the rice that we harvested at inekari (rice harvesting) during last term.


After everything finished we went back to Washinomiya station and headed to Ikebukuro .
First we took purikuras at round one (a famous amusement chain with arcades and bowling alleys, etc) and after that we hung out at Ikebukuro .

November 20, 2015

New International Student: Say Hello, Toby!


I am Toby, I am on a student exchange from Australia for Japan and this is my second time coming here. I am in Japan for one month and I am here planning to extend my Japanese studies, experience the culture and make new friends. I am currently staying in Saitama with a host family who are very welcoming and kind. Japan is a great city with a lot of great opportunities, so I plan to return to Japan when I am older and further continue my studies.


Back home, I live in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia and attend Cranbrook School[this school, Toby included, visited seiritsu last year! -PW]. I have been studying Japanese in Australia for three years in my school, but I felt that I was not getting enough out of my Japanese class in school, so I decided to organise an exchange to Tokyo.

So far, it has been an incredible experience; meeting new people, attending a new school and definitely the bustle of Tokyo transport from home to school everyday. It is a great experience that will never be forgotten and I'm sure there are also many more to be had.

Toby Fellas

November 16, 2015

Mel goes potato picking!

Hello! Mel here!
On November 12 I went to do Imohori (potato digging) with my class. The school has its own plots of land in a place about an hour away called Higashi Washinomiya [This is where the athlete students have their dorms, and it is also the are where Seiritsu has its rice fields - PW] so we all travelled there by train.



First we dug up sweet potatoes using shovels, although in some places the sweet potatoes were buried quite deep in the ground so it was hard work! Next we dug up white potatoes! I haven't eaten mine yet but they looked really good and fresh! The only sad thing about the day was the bugs and spiders in the soil! I even saw some of the boys in my class playing catch with a worm!


Me and my friend Hana made a yukidaruma (snowman) out of mud which was really cute!! Imohori was really fun and it was such a nice feeling going on a school trip with the class and getting closer to everyone!



November 10, 2015

Laurence's October Web Post!

Laurence here!

A lot happened this month, but one of the most memorable things definitely was my school trip to the Emperor’s palace with the international department. Our visit started at Tokyo Station, which is officially already on imperial grounds.


When we arrived on the site, we were not allowed to walk past a certain point. We didn’t know why at first but then we noticed that something was going out of the palace grounds : two carriages led by beautiful horses and escorted by cars were on their way out! Inside were probably members of the emperor’s family and we were just in time to see them off. Not exactly a sight you get to see ever day right? Lucky us!


We walked past the moats and headed to one of the numerous entrances to the gardens. There’s actually around 32 of these entrances, that were built in order to confuse invaders and break their momentum.


The international students, Teresa and I got to listen to many interesting and intricate stories at key locations throughout the day. We were very lucky to have Brent and Peter and our knowledgable guides! They were also willing to let us take the time to stop and take lots of pictures, which was appreciated.

Our visit ended at Yasukuni Shrine. Past the gates, the actual shrine felt very peaceful. There were dozens of chrysanthenums in blooms neatly lined up near the main shrine, along with some trees and ikebana. It was a nice relief from the ever so present noises of the city, which have been personally a bit hard to get used to.It was a very fun day and even though the areas we visited are probably going to be very crowded then, I’m still considering going back in the spring when the cherry trees are in bloom.


Lastly, I want to talk about a little about the one thing people associate with October in the West : Halloween! Although it hasn’t been celebrated here for very long, Halloween has been slowly but surely becoming more popular in Japan in recent years. Huge parties are held in the bigger wards and you see decorations everywhere, even in "konbinis"! In grocery stores, tons of limited editions of snacks and sweets with jack ‘o’ Lanterns pop up, neatly wrapped in cute orange and black packaging. That being said, while pumpkin is popular here during October, pumpkin spice isn’t so much, which is a big difference with the West. Halloween seems to be more cute than scary here, and more focused on dressing up and catering to children. So while grown ups definitely use it as an excuse to throw costume parties, you probably wont see people dressing up ( or parents dressing up their kids) as visual representation of puns or semi-obscure references to pop culture, which has become increasingly popular in the West.

See you next month!!


November 5, 2015

A quick introduction from Tai.


Hello. My name is Tai. I am from Beijing,China. I came to Seiritsu Gakuen in April.


My club is basketball club, because I like playing basketball.
I am enjoying studying at Seiritsu. It's difficult for me, but I will try my best.
My classmates are very friendly. I don't feel very strange.
We also have many interesting days. We had an event in September and we had a small trip last week.


My club has had many games with the other clubs. They were so fun.



November 5, 2015

Seiritsu Gakuen on TV!

We can now announce a big secret..

It was an exciting time for all students at Seiritsu Gakuen on Monday October 5, as famous veteran J-pop idol group V6 came to visit the school!

Under sworn secrecy the band arrived just after the lunch bell rang, to tour the grounds and interact with all students as part of their 20th anniversary special TV program "Let's go to school".

They also faced our national championship winning futsal side in a small game, which we won 1-0 thanks to an own goal!

The 20th anniversary program was aired on November 3. We are unable publish pictures for copyright reasons, but we know for sure that there are some videos around.. !

Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator

October 29, 2015

Mel's International Department Outing Experience

During test week the International department visited the Imperial Palace (皇居) and Yasukuni shrine (靖国神社) with the purpose of learning about Japanese culture and history.


The part of the trip that interested me the most was the story of the 47 ronin. The story starts a Lord named Asano, who was continuously taunted by a corrupt Lord named Kira. Eventually Asano could no longer take Kira's teasing and insults and swung his dagger at him on imperial soil; the penalty for doing so being death.

In 1701 after Lord Asano was ordered to commit seppuku (ritual suicide), his servants and samurai now had no master. 47 of these samurai decided to hatch a plot of revenge on Kira for the sake of their master In order to avoid Kira's spies the men lived new lives, with the leader Oishi constantly drinking and spending his time with Geisha in order to make Kira believe the samurai had given up on any idea of revenge.

Oishi's plan worked and Kira relaxed his guard, allowing the samurai to enter the palace grounds and kill him. Of course like their master Lord Asano the punishment for this crime was seppuku and yet they had killed Kira knowing the punishment they faced. The story was extremely popular in Tokyo in Kabuki theatres due to the 'bushido honour' of the loyalty the samurai showed for their master.


Peter told us this story whilst we stood in front of the place where Kira’s murder took place and so it had a very powerful effect [Actually, it was the corridor where the inital fateful attack by Asano on Kira happened - PW]. I had heard of the story before, but hearing it in more detail was an interesting experience.


October 24, 2015

Meg's ID outing experience

Hi, Meg here!

I'm going to talk about the places that I went to at the Tokyo imperial palace grounds.
On October 21 we went to the imperial palace.


One of the places that we went to is the Edo castle grounds. First when I went there I thought it was huge. It was surrounded by huge big blocks of walls all the way around, but it was not to far from Tokyo station. I thought that it must have taken many years to finish building it all.

We sadly didn't get close enough to the nijubashi to be able to take a photo this trip. Here are some swans instead! - PW

Next is the Nijubashi bridge.

We went to the entrance and there was a big mon (gate). We tried to go in but it was closed. I wondered why so I looked it up and it said that they only open the entrances on January 2 (when the Emperor greets the citizens for the new year) and December 23 (the Emperor's birthday).

But from the view it looked very beautiful so I was sad that we couldn't go in.


While walking for a long time around the old castle grounds, there were a couple places where we could rest .

We stopped at the inner park. It was clean and very green every where [This is where the old Daimyo had their houses, close to the shogun's castle, in the Edo era -PW]. There were some people resting and sleeping there on the grass. I think it is a good place for people who want to stay in a quiet place without any disturbance.

It was a very beautiful green place, so I think that I want to go there again .

October 16, 2015

Teresa's post for October

Hello! Teresa here.

I have officially visited all of my classes; however, I have yet to team teach with some teachers because of exams next week. Things have been like a roller coaster in terms of work, but I find the workload similar to my university class loads in the States. These are always manageable with planning and preparation!


Outside of the classroom, I started to explore my surroundings. One stop from my apartment is an extremely amazing park with exercise machinery and a soccer field! Hopefully I have the inspiration to continue working out.


I also visited the shopping district closest to me and found a store that sells Hokkaido cheese tarts for 200 yen. They are so famous that people actually wait at least 15 minutes to buy one. Also, the shop allows a person to buy max 12 tarts due to great demand! I am definitely going to buy one next time I explore the area.



October 10, 2015

Connor on the up- good luck!

The International Department would like to extend our congratulations and wish the very best of luck to our 3rd year international athlete student Connor, who has now has returned to Australia to pursue a professional career in soccer!

Connor was also selected in the Australia national U20 squad that went to Laos to qualify for the AFC U19 Asia Championships, held in Bahrain next year!

Connor was announced on the Football Federation Australia site earlier last month. We hope that his hopes and dreams are realised, and that there is good news to share when he comes back for his graduation ceremony in March!

Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator



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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