Children’s International Exchange

Sunday, September 4, Sano Public Hall Multipurpose Room

Twenty-five children, up to grade four of elementary school, and their parents listened to the stories of the students of Japanese learners from ica and also played Rock, Scissors, Paper. This year was a first time the mothers of the World Fun (intercultural exchange group for families) held the event. They found some time in their busy schedules for to prepare for this event and were careful to design the event to appeal to children’s interests.

Children and Adults Have a Good Time
I was a staff member from the preparation stage to the final event of the international exchange event “Let’s play with foreigners”. All staff members were struggling to find ideas that both children and adults, and both foreigners and Japanese would enjoy. On Saturday, natives of Sri Lanka, Korea, China, Bulgaria and the Philippines joined in and taught greetings in foreign languages ​​such as “good morning”. Participants also learned how express animal sounds such as dog barks and took an animal bark quiz. There were plenty of things to do and see. For example, members asked such questions as “What do you have for breakfast?”, others listened to a Sri Lankan songs and everyone joined along in a Bulgarian dance.

Everyone was very excited about the Sri Lanka’s game where players were blindfolded and had to correctly place the elephant’s eyeball on the elephant’s body. No matter which country, we all laughed. It was so fun that time flew by.
(Hanako Sugimoto)

* J: com coverage broadcasts on Tuesday, October 6.



Summer Festival in Izumisano

Izumisano Summer Festival in Izumisano
August 20, 2016
Suehiro Park

Local gathering in Izumisano – the plan was to break the world record of 3,000 people dancing to the traditional song of Izumisano, Sano Kudoki, while wearing traditional yukata. It wasn’t broken this time however. This year the number of participants came to about 500.

Totaling sixteen people and representing nine countries, Japanese language learners from ica and members of Kansai International Center, participated in the event. People from various countries gathered and like good friends, enjoyed informal and carefree conversation.


Speaking true words, the song goes, “The dancers are fools. The watchers are fools. Both are fools…” While the dance appears slow moving and simple, it can be difficult. By observing others and paying attention to the timing of the hand claps, the routine can be learned. Everyone works up a good sweat.



●(On the left) Mei, a Philippine native with her two children. She’s been in Japan for seven years but this is the first time she’s worn a yukata. When she finished dancing she was interviewed by NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation). The interview was a great experience.

●(On the right) Nagamu, a Syrian native, selling her handmade work at the ica booth this year. Nishimura, who learned the craft in Turkey, introduced Nagamu to the craft. Now Nagamu uses the technique to make cute handmade earrings and accessories.

●Ratna, who was wearing a beautiful green national costume of Bangladesh also enjoyed wearing a yukata.

●Through ica, Yureka from Sri Lanka and Kuwan from Taiwan, recently became very good friends. On the day of the event they met at the bus stop in front of Izumisano Station and then arrived at the event together. Japanese, the language they both just started learning, is their lingua franca. Chamu, Yureka’s husband, is fluent in Japanese. He entertained people with his funny jokes and engaging conversation topics.

It was a good experience!

It was a very good experience. I was surprised that so many people danced wearing yukata to break the world record. Is Bon Odori related to Buddhism? There are thousands of dances in India too. The way of dancing is different in various ways… It was interesting to meet a lot Japanese people today. I also went fishing for goldfish. Is this a traditional type of game? I caught 25 fish with two paper fishnets. The trick is to use the edge and scoop up quickly. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take the fish home so I had to return them.
Gautam, India

Bon Odori in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2008

When I was a Japanese teacher in Malaysia in 2008 the Japanese Association in Malaysia asked my school to join in the Bon Odori event. With volunteer students and teachers, I participated in the event.

We practiced at the Japanese Association building at night. Then, on the day of the dance I made a mistake and wore a white pair of shoes instead of a black pair. Despite my teacher status, I had made a mistake and the other ladies pointed it out. Luckily, I was able to borrow some black shoes and eventually we danced in front of more than fifty audience members, including some VIPs.
(Kadodera / Japanese teacher)

Authentic Chinese Dumplings with Mom and Dad

Wednesday, August 17, Sano Public Hall Kitchen

Ms. Chinmei from China, demonstrated how to make Chinese dumplings from wrapper to filling. It was a lively cooking class made up of six groups, including children from ages four to twelve. Before tasting the dumplings everyone said “wo kai shi chi la” (Let’s eat). Ms. Chinmei served her handmade desert called “xiancao” which added to everyone’s summer vacation memories.


The children doing a great job of cutting vegetables, mixing dumpling bean paste, kneading flour, and making dumpling wrappers.
The making of Xiancao.  When Chinese native herbs are added to the liquid mixture after being boiled the liquid solidifies and becomes jelly. Xiancao is popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan as a dessert and is believed to alleviate the effects of summer heat.


Words from the Participants
· I wanted to make dumpling wrappers, so I joined. It was rich and tasty.
· I enjoyed cutting vegetables.
· I was a bit nervous because there was a TV camera. *
· The wrapping style of dumplings was different from what I was doing at home. I made it cute so I think I will try it at home again.
* J: COM broadcasts on August 23.

It’s Japanese Presentation Time

The 10th Annual ICA Japanese Class Presentations were held on Sunday, May 6, 2016. This year there were 16 presenters. Presentations included a variety of content and formats. Some presenters introduced their home countries, others talked about life in Japan, or their experiences learning Japanese. Others recited passages, sang music, or performed rakugo. After the presentations there was a chance for the 33 audience members to share words with the presenters.

The Program

An Impressive Moment ● Ogi – / Mongolia
Self-introduction ● MoMie / China
My Candy Can(s) ● Wang Nan / China
Morning of the Relay ● Grace / Philippines
Rakugo ● Emilio / Italy
Home Country Introduction and Mission ● Taranga / Sri Lanka
My Family and Japan ● Nirumini / Sri Lanka
(song) “Promise of Sunflowers” ● Aiko Mizuno / Japan
(song) “500 Miles” ● Mari Mizuno / Japan
Home Country Introduction● Mizuno Fefuranshia / Philippines
New Year’s in Japan and Sri Lanka ● Nadika / Sri Lanka
The Differences between Sri Lankan and Japanese Life and Culture ● Himari / Sri Lanka
Life in Japan ● Jan’natu / Bangladesh
My life in Japan ● Huang Shin / China
(recital) “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” ● Song Yingjie / China
(song) “Jida” ● Chieri Hasegawa / Thailand



The moderator for the first half was Fefuranshia (Philippines). “It was a good experience, however, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to moderate well because I had just finished working the night before.” The moderator for the second half was Chieri Hasegawa (Thailand). “It was fun!”


After the Show Meet and Greet

Reflections from the presenters

A presentation such as this, made me nervous but also made me more confident. (Ogi / Mongolia)

I was so nervous but It was a good experience. (Jannatu / Bangladesh)

I was happy to hear, “Your song was great!”, from the audience.(Aiko Mizuno)

I was happy to attend the presentation. I regret that my speech was too short. I will try again next year.(Huang / China)

Impressions from the audience

The rakugo performance was very interesting and the plot was good. I think it could have been better if the story was a bit longer. (A)

The Osaka dialect was very good. (I)

I was impressed with the way they presented various ideas. For example they used computers. I could see that they had worked hard when I saw them doing their best.(M)

The presentations had variety and were interesting. Those who are good at Japanese and those who have just started studying, were both trying hard. They must have inspired each other. (M)

Arpa Performance and Talk

Sachiyo Uenoyama held a global awareness session at Ebuno Izuminomori Hall. Drawing upon her experiences teaching Japanese in Paraguay, she gave a lecture and played the arpa, a Paraguayan harp.  Alongside her gentle yet powerful harp playing, were her own paintings. The colorful paintings visually captured the expressive mood of the music. Many of the attendees were touched by the performance.

アルパ演奏_3292sUenoyama played the harp wearing the national costume of Paraguay. The costume, a very colorful display of delicately stitched lace and patterns was meant to resemble earth with its rich diversity of people.

Listening to the Arpa Performance and Talk

by Makoto Otsuya

Uenoyama is sometimes a school counselor, sometimes she’s an actress, and at other times she’s an oil painter. However, I truly feel that Uenoyama is a warrior of love.

I listen to my ipod every day and after listening to Uenoyama’s live music, I felt comfort surrounded by the real sound of the harp. She produced smooth gentle tones, intense sounds, and occasionally struck my heart by the sounds she produced. A couple times she tapped the base turning the arpa into a drum.

The talk was as unique as Osaka and easy to understand even though it was a difficult topic. I was surprised and laughed suddenly when she performed a little skit.

At the beginning she was wearing a costume of Paraguay. She represented the earth in all it’s color and diversity. Then suddenly she put on her beret and became a painter.

While explaining her artwork, such as the Constellation, I came to realize Uenoyama’s wide breadth of abilities, from painter to arpa player.  “I’m the same age”, I thought.  “I need to start trying harder.”

Words from the Audience


I felt very fortunate to hear the story of about the colorful costumes.They had been knitted, not by one person, but by various people.

Again, I’m reminded of the meaning of life.

I’m glad I brought the family.