Cross-cultural Experience for Children

Sunday, September 10, Sano Community Center Multipurpose Room

The yearly event Let’s Play with Foreigners was held for elementary school aged children and their parents.  The event was a pleasure for the children as it is every year. And again, this year, the planning and management were handled by the mothers of World Fun, an intercultural exchange circle for child rearing.


Where is Bolivia?

A first look at characters of foreign languages!

A spark of interest in foreign countries

On September 10th, 9 foreigners from 6 countries and 14 children along with their parents attended the international exchange event called Let’s Play with Foreigners. The event planning was done by members of World Fun, a parent-child organization.

Foreigners explained the differences between Japan and their home countries. For example, expressing animal sounds and the method for cutting a cake, were demonstrated. It was discovered that Bolivians have a unique way to cut a cake, that even parents were surprised to hear.

In the Question Corner children asked questions such as, “Do you have vending machines in Bulgaria?”. The children’s eyes gazed in anticipation of the response.

Foreigners wrote names and greetings in their native languages such as Korean and Tagalog, on a shrinkable plastic. Following,  participants heated up their creations and formed key rings. At the end everyone made a circle and moved to a Bolivian dance. Everyone left with a grin from ear to ear.

My grade 1 son suddenly had a new-found interest in foreign countries. When we arrived home my son asked questions like “Where’s Taiwan?” and “What do Chinese people eat?”. I was so happy to participate in the event. Next year please come to World Fun Event! Bring the whole family! (S.T.)

I was surprised by the way Bolivians cut their cakes!

1.Cut in a circular shape.
2. Cut radially from the center.
Using this method for large gatherings and celebrations,  family, friends, and neighbors can all enjoy a piece of cake.

Summer Festival in Izumisano!

Sunday, September 30 at Suehiro Park

It was the 42nd Izumisano Obon Festival. This year was the second attempt to try and break the Guinness Book of World Record for the most Bon Odori dancers. This year about 2,400 people participated including eighteen ica Japanese language students from nine different countries. As festival goers packed stalls selling goods, dancers dressed in yukata danced to the traditional folk song of Izumisano, Sano Kudoki.

Join the practice session and dance to perfection!
ica dancers with traditional style fans.


Japanese language teacher and students.

Japanese Presentation Time

Japanese Class presentation
Sunday June 18, 2017

Let’s speak Japanese was held on June 18 in the ica Japanese Presentation Room. Around 50 people participated. There were 13 presenters representing 6 countries. Speeches included topics such as personal interests, presenter’s home countries, and Japan.


● Today’s Korean Entertainment (Korea)
● Poetry Reading (China)
● My thoughts on coming to Japan (Korea)
● Morning Relay (China)
● About Japan (Vietnam)
● Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam)
● My Little Village (Vietnam)
● Why I Like Japan (Germany)
● How to Make Dakdoritang (Korea)
● Self Introduction (China)
● Picture-story show: Tears of the Camel (Mongolia)
● My Proud Library and the Benefits of Reading (UK)
● My Favorite Korean Idol (China)


Participants’ Impressions

● It was really fun. Many foreigners talked about various topics. This event was a good opportunity to talk in Japanese with people studying Japanese from various countries. (Germany)

● It was a nice experience. I was surprised that people from various countries spoke Japanese quite well. I also think I should study harder. (Korea)

● People from many countries expressed their enjoyment of Japan. I enjoyed hearing the variety of stories of about life in Japan. (Japan)

● It was fun, thank you. I love you teacher Matsumura! (Korea)

● The speech, “My thoughts on Coming to Japan”, was fun and I laughed a lot. (England)

● It was interesting. Various countries and adults and children are here. (China)

● I’m happy that I could particpate this year too. (Mongolia)

● In my brain: Nervousness, sleepiness, food, and everyone’s Japanese is so good !!!! ♡ Fantastic!! ♡ (China)

● International Japanese party! Thanks to ica and Izumisano, it was great! (China)



After the presentations everyone came together for a group photo.


The language exchange party atmosphere included sighs of relief as tension melted away and everyone smiled.

Inside Mongolia

On May 28 at Ebuno Izumi-no-mori Hall (Izumisano Municipal Cultural Hall), in the multi-space facility, one hundred participants gathered for event, “Inside MongoliaーA World from a Different Dimension”.


Surenjav Batsuren plays a morin khuur that depicts Suho’s White Horse.

An Invitation to the Mongolian Grasslands

This event began with the sound of Batsuren’s morin khuur, a traditional Mongolian stringed instrument. Following this Ms. Oyungerel recited Suho’s White Horse and invited us to the windy Mongolian grasslands. Then we listened to Mongolian throat singing. For those that had heard throat singing for the first time, it sounded like there was an instrument in Batsuren’s body. I heard that he had to practice quite a lot. As Batsuren mentioned, there are some similarities between Japan and Mongolia. Among today’s performances, the traditional Mongolian songs resembled Japanese folk songs. When Itsuki ‘s Lullaby was performed with the morin khuur it felt familiar to my ears. Izumisano City and the Tov Province of Mongolia have a joint friendship through the exchange of education, culture and sports. In addition, Mongolia is well known for the success of its sumo wrestlers, but today I wonder if everyone felt closer to Mongolia. (K)

Ms. Oyungerel reads from the picture book, Suho’s White Horse.


Words from the Audience

  • My soul was shaken by the sad sound of the morin khuur.
  • The reading of Suho’s White Horse and the tune of the morin khuur,  when the horse ran away, made an impression on me.
  • During the throat singing portion my 7 year old grandson looked around for the source of the mysterious sound.
  • I was pleased to hear the story of how he went to Mongolia to pick up the white horse head morin khuur -an instrument made for this day.

Easter Eggs and Lemon Cakes: A German Sweets Lecture

Sunday, March 26 at Sano Public Hall
Midori Yoshida, who lived in Germany for 9 years, had a class on making Easter eggs and lemon cakes, a common tradition of Easter celebrations in Germany this time of year.

How to Make Easter Eggs

From the whiteboard


Sand the edges of egg shell with sandpaper.


Make  a 5-7 mm hole and break the yolk. Then blow air through the hole on top to remove the contents.


Let the eggs dry.


When you’ve finished painting the Easter egg is complete!

Below are German style lemon cakes containing the egg whites and yolks from the Easter eggs. Participants are putting icing on a freshly baked lemon cake. What a pleasant aroma!


Participants’ Impressions

I have an Easter egg at my house and I wondered about how to make it. It was great to be able to learn how to make one today. (M)

Sanding the eggs was delicate work, but it was fun. (K)

Making holes in the egg took patience and time. It was difficult to remove the contents of the eggs. (O)

I am interested in Germany, so I’m glad that I could participate today. (M)

I was able to learn about German culture and the differences between Japan and Germany. It was interesting. (I)