Feature Article

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WA・GA・SHI: making traditional Japanese sweets

Friday, February 8 at Izumisano Cross-cultural Center


We welcomed veteran Japanese confectionery artisans to help demonstrate how to make three types of traditional Japanese spring sweets. A total of 22 participants joined, including 6 foreigners from Kansai International Center who are also Japanese learners at ica. Through hands-on experience and conversation, participants deepened their understanding of Japanese culture.

Words from the participants

  • I love wagashi. It was very difficult to make but it was fun. I was so happy to be able to make it myself. (Indonesia)
  • It was very fun today. The teacher was very good. I’m happy because the sweets were delicious. I want to make Japanese sweets in the future. (Pakistan)
  • Making sweets was quite relaxing. I enjoyed the atmosphere. (Germany)
  • It was fun to make wagashi, and it was a lot of fun to be able to interact with people from various countries. Cooking naturally creates conversation. (Japan)

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 26 at Kansai International Center


A total of 101 people, including 40 foreigners, gathered. In the atmosphere of the new year, everyone sang Happy New Years and played various games. Participants enjoyed traditional games and took part in activities such as Go, origami, Fukuwari and tea ceremony. Following this, all participants played a game of telephone creating an exciting scene.

In cooperation with International Soroptimist Osaka-Rinku

Gaya-gaya Party

Saturday, December 7


To conclude the year, ica held its annual End-of-the-year Party called Gaya-gaya Party. Attending this year, were 112 people, including 44 foreigners. Many families participated and people of various ages and nationalities enjoyed singing, dancing, playing games, and chatting.

Constructing a Mongolian Ger

Saturday, October 26, 2019 Inakura Youth Activity Center

The 30th Anniversary of ica will be held on October 31, 2020. In preparation for the event, with the guidance of people from Mongolia, 35 participants gathered in the Inakura Outdoor Youth Center parking lot to assemble a Mongolian ger. On the actual day of the event, next year, the ger will be assembled with all participants.

When we arrived at the venue, several people were carrying heavy wooden framework out from under a storage staircase. I immediately tried to help but the last door I brought out was extremely heavy and quite challenging to carry.

We inserted the umbrella-like slats of the roof into their receptacles. Unfortunately we came up short one hole right at the very end. Because of this we had to correct our mistake. Even though we had this minor setback, like excited children, we still had fun. After its completion, it was already lunch time. In the end, I struck up some conversations with participants over lunch.

Finally, under roof of the completed ger, was a live performance of the morin khuur, a traditional Mongolian stringed instrument. Right before our eyes, came an impressive force of various tones. Eyes closed, Mongolia’s vast wilderness, emanated.

Hajime Katsuragi

Idobata Salon

Friday, October 25, 2019 at Kansai International Center

This year 55 people from 25 different countries, gathered and struck up conversations at Kansai International Center. Joining the foreigners, were 25 Japanese participants, including members of ica and Japanese trainees from Kansai International Center. Groups communicated using a mix of Japanese, English, and gestures to share the a bit of culture from their home countries as well as their impressions of Japan.

Countries of Origin

   
Africa
Uganda
Eritrea
Gabon
Mauritania
Central Africa
Togo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Cameroon
Seychelles

Latin America
Nicaragua
Columbia

Middle East
Turkey

Asia
Indonesia
Cambodia
Nepal
Philippines
Taiwan
Myanmar
Maldives
Japan
Pakistan

Europe
Bulgaria
Georgia
Azerbaijan
Tajikistan
 

Impressions from Participants

  • I’ve never been to a country before. I think if I knew a bit more about myself I could have talked a little more.
  • Everyone has just arrived in Japan, so they feel very excited and hopeful about upcoming experiences. I hope they enjoy their time in Japan despite the hard task of studying.
  • Many people were interested in the culture and language of my country. I felt motivated to learn about the cultures of other countries. (Colombia)
  • Everyone was very kind and I want to meet them again.
    (Myanmar)
  • I learned a lot about Japan and I practiced my Japanese language skills. (Seychelles)