Izumisano Cross-cultural Association (ica), a privately run volunteer NGO, is a fun place to gather and meet people from all over the world. At ica we learn various skills and discuss various topics in a casual setting.
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.
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)
● 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.
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)
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.
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!
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)
The ica Girls’ Festival was held at Kansai International Center on March 5th. There were around 90 Japanese and 40 foreigners who participated. It was a spectacular display of pageantry as kimono dressed participants enjoyed drinking tea and playing traditional Japanese games.
This is the fourth year of children’s songs from childcare groups. The children are quite grown up now. They also worked hard at managing the cat’s cradle and origami booth.
For paper sumo wrestling this year, opposing players competed with paper wrestlers that they had painted.
Hosts Natalie (Panama) and Han (Vietnam) said “We were happy that we were able to moderate. It turned out to be Japanese practice.”
Participants took enjoyment in yesteryear’s pastimes with activities such as origami, doll making, Go, Shogi, paper balloons, Beigoma, Mizuhiki, Kendama, and Daruma.
Although I was busy getting people dressed, it was fun. It was nice talking with people from different countries. (Fujimoto / Japan)
Beigoma (top spinning) was pretty difficult but I was able to do it well.
(Yuto Amino/ 6 years old / Japan)
Plate spinning was fun. It was my first time but I was happy to be able to spin plates successfully. (Reilon Katsuta / China)
Making paper dolls was fun. (Kachobun / China)
I did origami and watercolor painting. It was fun to wear a kimono. (Salam / Liberia)
It was fun to be able to wear a kimono. It wasn’t as hot as I thought it would be. Japanese wedding kimonos are very heavy. (Tier / Indonesia)
My mother and father taught me how to do origami in my country so I had done origami before. It was my first time making a crane. It was fun watching sumo wrestling. I enjoyed the plate spinning as well. I was taught how to do it so I got pretty good at it. I also love tea. In addition, I also love matcha and Japanese sweets. Japanese culture is quite interesting. (Lucy / Armenia)
(In cooperation with Soroptimist International Osaka – Rinku, 3rd Place, and Art Mizuhiki Musubi Association)