Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1, 2015: Calligraphy

Today the students learned the art of calligraphy and its history. There were aspects to understand before writing the characters. For example, the students had to have a certain posture and hold the brush in  a particular way. The students began by practicing brush strokes and from there started to practice writing kanji.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30: Field Trip to Richmond

Taking a break from the classroom setting, the students took a field trip to the VMFA museum and Carry Street in downtown Richmond. In the museum, the students were able to view the traditional Japanese art and analyze the artistry of historical and present painters and sculptors. These pieces encompassed Japanese values of symbolism that the students studied Monday including the red sun, cranes, and bamboo, as well as the Japanese alphabets that the students have studied for the past week. 
During Lunch, Vi-San admired the artwork in the museum's garden. 
After lunch in the museum's garden, the students were able to walk around a vintage shopping strip including stores such as the traditional Tokyo market where students bought chop sticks and authentic Japanese snacks. Overall, the field trip further introduced the students to Japanese culture while picking up a few unique goods along the way.
In Tokyo Market, Amy-san checks out with her Japanese
goods. The store carries everything from noodles to candies
that the students bought to enjoy in their dorms. 

While touring around Carrytown, Harry-san tries on
merchandise in Soda Pop and Candy Shop. "It was
cool to shop in stores that had so many Japanese
goods for sale," Harry-san said. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

29 June 2015: Toy Lecture!

Today things went a little off schedule as one of the guest speakers canceled their lecture on Japanese Film. Luckily, Sakamaki Sensei came to the rescue and whipped up a presentation on Japanese toys and games.  The students learned about things ranging from Kamifusen (Paper Balloons) to a slightly different version of the classic Red Light Green Light Called "Daruma San Koronda!" Everyone had a lot of fun and got to play with the variety of toys that were explained to them. -Maggie-san

Sunday, June 28, 2015

28 June 2015: Rest Day And Culture Activity

Unlike the other days at the academy, sundays are a lot different. First, the children had the option to sleep in this morning. There was a three hour flex time from 9-12 where students had the option of attending church service, going to bible study with Chung Senpai, or to hang out and study with friends in the lobby. Students went to lunch and attended language class, the students went to an RA taught culture class where they learned about Japanese food, mascot characters, or Japanese games shows! Following dinner, the students participated in a culture activity where they made Hac

himaki (鉢巻), which are Japanese head scarfs, and Uchiwa (団扇), a type of fan. Painting the fans were very fun, and everyone came up with super unique and creative ideas!!! Also, today was Camryn-san's 16th Birthday!!!! Everyone gave her birthday greetings and made sure that she had a special day!

Lauren San:)  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

27 June 2015: Undokai and Birthdays

Today, after the daily Radio Taisou and a well deserved breakfast, we began the day's activities with 運動会 (Undoukai), a sports festival in which students were split into different teams and competed for a grand prize of stickers, candy, and nutrition bars! Events included the creation of a team cheer, Daruma Ga Koronda (Similar to Red-light Green-light), and a scavenger hunt. Following fierce competition over the course of 3 hours, Orange team came out on top with 25 points and took home the prizes amidst the shouts and cheers of all competitors. Later today, students had a chance to access the outside world, so parents, please check your emails! This evening, students and staff had a film night and watched Samurai Fiction.
Finally, at the nightly meeting, two students, were given a surprise cake, cards and gifts, as their birthdays are are today and tomorrow respectively.  We also sang a rendition of "Happy Birthday", though of course, as this is the Japanese Academy, it was more along the lines of "OTanjyoubi Omedetou" (Kids, feel free to chant this at your next birthday)! A trio of students also played an instrumental encore to the delight of both birthday girls and to the delight of everybody, there was cake. Lots and lots of cake. Don't worry parents, your children are probably not eating a slice of cake at 9:30 PM. They're eating two. With french fries.

-Joseph San

26 June 2015: Guest Speaker - Professor Brown

Today, the students attended their normal language and topic classes before enjoying some recreation time during which some auditioned for the upcoming Variety Show, which is sure to be an entertaining display of their varied talents and interests. In the evening, Professor Brown, a guest speaker who teaches East Asian studies at Randolph-Macon College, educated the students on Japanese religious and spiritual traditions. In particular, Shinto and Zen Buddhism were highlighted. After that, everybody attended the nightly meeting and proceeded to return to their rooms to study for the next day's classes.

- Harry San

Thursday, June 25, 2015

25 June 2015: Yakisoba Day

Today, in addition to a full day of Japanese, students had their first experience with preparing a Japanese cuisine.  After learning how to prepare the dish, a group of students taught the rest of the academy how to cook Yakisoba.