Foreign Students Experience Japanese Culture Hands-on

  • Category:Experience

Foreign students enrolled at universities in the Kanto region tried hands-on traditional Japanese cultural activities at an event in Tokyo earlier this month hosted by a local woman’s organization.
The event was organized by Soroptimist International of Tokyo-Azuma, a Tokyo-based club dedicated to the global empowerment of women.

Assistance was provided by over 40 Japanese university students belonging to the Japan National Student Association Fund, a well-established student-led organization committed to English education.
Foreign students who participated are registered with the JUSCO program, an international exchange community run by the JNSA Fund.

During the three-hour event, held Oct. 16 at the Akasaka Civic Center in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, 15 students from countries including China, South Korea, Russia, Britain, Germany, France and the United States took lessons in flower arrangement, calligraphy, tea ceremony and origami alongside Japanese students and Soroptimist club members with experience in each field.

In the origami session, the participants enjoyed making a variety of objects by folding paper, such as cranes, frogs, roses and Santa Claus. According to the JNSA Fund, a thrilled participant at the closing ceremony said, “I have been in Japan for about a year, but it was the first time for me to experience Japanese traditional culture.”

The event has been held annually since the 1980s; this year’s was the 33rd time it has taken place.

Toshiko Hasegawa, the fund’s general manager, told the Japan News, “We would be very much delighted if the event provides participants with an opportunity to familiarize with Japanese culture.”

The JNSA Fund, comprising students from leading universities in Tokyo and its suburbs, is known for annually administering the H.I.H. Prince Takamado Trophy All Japan Inter-Middle School English Oratorical Contest since 1949 with The Yomiuri Shimbun. This year, about 150 participants representing each prefecture will compete in the semifinals and the final on Nov. 23-25 in Tokyo.

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