Today marked the first weekend we have had at the academy, but that didn’t stop our academy adventures. In order to dedicate our afternoon to traditional Japanese cooking, we loaded our morning with both of our language classes for the day back-to-back. We learned everything from onomatopoeia to basic kanji to formal interview conversations.
After lunch, we headed to Duncan Memorial Church, where we would learn how to make dorayaki, a Japanese sweet red bean paste pancake sandwich. In advance, the Cooking Han, a group in charge of food preparation, prepared recipes and time-consuming ingredients (like the red bean paste) by hand. They were also the ones who demonstrated the cooking process to the rest of the class.
Bobby, also known as 七〜くん (nana-kun) due to his tendency to arrive seventh when his group is gathering, is a part of the cooking han, and has enjoyed it immensely, saying, “Cooking was a great bonding experience… I loved it, and feel like everyone else did too… It was cooled beans!”
We had a great time overall, even making our director, Kyle-sensei, a giant frog dorayaki since his name is similar to “frog” in Japanese. We’re excited to share this recipe with our families at home! じゃあ、また!
Field Trip Time!
Hello again! After a long week of hard work, we ventured out of the Randolph-Macon campus into the city of Richmond. First, we visited Maymont Park where we saw a variety of gardens including their captivating Japanese Gardens.
Next, we made our way to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where admired exhibits of all different cultures including South Asia, Africa, Europe, Russia, and especially the Japanese. A samurai suit, a traditional tea set, and びょうぶ (Byoubu) which are Japanese folding screens were some of the items featured in the Japanese exhibit.
Then we headed to a local Asian store, Tokyo Market, where we filled our baskets with snacks, goodies, and various Japanese trinkets. Sharing our purchases with each other and experiencing another site of Japanese culture was something greatly enjoyed by everyone.
Though our day was very tiring, we enjoyed many events and bonded as a group. We appreciate our staff so much today and the rest of the week. ありがとうございます!
On Wednesday we learned about ようかい (youkai) which are super-natural Japanese creatures to explain the unknown occurrences of life. We also created our own youkai!
Group karaoke was definitely a memorable activity for both staff and students, with one student, Ethan, saying “karaoke was a good experience getting the whole group to know each other.” Another student, Kelly, said, “I’m most looking forward to sharing everything I learned with my parents and family.” We hope you are just as excited as us to hear about our Academy experience! See you! じゃあ、また!
Severe Weather Update
It is possible that you are concerned about the reports of the severe weather that just made its way through Ashland and the Randolph-Macon campus. I wish to assure you that all students are safe and accounted for, and spent the time safely in an internal room of a very strong building while learning about Japanese Woodblock prints.
Previously at the Academy...
こんにちは！We left off on Tuesday with a visit from representatives from the Japanese Embassy, traveling all the way from Washington D.C.! We learned about programs like MEXT and JET, which help U.S. citizens study abroad and/or work in Japan. The embassy representatives also discussed the importance of diplomatic relations with Japan. We greatly appreciate the time and energy the embassy spent for us, ありがとうございます! (arigatou gozaimasu)
Later that night we met with the Latin Academy and learned some greetings in each other's languages to enhance our interactions on campus.
See you soon! じゃあ、また！
Konnichiwa! Today, the first full day of Governor's Language Academy, we learned "survival Japanese" phrases like よろしく おねがいします (yoroshiku onegaishimasu) which has many varying meanings, including "Nice to meet you!" and "Thank you!" We then split up into our classes based on previous knowledge of Japanese: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The beginner class learned pronunciation and a few characters of hiragana - the foundational alphabet of Japanese. The intermediate class worked on basic introductions and reviewed a few kanji characters - the most advanced Japanese alphabet. The advanced class worked on conjugating adjectives and learning phrases relating to personalities.
We also heard presentations from two of our wonderful teachers and sensei, and did some peer-bonding activities, with games like "telephone" and "musical chairs," along with a heated debate regarding the group's opinion on watermelon!
We look forward to sharing our daily activities with our family at home. じゃ、また! See you tomorrow!