On the last full day of the Academy, students had a day jam-packed with activities. First, research groups got to present their posters to parents, allowing each student and family member to vote for their favorite presentation. After a short awards ceremony, students got the chance to showcase their special talents in a variety show. Acts included karate, card tricks, taiko drums, musical skills, and charades.
Thanks for all the parents that came today to look at the students' presentations! If you couldn't make it, there will be videos of each presentation in the online memory book that will be shared with everyone after the Academy ends.
After a full day of classes and preparation for the closing ceremonies on Sunday, students got a chance to relax with a sushi banquet in the evening. Students dined on local Japanese cuisine, sharing memories about their three weeks at Randolph-Macon. Through the laughter and tears, everyone participated in Sakubun, or a reflection upon the experiences and friendships they created at the Academy. Students discussed the accepting atmosphere, helpful staff, and overall wonderful learning experience that characterized the past few weeks.
On the final day of presentations to TUINS students in Japan, the Academy got to express gratitude in many ways. First, students got to write letters in Japanese to their parents, writing their thanks for the opportunities in their lives. In the evening, students presented to TUINS about contemporary Japan, and the whole Academy gave thanks to TUINS with a goodbye song entitled "365 nichi no kamihikouki." The opportunity to present research to Japanese students was a truly unique occasion, and students were sad to say goodbye to their newly acquired Japanese friends.
Today was the third day of exchange with TUINS students in Japan. We started off the night with radio taiso exercises, leading into presentations about Japanese history from the Academy. After a Q&A session and a presentation about TUINS from the Japanese students, the night concluded with a song (Mori no Kumasan) from the intermediate class, and a school song from the TUINS students.
Today was packed full of activities, starting with games in the gymnasium. Afterwards, students had a brief lesson on Japanese calligraphy, using their brush skills to write their favorite kanji to be displayed in their classrooms. Later on in the day, students practiced their research presentations for the second day of the exchange with TUINS High School in Japan. Students presented to TUINS about religious studies of Japan, and in return, the TUINS students discussed life in Toyama, Japan. The session concluded with a song from the beginner class and a Q&A with both groups.
Today, students furiously practiced their research presentations, leading up to the first day of video conferencing with TUINS students in Japan. Academy students discussed topics such as shin-hanga art prints and women through ukiyo-e. The Japanese students presented to the Academy about the four seasons of Japan and the activities, festivals, and foods in each one. Both groups got to ask each other questions, and students from the Academy performed a skit about the Tanabata festival. Overall, everyone had a great time collaborating with students from across the globe.
Craftsmanship and musical skill dominated activities at the Academy today. Following a presentation on origami, students worked on making cranes, jumping frogs, and kimono bookmarks out of colorful paper. The Academy will be making 500 paper cranes in the next week, following the Japanese legend that 1000 paper cranes will grant you a wish. Later on in the day, students had a karaoke party, having a blast while singing individually and in small groups.
After the Tanabata festival yesterday, students returned to their normal schedule. After lessons, students practiced their research presentations in front of their peers, making sure their research is polished before the official presentation to Toyama University of International Studies High School (TUINS) next week.
Today was an exciting day at the academy, full of learning and festival fun! The beginner class learned family vocabulary, using conversations with partners to practice their Japanese language skills. After lunch, students learned the history of the kimono and yukata as well as making origami to prepare for the yearly Tanabata festival (celebrated on July 7th in Japan). After everyone dressed up in a traditional yukata and obi, students sang songs, made wishes, and played festival games to learn about and celebrate Japanese culture.