U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mason Roy
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mason Roy

Karyo High School, Shunan City Children’s International Performance Group visit MCAS Iwakuni for cultural exchange, performance

by Cpl. Mason Roy
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Japanese students, teachers, parents and performers from Karyo High School and the Shunan City Children’s International Performance Group visited Matthew C. Perry High School to engage in cultural exchanges on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Feb. 11, 2019.

Karyo High School students that are learning English visited American students that are learning Japanese. Each student engaged in conversation by asking questions and providing answers with each other’s native language. They participated in a scavenger hunt and engaged in reading and writing in English and Japanese in order to chase down all the clues.

“I brought seven students with me here and it’s going really well,” said Tetsuro Umeji, a teacher at Karyo High School. “Since the [American] students live in Japan, this is one way for them to interact and it makes me happy. My students are excited, they volunteered to be here and I hope they have fun for the rest of the day.”

After the exchange, students observed the 9th annual Japanese Cultural Performance hosted by Matthew C. Perry High School, and performed by the Shunan City Children’s International Performance Group.

The event is held on the Japanese national holiday, ‘Kenkoku Kinen no Hi,’ or National Foundation Day. The holiday recognizes the 660 B.C. ascension of Emperor Jimmu, the first emperor of Japan.

The performance included Japanese students singing the Star-Spangled Banner and children’s songs. There were also demonstrations of the Japanese martial arts of karate and naginata, Kimono dances and performances by a musical choir and orchestra.

“I think the children performed well, regardless of age,” said Mamoru Sasamura, director of Shunan International Children’s Club. “Our children want Americans to know more and understand Japanese culture. The visits started nine years ago and we are excited for the 10 year anniversary.”

Photo Caption:
Matthew C. Perry High School students and a Karyo High School student, right, work together to solve a clue during a scavenger hunt at M.C. Perry High School on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Feb. 11, 2019. Each student engaged in conversation by asking questions and providing answers with each other’s native language. They participated in a scavenger hunt and engaged in reading and writing in English and Japanese to chase down all the clues. Allowing teachers and students to come to the air station brings the opportunity to foster an understanding and respect for both cultures.

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