Sixty students from Doshisha Kori, HBA’s sister school located in Osaka, Japan, visited HBA on Thursday, January 25, 2018.

For the third year in the row, Doshisha Kori students sat in on classes, met their email partners in person, and presented the school with a dance. Every year, students and teachers look forward to watching the dance because it’s exciting to see a different culture’s choreography.

Yoo Sensei began preparing for the visit last summer by discussing with the Doshisha Kori teacher how many Japanese students were coming and who their email partners were. Yoo Sensei arranges the visit because she wants to make the whole Japanese experience more exciting for the students. She said, “Language doesn’t come alive until you start communicating with the actual people.” Weismantel Sensei said that it’s important to arrange the visit so that through a cultural exchange, people will have more interest in the Japanese language.

“Language doesn’t come alive until you start communicating with the actual people.”

Yoo Sensei’s best part of the day was seeing the pure excitement in the students’ faces. She said, “Although Japanese 1 didn’t get a partner to interact with, they were so excited to see the actual Japanese students speaking the language. Japanese 1 students wanted to speak in Japanese and talk to them.” Weismantel Sensei liked the chapel dance and when a student shared her testimony in both Japanese and English.

Doshisha Kori students like Itsuhiro Sakamoto and Torii Tadamasa also had fun visiting HBA. Sakamoto said that the experience and Bible class was fun and exciting, and she was surprised that many students were allowed to use their smartphones. Tadamasa said that she had fun and she enjoyed Chapel but had a difficult time understanding Bible. However, her favorite class she visited was math.

Japanese 3 and 4 students will travel to Japan next fall and visit Doshisha Kori. The teachers plan to experience the Japanese students’ day and try their school lunch. Yoo Sensei said that their school lunches are the best. They also plan to visit an amusement park, historical places, and make crafts in Japan. By experiencing the culture, students will have more interest in the Japanese language.

Joshua Fujita (’18) and Zachary Fujita (’18) contributed to this story. Photographs by Joel Lau (’18).

Featured Photos from January 25, 2018: