On September 9, 2015 at lunch, over 80 students gathered in D201/D202 to enjoy a Japanese Club hosted pancake party.

With the help of a few students, Japanese teacher Chie Watanabe made over 400 pancakes to prepare for the club’s first meeting.

“The first meeting went really well. The chocolate chip pancakes were really good, and I think the club is going to be fun this year,” said senior Chambre Mangiarelli, the club’s treasurer. In addition to making pancakes, Watanabe designed posters and reserved D201/202 at the start of the year to ensure that the club had a place to meet. “It has been three years since I started helping Japanese club,” she said. “I enjoy working with students and [sharing] my love of cooking. I feel blessed to be able to share my culture with students. It is lots of work but it is worth it.”

Last year, club members participated in bon dances with elderly women dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos. For the last meeting of the year, Watanabe ordered a buffet of various Japanese foods for the students. The club’s corresponding secretary, senior Kayla Takemoto said, “Last year was my first year in Japanese club, but I really enjoyed it. Most people join for the food, but there are a lot of other things we do.”

The Japanese club meets on Wednesdays at lunch, and this year, the council hopes to host at least one meeting per quarter. Senior vice president Rachel Amano said, “Japanese club is a good way to meet new people and learn about a different culture that you may be unfamiliar with. I’d really encourage anyone who’s interested to join, because we’ve only just had our first meeting!”