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Wednesday 6 April 2022

Sixth Form Japan Taster - Video & Photos

Sixth Form Japan Taster - Video & Photos

On March 29 2022, we invited sixth form students to join us in London for one of two special ‘Japan Taster’ sessions. Following the cancellation of in-person Japan Day events in the autumn in both 2020 and 2021, the Japan Society planned a small-scale event this spring, offering students with an interest in Japan a chance to participate in cultural activities during a one-off three hour session.

On the day, we welcomed over seventy students from ten different schools and colleges to take part in either a morning or afternoon session featuring hands-on workshops. In the hanko workshop, students learnt about the custom of stamping documents in Japan and carved a unique seal featuring a katakana or kanji design of their choice. The kokeshi workshop featured a display of different types of kokeshi from the Tohoku region in Japan and students were invited to decorate their own kokeshi to take home; there were a variety of both traditional and modern kokeshi designs with many students taking inspiration from their favourite anime characters! Finally, participants in the soroban and flash anzan categories had a unique chance to watch a soroban champion demonstrate her mental arithmetic skills, correctly adding fifteen 3-digit numbers together in a matter of seconds. They then had a go at using the Japanese abacus themselves, and by the end of the workshop were adding together numbers in the billions!   

The students also heard from theatre director Ailin Conant in her keynote address: Amaterasu: Out of the Cave. Ailin shared the shinto myth behind her latest work, giving students a brief overview of the Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu and her brother Susanoo, God of Sea and Disease. Ailin discussed her initial seed of inspiration and how she worked the myth's themes into a contemporary play. Students were also able to ask Ailin about her work and several students contributed insightful comments and questions.

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