No My-Car Day

Posted on January 20, 2011 | genkijacs

Did you know that Fukuoka has a weekly “no my-car day”? Every Friday, residents are encouraged to use public transport instead of their own cars. This is part of a global initiative to preserve the environment. Discounted subway/train tickets are available for purchase by car owners during the week, and you can also buy day passes for about ¥500―¥600 that allow you to ride as many trains as you want during that day. If you’re thinking about renting a car during your stay in Fukuoka, why consider the environment and use public transportation instead?

no my-car day

New Additions to the GenkiJACS Family!

Posted on January 16, 2011 | evankirby

Two new additions to the GenkiJACS family today.
Gundam and Shark
That's right, it's Gundam and Shark! Here are closeups:
Shark
Gundam

And just so you can tell how big they really are, here they are with Astroboy for comparison:
Astroboy comparison

Coming of age day cultural event

Posted on January 10, 2011 | genkijacs

Yesterday (1/10) was 成人の日 (coming of age day) in Japan. Some GenkiJACS students, along with members from Fukuoka Communication Centre, went to a cultural event where they taught sushi-making, traditional Japanese dancing and Aikidou martial arts.

Students were divided into two groups. The first group learned how to make three different types of sushi: 巻き寿司 (maki: rice and other ingredients rolled together with a sheet of nori), 握り寿司 (nigiri: an oval-shaped ball of rice topped with a slice of another item, usually raw fish) and稲荷寿司 (inari-zushi: sushi wrapped in a fried tofu skin).

sushi making sushi making

Simultaneously, the second group learned 日本舞踊 (nihon-buyou: Japanese traditional dance). The event started with a demonstration of two dances performed by the junior and veteran dancers, before the students were taught the traditional dance, “桜” (sakura).

nihon buyou nihon buyou

Afterwards, the two groups switched with each other.

sakura sushi making

After the demonstration, it was off to the dojo for an Aikidou demonstration. The students were shown how to sit in the correct position for a short meditation session, before they did some warm-up excercises.

meditation warm-up

After that, students were shown various Aikidou techniques.

aikidou

It was a very interesting and fun day!

You can view more pics of the event here.

Wagashi

Posted on January 05, 2011 | genkijacs

Wagashi (和菓子) is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits. One of our cultural classes recently included a wagashi-making session, where students got to create their own wagashi under the guidance of an experienced wagashi confectioner.

Wagashi-making class

Check out some more pictures of the event here!

Start the New Year with a koto

Posted on January 04, 2011 | genkijacs

On the first school day of the year for 2011, GenkiJACS students and staff were treated to a performance to start the New Year. The Japanese stringed musical instrument used in the performance is called a koto. It was introduced to Japan from China in the Nara Period and was used in court music called Gagaku. Local koto sensei Keiko played three songs: Chidori no Kyoku (千鳥の曲), Sakura(桜), and Hiyaku(飛躍).

Keiko sensei playing koto

After the performance students had a chance to try playing the koto under the guidance of Keiko sensei.

Student playing koto

Japanese study tools and websites

Posted on January 04, 2011 | evankirby

Ask Metafilter

Ask Metafilter has a great set of recommendations of Japanese learning tools and websites.
It'll take us a while to work through all of these, but we're sure there are a few that we can use in our Japanese classes. You're never finished learning Japanese, but these recommendations will take you a few steps along the path!