Week-long Japan Experience leaves students more knowledgeable

|     Fizah HAB     |

EIGHTEEN students from Jerudong International School (JIS) received certificates from Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Motohiko Kato during a ceremony at the school yesterday.

The certificate presentation was held to acknowledge their participation in a week-long Japan Experience programme involving Japanese language and culture as part of an annual Enrichment Week Programme.

The JIS teachers who led the programme were supported by Japanese Embassy in Brunei Darussalam officials – Second Secretary Atsushi Aoki and First Secretary Rie Arai.

On Monday, the students were invited to the Japanese Ambassador’s residence where they were welcomed by Kato, who spoke to them about the various aspects of Japan, including the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

The students were then taught the traditional method of making Japanese sushi by Kato’s personal chef.

ABOVE & BELOW: Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Motohiko Kato receives a token of appreciation; and the Japanese Ambassador in a group photo with Jerudong International School students. – PHOTOS: FIZAH HAB

On Tuesday morning, Rie Arai conducted a Japanese tea ceremony at the Japanese Embassy.

On the third day of the programme, members of the National Judo Federation of Brunei Darussalam, led by Sports School Judo Academy instructor Muhammad Ali-Rashid bin Haji Mohammad Alipah, visited JIS to conduct a hands-on workshop which gave the students more insights into another aspect of Japanese culture.

Accompanying the group was a guest Judo coach, Shintaro Taniguchi, from Hawaii Tokai International College, who shared some of his favourite moves with the students.

The closing ceremony yesterday involved the students presenting a slideshow on the week’s events and a rendition of a popular Japanese song, Sukiyaki, prior to receiving their certificates.

The Japan Experience Programme Leader Andrew McCulloch noted that his motivation for conducting the programme stemmed from his participation in the government-run Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme around 17 years ago, which he still regards as a highly valuable and truly life-changing experience.

JIS Principal Barnaby Sandow, Deputy Principal Nicholas Sheehan, Head of Middle Years Richard Bourbon, and staff from the JIS Language faculty were present at the closing ceremony.

In his closing remarks, Sandow noted that the final week of the academic year provides students with an opportunity to learn outside the classroom, while also acknowledging the excellent work done by the Japanese Embassy to help the school realise this goal.

The ceremony concluded with Kato leading the students in tejime, a Japanese custom of rhythmic hand clapping, often performed at the end of an event. Tejime signifies fulfilment, realisation, and completion, which is a fitting end to a week spent delving into the richness of Japanese language and culture.