MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Ninth grade students from Matthew C. Perry High School who are learning Japanese visited their Japanese counterparts who are learning English at the Takamori Midori Junior High School in Kuga-Machi City Feb. 16.
The M.C. Perry students were introduced to their new Japanese friends then went to a classroom where Arinobu Matsumoto, Takamori Midori Junior High School principal, gave a welcome speech.
“It is my greatest wish that the bonds that are forged here continue to grow strong throughout your lives,” Matsumoto said. “The reason we forge bonds is because we can never have too many friends, and friends that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.”
There was a show and tell where the English students introduced themselves in Japanese and vice versa and a Japanese cultural performance.
The cultural performance consisted of a variety of traditional Japanese activities that the Midori students demonstrated first, and then the M.C. Perry students tried.
The different activities included origami, practicing kanji and a game of reverse limbo.
”I learned how to make a paper swan,” said Maya Lackie, an M.C. Perry 9th grade student. “It was really fun sharing each other’s cultural quirks today.”
Lackie showed Masaki Sayaka, and Yananaka Mamoka, Takamori Midori students, American pop dance moves.
“Maya-san is a great teacher,” Sayaka said. “We all love American pop music and dancing, and now I know how to dance like Beyonce.”
After the activities were over, the students had a lunch break where they were able to sit and talk with each other.
Jazmin Braswell, an M.C. Perry 9th grade student, said she’s half Japanese and it was fun learning about her Japanese heritage.
Afterward, each pair of Japanese and American students took a Japan- American quiz.
“With our combined knowledge of Japanese and American culture, my buddy and I made the quiz look easy,” Aoki Toshiki, a Takamori Midori student, said.
When the quiz was over, it was time for the children to say their goodbyes.
Morgan Nugent, M.C. Perry High School principal, thanked both the students and faculty of Takamori Midori J.H.S. for showing the students a day full of new cultural experiences.
It was the M.C. Perry students and faculties’ pleasure to visit the Takamori Midori students and make the bond between American and Japanese children grow stronger, Nugent said.
“Their friendship is cherished and will always hold a place in our hearts,” he said.
The M.C. Perry students got back on the bus as they waved goodbye to their Japanese buddies. The Japanese students waved and ran after the bus yelling “arigato” and “farewell.”