Japanese news

Japanese senior classes welcomed special guests in a particularly exciting week for Year 8 and Year 9/10 Japanese elective classes.


The week began with a visit by Chris Xepapas, President of the Tasmanian Bonsai Society to the Year 9/10 Japanese elective class. Xepapas-san brought many bonsai trees of varying ages, styles and species to show the class.

He enthusiastically spoke about his time as a student of bonsai in Japan, and gave us a basic demonstration of how to turn a tree into a bonsai by carefully stylising it. We were amazed at his skill and dexterity, and some likened it to a choreographed dance!

Chris shared a lot of valuable information about the history of bonsai, and some of the key points of how to create our own bonsai, including the importance of appropriate pot selection.

We are very grateful that Chris gave his time to come and share his expertise with us.

School Life

As part of their unit on School Life in Japan, Year 8 students welcomed their Japanese teacher from Year 7, Susie Allan (Aran sensei) to talk about her time living in Japan as an exchange student. Aran sensei spent a year living in Gifu Prefecture at the age of 17, arriving in Japan with no prior Japanese learning experience, and throwing herself bravely into what was a foreign culture to her (at that time).

Students were amazed to hear that in Aran sensei’s experience, the female students were expected to kneel outside on the gravel to have the length of their school uniform skirts checked.

If it did not reach the gravel, then skirt-hems were let down on the spot. Even haircuts were performed by teachers if hairstyles did not conform to the expected standard!

The last 20 minutes of each school day was dedicated to the students cleaning all areas of the school, with the appropriate season of Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ playing over the PA system while they completed their work. Even to this day, Aran sensei cannot hear that music without reminiscing over her amazing adventures in Japan as a high school student!

We are very grateful that Aran sensei gave up her time to share her personal stories with us. Thank you to both special guests for helping to enrich our Japanese program!

Easter Egg Hunt meets Technology in Japanese

Students in the Year 9/10 Japanese elective class had an Easter Egg hunt with a difference during their last class before Easter.

Using an iPad, they scanned QR codes to hear instructions in Japanese about where to find their next clue!

Luckily they were an excellent team and followed the clues with no mistakes, to eventually find their bowl of Easter Eggs to share. Happy Easter everyone!

Mrs Belinda Kumashiro - Teacher of Japanese