Spokane Students Celebrate Japanese Culture SJA Shares with Japanese Students

January 01, 2007 | David Wallace

"Join us for Bunka no Hi,” Fumihiko Mori, Japanese Cultural Center director at Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute (MFWI) in Spokane invited Spokane Junior Academy (SJA).

Bunka no Hi is a Japanese national culture day, celebrated on Nov. 2 in 2006, at MFWI and by Japanese people around the world.

MFWI, the U.S. campus of Japan’s Mukogawa Women’s University, invited SJA students and three other groups for the celebration. The Americans joined the 183 Japanese MFWI students and faculty in recognition of culture interwoven with the fall season.

First, students from the four schools dispersed to International Greeting Circles to meet one another. Japanese and American students introduced themselves to each other, followed by conversation about their schools, families, and a variety of interests among them.

Japanese students shared singing, an instrumental performance on the Koto and a traditional dance by the women students. They invited American students to join with them in their performances.

Two American high school students from Lewis & Clark High School engaged in an International Speech Exchange. Kelli Crawford spoke in Japanese on “Experiences with Japanese” and Ben Gullickson demonstrated his Japanese by describing “Adventures in Japanese.”

Mori described the importance of learning another language to gain understanding of another culture. As a student, he experienced great interest in Israel as he learned Hebrew.

SJA students relish the cultural opportunities in associating with MFWI students. Exchange students from Korea and the Netherlands were part of the SJA student body last year. And SJA has sponsored mission trips to Peru and Boliva. “We value such cultural exchanges as we learn about this world created by our Lord Jesus Christ,” said Don Bryan, SJA principal.