Every Fall, ASIJ buzzes in a flurry of homecoming week activities focused on school spirit and community building. The week culminates in Spirit Day, a day dedicated to cheering on the Mustangs sports teams, playing games and eating delicious food.
Students, parents and faculty participated in a medley of Spirit Week Activities in the days leading up to this year’s Spirit Day on Saturday, Sep 30, encouraging students to show their Mustang pride.
Among other festivities, everyone across both the ELC, their first time joining in on the Spirit-week activities, and Chofu campuses wore crazy hats/hair on Monday, silly socks on Tuesday, class colors on Wednesday, favorite team jerseys on Thursday and school colors on Friday for Black and Gold Day.
High school activities built up to Friday’s Spirit Assembly, where students performed skits, introduced the sports teams and connected with their classmates.
Family, friends, students and faculty finally came together on Saturday for Spirit Day, as student service groups introduced their causes and clubs showed off their activities. Guiding us horrifyingly into the Halloween season, Abot Kamay also hosted a haunted hotel leading (un)willing participants through the spooky remnants of what once was an unhappy girl’s birthday party.
Spots to take part in the Japan Center’s Sumo experience were snapped up in minutes of opening as eager guests lined up to go toe-to-toe with two bona-fide sumo wrestlers. Okino-fuji (隠岐の富士) and Hokuto-ou (北勝 旺) visited from Hakkaku-beya Sumo Stable (八角部屋) to face their toughest challengers to date—hoards of ASIJ community members. Jim Hardin (head of school) acted as the guest gyouji (referee) for the showdown.
In total, our ASIJ Mustangs hosted four different sports during Spirit Day. Both middle school volleyball teams beat Seisen with scores of 2-0 and 2-1 and the high school junior varsity volleyball team won against Seisen as well, with a score of 2-0. The high school varsity tennis teams also stood out, with the boys overcoming St. Mary’s 5-0 and the girls winning verses Seisen 4-1.
The varsity football game began with a coin toss by the visiting sumo wrestlers and our Mustangs played the far-away visiting team from Seoul American School, taking the victory 55-14. Our cross-country teams competed at Tama Hills during Spirit Day. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams brought home the win.
The halftime show included a heated bubble soccer match for the second year running, nearly surpassing the varsity football game itself in prominence. This year, the leadership team went head-to-head against faculty in perhaps the most brutal sport ever played in Mustang Valley, as bubble soccer fans the world over tuned-in to view the soft, air-cushioned chaos.
Also for the second year running, the PTA held their Winterfest raffle pre-draw for Tokyo Disney Resort passes, won by current parent Yoko Chang.
Spirit Day-goers included special guests as the Class of ’87 hosted their 30th reunion on campus during the festivities. They participated in a guided welcome-back tour of campus, photo-ops with the sumo wrestlers and historic gate, as well as all the usual Spirit Day activities. Alum and reunion coordinator Robert Sharp also presented a gift of $7,700 to the Strength and Courage Award on behalf of the class of ’87.
Many thanks to the Boosters and PTA for organizing this great event and for all the volunteers that made it run smoothly! We would also like to give a special shout-out to parents Kathy Ambrosino (Booster chair) Jane Morris (Spirit Day co-chair) and Heidi Regent (Spirit Day co-chair) as well as Aki Harada, Paula Reimers and Dao Van Der Sande who went the extra mile to make sure no pulled-pork or wing seeker went hungry.