The Middle School Musical: Shrek the Musical, Jr.

Once upon a time, in the land of Far, Far, Away in the province of Duloc a middle school adventure began in a swamp inhibited by an ogre named Shrek and invaded by a group of fairy tale characters who were forced to leave their homes because they did not quite fit in…

Cathy Berghahn, (middle school musical director), tells the story of the middle school musical, Shrek the Musical, Jr. Continue reading

In the Zone at the VEX Robotics Competition

This year’s VEX Robotics Competition saw 32 teams come together for a battle royale over two days of testing technical feats.

Motors whirred, steel arms extended and batteries tested as preparations began on Friday, Nov 17 for the VEX Robotics Competition. In addition to seven homegrown teams from ASIJ, including two middle school teams, local and international teams filled the ASIJ Theater and its lobby with equipment as robot inspections began on Friday morning. Joining us from overseas this year were teams from Chadwick International (South Korea), Foshan Nanhai Yanbu Middle School and Tianjin International School (China), Hong Kong International School, Pearl City High School (USA), Thai-Chinese School (Thailand) and Taipei American School. Local competitors included British School Tokyo, Christian Academy Japan, KAIS International School, St Maur International School and Tokyo Tech High School of Science and Technology. Continue reading

Students See Frederik L Schodt Present at the Japan National Press Club

On Friday, October 20, Japan Foundation Award-winner, Japanese Imperial Honor recipient and ASIJ class of ’68 alum Frederik L Schodt delivered a commemorative lecture at the Japan National Press Club titled Cultural Surfing: Riding the Waves of Transnational History, Technology, and Pop Culture. Fred discussed cross-cultural exchange in a wide range of Japan-US pop culture topics with moderator Yukari Shiina,  comic book translator and part-time lecturer at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

Fred and Yukari shared stories about his first visit to Japan while in high school, his first experience  with Japanese manga and its popularization in the US through the works of artists such as Osamu Tezuka, Hayao Miyazaki and Yoshiyuki Tomino. Fred also spoke on his own life and work facilitating exchange between Japan and the United States.  Attendees of the lecture included students from our advanced Japanese course. Tenth graders Anna Komisarof and Rona Kitamura write on the trip. Continue reading

Seeing Stars at KEEP

Moving from fifth grade to sixth grade is an important transition in the life of a child. The middle school experience can seem overwhelming! But for the sixth grade students at ASIJ, an important step in that transition is joining a three-day trip to the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP) center in the mountains of Kiyosato, east of Tokyo. KEEP is a recreational complex set in dairy farming land among the Japanese Alps, with sweeping views of Mt Fuji on cloudless days.

As one of our strategic objectives, we strive to develop students who take risks, explore passions, develop their strengths and learn resilience. Students spend their time hiking, going on night explorations and engaging in forest challenges led by KEEP rangers and ASIJ teachers. Students try new experiences and work together with their peers to persevere through challenges. Each child finds deeper bonds with the other students in their advisory, their advisor and the Middle School. Illustrating those activities and connections, sixth-graders write to share their favorite memories of KEEP. Continue reading

ELC Students Bring Home the Potatoes

On October 26, our early learning center students headed out to the farm for the yearly sweet potato harvest. The sweet potato digs are an ELC PTA-sponsored tradition that students look forward to every year as the weather cools and leaves start to turn shades of red and yellow, giving them a chance to learn about and experience a seasonal Japanese cultural tradition. Continue reading