Hibakusha Visits ASIJ

The Japan Center together with the high school Japan Seminar class and all of grade seven recently developed and participated in a two-day program called “Hibakusha Stories of Survival,” aimed at understanding the impact of the Hiroshima atomic bombing on hibakusha (survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings). The program also served to prepare seventh-grade students for their trip to Hiroshima at the end of January. While the hibakusha survived the immediate effects of the blasts, they suffer from the effects of radiation sickness, loss of family and friends, and discrimination. Continue reading

Students Learn Soup from the Master

Tomoko Nakai’s HS Japanese 9 classes recently began their unit on traditional new year’s food and traditions are exploring traditional new year’s ozoni and how the soup differs in every region. Renowned Chef Hajime Kimura visited ASIJ to help introduce students to the world of washoku,  and to introduce the techniques and ingredients used in making ozoni. Head chef at Takehashi Japanese Restaurant in Otemachi’s KKR Hotel Tokyo, Chef Kimura has more than 22 years of experience and served an apprenticeship for four years to legendary “Iron Chef” Koumei Nakamura. The Japan Center arranged Chef Kimura’s visit to help introduce this unit, at the end of which Japanese 9 students will present their research on a specific region’s ozoni soup. Continue reading

Panetta Inspires with Call for Leadership

On Tuesday, October 30, Secretary Leon Panetta made a visit to the Chofu campus. Panetta’s long career in politics has spanned over half a century, and seen him serve in Congress, as the Chief of Staff for President Clinton, the Director of the CIA and the Secretary of Defense under President Obama. But when he came to speak to our high school students this week, what they saw was not so much a well-regarded, high-ranking official, but a humble, public servant who has dedicated his life to the betterment of his country and fellow citizens. Continue reading

Jumping for Joy at KEEP

Transitioning from elementary school to middle school is a significant time in a child’s life. It can be filled with many different demanding emotions, challenges and significant events in their development. But for the sixth-grade students at ASIJ, an important (and fun!) educational and social step in their journey is 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.

Our mission at ASIJ is to foster a community of inquisitive learners and independent thinkers, inspired to be their best selves and empowered to make a difference. Through KEEP’s activities, including hiking, nightly explorations, and engaging in forest challenges, our students learn to embody our mission and vision for learning. Throughout this three-day learning adventure, each student finds deeper bonds with their peers in their advisory and their teachers.

Eighth-grader Rintaro Mori went along with the sixth grade to cover the experience and share some fond memories of KEEP.

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Making Connections at Izu

Middle school student Espi Littlefield covers the seventh-grade Extended Campus Trips to Izu—an exploration of tide pools, deep-water snorkeling adventures, kayaking and surf lessons. The experience helped students to get out of the city and into an environment that is in stark contrast to their every day life. Continue reading