Sumo and the Sounds of Taiko at the ELC


The Early Learning Center has a long history of embracing Japanese holidays and culture as a platform for activities that introduce children to Japanese arts and crafts, music, food, traditional clothing, children’s literature, games and toys. Although this rich study extends through the entire year, many of the cultural activities take place between January and March. The ELC previously welcomed the new year in traditional Japanese style with a day of mochitsuki in January. Continue reading

A Merry Winterfest 2015


Thanks to the hard work and effort of our entire community, Winterfest 2015 was a huge success.  We had excellent weather and a record number of people attending the event, which was a fun-filled day with a great variety of food, entertainment, activities and shopping. Winterfest was also supported by the over twenty alumni who attended and the Alumni Council.

This year saw the return of the ever-popular Asian furniture sale as well as the addition of some new elements. Santa’s photo booth got a revamped look and a new home in the high school library, the International Bazaar was bursting at the seams with a record number of vendors including a new world gourmet market area and the Multi-Purpose Room played host to a great selection of musical performances. There was no shortage of food in the cafeteria, which held booths serving food from twelve different countries.

Over in the ASIJ Theater, there was even more entertainment and the popular Vintage Vogue sale. The PTA also sponsored mochi pounding organized by the Japan Center, which introduced this seasonal cultural activity to our community and gave children the opportunity to have a hands-on go at mochi making.

Our fabulous Winterfest Chofu Co-Chairs Maki Yukevich and Seiko Bernier and ELC Co-Chairs Katie Anderson and Kaitlyn Liao did a great job coordinating this complex event. Their team of dedicated chairs spent countless hours meeting, organizing, prepping and ensuring that everyone had a good time. This event would not have been possible without the student and parent volunteers who baked, cooked, sorted, sewed, counted and worked shifts at a booth.


Once again, our community came through with a record number of raffle ticket sales this year, clearing over ¥4.8 million! Our Grand Raffle Chairs Seiko Ishibashi and Lisa Onuma from Chofu and Julie Kim from ELC worked diligently to distribute and collect all the tickets. Our fundraisers Tiffany Farrell from the Chofu PTA and Dinar Somani from the ELC PTA secured some great prizes and corporate sponsorships. The money raised from the Grand Raffle, and Winterfest as a whole, enables the PTAs to fund a wide variety of enhancements each year and provide grants for visiting artists, authors and other speakers.

Go Mustangs!

Every September, 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. Continue reading