The KAPIC Center Japanese Language and Culture Seminar
     〜An ALT’s Impressions〜

From August 21st to 24th this year, the new JET Programme ALTs for Kagoshima prefecture took part in a four day Japanese language and culture seminar, held in the Kagoshima Asia-Pacific Intercultural Countryside Center. Below is an account of the seminar’s events, written in easy-to-understand English by Kanoya city’s very own Taylor Pearce!

 Hi, my name is Taylor Pearce. I am an American from the State of Colorado. I am a new ALT for the prefecture of Kagoshima, based in the city of Kanoya. I teach at three high schools, and am enjoying every minute of it. This is my first time to Japan, and in the 2 months I’ve been here I’ve experienced and learned so much about this country.



Nobody can resist a man in a kimono♪ The KAPIC Center director
gives a pep talk

 Shortly after arriving in Kagoshima, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in Japanese culture and language classes at the KAPIC Center. Japanese is a hard language for foreigners to learn as is English for Japanese speakers. I took several classes at the intermediate level to help further my writing, listening and speaking abilities. It was very helpful, and although it was only a four day workshop my Japanese definitely improved. I still study Japanese everyday in hopes to one day be fluent. I’m slowly improving each week.

 At the KAPIC Center, I also got the chance to meet a lot of other new ALTs and make some new friends. Together we got to participate in some fun and interesting culture activities. We all got the chance to dress up in various kinds of kimonos. I got to try on the traditional summer yukata. My friends got to dress in winter ones and even formal kimonos. I have never dressed up in traditional Japanese clothes before, but it was a lot fun and I took lots of pictures.



 The same day we dressed in kimonos we also got to check out the folk museum next to the KAPIC Center. We got to do some art activities as well as check out various instruments from all over Asia. I have never seen so many new instruments before. What was even better was that we were able to play all the instruments. Just about everything in the museum was hands on, which was pretty cool.



We made flags out of beads! Sampling the wares
at the Kanoya City folk museum

 The other really exciting activity we got to do was learn about ninja culture. A professional ninja instructor came to the center, where he taught us about the various weapons used by ninjas. He showed us throwing knives, stars, and blow darts. What was even more fun was that we got to play with the ninja weapons afterwards. I got to practice my aim by throwing ninja stars. I wasn’t very good, but I enjoyed it. I don’t think I will get involved with a ninja club here in Kagoshima, but I am always looking to get involved with something active.



Singing songs in Japanese!  


 Overall though, the KAPIC Center was a ton of fun. I got to make a lot of new friends, learn more Japanese, and aspects of Japanese culture that I probably would not have learned about otherwise. I think this program absolutely prepared me for starting my exciting new life in Kagoshima.


The voice of the foreign community


Civic Activity Promotion Division, Kanoya City Hall
20-1 Kyoei-cho Kanoya City, Kagoshima Prefecture JAPAN 893-8501
TEL : 0994-43-2111 (Ext. 3394) FAX : 0994-42-2001
Skype : kiea1997
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