JENESYS 2.0 GUEST POST
This month we are pleased to share a guest report from Ms Ciara O’Loughlin who travelled to Japan as part of last year’s JENESYS2.0 Japan-ASEAN-Oceanian Student Youth and Exchange Program.
JENESYS 2.0 Japan-ASEAN-Oceanian Student & Youth Exchange Program Trip Report
As one of the twelve Western Australian participants in JENESYS 2.0, I made my way to the airport on 2 December eagerly anticipating what was to come. Although I had met some of the other participants at the preparation meeting at the Consulate, it was great to meet the rest of the group as we headed towards our departure gate. After meeting up with the rest of the Australian delegates in Sydney it was upon landing in Tokyo that our JENESYS 2.0 journey truly begun.
We crammed so much into our trip to Japan that it is impossible to describe it all in a brief report. Broadly, I would say the highlights of the program were twofold: firstly, we got to experience the beauty of Japan and its people and culture; and secondly, the program fostered a shared identity amongst all the participants from the various ASEAN and Oceanian countries despite the vast cultural and linguistic diversity.
As a delegate who had never before visited Japan I am honoured to have had the opportunity to experience Japan’s natural and cultural beauty. From the flashing lights of Shibuya to the peaceful surrounds of the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park, I was consistently impressed by the diversity of Tokyo city. I was amazed by how well everything seemed to function despite Tokyo’s enormous size. Coming from sleepy Perth, it was fantastic to have a wait of only a couple of minutes whenever we visited a train station. I thought it would be difficult to find a place I would enjoy more than Tokyo, but as a member of Nagasaki Team A I was soon to be surprised. In my mind I had always associated Japan with the metropolis of Tokyo and impressive technology, a place oozing with modernity. After an incredibly warm welcome from local school children when we disembarked at Nagasaki airport, the brief bus ride into Omura city left me in awe of the natural beauty of the area. Our two nights in Omura was my favourite part of the trip. The beautiful coastline, agricultural land and mountains aside, the host families we stayed with opened both their homes and their hearts to us. I believe it was this experience that gave us real insight into Japanese society. The ceremony at the office of the Mayor of Omura was fantastic and the celebratory dinner, which included Japanese music and dance, was a night to remember. It is with this taste of the Japanese countryside that I want to return to Japan with a rail pass and explore the various areas of rural Japan.
Nagasaki Team A at the Nagasaki Peace Park
The second major highlight of the JENESYS 2.0 program was the way in which it brought such diverse cultures together. The program was unique in this regard and I can think of no other platform that brings together students from throughout the Asia-Pacific to learn from one another and appreciate their diverse yet now interconnected experiences. Befriending students from Timor Leste, Cambodia, Vietnam and countless other countries was a fantastic experience. The intercultural experience peaked with the Japan-ASEAN-Oceanian festival in which each country performed a cultural dance. Although I feel Australia was thoroughly upstaged by the other countries’ performances it was nonetheless a memorable experience. Although the festival was the finale to the JENESYS 2.0 program, I am sure the friendships we made during the journey will endure for many years to come.
As a participant on JENESYS 2.0 I would sincerely like to thank the Consulate General in Western Australia for facilitating our selection in the program. Furthermore, I am truly grateful to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kinki Nippon Tourist company and all our guests and guides throughout the trip for what was an unforgettable and thoroughly worthwhile experience.
As a sign of my gratitude, please find below a poem I wrote about Omura and recited on the final day of feedback on the final day in Tokyo.
We got off the plane & we could see,
The beautiful city of Nagasaki
Leaving the airport the sea was blue,
The sky was clear and cars were few.
The falling autumn leaves were red
With buffets all day we were well fed,
There were plenty of trees and mountains around,
Yuki yakonko was our background sound.
The forest was thick and the river was clear,
Omura city we will always hold dear.
We stayed on farms and drank green tea,
Fields of cucumbers as far as the eye can see.
Strawberry picking was next to do,
Our mochi turned to a sugary goo.
Experiencing nature in Nagasaki was great;
Returning to Omura is surely our fate.
My host family and I in Omura
Would you like to go on a similar trip? Applications for the current round of the JENESYS 2.0 Program are now being accepted! Please see here for more details.
JET Programme Returnees Reception
On March 6, a reception was held to welcome back two Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme participants. Speeches were made by Consul-General Mr Koichi Funayama and Mr Matthew Stott, Treasurer of the JET Alumni Association of Western Australia, on behalf of the president of JETAAWA.
JET Returnees listen as Consul-General Mr Koichi Funayama addresses guests
The JET Returnees gave slideshow presentations about their time living and working in Japan, sharing pictures, stories and experiences working with Japanese children. Mr Brett Lynch (ALT) lived in Hokkaido Prefecture and Mr Peter Roberts (ALT) lived in Hyogo Prefecture. The returnees also touched upon the various festivals and places they visited and other experiences made possible by living in Japan while on the JET Programme.
Fremantle's Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
presents Hachikō, a performance based on a
heart-warming true story from Japan about loyalty and resilience, celebrating
the remarkable joy an animal can bring to our lives.
Hachikō performances run from April 12-26. For more information please click here.
Nagoya Omotenashi Busho-Tai
Don’t miss this free Japanese performance at the Fremantle Street Arts Festival, it’s the closest you’ll come to encountering a real samurai. Generals with ties to Nagoya, a sacred land that produced many great Generals during Japan’s warring states era, have gathered with foot soldiers to form the Omotenashi Busho-Tai. Through dance and theatre, they give you a glimpse of 400 years into Japan’s past.
Saturday 19 April
2:00pm - Esplanade Hotel Pitch (Esplanade Reserve)
Sunday 20 April
1:00pm - The Hollow (Kings Square, 8 William St)
Monday 21 April
12:30pm - The Hollow (Kings Square, 8 William St)
A photographic exhibition by Rohan Hutchinson will be held at the Perth Centre for Photography from April 4th -May 5th. Set in Kanazawa, Japan, the work researches how the difference in design and materials change in architecture over diverse time spans and class systems. Each work is compiled of multiple 8x10 inch negatives and offers a rare insight into contemporary Japan. The exhibition is not only for lovers of art and photography, but also those with an interest in architecture and Japan.
Image © Rohan Hutchinson
International Essay Contest
The 2014 Goi Peace Foundation UNESCO International Essay Contest for Young People is now open. Endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, this annual essay contest is organised in an effort to harness the energy, imagination and initiative of the world's youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world. The theme this year is ‘My Role as a Citizen of Earth.’ Entries close 15 June, 2014. For more details, please click here.
Ukiyo-E – Japanese Prints of the Floating World
From February 8 – June 28, Professor Ronald Berndt and Dr Catherine Berndt’s ukiyo-e collection will be displayed at UWA’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. Ukiyo-e paintings and woodblock prints emerged in the Edo period and developed into a popular, distinctive art form. They typically depicted everyday life in Kyoto and human subjects such as beautiful women and kabuki actors, later including landscape. The art form flourished in Japan and went on to inspire European impressionists including Van Gogh and Monet.
Image: Watanabe Nobukazu, Beautiful women viewing illustrated books and printed scrolls. RM and CH Berndt Collection.
Perth Festival 2014 – Last Chance!
Two Japanese art exhibitions and one Japanese film feature in Perth’s 62nd International Arts Festival, the longest running multi-arts celebration in the Southern Hemisphere. Be sure to check them out!
Ryota Kuwakubo – The Tenth Sentiment
Photo: Keizo Kioku courtesy of NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] Japan
The Tenth Sentiment draws you into a world of wonder that emerges right before your eyes. Hiding nothing from our view, Ryota Kuwakubo fills a room with everyday artifacts, and then catches them in the headlights of a single model train. Seamlessly amplified and animated into expansive vistas, you are immersed in moving shadows. Kuwakubo’s mesmeric installations have enthralled audiences around the globe. This is the first time The Tenth Sentiment has been exhibited in Australia.
John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University
6 February – 17 April
Mon-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat & Sun 1-5pm
Paramodel – Paramodelic Graffiti
With vivid imagination and meticulous design skills, Paramodel create wondrously immersive environments out of mass produced toys and brilliant blue plastic train tracks. Entire rooms become fantastical landscapes. Since 2001 artists Yasuhiko Hayashi and Yusuke Nakano have collaborated under the name of Paramodel and now in this Australian exclusive they incorporate elements locally sourced in Perth to create an extraordinary diorama especially for the Festival at the John Curtin Gallery. This is the largest version of their installations of this kind ever and will use over 10,000 piece of train track!
John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University
6 February – 17 April
Mon-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat & Sun 1-5pm
PHRASE OF THE MONTH
This month’s phrase tsundoku, translates as the act of buying books and not reading them, often letting them pile up for a while.
Listen to Konnichiwa, a Japanese and English radio program on Thursday evenings from 7-8pm on 107.3 FM.
Web Japan provides Japanophiles with a world of engrossing information on Japan in all fields, from traditional culture to the latest fashions. http://web-japan.org.
Pop Culture: The new era of sake (Mar 31)
Street Style: Vol. 8 Spring 2014 (Mar 24)
Food & Travel: Beppu (Mar 24)
Also available on Web Japan is a downloadable version of the popular niponica magazine about Japanese culture. Current issue: niponica No. 11: Japanese Fabrics Have Their Global Reputation Wrapped Up.
CULTURAL AND LANGUAGE CLASSES
New Japanese Conversation Class
The Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre is offering a new adult Japanese language conversation class for beginners. The six week course will be conducted at the Centre from May 15 to June 19, on Thursday mornings 10am-11am. Classes will be run by Dr. Kyoko Kawasaki who has extensive experience teaching Japanese.
Sogetsu Ikebana Class
Try your hand at ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, with visiting master instructor Tetsunori Kawana. Sogetsu workshops will be held on 26th - 28th May 2014 and will take place in the Function Room, Scarborough Community Centre, Gildercliffe Street, Scarborough. Register by the 1st of May to participate. For more information, click here.
会WA (kaiWA) is a casual get-together of Japanese and Australians held every second Thursday. Hosted and organised by the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA (JETAA WA), kaiWA is a great chance to practice your Japanese, make Japanese friends and learn more about teaching English in Japan on the JET Programme.
kaiWA is held at 43 Below on the corner of Hay Street and Barrack Street in Perth. It starts at 5:30pm and runs until about 8:30-9pm, so don’t worry if you can’t be there at the starting time.
For more information on the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA, please check their website above and for more information on the JET Programme please check the following site.
Chatterbox is another casual get-together of Australians and Japanese, held on Saturday afternoons at the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre from 2-4pm. For more details please call the Centre on 9385 9002 or visit their website.
AJS Tomodachi Lunch
On the first Thursday of every month, the Australia-Japan Society of WA holds a Tomodachi Lunch. The lunch is held at 12:00pm at Jun Restaurant, 568 Hay Street, Perth. See here for more details.
Bonsai Society of WA and Bonsai Workshop Inc.
Meetings of the Bonsai Society of WA are held on the last Monday of each month and include demonstrations, lectures, films, advice and a display of members’ tree. The Bonsai Society also holds regular workshops and other events. For more information please click the above link.
Meetings of the Bonsai Workshop Inc. are held on the last Saturday of each month. Members can bring their trees to work on, receive advice and watch others at work. For more information please click on the above link.
Bonsai Society of WA display at the official residence of the Consul-General
Website of the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth
Monday to Friday
General Enquiries: 9am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm
Consul and Visa Enquiries: 9am to 12:30pm, 2pm to 4pm
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