PHS Kakehashi Project notes
Share your experience and promote PHS(RISD) Japanese program to our community.
YouTube Video production team: all boys
Video 1. The experience talk by participants. (Elijah, Alec)
Video 2. Findings in Japan, US/ Japan relationship in Dallas (Lewis, Deckard)
Video 3. Why you should take Japanese at PHS(RISD). (Jacob, Keahi)
Facebook article (w/pictures) production team: all girls
Article 1. Homestay (Aleli, Areli)
Article 2. Japanese High School (Mary Claire, Kim)
Article 3. Cultural Experience (Freda, Clair)
Post Production team: Tess, Lana
Let’s show our spirits, PHS Kakehashi!!
Special Moment of Mary Claire
While in Japan we were able to experience the hospitality and generosity of a Japanese family through two days of a homestay opportunity. Every family was composed of the nicest/kindest people I believe any of the students have met. Each meal was home-cooked and probably the most delicious food I had ever enjoyed including dishes such as an array of sushi, all kinds of pickled vegetables, and various selections of perfectly cooked fish. The homes were well looked after, and my group personally had the luxury of kotatsu and hanten.
Special Moment of Tess
The opportunity provided by the Kakehashi project was once in a life time. It was even better than I could have imagined. Japan is home to some of the purest beauty I've seen in my life, both in nature and in the goodness of the people. The kindness and respect shown to me and my peers was the paragon of humanitarian. One of the dearest people I met on the trip was my host grandmother Keiko Ogura from Fukoshima. She gave without bounds and provided us with the utmost care. Despite having difficulty speaking to each other, we managed to reach a perfect understanding that transcended the language barrier simply by reading each other's dispositions. She showed me that there is a goodness in all people that crosses cultures and languages, one that speaks to all. Japanese or American, kindness is something everyone can understand. Keiko Ogura proved to me that the bridge between our two nations was much shorter than I originally thought. My experience with her was the first step towards crossing that bridge and for that, she will forever be in my heart.
Special Moment of Lana
Though I had many spectacular experiences in Japan, my favorite among them was the home stay program. Our host, Keiko Ogura, whom we called granny, was one of the most heartwarming people I've ever had the pleasure to meet. She was nothing but cordial and welcomed us into her home as if we were her own children; I truly felt as if she embodied the Japanese culture with the respect and grace in which she carried herself. Granny made it possible for us to immerse ourselves in the customs by preparing traditional meals, showing and allowing us to participate in their bathing customs, and by giving us access to the well-known kotatsu as well as traditional futon bedding. Other little things that we had learned of in class such as slippers in the house, tatami mats, sliding doors, and personal shrines were also identifiable in the home. Being able to experience the lifestyle of the Japanese people, firsthand, was such a unique and extraordinary opportunity that I will treasure for years to come.
Special Moment of Claire
Special Moment of Freda
Special Moment of Elijah
Special Moment of Jacob
The moment that meant the most to me were all the moments with sugawara-san our coordinator. To me over the week we got to know su-san he was an awesome person to my eyes. He always tried so hard to get us places on time while having fun in the meantime. I could strike up random conversations with him and that is not that easy with most people for me. When su-san said he was leaving after lunch on the last day I believe we were all sad. I realized that the bonds that we have made over there in Japan cannot be broken as easily as I would think. I believe no matter how long or how far we are from each other our bonds that we have formed will remain intact and unbreakable. I had a splendid time in Japan and I hope to go there again sometime in the near future.
Special Moment of Alec
One of my favorite experiences of our trip to Japan was the ride on the bullet train when leaving Tokyo for Minami Aizu. I had never been on a train so fast. The ride was very smooth and seeing the landscape fly by was a very interesting experience. It felt almost like I was in a dream because my brain couldn't comprehend how fast we were going at first. Along with the rest of the trip, that train ride is something I will truly never forget.
Special Moment of Aleli
There isn't a day that passes by that I'm not grateful for having experienced the Kakehashi project. If it weren't for JICE this trip would''ve just been a dream. What I'll never forget from this project was the homestay. Our okaasan ,our host mom, did everything she could to make us feel comfortable and welcomed. When she showed us to our room she immediately gave us a short, oversized thick coat called a hantan. She also showed us the kotatsu, a low wooden table that is covered by a futon, and told us to get our legs underneath it. It was toasty warm and really interesting. I hope to one-day return and see my okaasan again.
Special Moment of Areli
Special Moment of Kim
My most memorable and impacting memory that I greatly treasured in Japan was visiting Minami Aizu High School. I've learned there were countless differences between the American and Japanese teenagers, for example, the Japanese had a more reserved and shy personality. Even so, we had a similar taste in pop music and artists, signifying that teenagers are still teenagers wherever you go. Because of this, we had a fantastic time together. It was an amazing moment that I wouldn't have been able to experience without the JICE's open minded wishes to deepen the connection between America and Japan.
Special Momnet of Keahi
For me, the best part about the Kakehashi Project trip was the opportunity to work on the rice farms. We were fortunate enough to have gone when it was harvesting season and it provided us with the experience of seeing how the Japanese people harvest their rice with the combine. It was also fun trying to reap the rice by hand and it was surprisingly easy to do. I would definitely do it again if I had the chance.
Special Moment of Lewis
During my stay in Japan I made many memories that I am sure will stay with me forever, but the one memory I know for a fact will never go away is that of my host family. When first meeting them, I was very nervous, but I soon found that they were the nicest people I have ever met. My host mother was kind, caring, and made sure we always had more than enough food (I think I tried more new foods in a few days than I had in the past few years). Our host father was extremely polite, respectful, funny, and above all hardworking. He left the house before we even woke up and didn't return till dinner time. During my stay, I learned that there's no such thing as a language barrier. The only barrier to communication is your will to do so. This lesson and these people will never fade from my memory.
Special moment of Deckard
Going to the rice fields in Minami Aizu town was my favorite moment in Japan. We woke up drove over to the fields and went over how it was done. They showed us how to drive a combine, then we went into seperate groups to reap the rice by hand. There was a little scythe that we used to cut down the rice grain and put it into bundles. It was really fun and a great learning experience. I hope to do it again.