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School Newsletter Features


Aoyama Winter Japanese Camp - Student Report

On the 13th of July, we attended the Aoyama Japanese Camp (AYJC). This is a camp that is run during the school holidays and indulges you in a cultural Japanese experience. We were able to meet people who were very friendly, and participate in very engaging activities that immersed us in the cultural aspects of Japan. On the first day that we arrived we met our leaders, introduced ourselves to each other before we started making 大福 (Daifuku), which is mochi (glutinous rice cake) with sweet filling inside (which is usually あんこ, red bean paste). We were later able to eat these for dessert while watching a famous Japanese movie, called 君の名は, Your Name.

Next, we were able to meet a very good coach, who taught us the fundamentals of Kendo. After he taught us, we were able to do some practical work such as the footwork of moving swiftly across the room, and we were also able to swing the しな い (shinai, which is like a bamboo stick/sword) against a dummy.


Later, we were able to sculpt our very own customised だるま (daruma), which in Japan is a totem for good luck and perseverance, to “fall down seven times, stand up eight”. By colouring in the left eye of the daruma means that you have made a wish, and when your wish comes true, you colour in the other eye.

For the last activity that day, we were able to play some Japanese sports! Lastly, we ate Japanese curry for dinner, which was very delicious!

On the second day, we got to practise しょどう (Shodou, Japanese calligraphy), before writing a kanji of our choice on a fan, using ink. Next, we finished off our darumas by painting them, which was very fun. This is what the darumas looked like after they were finished.

After that, we were able to wear a ゆかた (yukata) which is traditional Japanese clothing. We were able to select from a choice of different yukatas, and they were all very pretty! We were taught how to put them on and it was very fun.


Lastly, we participated in a game called “Race around Japan” where clues in Japanese were hidden around the camp area and each team had to decipher what it meant and each clue matched up to a place in Japan. The first team that solved all the clues first would win.

Then finally, the camp was over and we unfortunately had to leave. It was a very fun camp and we had a really good time there.

Japanese Immersion Camp


More than 40 students and some teachers all the way from Japan 日本, attended a Japanese program run by AYJC Spring Holiday Camp and hosted by The Scots School Albury in the Term 3 holiday.

The program was split into three different groups, Ichigo (strawberry), Sakura (flowering cherry tree) and Hanami (watching flowers bloom). Our group was Ichigo. On the first day, we learned more useful words in a language games class, calligraphy painting, which we made into a fan with our choice of kanji, and Dango making (dumplings on a stick). Then, at the end of the day was a Undokai うんどうかい sports carnival. This is where groups of people were split into team colours and competed for the winner's title. It led to a lot of laughs trying new Japanese sports styles - including spinning around in circles while facing down and holding a bat, then we had to try and hop, and this ended up with people falling over from dizziness! 

Dinner was held in the dining hall and we ate fried rice, salad, and a chicken teriyaki curry. This was so good! Desert consisted of banana fritters with ice cream, fruit salad, or castella cake with whipped cream. The first day was so cool and it allowed everyone to make new friends and try something new!

After sleeping in the boarding house, we went to have breakfast which was a western style breakfast: pancakes, bacon and eggs. Our first activity for the day was wearing and dancing in a summer kimono, called Yukata ゆかた. This was a fun experience and we got to try dancing in Japanese style! Next, we did Origami with Keiko Sanderink. Most of us made paper balls with up to 30 different pieces! Then, we went into the dining hall because it was time for lunch, Onigiri! Onigiri is small rice balls shaped into triangles with seaweed around the outside. Our group made them with tuna on the inside, and they were so tasty! Finally, to finish off the camp we did the Amazing Race but in Japanese style. We were put into random groups of 4-5 people, and there were 10 groups. Each group had to run around the school and find different stations, some of the stations were writing activities and others were speaking or problem-solving. 


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