Presentation by Non-Japanese Lecturer (H31 No.2)

“The Speech by a Foreign Guest” for March 3, 2019 was held inviting Barbara Shenk as a speaker. Two years ago, a couple, Dannie Otto and Barbara Shenk in America were assigned as Volunteer Director of WFC (World Friend ship Center). Holding this event was very lucky timing because we just knew that they were leaving in August this year.
The title was “My childhood in Hokkaido”. She was born as a daughter of a missionary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania which was a sever battle field during the Civil War. Later in 1950, the family moved to Sibecha town in Hokkaido and grew up there. She talked mainly about her life in the primary school age, showing interesting pictures. The town locates in the remote country where only one automobile exists, and the weather was severely cold without enough warming goods.
There were some fights with Japanese children before she mastered Japanese language, but soon she melted into the real world and played with them as if she were one of Japanese children. But when there was an event of parent’s association with student’s parents overlooking the class, she realized that she was a foreigner.
Then the family moved to Tokyo and she spent her junior & senior high school at an International School. She graduated the university in the USA. She married with Dannie. She engaged in teacher’s job. When she was in charge of special classes, she taught how important the peace was illustrating the disaster of the atomic bomb. She also has an experience with her husband in farming, producing corn. She liked to operate a combine.
At the end, her husband Dannie explained the activities of WFC, which was founded by Barbara Reynolds and every two years a new director comes and stays. This organization is engaged in a variety of peace movements for the world.

Let’s Play in English

On October 20, we held an event, “Let’s play in English!” for elementary school students in the small hall of Kusunoki Plaza. 18 elementary school students took part in the event.

Ms. Hiromi Tanaka, a volunteer, ran a warm-up exercise in easy English. The instructor was Ms. Mercy Vazquez. The participants, who were in Halloween costumes, really enjoyed Ms. Vazquez’s lesson and learned basic words related to weather, color and emotion through physical activity. A member of our association who dressed like Harry Potter read “The Bremen Town Musicians” to the children, using some slides.

Toward the end of the program we had a “Halloween walk” in the room. Every child had a small bag and went around each of our 5 staff members, saying “Trick or Treat” and they were given some snacks.

The children’s cute smiles warmed our hearts. We hope this event was a good opportunity for them to get more familiar with English.


International Sports Exchange Meeting (H30 No.1)

The 11h competition that means 10 years since it started was held at KUSUNOKI-Plaza on August 26, 2018.

We had been worried about the cancellation of the event because the coming typhoon 20 might make KUSUNOKI-Plaza to be used as a shelter. But the worry was completely eradicated, and the event became much more active & pleasant than ever. One of the reasons is participation of junior high school students, three boys and three girls.

Players are 16 foreigners and 16 Japanese, making 16 pair teams each of whom is paired by a foreigner and a Japanese. Speaking of foreign players,15 are Vietnamese and 1 is Chinese. As for Japanese, 14 members were from Fuchu-Cho Table Tennis Association and 2 were residents of Fuchu Town who

applied for joining this event.  Like the last year, a league game was arranged so that at least 5 matches are performed by a team. As workers behind the scene, 8 judges from Fuchu-Cho Table Tennis Association and our 13 FIRA members supported the event with great effort.

After the end of the competition, as an exhibition game that is a special addition, forming 6 teams by 6 Vietnamese and 6 junior high school students, each team played one game and we watch them. That was an enjoyable experience for players as well as the gallery.

Above all, girl students’ attitude that actively cope with the situation was eye-opening. They spontaneously sat together with Vietnamese people and took lunch together after the closure of the event.  It is impressive that they are actually conducting international exchange by doing so.

We have felt so far the friendly interaction between young Vietnamese players and Japanese players whose ages are almost same as their mothers’ were enjoyable and pleasant to see. This time we also found that participation of young junior high school students, who can talk frankly with and unreserved partner for young foreigners, was very successful for good international relationship.


At the stuff meeting held later it was agreed to increase the number of junior high student to participate up to 14.

Cultural Exchange Party (May 20, 2018)

A cultural exchange party hosted by this association was held in the Fuchu learning community center. Luckily, we had beautiful weather and the turnout was good. The number of participants was 84 including 32 people from China, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Laos, and the United States.

At the beginning of the party, the participants from other countries gave their self-introductions and we played several games to break the ice. After making a toast, we enjoyed many potluck dishes which were set on the tables. The dishes from these different countries were delicious.

This year’s much-awaited entertainment was ensemble music (Piano & Violin) and kendama,“a sword and ball”. We listened to the performance the two musicians gave. Members from the Hiroshima branch of the Japan Kendama Association demonstrated some techniques and some of us had a chance to try kendama, a traditional Japanese game. We had a lottery session as usual and people who won prices were extremely happy.

We all had lively conversations and time flew as we were having a great time. The party ended with great success. It will be held again next May.


General Assembly Meeting (April 21, 2018)

‘The General Assembly Meeting for 2018 was held at a conference room in Fuchu Community Center on April 21, 2018. Many honorable guests including Mayor Sato Nobuharu attended the meeting. Three bills, which were the FY 2017 Business and Settlement Reports, FY 2018 Business and Budget Plans and Election of Officers were unanimously approved.

This association has been actively engaged in international exchange programs for over 25 years since it was established in 1991. We sincerely appreciate the cooperation of our members. We are also deeply grateful to the mayor and the people concerned in the Town Hall. We intend to work harder to develop our activities through closer coordination with the people concerned.

「International Exchange Class」at After School Children’s Club ( March 10, 2018 )

International exchange class for students of “after school children’s club” was held at Kusunoki Plaza Gallery on March 10, 2pm~4pm, requested by Board of Education,

Forty students(1st grade~4th grade) from 5 elementary  schools in town gathered and listened to『Things about China』told by Ms.Huang Ying coming from China.

They learned some simple Chinese and also got the introduction to the landscapes, food, history and culture of China through screen images.

They gazed with great interest at the majestic landscapes and appetizing  food of China.

At the end of the class, they enjoyed making paper cutting decorations for the Chinese New Year.

Upon planning and holding the class, Ms.Bozena from Poland, Ms.Huyen from Vietnam and Ms.Kiyofuji made a great contribution to the success.

Thanks to the efforts of all concerned, International Exchange Class was really filled with international character.

Lecture presentation by non-Japanese speaker (March 4, 2018)

We had Mr. Preston Backer as a speaker on March 4, 2018. He came from Oregon State in the USA and now teaching English at Aki-Fuchu senior high school. The title was “My life and experiences that changed me”. He talked about his life so far and incidents and experiences that affected it in detail.
I understood that the basis of his attitude toward a life is to pursue to the end whatever he is interested in.Because of his parent’s divorce, he rather led a complicated life like changing the place to live every week. He was given with a sister after his mother got married. Judging from numerous slides that show the pleasant family life, they seem to be strongly connected each other with family love.He had a keen zest for the drama. His drama performance has been gradually developed from his elementary school age and reached to an almost professional level when he was a university student. He showed three comical skits in which he played as an actor.
Since his childhood, he has had much concern about Japan. He studied Japanese at his high school and university. But the trigger that made him move to Japan was a serious disease. He suffered from pancreas cancer that is considered most serious and the shortest survival rate among cancers. While he was carrying a struggle against the disease with a ball head due to the side effect of anti-cancer drug, he deliberated what he should do in his coming life, and a conclusion was to move to and live in Japan.
He met a beautiful girl and married her. Together with her, he came to Japan.
He worked ALT at a senior high school in Fukuyama city. He tried to do his best to be adapted to Japan and its people. He talked half in joke that the best way is to visit bars frequently.
He is such a person who loves Japan so much, but he is now in a difficult situation to make him leave Japan considering his wife’s life in future. She has a dream to have a bakery, but it is almost impossible legally for foreigners in Japan to do it.
To make her dream come true, he decided to go back to the USA and help her open a bakery.
He feels very sorry about that, but we, Japanese, also feel sorry and hope stay longer in Japan


Domestic Research Travel (November 12, 2017)

Since there were a lot of applications to this event this year, the number of applicants reached its capacity very soon and some of them were on the waiting list.
This travel was especially popular among non-Japanese people. Participants were 45 non-Japanese and 25 Japanese people.
There were a variety of nationalities such as Russia, Vietnam, US, India and China. We headed to Tsuwano by two buses.

We experienced apple picking at Tokusa Apple farm. We had a lecture on distinguishing sweet apples, simple way of picking and eating in order not to get hands dirty. We also got a lecture on picking apple without hurting branches. It was very fun to pick apples but also satisfied with delicious apples. We didn’t know there is the best apple orchard in western Japan where we can go apple picking at the bargain price in such a short distance. Since there are many breed varieties of apples at there, we want to visit again.

In Tsuwano, we were surprised at many never-seen-before big carp swimming. We could feel the taste of Japan by interesting townscape which is called as “Little Kyoto”. We t

ook a group photo near the statue of heron dance with a feeling to see the heron dance actually someday.We felt lucky to see an SL of Yamaguchi line near Tsuwano station and the SL was running with spewing out vapor when we passed by the station again by bus.

At Taikodani-Inari, we got a lecture from the bus tour guide on purifying and praying ways that are different from other Inari tutelary shrines then we actually prayed. At the steps with a lot of tori gates, we gave up climbing from the bottom but moved to the top by bus because of our physical strength. It was surprising that some good goers went down to the bottom and climbed up to the top again.

distinguishing sweet apples, simple way of picking and eating in order not to get hands dirty. We also got a

lecture on picking apple without hurting branches. It was very fun to pick apples but also satisfied with delicious apples. We didn’t know there is the best apple orchard in western Japan where we can go apple picking at the bargain price in such a short distance. Since there are many breed varieties of apples at there, we want to visit again.

We grooved a bingo game on the way back from the journey as usual. We were moved from joy to sorrow by readout numbers. We had good weather and finished this research travel without any accidents this year also.


The 16th Recitation by Junior high school students and Japanese speech contest by Non-Japanese

The 16th Recitation by Junior high school students and Japanese speech contest by Non-Japanese(December 17, 2017)

The 16th Recitation by Junior high school students and Japanese speech contest by Non-Japanese was held on December 17, 2017 at the first floor gallery of Kusunoki Plaza. Nine junior high school students in Fuchu town, eight guest speakers and five non-Japanese contestants attended the contest. The results are as follows:


【Recitation by Junior high school students】

Nine junior high school students in Fuchu town attended the contest. They looked a little bit nervous but delivered their recitation magnificently.

The highest awardees are as follows:

・1st grader Pair of Namba Masaaki and Sugikubo Nonoka(Fuchu junior high)

・2nd grader Ohseto Naoya(Fuchu junior high)

・3rd grader Hattori Miharu(Fuchu junior high)

Furthermore、3rd grade students, Horimoto Junya and Hattori Miharu(Fuchu junior high)joined three consecutive years and got the perfect attendance award.


【Guest speech】

At the elementally student category, seven elementally students, Kiyohira Airi, Fujisaki Koharu, Manabe Ichiro, Ueno Aoi, Oizumi Sayaka, Sagara Yuina and Hagi Hiyori performed the favorite subject and poem “Rain Won’t” vigorously.

At the high school student category, International course first grader of Aki-Fuchu high school, Capper Minao Helena, delivered her fluentEnglish speechtitled “The Best of Christmas Present in the World.


【Japanese speech contest by Non-Japanese】

Five contestants from China, Vietnam, Laos and Bosniahelthegobina joined the contest and delivered fluent Japanese speeches. Ms. Cizmic Ada from Bosniahelthegobina delivered her speech titled “We need peace, 私の平和への思い” and got the highest award.