The 12th International Friendship Table Tennis Competition

The event was held in the large arena of Kusunoki Plaza, the AkiFuchu Lifelong Learning Center, on August 25. The participants were 17 foreigners and 16 Japanese. The former included 15 Vietnamese and 2 Chinese people. The latter included 8 members from the Fuchu-cho Table Tennis Association, 6 table tennis club members from Fuchou Junior High School, and 2 volunteers. Each foreigner paired up with a Japanese to form 16 pairs.
In this competition, the league game was arranged and each pair played 5 matches. 8 judges from the table tennis association, 8 table tennis club members from the junior high school, two interpreters, and our 10 staff members helped the event run the event smoothly as planned.
Most Vietnamese participants had never played table tennis and Japanese pair partners kindly showed them how to swing their rackets and taught them the basic rules. The participants played table tennis in a friendly atmosphere. Because four teams had the same winning points, they advanced to the semifinals. Then the final was held.
The players praised each other’s good fight regardless of whether they won or lost. They had a great time in this international sporting event.

Fuchu Elementary School 4th Grade

Fuchu Elementary School 4th Grade – Second Term Comprehensive Class about Vietnam (Sept.18 & 25, 2019)

Fuchu Elementary School 4th Grade (137 pupils) was to learn about Vietnam in second term comprehensive class and Fuchu International Relations Association was requested to send guest teachers for the class.

Ms.Huyen, Ms.Huong & Ms.Phan, who are from Vietnam and members of the Association, lectured for the class in the 5th period of Sept. 18 and the 3rd and 4th period of Sept 25.

On Sept. 18, they introduced Vietnamese climate, housing, food, clothing and traditional culture by showing various photographs through projector.

Children listened with enthusiastic notetaking and also learned some simple greetings and conversation. They quickly mastered them and exchanged greetings in Vietnamese.

On Sept. 25, Vietnamese play was introduced in gymnasium. Children eagerly enjoyed playing 3 games, which are “Da Cau”, “Bamboo dance” and “Cat & mouse chasing one another”

Now that some pupils from Vietnam attend Fuchu Elementary School, the class gave a good opportunity to children to feel familiar with Vietnam and deepen mutual understanding.  

Presentation by a non-Japanese Guest (July 21, 2019)

We welcomed Mr. Jonathan Fisher as a guest speaker on July 21, 2019. He comes from Ashville, North Carolina and is teaching English as a lecturer at Akifuchu High School. The title of his presentation was “A Trip to Appalachia.”

Before getting into the main issue, he gave his self-introduction. He has “many hobbies”and has loved hiking and camping since he was a child. He was very active as a Boy Scouts member. He tries to go hiking or camping if there is time. He talked about his experiences on Mt Fuji, Yakushima, Miyajima, Mt Noro, and so on.

Returning to the topic, the presenter showed the states Appalachia covers, using a few maps. Appalachia stretches from New York to Alabama and Georgia, but in his presentation he described the Appalachia he knows near his home town. He explained the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and so on. Pictures on the slides showed a series of beautiful scenes. He also introduced the Biltmore Estate, the largest home in the USA.

The speaker mentioned the relation between settlers and Native Americans. The Cherokee lived in an area of the Southeastern United States now covered by Appalachia. But when the Indian Removal Act was enacted, most Cherokee people were forced to leave their homes in the 1830s. Then he played the folk music of Appalachia on the violin. The audience was fascinated by his performance.

Mr. Fisher’s presentation provided a precious opportunity for us to know the culture and history of Appalachia we are not familiar with. Through this opportunity, we have come to want to learn more about Appalachia.

Cultural Exchange Party ( May 26, 2019 )

A cultural exchange party hosted by this association was held in the Aki Fuchu Chamber of Commerce on May 26. Luckily, we had wonderful weather. The number of participants was 73 including 31 people from China, Vietnam, 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. Then we made a toast. Many potluck dishes from different countries were set on the tables. While we enjoyed the food, we had many lively conversations.

Several people from China, Vietnam, and Laos wore their traditional clothes and had a lot of fun taking some pictures of each other.

This year’s much-awaited attractions were Vietnamese songs by the Vietnamese participants and Japanese dancing. We had an opportunity to listen to unfamiliar Vietnamese songs about encounters with people and farewell and were fascinated by these people’s beautiful singing voices. Under a dancing master’s instruction all participants danced to Japanese songs: two Japanese popular songs and a Japanese folk song.

We had a lottery session as usual and people who got prizes were extremely happy. We had lively conversations with each other in a friendly atmosphere. The party was a great success.

The 28th General Meeting ( May 11, 2019 )

The 28th General Meeting ( May 11, 2019 )

The general meeting was held at the conference room on the second floor of Fuchu Community Center. Many honorable guests attended the meeting and Mr. Kanemitu from Town Hall gave an address on behalf of Mayor Sato Nobuharu.

Three bills, which were Fiscal Year 2018 Business and Settlement Reports, Fiscal Year 2019 Business and Budget Plans, and Election of Officers were unanimously approved.

This association has been engaged in international exchange programs for about 30 years since it was established in 1991, and has made efforts to promote multicultural coexistence in this town. Since the Reiwa Era has begun, the number of foreign residents has increased. When we work on various issues the residents will face, we need closer coordination with the people concerned.

The Self-Government Promotion Section was put in charge of international exchange this April. In order to strengthen coordination between the section and our organization, we asked for its support and cooperation.

We intend to work harder to develop our activities through closer coordination of the people concerned. We sincerely appreciate the cooperation of our members. We are also deeply grateful to the Mayor of Fuchu-cho and the other related parties at Town Hall

After School Children’s Club (2019 Vietnam)

「International Exchange Class
at After School Children’s Club

Ms. Huyen & Ms. Huong, who are from Vietnam and members of Fuchu International Relations Association, lectured for “International exchange class” of “After school children’s club promotion project”. The project is held by Social Education Division in Fuchu Town Board of Education.

Every Wednesday from Feb. 6 through Mar. 6 at after-school hours, they visited 5 elementary schools in town and gave lectures to approx. 20 pupils about their home country Vietnam for about one hour.

They introduced Vietnam by showing various photographs through projector. Children listened with great interest about landscapes, culture and language, which are different from Japan. They also learned some greetings in Vietnamese.

After the lecture they learned how to play Da Cau, which is Vietnamese game, and enjoyed themselves playing the game together.

All of us really felt the importance of knowing different cultures at an early stage of childhood with no preconception.

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.