Japanese – Term 3

Annual NCEA workshop

The Japanese Programme at University of Canterbury, in conjunction with Canterbury high school teachers, held its annual NCEA workshop on 6 June. It is the seventh year that we have held the workshop and this was the largest yet with over 400 participants from 18 secondary schools. 27 UC students participated as teaching assistants and student mentors, and enjoyed interaction in Japanese with Year 13 students. This event represents an important collaboration between UC, Ara and high schools to create a stronger, more dynamic and diverse community of learners and practitioners.

The day started with a warm welcome from Vice-Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey and greetings from Mr Tsunakake (Consul, Consular Office of Japan). Mr Sacha Battrick delivered the keynote address about his experiences in learning Japanese, living in Japan and working for Mitsubishi. The secondary school students then had three intensive language sessions taught by secondary school teachers and staff from UC and Ara.

The final session started with a Japanese drum performance by the local drumming group, Takumi, and with feedback by Dr Kyoko Mikami, the Japanese National Language Advisor. It was then time for the much-anticipated group dance, which has become a prominent and popular feature of the workshop day. This year the chosen dance was Kimi no Yume wa Boku no Yume (Your dream is my dream) and all enjoyed dancing together to a Japanese pop song. The workshop finished with a hand-clapping ceremony by all the participants. Bringing a large group of people together with a passion for the Japanese language and culture can only result in a day that is packed with energy, great learning and laughter.

This annual event contributes not only to motivating students to continue to learn Japanese but also to strengthening the network of Japanese language education in the region. The general evaluation of the project was very high and it has successfully achieved our aims to enhance co-operation among secondary schools and tertiary institutions involved in Japanese language education in Canterbury.

Dr Masayoshi Ogino
Japanese Programme, Global, Cultural and Language Studies


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The NZAJLT Annual New Zealand Schools Japanese Trivia Championship

School halls, auditoriums and staffrooms around Aotearoa NZ were filled with Cosplay and Kimono clad kids on July the 14th, 2019.

What on earth were they doing? Let’s have a look at what went on!

In the Southland region – we can see some beautiful costumes from James Hargest College and Verdon College students. Thanks to Karen Thompson and James Hargest College for hosting there.  In between the stirring reverberation of Taiko drums (and students crunching on Japanese snacks) trivia quiz questions were fervently answered by 70 teams around NZ. These teams were made up of 280 language students in the 8 regions of Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Tasman, Wellington, Manawatu, Hawkes Bay and Auckland.

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In Motueka, Yuki Yoda hosted and organized the Nelson/Tasman Bays Regional Trivia Night. The winner was Team 1 from Waimea College.

We see Senpai – Kouhai in action (Tuakana- Teina) with Senior student volunteers at James Hargest College helping everything run smoothly. All of our volunteers around the country are greatly appreciated, especially Michelle Lodge (Botany Downs Secondary School) and Kazue Takeda (Liston College) who created the Quiz questions and slides.  To all of our generous hosts who provided the venues – we acknowledge and appreciate the work it took – doumo arigatou! 

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The winning Team for the Wellington region was Upper Hutt College, receiving their award in the Japanese custom of extending two hands. Thank you to Chitose Izuna for hosting the Wellington region.  Interval games of Jan ken! 

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In the Auckland Region Taiko drums sounded the beginning of each round, hosted by Kazue Takeda at Liston College.

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At the same time, on an ingeniously shared Google spreadsheet, points were entered live as each round was marked across the country by volunteers. Knowledge of Japanese culture including Daily Life, Food, Sports, Festivals, History, Geography and Pop Culture was put to the test.

Competition was stiff, and very little came in between teams. At the end of the night 1st and 2nd place winners in each region, as well as the 1st place overall in the country were announced.  The National winner for 2019 is … Macleans College Team 2! Congratulations Macleans College and Fukuko Hoshino Sensei! Fielding High School in Manawatu came a very close second, by one point.

The Sasakawa Foundation for Japanese Language Education sponsored the top prizes for this event - $80 first prize, and $40 second Prize - in each region.  NZAJLT executives, together with the students and teachers of participating schools, thank SFFJLE once again for their generous support of the Trivia Championship in 2019. Please see their website www.sasakawa.co.nz for grants and scholarships for teachers and students.

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Petra Tavener, National Event Coordinator, NZAJLT