Hello everyone, my name is Kent and I will be working as a CIR at Kyoto Prefectural Int’l Center from October 2021. I am not only honoured to become a part of such useful institution, but I feel also very lucky to be able to come back to Japan in this era of pandemic. I am still inexperienced in the international relations field, but I will do my best and I intend to use all my previous experiences to promote multiculturalism in Kyoto Prefecture.


Diving in Ishigaki – 2019

Right after my graduation in philosophy, I packed my gear and took a plane to Henan, China. I stayed there for around a year at the Shaolin Tagou Wushu Institute, the largest martial arts school in the world. At the time, I didn’t know anything about Chinese culture, history or even langage, but I needed to experience the world firsthand and from this period I became very attentive to cultural differences and philosophy helped me to go beyond stereotypes.

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The Origins of Uzbekistan-Maizuru Relations ウズベキスタン・舞鶴市の関係をたどる

Hello, everyone!
My name is Arthur and I have been working as the CIR in Maizuru City Office since 2017. Today, I would like to introduce to you a bit about myself, and the history of the relationship between Maizuru City and Uzbekistan.


Here I am wearing a yukata to a welcome event for cruise ship passengers visiting Maizuru

I was born and raised in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Since I was a child, I heard stories about the Japanese people who contributed to the infrastructure of Uzbekistan. You’re probably wondering how Maizuru, a city in Japan, can be related to Uzbekistan, a country in Central Asia. To be honest, even I did not find out about it until just recently! To understand the story, let’s go back to the years following World War 2.


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International Cooking at Home 国際クッキングAT HOME

Happy spring, Tabunka Kyoto readers! It’s me, Gavyn, the CIR for Seika Town.


Making spam musubi for
International Cooking at Home!

Since the coronavirus pandemic started picking up in earnest last spring, planning cultural exchange events that follow pandemic protocols has gotten quite difficult. This is especially so for any CIR that likes to showcase their culture through food, like me!


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About coronavirus in France…フランスでの新型コロナウイルス感染症対策について...

Kyoto Prefectural International Center  CIR Sandra Arazi
京都府国際センター 国際交流員 サンドラ・アラジ

wearing a mask  に対する画像結果

The new coronavirus had a big impact in France, and of course, in the rest of the world too.


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Life With Corona: Everyday Stories and Reflections – Buy Less, Save More // WITHコロナ ~日常の話と反省~ 買い物を減らすことが、思いやりに

Hello, everyone! It’s Gavyn, the CIR for Seika Town, checking in after a long absence from this blog. I hope you’re all doing well in these uncertain times.


Speaking of, a lot has changed in the world since my last post. Of course, the most pressing issue on everyone’s minds is one that needs no introduction. The coronavirus pandemic has hopped in the driver’s seat of all our lives in the last few months and it looks like it will continue to steer our every movement for the foreseeable future.


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Celebrating 25 Years of Informing Foreign Residents いちごニュースレター25周年、おめでとうございます

Hello! It’s Gavyn again, the Seika Town CIR.


Since 1995, the Coordinator for International Relations of Seika Town has published an English newsletter for foreign persons residing in Seika. This newsletter, then named “Seika’s Gaikokujin Gazette” was started with the purpose of keeping foreign residents “up to date with local town events and to provide help with daily living.”

1995年、精華町在住の外国人向けに「町内で行われるイベントなどをお知らせし、日常生活を支援すること」を目的に、国際交流員が当初「Seika’s Gaikokujin Gazette」というニュースレターを発行し始めました。

This April, the newsletter will be celebrating its 300th issue and 25th anniversary!


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Yosano English Camp 2019 与謝野イングリッシュキャンプ 2019


On December 14th-15th 2019 (Saturday to Sunday), an international event called “Yosano English Camp 2019” was held at the Kyoto prefectural youth marine center in Yosano city. For two days, a camp was set up for 5th and 6th graders to practice English. Two coordinators for international relations; Adam from the International Affairs Division and myself from the Kyoto Prefectural International Center were requested to become English speaking staff. “Yosano English Camp 2018” was also organized last year, so it was my second time participating to it. In addition, several ALTs from Kyoto Prefecture also joined.

2019年12月14日~15日(土・日)に与謝野町の京都府立青少年海洋センターマリーンピアにて「Yosano English Camp」という国際事業が行われました。  二日間、小学生5年生・6年生を対象に英語を練習するキャンプが設けられました。英会話の先生として、京都府国際交流員二人の国際課のアダムさんと京都府国際センターの自分が依頼されました。去年も「Yosano English Camp 2018」が設けられ、2回目の参加となりました。その他に、京都府のALTの何人かも参加しました。

More than to improve the English ability of elementary school students, the purpose of this English camp was to encourage them communicating with foreigners using English and gestures without apprehension. It was held also in order to get them interested in foreign countries and multiculturalism from a young age.


Various activities were performed during these two days. Among those, country presentations, mini-conversations, games, gymnastics, etc. The games prepared by the organizers went smoothly. Rock-paper-scissors train, fruit baskets, drawing-guessing games, look over there hoi, navigating games…numerous games were organized to entertain the students.


For the countries presentations, elementary school students divided into about 12 groups to listen to the English speaking teachers. As for me, I introduced general information such as geography, famous places, traditional food for 10 minutes to each group. Without surprise, it was the euro money I had brought with me which got the students best attention! Finally, I think it’s great because the students got to know more about France while spending a good time interacting with me. Thanks to Japanese supporters, high school students and college students, each activity was conducted in a good atmosphere. As a result, both English Speakers and elementary school students had a good time together. On the last day, elementary school students were able to communicate more easily in English. Pleased comments such as “I felt that foreigners were friendly and English was fun” were reported in the elementary school student’s satisfactory questionnaire, proving once again this year that it was a fulfilling English camp.

出身国の発表は、小学生が約12グループで分かれて、それぞれの英会話先生の話を丁寧に聞きました。各グループにフランスの一般的な情報、地理、名所、名物などを10分の間に英語で紹介しました。予想通り、一番興味を持ってくれたのは持っていったユーロのお金でした(笑)。結果的にフランスのことをもっと知ってもらえて、楽しく交流ができて、よかったなという気持ちです。 日本人サポーターズ、高校生、大学生の皆さんのおかげで、各アクティビティは良い環境で実施されました。そのため、イングリッシュスピーカーズと小学生も両方楽しい時間を一緒に過ごすことができました。更に、最終日、小学生はもっと気軽に英語でコミュニケーションをとることになりました。小学生のアンケート結果より「外国の方はフレンドリーで英語が楽しいと感じた」というようなコメントが書いてあったので、今年も充実した「イングリッシュキャンプ」になったかと思います。


Hi everyone! My name is Adam Franklin, and I’m the new Coordinator for International Relations at the Kyoto Prefecture International Affairs Division. I’m taking over for my predecessor Maia Hall, and I’m very happy to be living and working here in Kyoto City!


Truth be told, I’ve lived in Kyoto City for the past 6 years as I did both my Bachelor’s and my Master’s at Rtisumeikan University. When applying for this position I expressed my hopes to stay here in Kyoto City, but never in my wildest dreams did I actually think that could become a reality!


I was born and raised in a small town called Denbigh, which is in the north of Wales, the UK. It’s a largely rural area with lots of castles and sheep, so moving to Japan and living in the big city has certainly been a change of pace for me.


A question I get asked a lot is why I chose to study at a Japanese University. I think the answer to that question ultimately lies in my thought process around about the time I was graduating high school. I didn’t have a domestic University that I strongly wanted to go to, nor did I have a subject that I desperately wanted to study. When I came across the idea of studying abroad, I thought that wouldn’t it be great to study in a foreign country and learn the language whilst earning my degree!


I scratched other European countries off the list of possible destinations as I was worried that the prevalence of English fluency among those countries would mean I wouldn’t be able to fully immerse myself in the local language. Following this logic, I decided to look at countries that had a language that was far removed from English, and the prevalence of English-speaking natives not being a given.


Asia in general was a big area for this, and specifically within Asia I started to look at China, South Korea and Japan. I was particularly interested in Japan after being exposed to so much Japanese pop-fiction while I was growing up. Growing up in the 90s and early 00s, I used to hear a lot about how advanced of a country Japan was, that they were supposedly decades ahead technology wise. Couple this with “cool” images of samurai and ninja I had in my head, it became cemented as a place I wanted to visit when I was older.


So now with the chance to live and study there, I became very eager. I applied to Ritsumeikan University and spent a lot of effort on my applications. I was selected for an interview, did the best I could and crossed my fingers in anticipation! Luckily, I was accepted, and thus began my 6-year University journey in Japan.


I started my language study from scratch when I came here, but after 6 years of study I had a strong enough understanding of the language to apply for the position of CIR, and here I am now! I love my job, and I’m incredibly happy that I can pursue this kind of work in the city of my beloved university days. Kyoto has well and truly become a second home for me, and I look forward to what the future might bring!


Culture Talk: Volcanoes in Hawaii 異文化の話: ハワイの火山

Hello Tabunka Kyoto blog readers! I’m Gavyn, the Seika Town CIR, and in this article I would talk about volcanoes in Hawaii.


Aerial view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava lake and crater

International Play Date 子どもとの国際交流

Hello everyone! This is an update from Mary Ho, the Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) in Kyotanabe City.


On Thursday August 22, I held the kids event “Let’s Play and Talk with the CIR!” with a group of 16 young participants at Doshisha Yamate North Community Center. We had lots of fun using English to play games and singing various songs. This event is a continuation from a similar one I held last year.

8月22日(木)昨年に引き続き同志社山手北公民館で本市の出前講座 “国際交流員と遊ぼう!話そう!” を開催しました。楽しく英語でゲームを遊んだり、歌を歌ったりしました。