5th International Understanding Festival 第5回国際理解フェスティバル

Hello! Steven from Seika here. This article will be about the 5th International Understanding Festival, sponsored jointly by the Town of Seika and Seika Global Network. The Festival was held on Sunday, April 21st in Seika Hall at the Seika Town Office.



Nara Accordion Club 奈良アコーディオン愛好会

The event began with a performance by the Nara Accordion Club. Staying true to the theme of the event, the club played a variety of different songs from France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, and of course, Japan. The only songs I recognized were the Mexican Hat Dance, which is fairly well-known back home in America, and the opening theme song from My Neighbor Totoro, which I hear a lot in Japan. It was great getting to hear new songs from all over the world.


Tsubasa Nakayama 中山翼さん

Tsubasa Nakayama 中山翼さん

Following the accordion performance, Tsubasa Nakayama, a student at Ritsumeikan University, gave a presentation about his time abroad at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, United States of America. He talked about the famous aspects of Seattle, such as the frequent rain and heavy concentration of coffee shops, as well as his homestay. It sounded as if he had a good time.


Next was a presentation about one of Seika’s public schools, Kawanishi Elementary School. Hideki Ikubo, the vice principal, talked about international education activities at the school. Kawanishi students in the 5th and 6th grades study English in school, with 35 hours of class in an academic year. Also, Kawanishi students in all grades have special international education classes that do not necessarily include English language instruction but rather an introduction to American culture and games. After Mr. Ikubo’s presentation, the students of Seika Minami Junior High School’s English and International Exchange Club recited various poems and stories entirely in English. Despite only being in middle school, their presentations boasted high-level words and impressive fluency.

Hideki Ikubo 井久保教頭

Hideki Ikubo 井久保教頭


The final part of the event involved a description of Seika Global Network’s activities. Nobuo Kawabata, the vice chairman of Seika Global Network, used a Powerpoint slideshow to describe Seika Global Network’s assistance for international residents regarding disaster awareness and preparation. For instance, Seika Global Network set up an International Resident Support Center at last year’s disaster preparedness training in Seika and recently published disaster awareness maps in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.


Nobuo Kawabata 川端信夫副会長

Nobuo Kawabata 川端信夫副会長


Other Seika Global Network activities presented at the event included a Japanese class for international residents, an English conversation class, a separate English class with a theme of Japanese culture, an agriculture group, a sister city exchange group, and a web design group.


Next year will be the 6th International Understanding Festival. Hope to see you all there!



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