Recently, a small group of Year 10 students from Hornby High School attended this year’s Year 10 Japanese Afternoon at Villa Maria.

This event was organised by the Canterbury Network of Japanese teachers and this year was attended by more than 150 Year 10 Japanese students from nine different secondary schools across the Canterbury region.

In addition to being treated to several beautiful musical items performed by the musical group ‘Shiki’ on the ‘Koto’ (Japanese Harp), students were formally welcomed by the Japanese consul, Mr David Tsunakake.

The students then divided into five pre-arranged groups for the activity sessions, which included a mix of students from each of the participating schools. These groups then rotated around an extensive variety of Japanese cultural activities run by specialist volunteers.

There was the ‘Kendama’ session, in which the students were given the opportunity to try their hand at this traditional Japanese cup and ball game.

The students were also given a specialist Origami session as well as a practical ‘Shodo’ (Japanese calligraphy) experience with authentic equipment and expert guidance.

The fun did not stop there, the students were also able to try on Japanese ‘Yukata’ (Summer kimono) and get photos taken wearing them.

Students were also able to test out their language skills in a friendly, interactive conversation activity with a visiting class of Japanese Junior High School students from Kurashiki City, the sister city of Christchurch.

We finished up with a big group song and dance (head, shoulders, knees and toes in Japanese) before officially closing the event by performing a group ‘Tejime’ (Ceremonial rhythmic handclapping).

Our students greatly enjoyed participating in this event which was the first year Hornby High has taken part. We look forward to replicating the experience with next years 10JPN students.